Q: Ok, so I really, really want to move towards less cardio, and believe it or not I am really trying. I am struggling with it, and panicking about gaining weight, and all that, but I really want to move in that direction. BABY STEPS!!!!! 30 minutes seems so short. It's not really that I'm a huge cardio exercise junkie, I actually prefer lifting and really want to build muscle.  I just look forward to seeing those big calorie burns, it makes me feel safer in the eating department……I do love my nighttime snacking ritual. Bad, I know…

A:  Believe me, I totally get that it's hard to step away from the large burns.  Even still, I struggle when I see some of the girls put up these crazy high burn numbers, and I HATE cardio, lol.  I have to talk myself down from feeling like a bum sometimes!  I have to remind myself that it is working, and I do enjoy having my life back.  I won'tcardio exercise fault you for giving in to the cardio craving from time to time, I know it's hard for all of us.  Many people love cardio exercise for reasons far beyond weight loss (mental clarity, runners high, the joy of completing a marathon, etc).  I know that what I'm saying to people is really hard to swallow, and takes more mental transition than anything else.

I will admit, that I struggled with trying to build muscle before getting to goal weight, but going overboard with cardio and halting my progress.  I did the same thing that you're doing now.  I'd have my spurts of doing really well, then I'd go crazy thinking “OMGosh I just want this weight off…NOW!” and start cardio mania again.  Then I told myself that I would just do it that way.  I'd “bulk” until I couldn't stand it anymore, then move to “cut.”  I did that for a few months at a time for each phase (which I eventually learned was perfectly fine, and found was called doing a “body recomposition.”  Which is how I arrived at the method that I use today.

It's still hard for me (mentally) to dedicate the full amount of time that it would take to put on some serious muscle (6 months MINIMUM, but could take a year or more!). But each year, I'm getting more and more confidence as I see that it is working, and that my TDEE is increasing.  I am really elated about the fact that I don't have to do cardio exercise nonstop, all year long like a crazy woman (although, I admittedly add in more during cut).

Anyway, I'm rambling again, but wanted you to know that I feel your pain, and still struggle with going against the grain on this…

As for the nighttime eating…I could never judge you on that one.  That is my time with the hubs, we cuddle, watch movies, and snack…and I'm riding that baby out as long as possible.  It will probably be the last thing to go if I ever feel it's hindering my results,  and I just might add cardio one day to counteract it, too – I ain't ashamed, lol.   BUT that's the reason why I'm going the muscle building route, so that my body actually requires the extra cals.   I'd like to think that although right now, I'm still young enough that I can get away with a little nighttime snacking, and a little less cardio…..as I get closer to menopause, or beyond…who knows?

I'm gonna keep on building muscle just in case.