Does Cardio Burn Belly Fat?

Last updated on November 30, 2021

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If you are trying to lose belly fat, you can do so through cardio exercises. However, doing cardio alone is not enough to burn that belly fat.

To lose belly fat, you need to embrace a healthy lifestyle which involves exercising and reducing the number of calories you consume daily.

Also note that you cannot spot a reduction. You will need to lose the overall body fat so that you can finally have that slimmer midsection.

Read on to learn the best ways to burn belly fat while doing cardio.

Cardio plays a very important role in maintaining a healthy lifestyle. However, it is not the most effective way to lose the stubborn belly fat.

Here are a few things you should do along with cardio to burn belly fat;

1) Balance cardio exercise with strength training

woman weight lifting

One of the best ways to lose belly fat is by doing both cardio and strength training. 

You can burn more calories doing cardio but your metabolism will not stay high for a long time after the workout.

On the other hand, strength training enables your metabolism to stay elevated for a longer period even after finishing your workout. That way, your body burns fats even when at rest.

Another issue about doing cardio alone is that you can lose a lot of muscle mass. When this happens, your body might not be as toned.

Strength training however enables you to build muscle such that you have a toned and appealing physique. You also get stronger. 

Due to these reasons, the ideal exercise program to burn the stubborn fat around your belly and tone your body should include cardio and strength training. 

2) Do HIIT exercises

Instead of doing steady state cardio alone, you should consider doing high intensity interval training. 

Steady state cardio workouts are simple and you do them at the pace that you are comfortable with. 

On the other hand, HIIT workouts involve switching between high level intensity workouts and low-level intensity recovery periods. They are more complex than steady state cardio. 

Both of these exercises are great for losing belly fat. But HIIT has far much better capability of increasing your metabolism as compared to steady state cardio.

3) Consume less calories than you burn

count calories

Any workout routine to burn belly fat has to be accompanied with eating habits that promote fat loss.

The best way to lose belly fat while doing cardio is by consuming less calories than your body burns. Therefore, you will need to eat less food than you usually do. 

To know how many calories are ideal for you per day, you can consult with a nutritionist. Alternatively, you can use apps and platforms that help to track calories like the Calorie Calculator


So, does cardio burn belly fat? Yes, it does but not on its own. As discussed above, you will need to do it alongside strength training and HIIT exercises.

Reducing the number of calories you consume per day will also help in burning the stubborn belly fat. 

About the author

Nikita Clark

As a personal trainer that specializes in weight loss and body transformation, I know how it feels to be overweight. Just 10 years ago, I could barely walk for two minutes without needing a rest. But I turned my life around and I want to help you do the same.  

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