Alpine Ice Hack to Lose Weight?  Does it Work?

Alpine Ice Hack to Lose Weight? Does it Work?

What is the Alpine Ice Hack to lose weight, and does it work?

To answer that, let’s start by looking at what it is.

If you like this article, check out my highly effective programs available through TrainHeroic

*Note, I am NOT trying to sell you this product nor am I an affiliate of it. This is an honest look at what it is, to save you from wasting money and effort if the product isn’t valuable.

What is the Alpine Ice Hack?

The alpine Ice Hack is another term for “Alpilean.”

Alpilean is a supplement for weight loss that claims to:

“Target your inner body temperature, electrifying your sleeping metabolism into full fat-burning, energy boosting mode!”

What’s in Alpine Ice Hack (Alpilean)?

As with any supplement that makes bold claims, your first move should ALWAYS be to examine the ingredients.

In this case, when I searched for this product initially, I came across a LOT of scam products on amazon.

So, warning #1, do NOT buy the product off of Amazon, as they are not the actual Alpilean product.

This is a list of the actual ingredients from the official Alpilean website (aka the Alpine Ice Hack):

  • Golden Algae (flucoxanthin)
  • Dika Nut (african mango seed)
  • Drumstick Tree Leaf (Moringa Leaf)
  • Bigarade Orange (Citrus Bioflavanoids)
  • Ginger Rhizome (Ginger Root)
  • Turmeric Rhizome (Turmeric Root)
  • Vitamin B12 and Chromium

Can these Ingredients Work for Weight Loss?

ice hack weight loss

Let’s start with the main ingredient, which is the Golden Algae (flucoxanthin).

Flucoxanthin, which comes from brown seaweed, has shown some promise in battling obesity, but that isn’t the issue…

The issue is, first of all, that we have no way to know HOW MUCH golden algae is in the product.

As with many supplements, it is listed as part of a “blend.”

A serious supplement company will know the clinical dose of an ingredient (how much is needed for results), and will list it on the bottle, period.

“Blends” with no specific ingredient amounts stand out to me immediately as a scam.

In fact, I will not purchase any supplement that does not list the amount of each active ingredient, period.

Check out this study that looked at 10 products claiming to contain flucoxanthin (Golden Algae):

  • 3/10 had no detectable amounts
  • 5 had only a trace amount
  • 2 had 2mg or less

You can buy the active ingredient (Flucoxanthin from brown seaweed) from Amazon. This brand is lab tested, at least lists the amount at 2000mg, and has great reviews. This would also save you hundreds of dollars.

Dika Nut

Moving on to the next ingredient, Dika Nut (African mango seed).

There are a few studies showing that Dika Nut may assist with both weight loss and Cholesterol.

The studies are small and flawed, but they do exist.

The problem, though, is that once again the clinical dose (the amount needed) is not clear.

In one study, they administered 3 grams of the product, which is far more than the total ingredients in the Alpilean product combined.

(The “blend” in Alpilean is 250mg, all ingredients combined).

Combined with inconclusive research, we really don’t know if it works, on top of not having enough of it to begin with.

So, Does the Alpine Ice Hack Work?

Alpine ice hack weight loss

Rather than continue looking at every angle here, I’m confident saying that this is just another trendy fad that won’t do you much good.

In other words, the Alpine ice hack is wack.

That is my opinion based on years of examining (and using) supplements.

You are of course free to decide for yourself.

The official Alpilean site is right here (I am not affiliated).

At $30-$40 per bottle, that’s not a cheap way to find out, though.

My reasoning for this conclusion is based on:

  • They do not list how much of each ingredient is present, but use a “blend.”
  • The clinical dose (amount needed for results) appears to be much higher than what they’re including, or is unknown.
  • The product is very expensive.
  • Many positive reviews are from people (affiliates) trying to sell the product.

Lasting Weight Loss Doesn’t Come in a Pill

Losing weight is never a hack. I will die on that hill.

A better alternative would be to try something like:

  • Intermittent fasting or OMAD (one meal a day).
  • Walk after every meal for 10-15 minutes.
  • Cut out sugars and vegetable oils from your diet.
  • Read this article on how fasting can dramatically improve your health

At the end of the day, you’re going to have to commit to lifestyle changes, or you’ll never get where you’re meant to be.

Join Forged Female

workout for women

If you want to join a community of people with similar goals, plus a coach, all done remotely through the TrainHeroic app for the cost of a Starbucks trip, check out the link below, and never look back.

