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Dieting vs. Cardio – What’s more effective for actually shedding pounds?

It is universal knowledge that obesity and being overweight not only makes you look unattractive, but it is also hazardous to health. It is an issue that afflicts men and women regardless of their age. In fact, today, there is a growing concern of children falling into the obese category due to the lifestyles that many families lead.

The Question: How to lose weight?Woman on weighing scale

This is a predicament that has plagued many people who find themselves overweight.

How can one go about losing weight?

Do you join a gym and begin working out every day or do you go on a diet?

While some may find that reducing food is an issue, others may not have time to workout. Exercise, especially cardio workouts are a proven and safe way to lose weight, but it takes some effort. Let us look at dieting and cardio workouts individually and see what their benefits are when it comes to losing excess fat in your body.


For as long as people have wanted to lose weight, there has been a diet promoted, promising amazing results and the perfect body. While there is scientific evidence proving that restricting the intake of certain classes of food (carbohydrates in particular) can show rapid and actual weight loss, it is not something one would want to consider as a long-term strategy.

Prohibiting your body from receiving specific energy-rich food not only makes you lose fat, but it also reduces your muscle mass, which is something that a person should not want. There are many types of diets that are touted by nutritionists and fitness experts today, and the average person who wishes to lose some weight may not understand the real impact of them.

Remember that some programs are practical and can show results over time while others can have adverse effects on your health. Let us go through some of the traditional weight control diets.

Low-calorie diets

There are many programs that come under this type of diet, and they can include:

  • The cookie diet – low-calorie cookies are eaten to deal with hunger pangs.
  • Intermittent fasting – these are diets that require the person to fast and eat periodically.

There are also programs that are considered very-low-fat diets where sometimes you stick to eating cabbage or cabbage soup only. Others require that a person feeds through a tube and eats no food.

Low carb diets

diet salad plateThese particular programs deal with the restriction of carbohydrate intake. Some even advise a complete carb free diet and an increase in proteins.  There are many diets that have been developed by individuals who swear by them and say a person can lose weight in a relatively short period.

While many fitness and health professionals develop and promote such diets, it is best to be warned that your health condition can prohibit you from following them. For example, the programs termed as crash diets are targeted at those who want to reduce weight in a short period; however, they can cause many adverse health-related problems which will not be worth the risk in the long run.


Exercise has long been a favorite of those who wish to lose weight and stay fit. Cardio workouts are in fact extremely beneficial to the body as long as you do not have any health conditions that may be affected by such tasks. Let us look at a few activities that are great cardio workouts.


Walking is suitable for anyone and is a great way to stay fit and keep your joints flexible. However, in order for you to get a decent cardio workout, a “brisk” walk is what is recommended. You can burn around 400 calories an hour while walking.


This activity is ideal for anyone who is young and fit enough to ride a bicycle. It gives your lower body a fabulous workout but does not do much for the upper torso. An hour of cycling will allow you to burn around 600 calories.


Man jogging at dawn

A great way to stay in shape! If you can run a couple of miles a day, you will soon see your body firming up, and you will lose the belly fat that you have.

In fact, you can even do this on a treadmill, and it will allow you to drop about 600 calories an hour.


This is perhaps one of the best cardio workouts you can do if you want to lose weight, stay fit and avoid any impact on your joints. It gives you a comprehensive body workout and in fact, exercises almost every major muscle group.

Jumping, aerobics, and rowing are also great workouts, but not everyone can do them. They do help you burn more calories and should be considered if you want to lose fat and stay healthy.

So what do you choose?

If you desire to lose weight and keep it off, it is best to have the best of both worlds. You should start a moderate, balanced weight loss diet and a cardio workout regimen that can help you lose fat, build muscle and stay fit. However, remember that any exercise of diet that you start must only be taken up after you consider your health condition first. You do not want to go on a low-carb diet if you have low blood sugar or try to jump rope if you have a problem with your knees.

The right approach

Remember that being one or two pounds overweight does not mean you have to do cardio and go on a diet. It is best to look at it as a long-term solution and change your lifestyle to include a balanced, healthy diet and a reasonable amount of cardio workouts. Never go to extremes just because you do not fit into a pair of pants, look at your weight loss as a journey and use a diet program that suits you and a cardio workout that you can find time for and do on a regular basis.

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