Is there a way you can lose lots of weight with lots of cardio exercise? Have you read that cardio won’t cut it for weight loss? How MUCH cardio must you do to lose all the weight you want?

Well, in good theory, if you walked  five hours a day nonstop at 3 mph, you’d lose weight. Or if you jogged nonstop two hours a day at 6 mph, you’d lose weight.

You’d lose all the weight you want with only cardio if you wanted to lose only 10 pounds, too. But what if you’re fat?

Maybe you’ve already been doing what seems like tons of cardio and have lost only a few pounds–not the amount that you should have lost after all this time and all that effort.

And what’s with marathon runners being so thin, with all that running they do?

Though most people who desperately want to lose large amounts of weight would like to trade their body in for that of a marathon runner’s, ask yourself if you truly, genuinely want the build of a competitive marathon runner: gaunt, frail looking?

Yes, lots of cardio, in the form of hard marathon training, over time will cause weight loss, but we also must assume that most competitive marathon runners were never fat!

Many began running in high school when they were already thin.

But there are marathon runners who used to be overweight. Losing weight with lots of running is a painful way to do it–you have to really love running to commit to this plan.

Are you willing to run dozens of miles a week at a hard pace?

When I was a personal trainer I never told my clients that the secret to losing lots of weight is to do tons of cardio. Never.

Instead, I preached high intensity interval training (HIIT).

High intensity interval training yields a spectacular hormonal response that culminates in a fat-burning response like you’ve never had before.

Why can’t you lose weight despite tons and tons of cardio exercise?

Because long duration, or steady state aerobics, absolutely fails to incite this hormonal response. Hormones control metabolism and fat-burning; we can manipulate those hormones through exercise!

You need not spend hours and hours killing your feet doing cardio, running, jogging, stepping and pedaling to burn stubborn body fat.

High intensity interval training will strip body fat with sessions as short as 20 minutes. Forget about tons of cardio for weight loss unless you love to run for endless amounts of time.

Lorra Garrick is a former personal trainer certified through the American Council on Exercise. At Bally Total Fitness she trained women and men of all ages for fat loss, muscle building, fitness and improved health.