Even the most dedicated and self-proclaimed gym rats would confess that they absolutely dread cardio sessions and would rather lift or pull weights than pant for breath doing tedious number of burpees. Cardio, also known as aerobic exercises, increases heart rate and uses large muscle groups and can include walking, jogging, cycling, treadmill, running on cross trainer bike, etc. These are the exercises that get your heart rate up, and experts say, the higher your heart rate during exercise, the more calories you burn. But as we have mentioned above, not too many people get gung-ho about doing cardio exercises because they find it boring. But here’s the good news for all cardio haters – it’s not the only way to lose weight, in fact, there are much more better ways to shed extra pounds. Cardio is just a way to create an energy deficit by incinerating calories, and there are other ways to create that deficit in order to burn stored fat. Also, doing cardio alone will not bring about significant weight loss – eating healthy, controlling calorie intake, and mixing other workouts would get you to your goal weight faster. So, just like us, if you too find cardio not your cup of tea to get lean, we have listed down 9 Ways To Lose Weight Without Cardio.
1. Being in a Calorie Deficit: When a calorie deficit is created, our body starts sourcing energy from stored fat. Most usually, it’s the fat that is stored around hips, belly, thighs, and arms. When calories fall short from the food we consume, gradually the fat deposits get used up and that’s how you lose weight. For example, when you consume 1500 calories in a day and burn 2000 calories through exercise and being active for most part of the day, you are in calorie deficit. If you are not in a calorie deficit through diet, spending hours sweating it out in the gym will not get your body to burn fat. Being on the right kind of diet, Rati Beauty diet for example, will put you in calorie deficit, by placing importance on 80% diet and 20% exercise. A combination of healthy diet along with regular physical activity will bring about sustainable weight loss and also help trim the waistline and tone the body.
2. Amp up Protein: When you eat foods that are high in protein, its thermogenic property would help burn more calories and also since protein keeps you feel fuller for longer, appetite and cravings are under control. Protein-based food also helps you to gain muscles without making you fat. And that’s why, make a conscious effort to include more protein sources into your dit.
3. Do Yoga Instead: Any form of physical activity that moves the body would burn calories, and yoga is a good way to relieve stress and burn a good amount of calories as well. What’s more – you won’t gasp for breath the way you do with cardio exercises. Also read: “Is Diet or Exercise More Important for Weight Loss?”
4. Eat Enough Fiber: Just like protein, fiber also helps boost the weight loss process. Fiber slows down the digestion process, curbs appetite, keeps you fuller for longer, and keeps the gut bacteria happy, also lowers down inflammation – all leading to successful weight loss.
5. Increase NEAT Activities: NEAT (non-exercise activity thermogenesis) stands for the energy we use for activities that we do in our day-to-day life except for when we are sleeping or exercising. Using the stairs instead of the lift, squatting on the floor to lift something up, walking while talking on the phone, every activity we do while being on our feet, comes under NEAT. All these activities help to burn some amount of calories and these bits of calories spent here and there, add up to a considerable amount when you are trying to lose weight.
6. Find Ways To Boost Metabolism: Revving up your metabolism is one sure-shot way to lose weight because once the metabolism becomes sluggish, dropping the extra pounds and flab becomes an uphill task. As we all know, metabolism is the engine that torches up calories and helps body use up fat storage. Here’s how you can supercharge metabolism to accelerate weight loss – “21 Tricks To Boost Metabolism.”
7. Quit Sugar: When you stop eating sugar, amazing things happen to your body, your skin texture improves and inflammation in the body reduces, but weight loss is the biggest benefit that you can get out of giving up sugar. If one consumes more sugar, the body will convert the glucose from sugar source to fat and store it for later use. By cutting down sugar, you will not be providing the body fuel for fat storage (glucose) and with strict exercise and diet routine, you would be able to shed weight really well and get your dream body and goal weight quickly.
8. Avoid Frequent Snacking: This is one of the major reasons why people struggle to lose weight. Stick to meal and snack routines and avoid reaching out for snacks just because you are bored or want to calm down the nerves. Many people tend to work till late night and snacking becomes a common thing. Avoid frequent snacking and it would become a lot easier to reach your goal weight. Also read: “How To Lose Weight Fast But Safely.”
9. Include zero-calorie foods in your diet: Every food item has some amount of calories,, but the idea behind “zero calories” is that the body burns more calories to digest a food item with negligible calories. For example, mushrooms, celery, cucumber, etc. have extremely low amount of calories and the body burns more calories to burn them out, sometimes leading to a negative deficit. Take this into account, if a cucumber has 15 calories in it, the body may use up to 20 calories to burn it off, and mathematically, it means the total calorie count fell beyond zero. So, is that good news, absolutely! But the truth is that you cannot make a diet comprising of only zero calorie food items and expect to lose weight because the body also needs nutrition, vitamins, and energy to run, and a lack of nutrients will kill your metabolism, so keep a healthy balance of everything in your diet“zero calories” because every food item has some of calories to it, even though negligible. In this post, we have a list of list of “32 Zero Calorie Foods For Weight Loss.”
