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  1. #1
    Registered User AD1985's Avatar
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    Why is more cardio easier than less calories?

    I get in all my nutrients (chicken soup with tons of veg + fruit/spinach/nut smoothie every day) and yet it seems a 2100 cal day with extra cardio is easier than 1,800 cals with no extra cardio. Both days may or may not have a 1 hour workout (I only add calories when doing the cardio on top).

    Why is that? I thought being the same in terms of deficit they would "feel" the same but I have a much easier time mentally on the higher cal with cardio days.
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  2. #2
    Registered User rivoke's Avatar
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    You seriously have to ask why more calories is better and feels better?
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  3. #3
    Registered User AD1985's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by rivoke View Post
    You seriously have to ask why more calories is better and feels better?
    Yes because of the part you excluded to write an incredulous sounding post, which is more calories also being burned through cardio creating the same deficit.
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  4. #4
    Registered User BoiledTaters's Avatar
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    I bet a lot of this experience depends on the source of the calories. 1800 cals with a big chunk of those coming from fruits and nuts could be pretty unsatisfying just due to the calorie density of those things. I'd bet most people would feel pretty satisfied eating 1800 cals worth of lean meat or fish, offal, and veggies.
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  5. #5
    Registered User dmacdonal9's Avatar
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    I suspect you're overestimating the calories burned through exercise. Most people do, because they believe the ridiculous numbers displayed on cardio machines. My elliptical likes to tell me I burn 700 calories an hour. The truth is probably less than half that.

    Another classic error is double counting the BMR calories. In other words, say you'd burn 80 sitting on the couch, and 300 going for a bit of a run. The "extra" calories are only 220, not 300, but most people (and most tools/calculators) would log 300.
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  6. #6
    Registered User AD1985's Avatar
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    My standard calculation is 1 hour walk = 300 calories burned. I don't do any other cardio than that.
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  7. #7
    Registered User Botika's Avatar
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    I find eating less easier. Intense cardio just makes my appetite go out of control.
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  8. #8
    Registered User DyingAtheist's Avatar
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    Cardio bores the life out of me, not eating doesn't. It's personal preference. It's also much harder to accurately gauge how many calories you actually burn via cardio so most people prefer the reliable method.
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  9. #9
    Not Tracking Tucane's Avatar
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    Accounting for 300 additional calories for an hour of walking is optimistic in my opinion. I wouldn't count walking at all, as normal movement in general tends to even out over the day... balancing out it's impact on TDEE. It would be comparable to logging the amount of sitting down and such.

    Deficit may thus be slightly smaller, although i think that evens out too due to nutrients in bloodstream overlapping days and such.

    What matters the most (for me atleast) is the hormonal/mental aspect of eating more. I always tend to feel better on days where I eat more calories, no matter how many i burn.

    Might also be that using up calories makes one feel better:-)
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  10. #10
    Registered User TheMountains's Avatar
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    I only count exercise calories when bulking, and even then I do so by making sure I am not gaining too much each week. When cutting, unless I do a significant amount like a Spartan Race, then I do not allow myself to eat extra because of calories burnt through exercise. It's what works well for me.
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  11. #11
    Common sense/moderation. gbullock32's Avatar
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    Fun Fact- when you calculate TDEE it includes all activity (hence the 'total" part in it) so the calories burned in exercise are already there; deducting/adding them after that just throws off tracking.
    Short cuts to success are often paved with lies.
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  12. #12
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    The human body would rather be more physically active than starve itself.
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    When im not hungry I eat. When Im tired I train. When I feel like giving up I push harder.
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  13. #13
    Registered User DAJDive's Avatar
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    Cardio helps keep my insulin sensitivity high. As a type 1 diabetic, that is critical to how much insulin I need to inject. Lower insulin usage means easier fat loss, for me anyways.
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  14. #14
    Registered User dmacdonal9's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by DAJDive View Post
    Cardio helps keep my insulin sensitivity high.
    That's interesting. I assume you lift, so I'm surprised you find an incremental improvement from cardio on top of what you're already seeing from resistance training and added lean mass. What makes you attribute the improvements to cardio versus resistance training?
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  15. #15
    Registered User Wilde's Avatar
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    Same with me, when I started doing high intensity cardio I cheated so badly in the diet haha.
    Bodybuilding is all about image not numbers, when you're up on stage your lifting stats and bodyfat % means nothing to the judges.
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  16. #16
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    If you're like me and love food. Cardio is more important. I eat out most of the time and guessestimate my macros. I don't do the food scale chit. So I have to do cardio more often to be on the safe side.
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  17. #17
    Registered User Sqweebo's Avatar
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    I prefer the cardio as well because both I like food but secondly because it helps me sleep well on days after I have had a good session.
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  18. #18
    Registered User Nedo's Avatar
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    I don't do cardio because I can't be fed if I do, constantly hungry no matter what. Not a good time mentally.
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