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How many minutes of cardio do I need per week, am I doing enough?

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Hi, long time exerciser and life-long weight struggler ... I recently had to up my caloric intake from an unhealthy low amount, and from all the posts I read, it would even out, and I would lose weight again.  DID NOT HAPPEN, even with doubling weight training time, and adding more cardio.  I am now doing 240 mins of cardio a week, which consists of intervals and steady state days, and vigorous enough to lose about 2-3 lbs in sweat a session.  I do weights 210 mins a week, and about 60 min of yoga, and 45-60 min of core/ab work a week.  Am I doing enough??  I have read people on here who do 90 min of cardio 6 days a week and weights too! ... am I slacking or what?  I have tried to do 270 -300 min, but I just don't have anything left (no matter how many egg white omelettes and almonds I eat) at the end of the week.  At this point, I do 40-60 min/day 5-6 days/week, with 1-2 rest days in between.  I eat around 1250-1450 per day, weigh 126.5, am 5'6", was 118.  What am I doing wrong with my routine??  HELP!!
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Hi Lucy!

First I want to give you pat on your back for being so strong, emotionally, to look at your food/body image issues with the intent of creating a healthy body and healthy metabolism.  :)  Your heart is in the right place!  And glad you found your way to CC...

To make sure I'm understanding your question here...

You were previously starving yourself and have now increased your calories to 1250-1450?

WOW!  That's awesome!  Good job girl!

At the same time you increased your calories, you have also doubled your activity (cardio, yoga & weights)?

OK.  What we need to find out is - what kind of defecit are you creating each day.  How many calories does this site say you burn when you add in all your activity?

For heatlhy weight loss, you want to have a defecit between 500-1000 cals a day.  If your defecit is more than that, your body is likely to ratchet down the thermostat to "save" you from starvation.

Also, how long has it been since you increased your calories?  Since you were starving yourself before, it might take you a little time for your body to trust you again...

Again, good job!  :D
thank you for your encouragement!  i need it, this is getting so frustrating.  I started increasing back in May, so I figured that by now, I would have started to lose healthily again ... it seems each time I increase my calories, I just gain weight!  I now everyone says you will start to see results in 6-8 weeks, but no dice there.  I probably burn on average about 1700-2100 cal/day, so I figure I have a daily deficit of at least 500 or so.  But still, nothing!  I keep changing up my routine, too, but nothing seems to be working.   What am I doing wrong?  the scale is starting to freak me out.  I know some of it's muscle, but I didn't gain THAT much muscle to account for the increased weight.  
At your height, that's not a bad weight. Are you sure you're not obsessing about weight, rather than taking a good look in the mirror and just appraising the results you see there?

If you're working out really hard, and your body is athletic-looking, you might not actually have weight to lose.

It also sounds like you're not eating enough for the amount of work you're doing, which is why you're completely whipped when you try to do more. You're doing 4 hours of cardio, plus 3 hours of weights, plus an hour of yoga, plus an hour of core work. You're what this site would define as "very active," I'd say.

U dont need lose more weight, youre gonna be at an unhealthy weight if u do.


Youre thin enough, ur upper arm is like my wrist?


Note: Im at middle of the healthy weight. I lift weight and do cardio and I eat 2000 calories everyday, I never gain weight.

You also do cardio more than me which means you burn more, you're taller, you're thinner, ure supposed to burn more than me (ure supposed also to eat 2000 calories everyday and still not lose weight)

118 at 5'6" and you want to lose weight?  I think that is thin for your height.  Your picture looks like you are very thin..... and you do waaaaay more exercise than necessary. 

How much cardio to do is a tricky question.  I was trying to figure that out myself last night and I read about 10 articles on  Every article said something different - no cardio, some cardio but intervals only, heavy cardio, on and on.  I think the take away message for me was that every body and accompnaying metabolism is different and you have to find what works for you.  What I also got from reading the articles, is that our bodies are plastic.  They change so much.  In eight weeks we can look completely different than we do today.  8 weeks feels like a lot of time, but over a lifetime, it is nothing.  I started a new program about a month ago and I do not look how I thought I would, but I have figured out some major things about my metablism. I feel great and I expect to see greater changes in the next month.

Now, having said that, I think you are doing waaaaay too much.  If you start eating more, exercising less you will feel healthier.  And if you feel healthy, maybe you can take a good look in the mirror and realize you look great.  (In the picture on your profile, you appear very thin).  So my advice is to relax, let go, and you will enjoy eating and exercising more. 

Why are we reviving a thread that is over a year old?

Original Post by thmheh:

Why are we reviving a thread that is over a year old?

 dhoooo!  Didn't notice the date!  It was on top when I answered!  lol

Original Post by laura42:

Now, having said that, I think you are doing waaaaay too much.  If you start eating more, exercising less you will feel healthier. 

I am sorry I have an issue with your statement. As long as a person is not completely burning themselves out there is nothing wrong with more exercise. Just need to adjust calorie intake appropriately. A 240 minutes of cardio a week is really not that much. To put it in perspective it's 4 hours over 7 days, just slightly over the minium recommended by our beloved government agency.

First of all - this is a really old thread. The OP hasn't been on the site for 6 months.

Second, umneydurak, you must have missed that she is (was?) also doing 210min of weights, 60 min of yoga, and 60 min of core/ab work - that's 570 min a week or 9.5 hours.

Not to mention undereating for that level of exercise and having a goal weight that put her underweight... I hope she got help, and things improved for her.

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