Will morning cardio and evening p90x speed up fat loss?
May 30, 2011 10:04 AM   Subscribe

Will augmenting my evening p90x workouts with a 45 minute pre-breakfast LISS cardio session expedite fat loss?

I'm not talking anything crazy, just a daily 45 minute moderate pace session on an elliptical. I'd like to think that this modified doubles routine first thing in the morning would help to speed up fat loss. Is this accurate?
posted by mizrachi to Health & Fitness (12 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Calories in versus calories out. That is the hidden secret.

Yes, burning more calories in the morning will lead to more weight loss.
posted by lakerk at 10:27 AM on May 30, 2011

Will it cut into your sleep? There's an increasing body of evidence that suggests getting enough sleep is one of the most critical components of weight loss, and I would be inclined to say losing an hour of sleep for an hour of exercise will be directly counterproductive.

(I'm pretty much convinced that the calories in, calories out stance is far too reductive and not a useful way to look at things.)
posted by restless_nomad at 10:30 AM on May 30, 2011 [3 favorites]

The things you need to concern yourself with are fatigue and a proper diet. You really don't provide any information on whether or not you feel like your body can handle a modified double. Are you overweight? Do you take supplements? How much weight are you intending to lose?

So. In an effort to provide conservative advice, I would just say make sure you eat really well and maybe introduce the morning session every other day and see how that affects the rest of your workouts. Your body will let you know what's working and what's not.

As for the calorie-in/calorie-out approach, I think it's great for people who are struggling with their weight to count their calories and adjust their eating habits accordingly. It helped me immensely. Is it a comprehensive, cure-all approach towards eating? No. But it's a great start.
posted by phaedon at 11:00 AM on May 30, 2011

If you haven't already, take this question to Beachbody's forums. The userbase is pretty knowledgeable and staff moderators usually jump-in to offer solid advice (Steve what's-his-name who designed the program occasionally weighs in).

You haven't really provided enough information:

What kind of fat loss are you expecting?

What's your diet like?

How far into the program are you?
posted by notyou at 11:19 AM on May 30, 2011

calories in, calories out.

Or you can amp up the p90x program you have...they have 3 varieties...take the harder "two a day" if you can.
posted by hal_c_on at 12:28 PM on May 30, 2011

Things like long bouts of extra steady-state cardio are what you throw in when fat loss has already been progressing nicely and only useful if your diet is 100% down (i.e. you're at the point where you're recording calories, macronutrients, keeping track of carbs, etc). That is, if everything else in your life isn't on track, you probably won't see a huge difference.

It's good for cardiovascular health, though.
posted by schroedinger at 2:37 PM on May 30, 2011

You will indeed lose fat faster through incorporating this fasted morning cardio you have mentioned - if you're sticking to your diet. The problem with incorporating cardio (even LISS) into a fat-loss program is that, for some people, it can increase their appetite and thus do more harm than good. If you have self control and are counting your calories, this isn't an issue since you will know if you are eating more than usual. But if your situation is otherwise and you notice yourself taking a few extra bites during dinner time, cut out the cardio and let your diet do all the work.
posted by Evernix at 3:35 PM on May 30, 2011

I remember reading in another askmefi diet post that it's not quite as simple as calories in, calories out.

The body can go into starvation mode and will hang on desperately to fat reserves if you don't eat enough calories. So just keep that in mind.
posted by j03 at 9:59 PM on May 30, 2011 [1 favorite]

LISS is catabolic to muscle. So I would keep it to 20-30 minutes if you don't want to be losing your muscle. It's much slower to gain muscle than to lose fat, so I wouldn't recommend sacrificing it. Heavy lifting or intervals are more effective in fat loss and also help preserve muscle.
posted by Earl the Polliwog at 7:38 AM on May 31, 2011

Losing weight, or fat, is catabolic to muscle. Any amount of time you can put into losing the weight will help you get closer to your goals.
posted by P.o.B. at 11:50 AM on May 31, 2011

Right, but losing weight while doing LISS will result in a significantly higher proportion of muscle lost than losing weight doing intervals or lifting. In some people, or for almost all beginners, it's possible to even gain a small amount of muscle while losing fat - if you lift or do HIIT.
posted by Earl the Polliwog at 12:50 PM on May 31, 2011

Catabolism is catabolism, and what you're speaking to is contingent upon the specific persons current metabolic state and several other factors including the current workout program.
The OP's question was:
Will augmenting my evening p90x workouts with a 45 minute pre-breakfast LISS cardio session expedite fat loss?
Without any other specifics from the OP the answer to that is an easy yes. And as far as I know the P90 programs include a lifting portion so that should allay any fears of not "preserving muscle". Seriously, lifting heavy is not the best way to fat loss.
posted by P.o.B. at 2:34 PM on May 31, 2011

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