Consider this: A hard aerobic workout can burn about 500 calories in an hour, but a meal of chicken, rice, and vegetables is around 400 calories. Even when you work very hard to burn calories, you can easily replace them with food.
What about HIIT? Well, high-intensity interval training is helpful, but it’s a bit overblown. Proponents argue that it revs your metabolism for hours after the workout, but this isn’t as dramatic as it sounds.
A review in the Journal of Sports Sciences found that this metabolic effect amounted to, at best, only 15% of the calories you burned in the session. So if you burned 300 calories, you may burn another 45 over the next day. Whoop-de-doo.
I’m not saying to cut out cardio, but controlling calories with your diet is more impactful. With that said, a cardio regimen can include up to five days of moderate activity for 30 to 60 minutes and two days of interval sessions for 20 minutes.