Should I even bother with cardio?

(Kirk) #21

I’m lucky enough to live in a temperate climate, and walk 3 to 5 miles most days much of the year. It’s trails, with lots of nature time. At 63, I occasionally do a 5K run, but don’t want to do a lot of that as the warrantee on my knees is long expired.

(Allie) #22

I hate cardio too and find it hideously boring, but still find a way to make it at least tolerable as I am aware of the benefits for health even if it is not effective for fat burning. Most of the cardio I do is simple walking both with my dog each morning (gentle walk for just a couple of miles as he’s getting old), but also a brisk walk of around 3.5 miles each week day on my one hour lunch break. Walking also has benefits to my mental health as well as giving me a much needed break away from sitting at my desk staring at a computer screen.

At home for cardio I have a rebounder (mini trampoline) which I can happily just bounce or jog on while watching a TV show on my laptop, and a weighted hula hoop which is a gentle form of cardio with built in core training. I also have a bike which I keep meaning to use, but never seem to find the time.


I found this helpful.

(John) #24

This article:

which discusses the actual mechanism of fat loss through exhaled carbon and excreted water, has some interesting math on the effects of exercise.

For a summary, it says that if you replace 1 hour of sedentary activity with 1 hour of jogging, the increase in metabolic rate during that one hour will cause you to exhale about another 40 g of carbon, which is about a 20% increase over your non-jogging carbon exhalation in one day.

When fat breaks down, it’s 84% carbon and 16% water, based on the article, so about 48g of fat loss to generate that extra 40g of carbon.

So if you jog 5 hours a week, and don’t change your food intake, you would use about another 1/2 pound of fat per week, assuming all of the extra energy was coming from stored body fat. (48g * 5 days = 240g, which is about 1/2 pound.)

If you define “jog” as running a mile in 10 to 12 minutes, that would be 5 to 6 miles.

So it is probably not as powerful of a weight loss tool as dietary changes, but there is some effect.

I remember the old rule (which is apparently no longer believed to be accurate) that 3500 calories = 1 pound, and running 1 mile = 100 extra calories over RMR, and so you would need to run 35 miles a week to lose 1 pound through exercise alone. That’s 5 miles a day, 7 days a week. Which is actually not terribly far off from the “grams of carbon” formula.

When I was MUCH younger I would run 4 miles a day about 5 days a week, at an 8:00 per mile pace. But I was also much thinner, and in pretty good shape at the time. So what I was probably doing was enabling my youthful metabolism to consume more food (and beer) without gaining weight.

But it’s a catch-22. To be able to run long and fast enough to burn significant calories, you need to already be in pretty good shape. So it’s probably a better tool for weight maintenance and not so much for weight loss when you have a lot to lose.

(George) #25

Thanks John.

It’s just been getting a bit frustrating lately for both my wife and I. She’s closer to her goal weight than me, so understandably her weight loss has slowed down a lot. Me on the other hand, I have another 55 ish lbs. to go to my goal (and even then I’d still fall into the “overweight” category) and seemed to have hit a wall lately. It appears the only way I get the scale moving at all is with extended fasting, and even then the results are minimal. I cut out dairy and pretty much went zero carb 2.5 weeks ago hoping that would make a difference, but nope, scale doesn’t budge unless I don’t eat for a few days.

(Karim Wassef) #26

Cardio improves your heart and lungs (cardiovascular) but does little for weight loss unless you’re under 20% body fat already.

If you’re still heavy, cardio can also hurt your joints, especially if you’re older.

(George) #27

Thanks Karim.

The joint injury is definitely a concern of mine. I have a bad right ankle that would always flare up when I was jogging at the beginning of my keto journey 6 months ago, and at 300lbs, it was rough.

I’m sure that now at 239 it would be a little easier, but I fear further damage to my ankle.

I know that stalls and slow downs happen, but I just wasn’t expecting one at this point with still having alot of fat to lose. I’m determined to get things moving again, but I’m just not too sure how.

A couple weeks back I woke up feeling extra thin (great feeling) after extending my fast by another 24 hours, so total of about 80ish hours, and turns out I had lost about 3.5lbs overnight, and kept it off. I’ve tried repeating that, and while the results aren’t anywhere as good as that 3.5, it seems to be the only thing that inches the scale along

(Karim Wassef) #28

Best way to break a stall is elimination diets…

I cut out nuts and dairy to break through one of them.

I cut out veggies for another.

And only did eggs and liver for a while to break through another.

(George) #29

That’s what I did. I stopped nuts a while back before even hitting a stall since I recognized I was overeating them.

2.5 weeks ago I cut out dairy (other than heavy cream in my coffee one time per week, and vegetables except for one occasion where I had broccoli.

Prior to that I did eggs only for almost 2 weeks, with no significant results.

(John) #30

I just do things that I know I can stick to long-term, and let the journey unfold as it will. Fast, slow, whatever.

You seem to be in a big hurry. I gave myself a 3-year timeline. 2 years to get to goal, another year of maintaining it at that level to cause it to become a new set-weight point.

I made a decision early on that I would not do anything extreme to achieve the loss, because it is a life-long commitment and if it depended on extremes, or things that I would not be willing to do for the long haul, then I would eventually be doomed to failure.

