How to lose weight without cardio. The best methods of burning body fat

You’ve got five kilometers through the woods, cycling, but the body fat doesn’t give up. You should not despair because weight loss can be very effective without using cardio exercises.

Let’s figure out what can help you to improve your body composition, and burn more calories without resorting to cardio workouts and no matter where you are training, you can burn fat and gut health equally well in the gym and at home.

Cardio versus weights: which is best for weight loss?


Most people associate fat loss and burning calories with cardio exercises.

It is undeniable that the more intensive the workout is, the more calories our body burns. Such workouts include an hour training on a treadmill, walking on an elliptical trainer for twenty minutes, high intensity interval training, and so on.

Strength training is not just muscle growth and strength growth. It is proven that strength training increases bone density, metabolic rate and decreases the likelihood of developing diabetes.

You need to understand what cardio training and strength training are, what are their differences, and what can be achieved in the first and second cases.

Pros and cons of cardio training, it’s contraindications.

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What cardio training gives

  • Enhanced endurance
    With enhanced endurance, the body is able to carry out tear upon it without being tired for a long time.
  • Fat burning
    Increased heart and breathing rates, allowing the body to spend more energy. Firstly, the body uses glycogen from the liver for energy, and after 20 minutes, goes to burning subcutaneous fat.
  • Weight loss
    The norm is to lose 0.5-1.0% of your body weight in a week. This is a good indicator that you get fat loss but not muscle mass.
  • Increasing brain efficiency
    The main effect of cardio training is to distill large amounts of blood throughout the body in a short period of time. Blood is known to carry oxygen. Oxygen is an essential element for good brain functioning. Oxygen and water are the basis of high gray matter’s performance.

Let’s look at the weaknesses of cardio training.

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  • The percentage of burning fat during the cardio workouts is very low
    Let’s imagine you decide to run four 30-minute trainings a week on the treadmill. The cost will be only 600 kcal per week. If you work out for a year, you burn 30,000 kcal, and you will lose only 8.5 kg of fat. That’s the result of 100 hours on the treadmill.
  • Higher training frequency
    With low calorie burning rates, cardio training requires a high frequency.
  • Cardiovascular function can be damaged
    Marathons and triathlons increase the likelihood of cardiovascular failure. And among triathlon participants, almost 40% of incidents occur in newcomers.
  • An overproduction of cortisol
    A badly adapted organism responds to high stress – as a result, cortisol is released into the blood. Excessive cortisol release can have a strong negative effect on the body, leading to weakened joints and osteoporosis, immune system failures, depression and anxiety disorders.

The contraindications

  • Respiratory diseases.
  • Allergy in acute form.
  • Ulcers in the organs of the gastrointestinal tract.

The benefits and negative sides of strength training.

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What does lifting weights give?

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  • Strength training increases muscle mass.

Lifting weights or strength training, also sometimes called resistance training, helps build lean muscle, and it increases metabolic rate, so the body’s ability to burn fat and lose fat mass improves too.

  • Calories are burned even after weight training is over.

Such training improves the basic metabolism in two ways. The first is when you increase muscle mass, which requires more energy and therefore burns more calories. Secondly, weight lifting causes micro tears of muscle tissue, which also requires energy for reconstruction. Due to this, the effect lasts for 2-3 days after the weight or resistance training.

  • Strengthening of bones.

With age, we get bone destruction, bone mass becomes decreased, making the bones more prone to fractures. Cardio and aerobic exercises are certainly beneficial for many systems of the body, but the evidence that they can protect us from bone loss is negligible.

  • Strong muscles make us healthy.

Muscles play an important role in regulating glucose level in the body. With insulin, the body absorbs blood glucose and retains it in the form of glycogen. Large muscles mean more glucose absorption and more cells that transport and remove glucose from the body.

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Now let’s talk about the drawbacks.

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The main and the only disadvantage of lifting weights is:

  • Injury and difficulty in the doing of exercises.

Doing traditional cardio is rather simple, just get up and run, take rope and jump to exhaustion. Strength training is a little more difficult because you work all major muscle groups. Without knowledge of the correct technique of exercise, you can very badly harm yourself.

You risk not only to drop a heavy sports equipment on yourself or a neighbor, but also to strain your back.

Strength training is not recommended in the following cases.

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  • Acute infectious Diseases.
  • All diseases in the acute phase.
  • Chronic diseases during aggravation.
  • Mental illness.
  • Organic diseases of the central nervous system.
  • Malignant neoplasms.
  • Deforming polyarthritis (arthritis).
  • Collagen diseases.
  • Respiratory diseases.

