Why Cardio Sucks for Women

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Go to any gym, and most women are glued to the cardio machines. More often than not, it’s in effort to slim down and drop any and all excess body fat.

Unfortunately, cardio as a tool for fat loss isn’t that effective. Hell, it’s not that effective for men, but for women, it’s even worse!

You see, to drop a pound of fat, you have to create about a 3500 calorie deficit. Assuming you’re fit and you can exercise at a moderate pace for up to an hour, that’s like 6-10 hours of exercise to drop one pound of fat, depending on your weight (heavier people burn more calories).

And that’s best case scenario, unfortunately it doesn’t quite play out like that. In men, more exercise tends to result in a mild to moderate increase in appetite.

However, in women, when they exercise more, they pretty much eat back almost everything they burned at the gym.

This is because women have stronger appetite regulation in response to exercise. Just check out this study on effects of exercise intensity on food intake and appetite in women.

Remember, fat loss is the result of eating less than you burn. If cardio gets you to eat more, the fat loss effects become seriously diminished, suffice to say.

This Is The Illusion Of Cardio

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But wait, what about those really fit people that perform lots of cardio? What are you supposed to make of that? Well cardio can be useful if you’re trying to maintain your weight while eating more food.

But it’s a spinning tires phenomenon. You’re pouring in all this time and effort, just to look the same! Trading an hour of cardio for a muffin or smoothie, no thank you!

I’m sorry if I have a hard time rationalizing that one. Unless, you truly love cardio and running, it just doesn’t make sense.

Besides, if you’re not quite at your goal level of leanness, and you want to slim down and look great, cardio just doesn’t get the job done!

This is because it takes way too many hours to burn a good amount of fat, and when you start doing more cardio, you invariably start eating more.

Now when you follow the diet approach in the Goddess Toning Program, you’ll be able to eat in an enjoyable and satisfying way, while looking leaner than ever.

That’s without having to pour hours into the cardio machines each and everyday.

Can Cardio & Running Make You Gain Weight? 

Funny enough, shortly after I posted the video to youtube, I got this comment by a girl named Tori:

Love your videos. I agree with this. I am thin and I find it much harder to maintain a low weight if I’m doing cardio. I stay between 110-115 when NOT doing cardio. When I’m running I’m closer to 125… no change in muscle that I can tell. Anyway, do you have any tips or videos specifically on how to build a nice booty?  I wish I could enhance this….pancake situation I am dealing with.  :/

First order of business, building a great booty is super important and a major goal of most women! This is actually a huge focus of the Goddess Toning Program. Most of the lowerbody exercises in the program hit the butt the hardest.

This way you can develop great looking glutes while having slim and fit legs that look fantastic and fit into your favorite pair of skinny jeans.

Now as for the weight gain from cardio well….. Interestingly enough, in some cases, men and women gain weight from doing a lot of cardio! This is for a couple reasons, which we will explore now.

If you’re trying to stick to a strict diet, doing a lot of cardio will just make dieting 10x harder because it will make you a lot hungrier and it will cause you to crave a lot more carbohydrates. So in many cases, you’re more likely to mess up on a diet, if you do too much cardio.

Now most people, when they screw up, they don’t just eat a little more, they eat a heck of a lot more and sometimes to the point that they feel sick or totally ashamed!

This is due to the guilt associated with messing up on your diet. I cover how to overcome binge eating in this podcast.

So if cardio causes you to overeat, binge eat or just mess up your diet, then it’s going to lead to some weight gain, which will only make you more stressed and depressed.

Can Cardio Actually Cause Water Retention?

Lot’s of cardio, plus dieting, plus the stress of trying to lose weight will create excessively high cortisol levels. High cortisol levels can lead to water retention! This is why sometimes, even if a girl is dieting strict and performing tons of cardio, her weight plateau’s.

Her body is simply holding onto more water in response to the stress. This is why I get people to focus on the moderate approach, making fitness and getting lean fun, enjoyable and effortless so it hardly feels like you’re dieting at all.

It’s also why I talk about being present to the moment, working towards your goals, without obsessing about it.

In fact, the mindset ebook that’s a part of the Goddess Toning Program, is amazing for deleting stress and creating positivity and enjoyment for the fitness journey.

Does Cardio Make You Lazy? 

For some people, doing plenty of cardio on a diet can actually cause them to become lazy. They’ll push it hard at the gym, but for the rest of the day, they’ll be lying on the couch or barely moving.

If doing lots of cardio gets you to preserve your energy expenditure later in the day, then many of the calories you burned will be off set.

This phenomenon occurs with people that rigidly try to stick to a low calorie diet while engaging in plenty of exercise.

They’re creating a pretty big calorie deficit, that their body responds by slowing down their movement and metabolism.

What Should You Do Instead Of The Hamster Wheel?

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It all comes down to nutrition. Eat to ensure you consume less calories than you burn. A little cardio, of the right type, mostly low intensity walking, which seems to have a neutral effect on appetite, is helpful.

In fact, if you’re looking to use exercise to drop body fat, resistance training and walking is your best bet. Resistance training will ensure you maintain muscle so all of your weight loss is from body fat and not muscles stores.

This will increase fat loss significantly – even though you’re dropping the same amount of weight, resistance training will ensure you lose more fat and maintain more muscle than diet and cardio alone.

Furthermore, proper resistance training will give your body a much more attractive look. You’ll be more toned and firm, and overall, you’ll have much better shape. And resistance training is fun and motivating.

With resistance training you’re not just working out to burn calories! The pay off is massive.

As for walking, well walking can be useful at inducing an energy deficit without increasing your appetite. In fact, this study on women found calorie intake to be unaltered by bouts of walking.

Now walking is not nearly as intense or fun as getting into the gym and pushing yourself on a handful of exercises and scoring personal records!

That said, walking can be awesome if you listen to some good audiobooks or podcasts or simply enjoy a great conversation with a friend or boyfriend/girlfriend.

Want A Complete Program Designed Just For Women?

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I am pleased to announce that my new course for women is finally live! It’s called the Goddess Toning Program. This is an entirely comprehensive course for how to get that fit, toned and sexy feminine body.

The workout, the nutrition program and even full workout tutorial videos so you always know what to do. A LOT of time has gone into developing this, so do yourself a favor and check it out!

(This program is for women, but I know a lot of couples who work out together and both want to follow a Kinobody program. Now you can…)

*Your results may vary. Testimonials and examples used are exceptional results and are not intended to guarantee, promise, represent and/or assure that anyone will achieve the same or similar results.

Greg O'Gallagher

Greg O'Gallagher is the founder of Kinobody, a site dedicated to helping men and women achieve the lean, muscular, and aesthetic "Hollywood" physique. His fitness programs have helped hundreds of thousands of people transform their bodies and change their lives in the process.

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