How much cardio should you do to lose belly fat? Let’s tackle the basics of the question first: you can do all the cardio in the world but, if you don’t enter a caloric deficit with your diet too, it is essentially impossible to lose fat.
Cardio can help you lose belly fat, but only when coupled with good nutritional practices.
So, once you’re ready to commit to a healthy diet and want to use cardio to support your fat loss efforts, this is how to go along with it.
How Much Cardio Should You Do to Lose Belly Fat?
Jeremy Ethier, a NASM and FMS certified trainer and Kinesiology graduate, shares his personal tips.
- Start small but get started. It doesn’t matter that you’re not hitting huge distances at amazing paces. What you want to do first is build a habit and adhere to your plan. Setting goals that are too big at this stage will only set you up for failure.
- Increase the duration or difficulty of your cardio sessions, these should be incrementally small increases over time. This will help you break over plateaus by building a solid base.
- Control and monitor other variables to ensure you’re not compensating outside your cardio session. You’ll want to keep track of your step count, adhere to a regular strength training routine, and control your calorie intake to ensure you’re sticking to a healthy calorie deficit.
- Think about maintenance once you’ve reached your desired look or bodyweight. A good idea is to find a hobby or activity that you can stick to and allows you to continue expending energy as you were.
A good place to start is by finishing 10 minutes of brisk walking daily. Once you start incrementing the difficulty, make sure you account for your current fitness level and experience, as this step will look different for everyone.
As you do so, make sure you keep track of your calorie expenditure. This is by far the most important step in this whole process to lose belly fat; you need to adhere to a calorie deficit to be successful.
Afterwards, find a routine that will enable you to maintain your new bodyweight and physique.
“Just keep in mind that you need to be pairing your cardio routine with a regular weightlifting routine and a solid nutrition plan, as these will both help speed up the process and ensure that you don’t just end up “skinny fat” by the end of your fat loss journey,” says Jeremy.