Can I lose weight by lifting weights only?


Many people think that it is impossible. In the gym, you gain muscle, and the fat mass does not go away. In fact, losing weight by exercising in the gym is possible by doing exercises for losing fat. And at the same time, you can increase muscle mass so that the eyes of others will be focused only on you.

Let’s find out more about successful exercises which can burn calories and help to lose weight without cardio.

Squats with a barbell


technique of performing

  1. Stand up straight, the distance between the feet should be a shoulder width.
  2. Put the neck on your shoulders, hold it with your hands.
  3. From this position, lower the pelvis downwards, bending the knees.
  4. Lower the pelvis below the knee level.
  5. Go back to square one.



technique of performing

  1. Position a barbell in front of you and take a shoulder width stance.
  2. Bend the knees and take the neck with hands. At the same time, pull the pelvis back and the shoulders forward. It is very important to keep the back straight and not bend.
  3. Stretch your knees and straighten up with a barbell in your hands. The upward movement begins with the head.
  4. The barbell slides on the front of the legs.

Bench press

bench pressing

technique of performing

  1. Lie down on the bench below the barbell and grab the barbell with a wide grip.
  2. Pull it off the counter and lower it to the chest.
  3. Push the barbell upwards.
  4. Lower to the chest again.

Traction in an inclination


technique of performing

  1. Standing above the barbell, bend at the knees slightly and tilt your torso.
  2. Take the barbell into lowered straight hands.
  3. Then lift the barbell to the lower back. In this case, the elbows are bent and retracted back.
  4. Go back to square one.

Why does eating clean help to lose weight?


It is not a secret that sport and healthy food are two integral parts of a single whole. One complements the other and these two components do not work separately: if you eat correctly, spending most of the time in a motionless state, you may lose weight, but you will not be able to get a beautiful body relief and lean muscle.

Likewise, intensive sports activities combined with erratic irregular and excessive nutrition can lead not only to loss of shape and worsening of body composition, but even to serious disruption of the body.

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Intense physical activity creates an increased need for nutrients, especially protein – the main building block of muscle mass, which in turn burns calories and helps to lose fat. You know, the more calories you burn, the more fat loss you get.

Without enough protein, you won’t be able to increase your volume of the body and exercise well. You simply will not have enough strength to perform the right number of repetitions.

There are many factors which affect calories deficit in this case. Ideally, the recommended goal would be to cut down the number of calories you consume daily to less than 400. Your body will consume fewer calories and burn more calories, so this is the main secret of fat loss.

What does clean eating mean?

The basic idea of such a system is very simple: it is necessary to give preference only to natural products that have not been processed and that do not contain chemical additives, stabilizers, flavors and colorants. Avoiding unhealthy fats found in things like processed foods is a good way of losing weight.

Clean Eating involves the consumption of fresh vegetables and fruits, dairy products, meat and fish, as well as grains of high quality. The most ideal is if all these products are organic or farm. Another thing about Clean Eating is the consumption of freshly prepared meals.

This is why the Clean Eating principle is especially appealing to those who like to cook all the dishes themselves at home from natural, fresh ingredients.

How to switch to a clean food system?

Firstly, it would be better to switch to whole food – for example, instead of muffins with blueberries we should eat a handful of fresh berries.

Also, it would be better to reduce the number of ingredients in all dishes consumed to a minimum. Each of your intake should include whole grains, lean protein and healthy fats.

Thirdly, you should eat slowly and consciously. Savor each small piece, paying attention to the aroma and taste of food. And fourthly, it is a good idea to eat on schedule. Leave at least 4 hours between each of your meals.

Constant eating helps to regulate the digestive system, blood sugar and insulin level, as well as to control the appetite and as a result to lose fat.

Main advantages of clean eating system.

If you eat fresh vegetables, fruits, just cooked food, rich in useful substances and trace elements, without any supplements, you never face serious diseases.

It is believed that fresh vegetables and fruits are also able to affect your mental health positively, and they also help to keep your skin young, your hair thick and nails strong. You can lose body fat and create a caloric deficit even without cardio and strength training, only having clean food.

Your weight loss journey can be really pleasant and healthy nutrition is one of the answers for the question of how to lose weight without cardio, high intensity interval training, resistance training and so on.

How can I lose belly fat if I can’t do cardio?

Fat on the sides often grows due to sedentary lifestyles and excessive use of refined carbohydrates. That is why you can remove the sides only by doing exercise and calorie deficit.