I do exercise, but at pretty low intensity levels. It’s not for weight loss, but for overall health and fitness, meaning, the ability to do things I want to do in my life without undue pain or effort. I also don’t want to get to where I have achieved some number on a scale, but am just a skinny, unconditioned, frail old man at that point. I want to be a slim, capable old man.

I don’t know why you have this seeming obsession with losing weight so fast. If your profile is accurate, you’ve lost about 10 pounds a month average over 6 months. That’s pretty impressive already, and higher than what is considered a maintainable loss of about 1 to 2 pounds a week.

I still have about 45-to-50 pounds left to lose before I get to my hoped-for target, and would be quite pleased if I get there over the next year.

When I was in my late teens / early 20s, I was overweight, but not dramatically so. Like maybe 210. It took me probably 4 to 5 years to get to my best fitness level ever, with a weight down around 167 as the low point, if I recall correctly. That was back when I was running a lot, as I mentioned above. There were ups and down during that time, and I assure you I never fasted. I just worked out, ran a LOT, and ate relatively healthy meals (based on what was considered healthy in the day). Oh, and I was a nicotine addict (smokeless, which is why I could still run).

I have never been under 200 pounds in my adult life and not a nicotine addict. Quit in 1993. Weight has been a battle ever since.

Stuff takes time. You need a long-term commitment, and a long-term horizon. Work on replacing bad habits with good ones, and making the process as automatic as possible. Make course corrections as needed but don’t do a lot of crazy stuff trying to make it happen RIGHT NOW.

Unless you think you will want to stick with on-and-off extended fasting all your life, in which case, go right ahead.

(George) #31

The average monthly loss is accurate, and I think that’s where obsession comes from. The need to know what I’m currently doing wrong so I can correct it and move on, and/or find other tips to aid in the progress. That, plus finally finding a weight loss method that has worked for me and the desire to finally not be obese, which I’ve been dealing with since before my teens.

I was also a tobacco addict, but I kicked it a few years back which caused more rapid weight gain.

I don’t mind the fasting, saving a ton at the grocery store, but I don’t want to rely on it to get me to my goal. I’ve been thinking of switching from 1 meal/day to 2, maybe that’ll do something, but I’m so used to it then I don’t start getting hungry until my usual meal time.

(John) #32

Somewhat off topic for this thread in general, but it is common for people to hit a plateau after a period of more rapid loss. According to Virta Health, it’s not really a plateau unless it’s 3 months of no change.

These articles also include some things to look at or try.

(George) #33

Did you end up bringing veggies back in at some point, or no? I’m considering reintroducing them, along with adding a 2nd meal per day, I have a feeling my cals are too low on feasting days.

(Karim Wassef) #34

I did bring some keto veggies back but now carnivore again.

If your cals are too low, eat more different foods.

I like eggs and liver as great fat and protein boosters. Then fish is awesome. The nuts and seed are just too easy to abuse.

(George) #35

Did you notice they were halting your progress again?

The rough cal intake on my eating days comes out to around 1400 with 1 meal/day, I’m going to toy around with the 2nd meal (lunch) starting on sunday, consisting of around 1/3 lb ground beef, sliced bacon and egg that comes out to roughly 800 cals, upping my daily intake to approx. 2200 on my eating days. I’ll switch out my workout days to fall in line with this, so that I’m lifting weights 4-5 days that I’m at 2200ish, and just going for walks on my fasting days.

After checking my progress today (currently on hour 60-something of fast, ending it tomorrow morning) and noticing that I hadn’t lost an ounce, I’m pretty sure my body is holding on to fat thinking I’m in starvation or something.

(Robert C) #36

Given your history of ankle problems - it might be best to put off running / jogging until you are at a weight your body was designed for (i.e. 55 pounds lower I assume). Then it might be great to mix in for maintenance. Also, think about it, would you - at your goal weight - throw on a 50 pound weight vest - just to see if your ankles, knees and back can take the pounding?

Ankle pain (due either to gout or overuse or too much weight) can turn into permanent joint damage. It can also lead to messed up running style due to compensating for pain or even compensating to avoid anticipated pain.

Finally, it is part of a “calories out” mindset and can easily put you into a mode where you have to do it, and keep doing more of it, to keep your weight loss going. It might be better to tighten up on Keto, add some fasting and make sure stress, sleep etc. are all good.

(George) #37

I agree. I’m not too sure what the root problem is, I can only assume that, just by crap luck, I’ve twisted/sprained that ankle one too many times and now it’s a chronic issue.

That 50 lbs weight vest sounds like an interesting test though, I’ll try that out once I get to goal.

Well my keto is pretty tight. I don’t cheat, I IF on my eating days and incorporate weekly extended fasts. Sleep is around 7 hours/night, and lately I’ve been pretty stress free. I’m trying to tweak things here and here (veg vs. no veg; no dairy; the ideas listed in my above reply to Karim, etc.) to see what works best.

(Scott) #38

When I lost 50 lbs. the first time I would picture in my mind picking up a 50 lbs bag of sand or cement and carrying it around the store while I shop. When I think of it in that context I can visualize the damage that I am doing to my joints.

(Robert C) #39

Sorry I was not clear - I was recommending against the weight vest. Unless you are an elite athlete that needs to push your body beyond your body weight (say, for explosive speed) - it is probably not a good idea to continually overburden your joints (with body weight or a vest).

(George) #40

Oh! Understood, I thought it might be a cool experience to feel how much weight I was lugging around pre keto, and post goal weight lol.