Is cardio good for belly fat loss? Well, the simple answer is yes! Cardio is great for belly fat loss!
Cardio helps to slim down fat throughout your entire body, making you lean all over, including your stomach, abs, and love handles.
But that’s not all you need to know about cardio and belly fat loss.
Let’s find out more together!
Why does cardio help belly fat loss?
Cardio burns lots and lots of calories, and eating fewer calories than you burn is what causes weight loss. Cardio workouts are some of the best exercises to do if you want to burn fat, because they often burn more calories than other types of exercises.
Remember, it is impossible to just tell your body where to lose weight. That’s mostly up to your genetics and the way your body is built. But luckily, cardio helps you lose fat from all over, and it will help with your stomach as well.
Which type of cardio is the best for losing belly fat?
These two different types of cardio work your body in a different way.
Steady state cardio
Steady state cardio is an aerobic activity, and is the only type of exercise that actually uses fat for energy.
Steady state cardio is simply a cardio exercise that you maintain at a constant pace. So for example, running, walking or swimming at a constant pace for a relatively long period of time (i.e longer than 15-ish minutes).
Steady state cardio can either be high intensity (such as running) or low intensity (such as walking). The best type of steady state cardio workouts for your stomach are those that are HIGH intensity. So this includes exercises such as running, swimming or cycling. And I don’t just mean a leisurely jog; you need to be running at a speed that is difficult for you so you can power through those calories.
Cycling can cause unwanted muscle in your legs though so just keep that in mind if this is a concern for you.
HIIT Cardio – Interval running
On the other hand, HIIT workouts are anaerobic activities. These workouts burn glucose for energy (not fat), and they help your heart get stronger (meaning you can work out for longer the next time!). With HIIT exercises, you push your body to go as hard as it can for a short amount of time, and then you give it a break with a slower pace (or a rest).
However, there’s a way to do HIIT that makes it a fat burning activity and assist you in burning fat. Check out one of my favourite HIIT cardio workouts.
Here are just a few other reasons why HIIT can be so helpful with belly fat loss:
- It burns lots of calories after your workout (not just during).
- HIIT helps your body release hormones, which can help burn fat.
- It lowers your blood pressure, making you healthier overall.
Both steady state and HIIT cardio workouts are great to burn stomach fat.
Honestly, I think the best type of cardio is one that you’ll stick to! Consistency really does matter when it comes to weight loss. However, try mixing it up. Both types can help you reach your goals!
How much cardio should you do to lose belly fat?
There’s no answer here that’s going to cover everybody! Your genetics, the way you store your fat, your body type, and your diet all play a huge role in this!
Most experts say that people should be getting 150 minutes (or 2.5 hrs) of cardio exercise per week to maintain or lose some fat, or just to keep healthy. This doesn’t mean super high intensity cardio, but any exercise that gets your heart rate up.
This might feel like a lot. However, there are easy ways to work incidental cardio into your schedule. Here are some ways that I like to make sure I’m staying active:
- Go for a walk after dinner to destress.
- Walk around whenever you are waiting (at the shops, airport, doctor’s appointments, etc)
- Take a bike ride or walk to the store/class/gym instead of a car.
- Take the stairs!
- Try making cardio a fun thing to do! Go for hikes or walks with your friends or dates.
What else can you do for fat loss?
I’ve talked a lot about cardio workouts, but I don’t want you to think that’s the only way to lose your belly fat and love handles.
If your midsection looks soft, I encourage you to do cardio but also to do some resistance exercises. This is the best way to achieve a model-like midsection!
Resistance exercises are important because the more muscle you have, the easier it will be to lose weight and to slim down your belly. I also love resistance workouts because you can do them from home. Although there’s nothing wrong with a gym, it is possible to slim down your stomach fat with at home workouts!
Also, yoga can be helpful to make your core stronger. Although your results might be slow with yoga, it can help your posture (making you look leaner and taller!) and help you improve in strength. This will help you perform the rest of your exercises better!
Diet and Lifestyle
Diet is so important. If you aren’t eating well, your workouts will never help you lose your belly fat. To get a slim and toned midsection, you MUST be eating a healthy diet.
The rest of your lifestyle matters too. Here are a few things to pay attention to when it comes to belly fat:
- Are you sleeping enough? Try to get 7-9 hours of sleep. This helps regulate your hormones and your ability to lose weight.
- Are you stressed out all the time? Finding ways to relax is key. Being stressed increases cortisol levels and fat storage on your love handle area. High cortisol levels also make it harder to lose weight. So take some time to chill.
- Do you have an on-again, off again relationship with exercise or diet? To successfully slim your stomach down, you need to be consistent and patient!
- Men aren’t the only people who get beer bellies! I won’t tell you to never drink, but the drinking isn’t helping you slim down! Make sure you drink in moderation.
- Keep an eye on your snacking. Plan out your snacks ahead of time, so that you know you’ll have them under control!
Discovering your body type will change the way you look at exercise, your body goals, and your diet! It will also help you figure out how much cardio you should be doing for the best results. You can take my free body type quiz, which will tell you your body type and also give you lots of workout & diet tips!
I understand that losing belly fat is challenging! There’s a reason why so many of you ask me for help with this part of your bodies. Even though the midsection can be stubborn, it isn’t impossible to slim down. I speak from experience: I know that with proper exercising, healthy diet, balanced hormones, and a healthy lifestyle, you can achieve a slim, toned figure.
What other questions do you have about losing belly fat? Ask your questions in the comments below!