The postpartum weight loss journey can be full of ups and downs and unknowns. There are a number of important questions to answer as you embark on the process of getting back to your pre-pregnancy fitness level. One of the most common questions that women have about losing weight after baby is, ‘What type of fitness program will provide the best results?’ A common misconception about weight loss is that you should focus primarily on cardio. That misconception leaves many women feeling discouraged and frustrated when they do not make progress toward their weight loss goals. You should NOT follow a cardio-focused training program to lose weight postpartum. In fact, you should skip the cardio during your postpartum weight loss journey. Keep reading to learn why.
Your body adapts quickly
The first time you do a cardio-based workout you will burn a lot of calories. If you wear a fitness tracker, you will be thrilled to see that huge number of calories burned pop up at the end of your workout. The second time you do that cardio-based workout you will likely still get great results. However, a few weeks into your program you will see your calorie burn start to slow. This is because your body is adapting to the high level of cardio you are doing. In order to get the same calorie burn as those first few days, you will have to do more and more cardio. Continuing to add more and more cardio is simply not a sustainable way to lose weight and keep it off. To prevent your body from adapting – and your progress from plateauing – you need to find a program that takes that adaptation into consideration. Resistance training is a versatile type of training that allows you to easily vary your workouts so your body is always guessing and trying to adapt by burning fat and increasing muscle mass.
Your calorie burn ends with your workout
Burning calories through cardio is something that happens in real time. While you are working out, you are burning calories. Once you are finished working out, the calorie burn quickly subsides. This restricts the number of calories you can burn to the time that you are actively working out. If you focus on a training program that builds muscle, you can enjoy the benefits of your workout for a much longer time. Having more muscle means that you will burn more calories throughout the day, even at rest. A muscle-building program will help improve your metabolism so you can lose weight and keep it off long term.
The idea that cardio is the best way to lose weight is a common misconception. It will ultimately leave you frustrated on your postpartum weight loss journey. Skip the cardio and focus instead on resistance training. You can get started with resistance training with a program like MAPS Starter. It has everything you need to start learning resistance training so you can lose the baby weight and start moving toward your ultimate fitness goals.