How to Use Cardio to Strip Off Stubborn Belly Fat

Many people struggle to target this area and often hit weight loss plateaus. In this article, we will explore how to overcome these challenges and break through plateaus by crafting the right cardio plan. Let's dive in.

The Problem with Cardio for Fat Loss

One major limitation of cardio for fat loss is that as we lose weight and improve our fitness levels, our body becomes more metabolically efficient. This means that we burn fewer calories throughout the day, leading to a reduction in fat loss.

Studies have shown that as we become more fit, the number of calories burned during low-intensity movements decreases by about 15%. This decrease in calorie expenditure has a significant impact on our overall fat loss progress.

Understanding NEAT Levels

NEAT (Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis) refers to all the subconscious movements and light activity we do throughout the day, such as walking, cleaning, and even fidgeting. The number of calories burned through NEAT can range from a couple hundred to over a couple thousand calories a day, depending on our lifestyle.

As we lose weight and become more fit, our NEAT levels can decrease, leading to a further reduction in calorie expenditure. This is one of the reasons why those who have lost a significant amount of weight struggle to keep it off or continue losing fat despite doing the same amount of cardio as before.

The Four-Step Cardio Plan

To overcome these challenges and break through plateaus, we recommend following a four-step cardio plan:

  1. Establish a Baseline: Start with a low-impact and low-intensity cardio routine, such as 10 minutes of incline walking or light cycling. The goal is to get into the habit of regular cardio.
  2. Gradually Increase Duration and Difficulty: As your body becomes more efficient and burns fewer calories, gradually increase the duration and/or difficulty of your cardio sessions. This can be done by adding 5 to 10 minutes to your sessions or increasing the speed and incline.
  3. Monitor and Control Variables: To prevent compensation outside of your cardio sessions, monitor and control three variables: step count, resistance training, and calorie intake. Maintain a consistent step count, adhere to a regular weightlifting routine, and ensure you're still in a calorie deficit.
  4. Maintain Your New Physique: Once you reach your goal, find a cardio routine that you can adhere to long-term or gradually taper down the amount of cardio until your body weight stabilizes. Monitor your body weight closely to make the right adjustments.

Pairing Cardio with Weightlifting and Nutrition

It's important to note that cardio should be paired with a regular weightlifting routine and a solid nutrition plan. Weightlifting helps maintain or build muscle, which boosts metabolism and helps burn more calories through NEAT. A proper nutrition plan ensures you're in a calorie deficit.

Conclusion

By following the four-step cardio plan and combining it with weightlifting and nutrition, you can effectively use cardio to strip off stubborn belly fat. Remember to start with a baseline, gradually increase duration and difficulty, monitor and control variables, and find a sustainable cardio routine. With consistency and dedication, you can achieve your fat loss goals.

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