Welcome guys so today we’re gonna talk all about how much cardio should you do to lose belly fat more specifically how you can use it to strip off that stubborn belly fat because the truth is most people seek in a strip off that belly fat approach their cardio routines the wrong way fail to account for the various metabolic adaptations we experience as we lose weight and as your cardiovascular fitness improves throughout the weeks and months of our diet which inevitably leads them to fat loss plateaus and this is problematic since the belly fat is typically one of the last regions that your body is gonna start prioritizing stripping off fat from as it instead is going to prioritize fat loss from other less stubborn areas first and as a result most people end up plateauing before fat losses have a chance to really prioritize this region and burn a significant amount of fat from this area.
The good news though is by crafting and implementing the right cardio plan you will be able to effectively use it as a tool to break through any plateaus you encounter along the way until your body fat has stripped off enough fat from other areas to the point where it now prioritize stripping off fat from the belly how exactly can we do this though well as first take a look at the problems we face when it comes to cardio and fat loss.
Now one of the major limitations with cardio for fat loss is that as we lose weight and improve our fitness levels throughout the weeks and months of our diet our body compensates by trying to burn less calories throughout the day which is partly due to you just carrying around less weight but also due to your body becoming more metabolically efficient and as a result of burning less calories throughout the day.
For instance one 2010 paper measured how many calories subjects burned before they started a diet and cardio plan compared to afterwards once they had lost around 10% of their initial body weight what they found was that the number of calories they burned per minute during low intensity movements decreased by about 15 percent as a result of the increase in muscle efficiency they experienced from just getting more fit.
Have found similar results as well with calorie reductions ranging from 11% to even almost 20% due to an increase in efficiency and this adaptation it has a major implication on something called you need levels throughout the day which is basically just all the subconscious movements and light activity that you do throughout the day like walking, cleaning, standing and even moving your hands around we’re talking for example now it’s shown from this 2014 paper.
You’re neat levels can range anywhere from a couple hundred to over a couple thousand calories a day based on how active of a lifestyle you live in your occupation now to showcase where this becomes a potential problem.
Let’s say someone burns about twenty five hundred calories a day at the start of their diet and is an office worker who based on the graph previously provided burns around a thousand calories a day through knee now.
If this person were to adhere to a cardio plan and improve their fitness throughout the weeks their bodies would in response per in significantly less calories through need and as we saw earlier this could amount to on average a 15 percent calorie reduction as a result which would mean that now they are burning over 150 calories less per day from this effect alone which is why researchers believe this effect to be responsible for the reason why those who have lost quite a bit of weight struggled to keep that weight off or continue losing fat despite still doing the same amount of cardio as they did in the beginning of their diet now when you combine this effect with the fact that most people just tend to move less in general as their diet prolonged and also take into account that they do carry less body weight around as well you can see how these various factors cause you to burn less and less calories over time and ultimately creates a fat loss plateau.
In fact in the study mentioned earlier by the end of the 10% weight loss subjects were burden on average almost 600 calories less per day than they were in the beginning despite doing the same amount of exercise now although these subjects were fed a very low calorie diet during the study which probably didn’t help with their energy levels it still provides insight as to why the exact same cardio plan you started out your diet with which may have worked for a little while in terms of fat loss may no longer be sufficient to continue stimulating fat loss as you continue to progress.
Simply meaning that your cardio plan needs to be designed and actually progressed over time such that it accounts for this in order to enable you to continuously break through any plateaus that you’re bound to encounter along the way but at the same time you don’t want to do too much too soon as that could be problematic as well so how exactly do we go about doing that well we can do.
So with a four-step cardio plan that I’ve personally used and implemented myself and with several others that would combine with a calorie deficit from your diet accounts for all the problems that we previously discussed and I’ll honestly say that this plan was the easiest plan that I’ve done thus far and it enabled me in a span of 12 weeks or so to get down to not quite single-digit body fat but pretty much as low as that person want to go nonetheless.
Step#1 Baseline Cardio
So the first thing we need to do here is establish a baseline level of cardio for you to start out with and ideally you want the majority of the car you do to be low-impact and low intensity rather than high intensity as this won’t impair your recovery as much and therefore will enable you do greater amounts of it with minimal risk of injury the occasional high-intensity session is fine but I limit this to no more than 1-3x/ week.
What I recommend though and what I personally started with was just ten minutes of incline walk into every single day and you can swap this out for light cycling or any low intensity low impact cardio modality if you prefer that instead and these low intensity sessions can be done in the morning before and/or after your waist workouts or in the evening for example.
Just choose what you’re gonna be most consistent with now this initial baseline level of cardio may not sound like much and it isn’t but the goal here is just to get you in the habit of moving and sticking to a regular cardio routine that we can slowly progress throughout the weeks to drive more and more fat loss.
