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- MayoClinic.com: Exercise — 7 Benefits of Regular Physical Activity
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Balancing Calories
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If you have tried to increase exercise for weight loss but haven't seen the results, you may want to look at what you are eating. Your body uses the food you eat for energy, and any excess calories are stored as fat. Following a cardio diet plan combines exercise and diet to promote weight loss. The most effective way to lose weight is to reduce calorie intake and increase your activity level.
If you've increased the amount of cardio exercises you perform, you may be watching the scale for a decrease in the numbers. Cardio exercise not only promotes weight loss but also improves heart health, gives you a better night's sleep and improves your mood, according to MayoClinic.com. Cardio exercises include running, swimming, biking and aerobics.
The cardio diet can help to improve your weight loss results. A vigorous workout combined with an uncontrolled diet full of sugar and fat does not yield the results you are looking for. "In order to lose weight, you must burn more calories than you consume," according to Fox News. The network calls this "creating negative balance." It states that the best way to achieve weight loss is to synchronize the calories you take in with the calories you burn.
Starting a cardio workout plan and significantly decreasing your calories can cause your metabolism to slow down. Your metabolism continually adjusts to changes within your body. When calories are decreased in your diet, your metabolism slows to ensure that adequate amounts of calories are available for bodily functions. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, CDC, states that 3,500 calories must be burned or cut from the diet to lose one pound 2.
Before beginning your cardio diet plan, the CDC recommends keeping a log of everything you eat or drink for several days. When you have a general idea of how many calories you are consuming, look to see how you can cut out 500 calories per day. The calories may be cut from soda, desserts, large portions or other areas of excess. Coordinating a cardio workout that burns another 500 calories per day promotes weight loss of one to two pounds per week. The cardio diet allows you to decrease calorie intake further and perform less cardio, or eat a little more and workout longer.
Calories should not be allowed to get too low. Your body needs food for basic needs, and as stated, your metabolism slows if caloric intake is too low. You must also ensure that protein intake is adequate. Appropriate protein intake heals muscles injured during your cardio workout. Fox News also recommends starting one aspect of the cardio diet at a time. One suggestion is to start by decreasing calories first and adding exercise as your weight loss plateaus.
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