Can I Lose Weight Without Cardio?

Male instructor training woman with dumbbells
You don't have to do cardio to lose weight. (Image: Chris Clinton/Digital Vision/Getty Images)

It's entirely possible to lose weight without ever setting foot on a cardio machine. Those who dislike cardio or are physically unable to do activities such as running, biking or swimming have a variety of other options for losing weight or maintaining their current number on the scale. There are just a few simple rules to follow.

Watch Your Diet

One weight loss rule you should always keep in mind. You must consume fewer calories than your body uses. One pound of fat consists of 3,500 calories. To lose a pound a week, you would need to consume 500 fewer calories a day. This is easier to achieve when activity is added. If you can burn 250 calories through strength training or other light activities, then you must only eat 250 less calories to achieve a loss.

Healthy Food Choices

Choosing the right types of foods can help you avoid weight gain and even lose a few pounds. Fill your plate with healthy carbs such as vegetables and whole grains, and choose lean protein sources and heart-healthy fats. Instead of reaching for a sugary soda, drink water or unsweetened tea. Snack on fruits, nuts and yogurts instead of chips and processed sweets.

Strength Train

A pound of fat takes up more physical space than a pound of muscle. If you want to look lean and lose weight without cardio, then strength training is your ticket. Just lifting weights spikes your metabolism for the following hour as your body recovers and rebuilds muscle. Weightlifting also helps increase your lean muscle mass and aids your body in more efficient calorie burning, making it easier to control your weight.

Keep Moving

Sitting constantly is one of the worst things you can do for your metabolism. To help keep it revved and burning calories, make it a habit to park farther from the store entrance, take the stairs instead of the elevator and answer a few emails a day in person at the office, anything to get up and keep moving around.

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