Fat or carbs, cardio or strength: an enigmatic riddle wrapped in mystery!

Over the last few days I have had several conversations with people who are thinking about embarking on a weight loss journey and are confused about lots of things. Subjects that keep coming up are whether one should reduce carbs or fat for weight loss, the impact of slimming clubs and “special” low fat food,   whether one should do cardio or strength training, which is  better for weight loss…

There are so many myths, misleading instructions, conflicting advice. It’s a minefield out there. I would say that unless you have a specific goal like body building, power lifting or entering physique comps you should keep it simple and this is especially true if you are a beginner to exercise or embarking on a new healthy regime.

So fat or carbs? Well the simple answer is that a reduction of carbs is more effective than reducing fat but only a small reduction is required and one should concentrate more on the  source or the carbohydrate rather than the quantity, lentils, beans etc rather than cake, biscuits, white bread. Carbs are essential though as they are your main source of energy so don’t cut them out PLEASE.  For more on food and weight loss http://www.nolimitsfitness.co.uk/food.php

So Cardio or Strength training?  Cardio will get your heart racing, will make you sweat and will improve your health and fitness. Strength training will help your muscles become stronger and more powerful and ultimately is a more efficient way to lose weight as this type of training will increase your muscle mass and the more muscle you have the more calories you will burn.

If you are new to exercise then I would always recommend cardio as an introduction. It gets you fit, your heart will be stronger and ultimately cardio will prepare you to work at a higher intensity but I would introduce strength training as soon as whether this is with weights or your own body weight. If you need to lose weight then you need to do strength training. For more on the benefits of exercise click http://www.nolimitsfitness.co.uk/exercise.php

Oh, and just to reiterate if you are female and wanting to get “toned”,  you will not get bulky by lifting dumbbells, I promise you that…dumbbells alone will not make you big so get lifting!

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