Is Cardio Required for Weight Loss?

If you’ve been to the gym in the past few days or months, you’ve probably already encountered a plethora of fitness enthusiasts debating about whether cardio is necessary for weight loss. 

I’ve seen more fitness influencers talking about this topic in social media as well lately.

There are people on both sides of the argument – some say it is essential, while others truly believe you don’t really need it.

Which exercise gives you the best results? 

To help answer this question and more, today we’re diving into the world of weight loss and its relation to exercise.

Ready to learn? Let’s go!

Why Lose Weight In The First Place?

Carrying excess weight can be detrimental to our body’s health and well-being. 

Research shows that being overweight or obese increases the risk of developing certain PREVENTABLE chronic diseases such as heart disease, Type 2 diabetes, and a range of cancers. 

With this in mind, it’s important to take a proactive approach to health by losing the extra weight and gaining control of your physical health. 

Making healthy and mindful decisions regarding what you eat regularly, exercise, and lifestyle habits will empower you with the tools you need to make lasting changes that will improve your overall well-being.

When most people think of weight loss, many start thinking about the images of countless hours on the treadmill, elliptical or bike.

Is cardio really needed, though?

Let’s see.

Is Cardio Necessary?

Cardio isn’t a requirement in order to shed those extra pounds – so you can safely throw out the elliptical machines and the long, dreadful, boring hours of running!

The good news is that all you need to do is create a caloric deficit in order to lose weight. 

Sounds good, so far, right? Raise your hand if you’ve heard of caloric deficit, but don’t know what it is & how to create it🙋🏽‍♀️.

Eating in a deficit of calories means that you’ll be eating slightly less total energy (calories) from food than your body needs to maintain its weight.

This allows the body to burn more fat than it stores, which decreases your total body fat.


Slow down grasshopper, cause, less isn’t always better – a moderate caloric deficit of 200-500 calories/day will help keep your metabolism healthy and revved up high for fat burning.


I know I told you that cardio isn’t necessary, if you still wanna get your sweat on and spice up your routine, cardio can help create that deficit by burning more calories. 

So go ahead, jump on the treadmill, or hit the pavement, but always remember it’s not a must-do – just an added bonus.

Weight Training Is Mandatory If You Plan To Change Your Physique. 

Losing weight or releasing fat to change your physique  isn’t always easy – believe me, I know that all too well. 

Sure, cutting back on calories is a great way to slim down, but you’ll also want to make sure you don’t lose too much muscle along with that fat! 

That’s why strength training and lifting weights should be part of your fat loss journey – it helps build lean muscle, or at least retain it, so your body looks more toned, even as you’re losing fat & the weight is dropping. 

Don’t worry, though, you don’t have to start bench pressing like a pro – something as simple as doing a couple of compound movements a couple of times a week can go a long way! 

Having muscle is like having a secret weapon on your side in the fight against the flab! Your secret is safe here.

Honorable Mention

Losing weight may often feel like an impossible task, but if you have enough protein in your diet, you’re well on your way!

Not sure how much protein you need? 

Take your current weight or goal weight & multiply your weight x 0.7 to get the minimum recommended daily protein intake.

Example: Goal weight 175 X .7 = 122.5 grams of protein

Protein helps make sure that as you reduce your caloric intake, your body is still able to retain the muscle mass it needs to stay healthy and burn fat at rest. 

Besides that, protein is also incredibly satiating, meaning that a high-protein meal will allow you to feel full and not have to think about food and cravings all day. Bonus!

Unfortunately, while having sufficient protein in our diets may be crucial during weight loss, getting enough isn’t always easy. 

Going on diets that are too low in calories or a vegetarian lifestyle can impact the amount of protein we’re taking in, therefore making it more likely to overeat or simply burn out mentally.

That’s why I have a list of the top 5 protein-rich diet foods that I recommend to every person who endeavors on a weight loss journey.

Here they are:

  1. Beef, Chicken, Turkey, Game, Bison, Lamb
  2. Fish
  3. Eggs
  4. Dairy
  5. Beans & legumes

Include these foods in your fat loss nutrition plan, and you’ll be well on your way to your best physique!

Just make sure that all the protein sources add up to about 1g of protein per lb of body weight, per day.

Here’s a sample meal plan for 1780 calories (random) that you can use as some inspiration. If you weight more than 170lbs….this is CLOSE to the amount of calories you should eat daily!
1780 Calorie Meal Plan
1 cup of oatmeal (150 calories)
1 medium banana (105 calories)
1 hard-boiled egg (70 calories)
1 cup of black coffee (2 calories)
Total: 327 calories
1 serving of chicken and vegetable stir fry (300 calories)
1 serving of brown, white or jasmine rice (215 calories)
Total: 515 calories
4 ounces of grilled salmon (280 calories)
1 cup of roasted vegetables (100 calories)
1 serving of quinoa (222 calories) (or rice again if you want)
Total: 602 calories
1 small apple (80 calories)
1 small Greek yogurt (100 calories)
Total: 180 calories
This adds up to a total of 1724 calories. You can adjust the portion sizes or the types of foods to reach your desired calorie goal. It’s important to make sure you’re getting a balanced diet that includes a variety of different foods from all food groups to ensure that you are getting all the nutrients your body needs.
It’s a good idea to plan your meals and create a shopping list in advance, it can help you save time and money, and it can also help you make healthier food choices.

Final Thoughts

The next time you feel guilty for skipping a cardio session, remember that science has your back – because science says all you need is a caloric deficit!

Though not mandatory, cardio can help, but remember that strength training is the key to maintaining muscle while shedding pounds- and it’s way more fun than all that walking on a treadmill. 

And who knows? You might even enjoy your workouts more when you stop worrying about the calories you’re burning and focus on getting stronger. Focus on doing the healthy habits daily & falling in love with the process instead of focusing on the outcome or HOW long it takes.

Are you convinced?

Let me know how incorporating strength training into your routine has helped with your weight loss goals in the comments below!

If you need more customized meal guidance, you can schedule your consultation here.


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