Do you find yourself doing endless cardio only to reap mediocre (or no) results? I have not only experienced this effect personally, but also witness many, many people fall victim to the cardio cycle effect. It's time to rethink some outdated approaches to fitness and replace them with functional fitness principles that will get you better results, and faster. More cardio means your body craves more sugar because its glycogen stores have just been depleted. Your body sugar levels plummet, and then post- workout, may soar again depending on what you just ate (a totally other blog post topic in and of itself!). Now, I'm not saying to nix the cardio altogether, but replace those endless cardio sessions with something more efficient like a barre class or HIIT workout which use resistance and weight training as a part of the workout, while still having a cardiovascular exercise effect (just less- intense). Why is this better? Because you are building muscle while burning fat during the actual workout, and then post- workout continue to burn MORE fat while at rest because of the muscle that you have built. You also don't crave as much sugar and carbs post- workout since you haven't done any crazy cardio to make your sugar levels fall so low. Combine that with some clean- eating (good fats, proteins and the right antioxidant rich plant foods), and you've got a recipe for fat- burning success!
There's one more sneaky reason why too much cardio may have an adverse effect- and that is the increase of inflammation through our "fight- or- flight" response, which is the human body's innate mechanism to deal with trauma, aka life- threatening situations. Yeah, that sounds a bit overdramatic, I know. But, this is exactly how the human body responds when faced with an overwhelming workload from intense cardio (and that goes for stress too)- it creates inflammation to protect itself, and part of that inflammation is FAT! AHA! I hope this is starting to ring some bells for you, light some light bulbs, etc.. you get the picture!
Balance is the key here. Balance of cardio, resistance and weight bearing exercises provide the most benefit all- around. So instead of 5 days of cycling, try 2, and replace the other 3 days with the above suggestions and see what happens.. Happy fat- burning! ;-)