Skip Nav
Weight Loss
Not Sure If Cardio or Lifting Weights Is Better For Weight Loss? Here's What 2 Experts Have to Say
How to Start Running | Colleen Quigley
Workouts
An Olympian Told Us Her Number 1 Tip For New Runners, and It's Not What You Think
Selena Gomez Talking About Therapy on Coach's Podcast
Selena Gomez
Selena Gomez Opened Up About the Drastic Ways Therapy Helped Her "Understand" Herself
Workouts
If You Feel Wrist Pain During Push-Ups, Stop and Do This Trainer's Modifications Now
Healthy Recipes
Your Instant Pot Will Come in Handy For All These Mediterranean-Friendly Recipes

How Much Cardio Do I Need to Do to Lose Weight?

This Is Exactly How Much Cardio You Should Be Doing If You Want to Lose Weight

Strength training, cardio, and a healthy diet are said to make up the perfect formula for weight loss. But sometimes it's hard to know how much you need of each category. In particular, the amount of cardio you need in order to lose weight has been up for debate — some people think you need a lot, while others think that it's all about strength training.

Before deciding how much cardio is best for weight loss, Austin Lopez, CSCS and owner of Ausome Fit, said it's important to understand some basics of how your body functions; "3,500 is the number of calories in a single pound of fat and therefore the number required for you to burn in a week to lose one pound a week," Lopez told POPSUGAR.

This is how that breaks down in terms of sessions per week. According to Lopez, if you want to burn 3,500 calories in a week in order to lose one pound, you have three options:

ADVERTISEMENT
  • Do 7 days of 30-minute cardio sessions and eat a clean diet with an average calorie intake.
  • Do 5 days of 30-minute cardio sessions and eat a lightly calorie-restricted diet.
  • Do 0 to 3 days of 30-minute cardio sessions and eat a medium calorie-restricted diet.

The third option might look appealing to you, but Lopez reminds us that "this becomes unsustainable very quickly." Here's the formula to determine how many calories you should eat to lose weight.

Similarly, Mahri Relin, certified personal trainer (NASM) and founder of Body Conceptions, said she encourages her clients do four to five sessions of cardio a week, each lasting about 30 to 45 minutes. NASM-certified celebrity fitness trainer and Katherine Greiner recommends at least 30 to 45 minutes of cardio a day or 20 minutes of HIIT cardio intervals.

It's important you don't overdo it, though. "Cardio-heavy workouts can leave people famished, only to replace, if not exceed, the calories they have burned," Relin told POPSUGAR. "When the body has too much cardio it can result in adrenal fatigue, which can actually lead to weight gain," Greiner added.

Another thing all three trainers agree on unanimously is that these sessions of cardio must also be paired with regular strength training. You can't have one without the other in the hunt for weight loss. Not sure where to start? Here are nine strength training workouts that you can do anywhere. And they're printable!

Image Source: POPSUGAR Photography / Kathryna Hancock
Latest Fitness
All the Latest From Ryan Reynolds