Especially important in the fight against waist fat is the development of the gluteus muscles, as well as the lateral muscles of the body – they get minimum load in everyday life and require special exercises. The good news is that these exercises allow you to remove the sides even at home.

On the one hand, fat accumulates in excess calorie intake – gradually and throughout the body. On the other hand, diet, bad habits and lifestyle can influence on fat accumulating mainly on the waist and sides.

Tips to help you lose fat

  • Eat more protein and get fat loss

Numerous studies have confirmed the benefits of high-protein diets for weight loss and fat gain overall. Generally, to gain muscle mass and burn body fat you must not only make calorie deficit and do weight training but keep your protein intake high.

Protein provides a sense of fullness and helps to consume fewer calories, even without counting and limiting. And also increases the energy consumption for food absorption, protects against the loss of muscle mass on the diet and promotes its build-up, provided that you are doing strength training regularly.

  • Restrict your sugar intake.
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The simplest way to restrict your sugar intake with one small change is to chop out sugary fizzy drinks and replace sugar with fruit and honey.

On the other hand, the complete rejection of favorite desserts can cause stress and breakdowns. So find a comfortable middle ground – limit the amount of sugar in the diet to 5% of total calorie intake.

  • Reduce refined carbohydrates you eat.Refined carbohydrates are products from wheat flour, pasta, white rice. If you like bread and pasta, replace the products of processed flour with whole grain analogues and try to consume them in moderate amounts.
  • Eat foods rich in fiber.When we speak of weight loss, note the benefit of soluble fiber. It helps to reduce appetite, improve bowel function and insulin sensitivity – a hormone that is essential for weight loss and its maintenance.
  • Get enough sleep.Lack of sleep disrupts the production of hormones of hunger and satiety, decreases the sensitivity to insulin and increases cortisol – a stress hormone that promotes the fermentation of fat, including visceral ones. Sleep at least seven to eight hours a night.
  • Intermittent fasting.Most people can practice intermittent fasting safely as part of a healthy lifestyle.

How to lose weight without cardio and build muscle mass through home exercises.

  • Yoga in the morning.

Morning yoga accelerates metabolic rate by preparing the digestive system, which helps the body to consume carbohydrates and fats more quickly. Yoga can replace traditional cardio and strength training. With yoga, you will get fat loss and save muscles.

  • Exercise with your own weight.

You can lose weight and burn calories while practicing without any equipment, using only your own weight!

  • Well, less stress, clean air.

Stress helps you gain weight – literally. Faced with a stressful situation, many people begin to eat more or smoke. The best way to be less nervous is to organize your life better.

  • Drink water.

You need to drink about 1.5-2 liters a day, or 30 ml per one kg of weight. In this mode, you can lose weight quickly enough, without much effort.

In conclusion, let us answer the following questions and sum up a little

  1. Can I still lose weight without cardio?

It’s definitely possible to lose weight without cardio. Weight loss is typically caused by a calorie deficit: slashing your calorie intake, burning more calories, or both. During the exercise of strength, the body weight may not decrease, due to the mass’ increase in the major muscle groups, but you get fat loss.

Strength training will help you in your fat loss journey even faster than cardio exercise. And don’t forget muscle burns calories, and we naturally lose muscle as we age, so our bodies burn less and fewer calories over time.

  1. How can I lose weight without cardio at home?

Let’s talk here not only about diet, intermittent fasting and fat burning exercises, but about non exercise activity thermogenesis (NEAT) what means the number of calories burned daily on non-exercise activities. Exercise alone is usually not enough unless you find more time in a busy schedule.

The goal is to rethink your approach to where and how you burn calories by making your entire day your weight loss battlefield. This battleground is the area we can use to complete the exercise we want to do, without feeling we have to, and burn as many calories as possible. Sitting all day only welcomes weight gain.

And keep in mind, multiple methods can help you lose weight. Some of the above tips involve dieting, including eating more protein or reducing added sugars. Others, such as improved sleep or exercise, are more based on lifestyle.

Choose your path and enjoy a healthy slender body with or without cardio.

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Author of article
Steven Hopkins
Welcome to my website, or even a blog. For the past 15 years, I have regularly visited the gym, spending at least 2 hours a day there. I love protein shakes, quality athletic shoes, and I know a lot about exercise equipment. This is my hobby. Every day I run kilometers on the treadmill, do dozens of push-UPS, and hundreds of pull-UPS on the uneven bars. Sport is my life...  
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