When it comes to doing cardio for weight loss, proper nutrition is as important as the training itself. If you’re trying to lose weight, your cardio routine is just one piece of the puzzle, you need to back your training program with the proper diet. And here is why: In order to lose weight, you need to burn off more calories than you put in. that’s it. And it’s no secret. This is what is known as the energy deficit in the fitness circles.
Nevertheless, if you fail to properly address your nutritional needs—especially when doing cardio on a regular basis, then you won’t get far down the road. Starving yourself won’t help you lose weight. But quite the opposite, you’ll only invite fatigue, loss of motivation and a myriad of health problems.
As a result, here’s how to synchronize your diet and cardio training in the healthiest and most proficient way possible, while making the most of your workout sessions.
Don’t Shock Your System
During the early stages of training, you may be overexcited about your new weight loss resolution, so you decide to stop eating and train for more hoping to see instant results. But that’s no excuse to take on more than your body can handle. Opting for this approach does quite the opposite. Your body perceives the sudden change as a state of famine and slows down the metabolism, thus you’ll be burning off less calories per minute than you used to. As a result, you’re not going to see the scale going down any further, you’ll just add to the frustration.
Therefore, preventing the starvation response is critical for weight loss. The best eating guideline for preventing this condition is opting for 4-5 small meals per day. When doing so, you’ll constantly resetting your metabolism levels, thus burning calories at a higher level. In addition, eating every 3 to 4 hours will keep your energy tanks full and well replenished for your next cardio workout, thus you’ll achieve better performance and enjoy the training.
?Cultivate Good Eating Habits
Cultivating good eating habits is the way to go if you want to stay slim for the long term. These eating principles are universal. And everyone should abide by them, active or not. For starters, choose fresh, nutrient-rich food instead of junk food. Make sure to throw a healthy mix of vegetables, fruits and lean protein into your diet—especially when doing cardio training. Eat 2-3 hours before the training session, and immediately afterwards to replenish your energy tanks.
In addition, make sure your body well hydrated throughout the day. Drink plenty of water both before and after your cardio sessions. Otherwise, you’ll suffer from dehydration which can lead to a myriad of health problems.
None the less, this is not a call to perfectionism. Perfectionism is the way to losers’ land. You need to take your weight loss diet with a grain of salt and give permission to yourself to go off track. Break the rules once in awhile. Go ahead and that slice of pizza or soda drink, just don’t go overboard. Schedule your eating rants once a week as a prize for your hard efforts.