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The Vibe #44: Cardio is just a waste of your time

Read Time: 5 Minutes

Hey friend 🙂

You've probably heard that to lose weight, you need to do a lot of cardio, right?

Well, it turns out that's not the whole story.
Let me explain why and what actually works better.

Here’s a illustration of our Total Daily Energy Expenditure (TDEE).
It’s basically means what we burn calories on every day 👇

What you see here is that out of the total calories we burn each day.

Only 5%-15% is burned during exercising (EAT stand for Exercise Activity Thermogenesis)

The rest 85%-95% is burned just by being alive and doing our daily stuff:

  • 10%-15% is TEF meaning the calories we burn to digest the food we eat.
  • 5%-20% is NEAT meaning the calories we burn from non-exercise movement during the day (fidgeting, walking, moving, etc.)
  • 50%-70% is RMR (Resting Metabolic Rate) meaning the calories our body burn just to stay alive (heartbeat, breathing, blood circulation, etc.).

As you can see, it turns out that the exercise part of that is actually pretty small, like only a tiny slice of a big cake 🍰

So, focusing just on cardio for weight loss is like trying to fill a bucket with a tiny spoon – it's going to take forever!

The good news, we can increase the calories we burn everyday without wasting time running on the treadmill. 

Here’s how:

#1 Increase TEF: Eat Protein to Power Up Your Calorie Burning

Eating more protein will increase the calories you burn digesting food.

Protein takes 3-10X more energy for your body to break down and use, burning way more calories than carbs or fats.

Aim for 2gr of protein per kg of body weight (or 1gr per lbs of body weight) per day if your goal is to lose body fat.

It will not only burn more calories, but also make you feel way more satisfied than eating carbs, resulting in less snaking during the day.

#2 Increase NEAT: Sneak in Extra Steps to Burn Calories Without the Gym

You can boost the calories you burn through daily activities by adding short walks to your day.

Simple habits like taking a 10-minute stroll after meals can really add up.
Other ways to increase your NEAT is to take stairs instead of the elevator, park further away, take standing breaks (especially if you have a desk job).

#3 Increase RMR: Build Muscle to Turn Your Body Into a Calorie-Burning Machine

When you have more muscle in your body you will burn more calories while you do..well..nothing 🙂

While you sleep, watch TV, and even while sit at your desk at work.
Now, cardio is important, but if your goal is to lose weight, prioritizing strength training will give you more for your time.

You can start with simple, at-home exercises that don't require any fancy equipment.

Think push-ups, squats, lunges, and planks.

These exercises target multiple muscle groups, helping you build strength and muscle all over your body.

You can also do power yoga sessions or Pilates if squats are not your thing.

Aim for at least two strength sessions a week, and as you get stronger, you can increase the intensity and variety of your workouts.

Remember, the goal is not to become a bodybuilder (unless that's what you want!), but to add lean muscle to your body.


Remember, losing weight isn't just about running like a hamster on a wheel.

It's about smart, simple changes that add up to big results.

So, let's start filling our buckets with a garden hose instead of a spoon, shall we?

Have a wonderful weekend ✨
Idan

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