Cardiovascular exercise, such as running, cycling, or swimming, is a popular way to burn calories and promote fat loss. However, overdoing cardio can actually impede your fat loss efforts in several ways. Here are four ways that overdoing cardio can prevent fat loss:
Cardiovascular exercise can lead to muscle loss, particularly if it's done excessively. This loss of muscle mass can lead to a decreased metabolic rate and make it harder to burn fat. Additionally, preserving lean muscle mass is crucial for achieving a toned and defined physique.
Remember that you will burn more calories during resistance training (weight lifting, resistance bands, bodyweight exercise) and also while at rest after a resistance training workout. So it's more effective and more efficient to burn excess body fat through resistance training versus with cardio.
Overdoing cardio can lead to a plateau effect, where your body adapts to the exercise and becomes more efficient at burning calories. When your body becomes efficient at burning calories, it requires fewer calories to perform the same exercise, making it harder to continue losing fat. Therefore, it's essential to mix up your exercise routine to prevent this plateau effect
Increased Stress Hormones
Intense cardio can lead to an increase in stress hormones, such as cortisol, which can lead to increased fat storage, particularly in the abdominal area. This increase in fat storage can make it harder to lose fat, even if you're burning a lot of calories during your cardio sessions.
Overdoing cardio can lead to an increase in appetite and cravings, particularly for high-calorie and high-carbohydrate foods. Intense cardio can lead to an increase in the hunger hormone ghrelin and a decrease in the satiety hormone leptin, making it harder to stick to a calorie deficit necessary for fat loss.
Overdoing cardio can impede your fat loss efforts in several ways. It can increase appetite, lead to muscle loss, cause a plateau effect, and increase stress hormones, leading to increased fat storage.
Therefore, it's essential to balance your cardio with strength training and rest days to support fat loss efforts and overall health and wellness. Additionally, it's crucial to listen to your body and adjust your exercise routine based on your individual needs and goals.