If you are still interested in giving cardio a try, check out these 8 Cardio exercises one can do at home:
1. Skipping: Let us start with a simple cardio exercise that I am confident all of us fondly remember from our childhood days. Who amongst us has not played with the skipping rope? There was time, before the onset or should I say the onslaught of video games and tiktok on smart phones that people used to derive their recreational pleasure from simpler and of course healthier choices of games. It is a very simple and by far one of the most effective cardio workouts and greatly improves your health along with reducing your weight. Do you know skipping can burn up to 1000 calories per hour. However, beginners can start with 100 jumps, then gradually move to 200 skips, and finally 500 skips in a day. Skipping burns calories, improves bone density, and benefits cardiovascular health.
2. Sit ups: A rather popular variety of aerobic exercise and rather potent one to shed unwanted fat, sit ups come highly recommended. It is completely hands free and doesn’t require any assistive instrument or prop for execution. All you need to do is lay flat on your back on a mat placed on the floor and then you put your hands behind your head and while keeping your feet straight, sit up and then go down and repeat this simple process at least 50 times per session with 2 repetitions per day. It is targeted to reduce fat around the belly to give it a slim and toned look.
3. Running the stairs: From Kareena Kapoor to Sara Ali Khan, every actress worth her salt has included going up and down the stairs to lose weight. Climbing stairs is known to be quite effective in increasing cardiac activity and improving overall health. It is a great way to burn fat and reduce weight. This one too does not require any type of props or instruments and is totally hands free. You just need to run up and down the stairs of your house or office and if you develop the habit of doing so on say 8 flights of stairs per day, you will not only lose weight but will also gain a lot of stamina and your cardiac output will surely exhibit significant improvement. A word of caution however is that this one is not suitable for those who have knee injuries or suffer from any sort of knee related problems and it is not advisable for super senior citizens either.
4. Static jogging: This form of an exercise is a modified version of jogging with one major difference – you do not go anywhere. You stand at a place to perform this cardio exercise, and there’s no need to go around a park in circles early in the morning. All you need to do is stand on a mat, and then start jogging at a steady pace for at least 30 minutes per day at the same place. This might look odd but is proven to yield great results and guarantees both weight reduction and increase in stamina and improvement of overall health.
5. Jumping Jacks: Of all the cardio exercises that I have discussed so far, this one’s my favourite. Not only is it effective in reducing weight and improving cardiovascular health and building great stamina, it is jolly good fun to do. Jumping jacks basically involve you standing on a mat at home and then you are required to jump to a position or orientation such that your legs are spread wide out, with you hands touching each other over your head in a clap – and then you jump back to your position where the legs are close together with your arms resting by your side. You can do this for like a 100 times per session per day once you get the hang of it. It is totally free hand, rather effective in combating the ill effects of obesity and is fun to do as a bonus of sorts. You can start with doing 25 jumping jacks in 3 sets.
6. Dancing: Since basically any workout that essentially gets your heart rate up meaning making it pump more blood and circulate the same in your system without any risk nor in any abnormal fashion is a cardiac exercise – and if it is done free hand – well then we call it a cardio workout. And if looking for some fun while working out can act as the added incentive that will get you guys and gals to do it on a regular basis well then we need to look no further for dancing is a sure way to achieve all these goals and more. Just turn on the music and dance to a rhythmic number and you will start to lose excess weight and build muscles in no time. It is however advisable to watch a few instructional videos on dancing the fat away for a more structured regime and best results.
7. Burpees: Any article on aerobics and cardio exercises cannot miss burpees. It is quite popular and rather effective exercise with high success rate. To do burpees, you first need to get to the squat position on the floor and then you jump to the plank position and then you again jump back to squat and back again to plank – you repeat the process. And although it sounds easy, it is not so easy to do. It takes time for you to develop the core body strength and stamina to get used to doing this on a regular basis. So do not be discouraged if you can’t do more than 2-3 the first time. Stick to it and you will surely get results.
8. Push-ups: We end with a cardio exercise that is time tested and has been around for years and is a wonderful cardio exercise without question. Here you need to lie face flat on the mat on the floor and place your palms flat on the floor close by your shoulders and at a distance beside your ears and then you lift your body up and down with your hands acting as support. It is perfect for building up your core body strength as well as losing those pesky pounds. You get into the habit of doing this like 50 push ups per session per day and you will improve your cardiovascular health and lose unwanted weight in no time without an iota of doubt.