I showed you how to create your perfect diet for fat loss, your own meal planning for weight loss, and a good training setup along with a proper mindset to achieve a successful body transformation. Also, let’s not forget my staple fasting method named flexible intermittent fasting.
Now I’m back to the question that everybody wants to know: Can you lose weight without cardio?
And if it’s possible, how to lose weight and fat without doing an ounce of cardio?
The Problem With Cardio Sessions
Let me first show you the problem with cardio: The truth is that cardio can ruin your fat loss if you don’t control it the right way.
Getting back to my NATURAL youtube transformation clip that took me over 6 years:
Look at my 2013 pictures. What do you see?
I was ripped.
I want to tell you something that can sound hard to believe: I DID NOT do any cardio at all!
Hard to believe?
You might have heard that cardio burns the most fat. You know… sprints… treadmill cardio, jumping rope, jogging… etc.?
Where are all of these?
I remember that before I got it right cardio wise, I had problems losing fat a continuous rate. Even if I was on a fat loss diet, trained 6 times per week, and took all sorts of weight loss supplements, I was still plateauing.
Oh well… I forgot to mention a small detail: I was doing cardio around 3 times per week.
And it was quite intense. Running in the park, jumping rope, running on a treadmill…
I was doing cardio.
And the weird thing is that I wasn’t losing weight as I was supposed to. And I stalled a lot until I eliminated cardio completely. What was the problem?
The truth is that I was in a huge caloric deficit, I was training too much, and the cardio sessions were just putting more stress on my system.
But why was I not losing any weight?
The answer is easy: because of the caloric deficit, exaggerated activity, and cardio, my body was fighting against me:
=>My metabolic rate went down, thus I was burning fewer calories every day compared to what I was burning when I first started
=>I was having problems with water retention that was masking my fat loss
=>I had low energy levels
=>I was always feeling tired
=>My mood was down
=>I was demotivated
All these factors contributed to my lack of fat loss. And this is what I see happening to many people that are desperate to lose fat. I talked about this and came with strategies to counter fat loss stalling in my books.
These factors can really play with your mind.
How would you feel if you’d try to lose weight, but you’d get stuck for months at the same spot? Maybe you experienced that.
Many people would just quit. „It doesn’t work for me” is the general excuse.
What about you?
And if the negative effects to cardio on a fat loss diet don’t sound bad enough, here’s the worst one:
Excessive cardio can make you lose muscle mass
This happened to me too. But at a higher rate than usual.
I was training too much, eating too little, and not nutritious enough. I was losing muscle mass, and retaining water. My cardio sessions were a chore. They became something I started to hate. And that’s not a good thing.
I had water retention and muscle mass loss. How I managed to escape that?
How I Lost Weight Without Cardio
From the moment I left cardio aside, in just one week, I lost 2kg. I continued to lose fat week after week.
=>I eliminated water retention. I had a water woosh. My body cleared the water retention completely.
=>My mood was increasing.
=>My motivation was getting back up.
=>My energy levels were increasing
=>Training was getting better -> I was progressing
It was working!
I was thinking how come I am not doing any cardio, but I am losing fat better than when I was doing a lot?
Now, after years of ditching excessive cardio, I feel better. While cardio has its benefits, It was never something that I liked. The only cardio I do now is the road to the gym, some occasional cycling inside a gym when I’m extremely lean or prepare for a shot, and when I take a walk outside. Nothing too shabby…
And here’s how I look in 2016:
Went under 10% bodyfat this year. I.ll do a body transformation video if this gets over 300 likes :). Also, what.s your biggest struggle when it comes to losing fat? #me #challenge #instadaily #art #gym #weightloss #fatloss #fitnessmodel #fitnessaddict #fitspo #bodybuilding #socialenvy #photooftheday #health #healthy #instahealth #healthychoices #active #strong #motivation #instagood #determination #lifestyle #diet #getfit #shredded #picoftheday
This is all from doing short training sessions, and concentrating on my diet. I create my own meal plans, and I don’t take supplements at this low % bodyfat. I have to eat real food to keep the hunger away.
But occasionally, when I want to rush a stubborn fat loss elimination, I have some tricks in my sleeve. I devised a cardio strategy you can use if you want to get rid of the fat that’s the hardest to lose. I’ll talk about it in an upcoming blog post.
But if you want to lose weight and fat without cardio, you MUST maintain a constant caloric deficit. DAILY.
Here are 7 rules I apply so I don’t feel like I am doing cardio at all. In a sense, these are not cardio sessions. These are just guidelines that will help you escape the cardio for weight loss nonsense:
- Always walk or jog after a workout session – you don’t want to influence your workout negatively because of the additional physical effort you do
- Any cardio activity must be done with low to medium intensity – if you like to sprint or you prepare for sports that involve cardio, then do your cardio sessions as you normally do them. In this case, cut down your training to 2-3 times per week.
- The best fat burning cardio is in the morning on an empty stomach – it is way more efficient than regular cardio because you are only burning pure fat. Your body uses fat as fuel in the morning if you don’t eat anything. When I say cardio, I am talking about walking or going somewhere you have to go on foot but on an empty stomach.
- If you do cardio sessions, don’t do more than 20 to 50 minutes of low-medium intensity cardio (it can be a simple walk in the park or short jogging sessions – take it lightly)
- You can break the rules once in a while – I do not recommend you do this but once in a while, you can have more cardio sessions or a more intense cardio session.
- Do cardio only if it’s absolutely necessary – If dieting and training for fat loss is getting harder, do some cardio
- If everything gets harder, ditch cardio or reduce it
These are my 7 rules after which I guide my fat loss diet without REAL cardio sessions.
In the last 4 years, I can say that I did just a few REAL cardio workout sessions.
I am the living proof that cardio IS NOT NECESSARY for fat loss!
DISCLAIMER: Cardio can be a good tool for you to use for fat loss if you don’t exaggerate with it. Cardio workouts has its benefits but not everyone has the time or the will to do it. But I want you to know it is possible to obtain a similar physique as mine without doing any cardio. Now you know how to lose weight without cardio.
Don’t be afraid to left it behind. If you take care of your diet and training, you can lose fat without cardio just as well. If you need a guide to help you step by step on how to lose fat, check out my DTM method for fat loss.