“Is it okay to just do cardio for weight loss?”

By Katherine Hood on April 30, 2024


Submitted Request..

This post is an answer to a submitted question. It aims to provide help and solutions to overcome the issue.

Podcast version: HERE

Quote: “Nothing will work unless you do.” Maya Angelou

Adding to the quote:  When we invest time and effort into something, we often see the results of our hard work. It's true that we reap what we sow. Every decision we make comes with its own set of consequences. For example, prioritizing exercise may mean sacrificing time that could have been spent on other activities. On the other hand, opting to relax and do nothing may lead to negative impacts on our physical well-being in the long run. It's important to consider the trade-offs involved in each choice we make and weigh the costs and benefits carefully. Ultimately, our actions shape our outcomes and it's up to us to determine what we want to prioritize in our lives.

Submitted Question

“Is it okay to just do cardio for weight loss? I will be starting the gym in June after my final exams, and I was wondering if it's okay to just do the treadmill and exercise bike for mostly cardio because I feel insecure doing anything else as I've never been there before. If there are any other exercises that would help with weight loss overall and getting my glutes bigger and reducing prominent hip dips, please tell me because I genuinely am not sure. Thank you.” 

My Response if we were in a coaching setting. Although without being able to ask questions, I may assume or use scenarios to fill in the gaps.

It sounds like you're wanting to get prepared mentally to add working out to your routine soon and looking for ways to lose weight and gain some muscle. I hope this is helpful it's somewhat generalized. 

Connecting working out and weight loss as the means to lose weight can lead to a non-sustainable approach to weight loss.

What ends up happening is there’s an attachment that working out is the way to lose weight, in other words it’s viewing exercise as a punishment, it can create a negative mindset that ultimately hinders progress. 

“If I workout, I will then lose weight, if I don’t work out I won’t lose weight”

Even the statement “lose weight” has a negative connotation to it. Have you ever lost anything and felt good about it? Losing a wallet, purse, pet, favorite toy, or keys? 

Establishing a positive relationship with exercise is essential for maintaining consistency and achieving long-term weight loss goals.

When you view working out as something enjoyable, exciting, and beneficial, it becomes a natural part of your routine and a priority in your life. It's easier to become a rock in your day, week or schedule. By shifting your mindset to see exercise as a positive experience, you are more likely to stay motivated and committed to your fitness journey. Embracing a healthy attitude, story and belief towards working out can lead to sustainable weight loss results as a side effect and overall improved well-being.  

I like to challenge my clients by asking them if their goal is based from inspiration or is it based from desperation.  

  • Desperation (suffering) motives through fear, scarcity, urgency, heavy, comparison, a burden, obligation, feels like a huge task, frantic, desperation, shame, lack, pain, confining, limiting, external pressure, avoiding failure, meeting societal expectations, and the need for immediate resolution.

  • Inspiration (focus on the person you want to become, make it obvious, attractive, easy and satisfying) is a motivator that produces positive feelings. These are created because you feel deeply moved, inspired, expansive, it feels like a calling, it feels like a powerful force of life within wanting to be expressed outward into the physical world.

So, look for ways to move your body that you look forward to, enjoy, and afterwards feel proud of yourself. Certainly, it is important that it is frequent, regular, and gets your heart rate up to an ideal range for as long as possible. Brainstorming ways to make exercise an enjoyable and rewarding experience can help you stay motivated and dedicated to your fitness journey.

When working closely with clients, we often discover in the creative process that it goes beyond just losing weight. It becomes about improving their overall mental, emotional, and physical health and well-being. This means creating time and space for themselves to prioritize self-care. Through working out, clients can shed excess cortisol and stress, redirecting their focus inward to how their body feels, looks, and engages their senses. This healthy process helps clear the mind from dwelling on the past or worrying about the future, almost like a meditation that brings a heightened sense of presence and focus on the present moment. By addressing all aspects of health and wellness, clients can achieve a holistic transformation that benefits them both physically and mentally.

Embrace the process, whatever you decide to do and focus on the benefits of working out for a healthier and happier you!

I do want to acknowledge that you've found something you feel comfortable doing, and that's HUGE. Congrats.

Moving forward in terms of exercise, it's all about taking small steps and gradually incorporating new approaches into your routine.

Start by making small changes, experimenting with different activities, and testing out various techniques. Dip your toe in the water and see what works best for you. Remember, progress is about consistency and patience, so take your time and enjoy the journey towards a healthier lifestyle.

As for glutes, there's a million different ways to work them out that you can do at home with no weights just body weight, bands even that are super cheap and there's a ton you can do at the gym with cables, free weights, gym equipment, classes if available. Ideas are to look up exercises on Youtube and start experimenting with what you like, enjoy and feel good. Start SUPER small, and gradually when you find a few that you like, that you feel in your glutes, do more or incorporate more resistance (weights, bands, cables). Most gyms if you go to one will give you a free personal training, and if you're upfront on what your goals are and you just want a few glute focused exercises they should deliver. Personally I suggest hiring one if it fits your budget.

Now for weight loss, back to what I said at the start. Food is the major driver of weight loss. A mix of a healthy relationship to working out, and a healthy relationship to food is VITAL. Knowing what to eat, how much, how often and setting yourself up for success matters. It's really a lifestyle. A healthy environment, having meals planned and sticking to it 3 days in advance minimum. A healthy relationship to food balance is key in my opinion. Not going into what to eat in detail that's very subjective to taste, preferences, budget, access to food, cooking skill level, allergies etc. What I will add is before I got educated on food I had a lot of misconceptions and the internet was a confusing waste land of marketing and gimmicks. Also the more I worked out the hungrier I was and the more wrong information and decisions I made. Again looking for an expert in the nutrition area can make a difference, though I consulted a nutritionist and got a lot of national generic information that ended up creating more confusion and inflammation. For me it took getting a food allergy test and several elimination diets to figure out the foods that agree with my body the most.

Anyways, I hope this is helpful. Good luck

 

I wish you all the best. 

Please share this with anyone you believe would benefit from the insights. Post a comment, I read and reply to them all. Thank you in advance!

If you want to send a question, please send to [email protected] please include: 

  • A coachable question (something that addresses what's in your control, your thoughts, feelings or actions.)

  • And context, explain a situation in the past, currently going through, or worries/concerns of the future, giving me some details on your thoughts and feelings about it. 

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