How cardio makes you gain weight

Whenever someone gains weight, the thought of doing cardio to burn the fat is common.

But excessive of anything can have a reverse effect. This theory also applies to cardio exercises also. Excessive cardio can make you gain weight eventually.

Shikha Mahajan, holistic nutritionist and founder of Diet Podium, explains how.

Doing excessive cardiovascular exercise creates hormonal imbalances

Extra of low-to-moderate intensity exercises such as jogging and cycling are not helpful. Only because you may technically burn more calories within a 90-minute spin class compared to 1-hour long pilates class does not mean you will really lose more weight. This is because there are lot more things involved than the calories when it comes to burning fat and developing muscle.

According to a study printed in the European Journal of Applied Physiology, people who are engaged in a longer duration of low-intensity cardio had suppressed levels of T3, the vital hormone which is responsible for burning fat, compared to the short duration, high-intensity participants.

Overdoing can make an increase in cortisol production

Well, exercising too rigorously and too often has its own set of drawbacks, in the short term, not taking the proper time to rest means that our body never fully restores and recovers, and you will see lesser results from your workout. On a serious note, if you overwork your body for long duration at a time, you can get exhausted and finish the adrenal system. One side effect of adrenal exhaustion is the incapability to lose belly fat, even if one is eating well and exercising regularly. Why it is happening? Because your body is already stressed it releases and overproduces the cortisol, which makes it difficult to burn extra fat.

So, how would you know if you’re doing too much cardio? Unless one is training for a specific event, you need just three days of cardiovascular exercise per week, in addition to strength and resistance training. Everyone is different, your body might prefer just one to two days of cardio instead. If you really feel like your body has bulged and you are not getting results from your workouts, try cutting back on the cardio just a little. You might be satisfied with how your body reacts.

Longer duration causes muscle loss

When doing a long session of low-to-medium intensity cardio it actually causes muscle loss, rather than using fat as fuel to burn calories, your body will work through its restricted glucose stores and then extra on to using lean muscle as fuel. As a result, one will be left with more fat than muscles.

(Puja Gupta)