Step#2 Gradually Increasing
We want to then very gradually start increasing the duration and/or difficulty of our cardio sessions since our body will be burning fewer and fewer calories during the day as we continue to strip off fat and get more efficient and you can do this by either increasing the duration of these cardio sessions by 5 to 10 minutes each or increase the difficulty of these sessions by increase the speed and/or incline you want to do this whenever your weight loss begins to really slow down as this is a good sign that you should bump up the demands of your cardio sessions to stimulate more fat loss but again you want to do this gradually so by the end of the 12 weeks i was doing around 40 minutes or so of incline walking a day now although this may sound like a lucky pin mind that at that time i wasn’t very active outside of these walking sessions aside from my weightlifting workouts the majority of you won’t need that long sessions if you work an active job or live an active lifestyle and especially if you’re not even seeking to get as lean as i did the key here though is.
That you’re simply progressing your cardio sessions very gradually over time to enable you to break through any plateaus that you encounter and for these sessions I would personally bring my laptop to work on or I listen to podcasts and audiobooks so be creative and try to keep yourself busy during these sessions as it makes them a lot more easier to do and stay consistent with and actually enjoy doing.
Step#3 Keep Other Variable Consistent
Need to ensure that you’re not then compensating outside of these cardio sessions because as you die down and get leaner and leaner your hunger will likely increase and your body will also tend to get lazier outside of your workouts in fact.
Researchers brought light to a phenomenon called the constrained model of energy expenditure where they found that in average populations as cardio levels increase there comes a point where even though you’re burning more calories through your cardio sessions the body fights back by compensating and not only becoming less active outside of that cardio session but also reducing the energy costs of some of our other aspects of energy expenditure which again is where a lot of people get stuck despite increasing the amount of cardio they’re doing so to avoid this you need to control and monitor three variables.
- Need to monitor and keep your step count consistent but you’re more or less able to regulate your activity outside of your workouts and prevent that from declining.
- You need to be adhere into a regular way in routine now only is this gonna help ensure that you’re maintaining or even building muscle as you lose fat which is gonna help you look better and slightly bump up your metabolism but research is actually shown that it provides the opposite effect as cardio does on need where resistance training actually seems to partially reverse the increase in muscle efficiency we experience as we get more fit and lose weight and as a result it helps us burn more calories through need which is why using the weights routine in conjunction with cardio is so effective for fat loss.
- You need to monitor and control your calorie intake and ensure that you still adhere into a calorie deficit if you’re burning an extra 300 calories a day with the cardio sessions yet you then compensate for this by eating an additional 300 calories when you get home then you’ve just undone the extra work you put in and won’t get past the plateau that you’re in.
Here has to do with maintaining your new physique because if you immediately cut out the card you you do once you reach your goal you’re never going to very quickly gain some body fat back but at the same time if you’re doing an unsustainable amount of cardio that you know you just can’t adhere to long term that’s no good as well so what I recommend is 1 of 2.
Option 1 is for you to find a consistent cardio routine that you can adhere to and stick to that will enable you to maintain your new body weight and your new physique with ease for example a 30-minute incline walk or cycling session in the morning or whatever you’re gonna be consistent with long term.
Option 2 is for you to actually start tapering down the amount of cardio that you do until your body weight stabilizes in fact what this does for many people is even though you’re burning less calories within your cardio sessions your body actually then burns more calories outside of your cardio sessions through neat as it doesn’t feel is fatigue or try to compensate by moving less outside of your cardio sessions ultimately though it really does just depend on the individual and your lifestyle but monitor your body weight closely to see how you can make the right adjustments to find a cardio plan or even a hobby that you can sustain long-term what keeping your new physique in fact at the end of the day it’s all about burning sufficient calories and finding what enables you to do so with the most enjoyment and consistency and all that note ideally this should be combined with something that’s called a reverse diet where you’re also at the same time very gradually increasing your calories to continue boosting the energy you expend through neat and your overall metabolism.
Here’s a summary of what I’ve covered on how much cardio is needed to burn belly fat:
- Step. (Baseline): Start at a low baseline level of cardio.
- Step. (Increase): In gradual increments, increase the duration/difficulty of your weekly cardio sessions every time you reach a plateau.
- Step. (Control): Control all other variables and keep them consistent (weights routine, daily steps, calorie intake) to avoid compensating for your cardio sessions.
- Step. (Maintain): After you’ve successfully stripped off the belly fat, find a routine that’ll enable you to maintain your new body weight and physique.
Start at a low baseline slowly increases over time as needed and then make the right adjustments to maintain your results while keeping all other variables consistent there really isn’t a magic number of how much cardio you should be doing as it will vary for everyone but the key really is to control your variables and progress your plan over time to enable you to continue stripping off fat until the fat loss finally reaches your belly but guys just also 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.
CARDIO ADAPTATION https://link.springer.com/article/10…. , https://journals.physiology.org/doi/f… https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/12609… , https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NB… https://journals.physiology.org/doi/f…
MODEL OF ENERGY EXPENDITURE https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/arti…