Do you have to do cardio to lose fat? Well, yes and no.

Everyone wants to get leaner, but cardio can be a hassle. Finding the time and energy to get a walk or a run in your busy schedule can be difficult when you’re in a caloric deficit.


But is it 100% necessary to do cardio to lose fat?

Cardio and Fat Loss

cardio fat loss

Let me give you your answer straight up.

No, it’s not necessary to do cardio to lose fat — but it will make life a lot easier if you do.

Not only will you burn fat quicker, but you can also eat a little bit more to avoid feeling like irritable garbage for several weeks or months until you hit your fat loss goal.

The only way to lose fat is to consume fewer calories than you expend.

Anybody who has dieted knows that a 1000 calorie-per-day deficit is unsustainable in the long term.

A 1000 calorie-per-day deficit can shed close to 2lb of fat per week.

But it’s a lot easier to eat 500-600 calories below your maintenance and supplement this with 400-500 calories burned through cardio — preferably walking — and your weight training.

To find your maintenance calories, multiply your bodyweight in pounds by 15. If you weigh 200lb, your maintenance calories should be 3000 (200×15) per day.

A good place to start for fat loss should be 2500 calories per day. Subtract another 500 calories burned through movement and working out, and you will be in a 1000-calorie deficit.

Trust me, a 500-calorie deficit through diet is INFINITELY easier than 1000-calories through eating less.


You will be constantly hungry, moody, and low energy if you’re calories are too low.

And that’s the aim of the game — to lose fat sustainably and never lose sight of your goals.

Check out our article on the best cardio for fat loss.

Parting Words

Again, cardio isn’t imperative when dieting to lose fat — it just makes life a whole lot easier.

Another frequently asked question we get is whether to start lifting weights before, during, or after fat loss and the answer is: you should lift weights as soon as possible.

Take a look at our article on lifting weights and fat loss. In another article we mention how a study found that weight training is more effective for long term fat loss than cardio.

If you need a plan of action to lose fat, check out our fat loss bundle to help you get the physique you deserve.

Don’t hesitate to email us at [email protected] for personalized coaching and a client questionnaire if you’d like DEDICATED tailor-made personal training on strength training, building muscle, losing fat, developing athleticism, and more — all to your liking, lifestyle, habits, and taste!

Otherwise, don’t forget to claim your FREE eBook detailing how to lose 20lb of fat while building muscle in 12 weeks! You can claim it here.

Alternatively, you can pick up a FREE eBook on fundamental strength principles offering an introductory workout program.