Forged Female Training Program

Fasted Cardio:  Does it Work?  And Should You Do it?

Fasted Cardio: Does it Work? And Should You Do it?

Many people swear by fasted cardio. In theory, working out in a fasted state should burn more fat. With no fuel for the body to burn, it would have to turn to fat for energy. This would enhance fat loss and body composition. It makes logical sense and sounds pretty good, but does fasted cardio really work?

What is Fasted Cardio?

Fasted cardio is cardiovascular training in a fasted state; meaning the body has digested all food and either used or stored away all macronutrients from your last meal. A fasted state results in low insulin levels, and is generally around 4-8 hours after your last meal for most people, depending on your metabolism. For this reason, most people choose to perform fasted cardio after sleeping through the night, usually early in the morning.

How Fasted Cardio is Supposed to Work

fasted cardio training

In his 1999 book “Body For Life,” bodybuilder Bill Phillips discussed the idea of fasted cardio as the ultimate method for enhanced fat loss and body composition. He is generally credited with introducing the idea of fasted cardio.

With the body in a fasted state, all food has been digested and either used or stored away. The best example of this is when you wake up in the morning. Insulin levels are low, and the body is using fat as it’s primary energy source.

According to proponents of fasted cardio, exercising in a fasted state will force the body to use fat as an energy source, as no carbohydrate will be available in the bloodstream.

Benefits of Fasted Cardio

According to research, there are certain benefits to training in a fasted state. Whether it’s a good idea for you or not really depends on what you’re trying to achieve.

Improved Endurance Exercise Performance

One Study found that 6 weeks of regular cardiovascular training in a fasted state improved Metabolic Flexibility in subjects. This means that performing fasted cardio resulted in the body improving it’s ability to use fat as fuel during exercise.

The study also showed that training in a fasted state prevented a drop off in blood glucose levels during exercise. These adaptations would likely result in improved performance in endurance exercise.

Does Fasted Cardio Boost Fat Loss?

burn fat

While the above study was encouraging, it’s not so clear cut.

A huge part of the fat being used as energy is coming from intramuscular fat deposits. This fat, stored within our muscle tissue, has little effect on how we look. It’s not the type of body fat most of us are trying to get rid of.

Another study from 2014 showed no difference in body composition or fat loss between a fasted cardio group and a group eating a meal before exercise.

So, do you burn more fat with fasted cardio? Maybe, but a huge percentage of it isn’t the fat you’re interested in getting rid of.

Problems With Fasted Cardio

There are several reasons why fasted cardio doesn’t work the way we’d like it to. While it seems like a logically sound method for burning extra fat, the human body is very complex. It doesn’t always work the way we’d like it to.

All 24 Hours Count, Not Just Your Workout

Even if a fasted cardio workout did burn more fat, it only represents a small portion of your day. All 24 hours count, not just the hour or two you spend in the gym.

Thermic Effect of Food and Exercise (“Afterburn”)

Taking in food before a workout has been shown to increase the Thermic effect of exercise after the workout. This means that fueling before you exercise increases the amount of calories (including fat) you’ll burn throughout the day. (Also known as the “afterburn” effect of exercise.)

Muscle Loss With Fasted Cardio

Training for one hour in a fasted state has been shown to more than double muscle loss compared to training while fueled. Approximately 10% of calorie expenditure can come from breaking down muscle protein (muscle gluconeogenesis, if you like fancy terms).

If you care at all about gaining or maintaining muscle mass, fasted cardio is a poor method, as you are literally forcing your body to burn away muscle tissue.

Exercise Intensity Suffers

fasted cardio and exhaustion

Performing high intensity interval training (HIIT) has been shown to help you speed up fat loss when compared to steady state cardio. Studies have shown that HIIT can improve fat loss by 28% compared to steady state training.

Unfortunately, performing high intensity training in a fasted state is never going to be optimal.

With the body in a hypoglycemic state (low blood sugar), and low on fuel, exercise intensity will suffer. Part of the benefit of high intensity training is the post-exercise increase in metabolic rate, where you’ll be burning more calories all day long. You sacrifice part of this benefit when you train on empty.

Trading solid HIIT sessions for the sake of using fasted cardio just isn’t optimal. Attempting to perform high intensity workouts without fuel is a poor choice, as you’ll be stressing your body out and can impair your recovery abilities as well.

Read: 15 Biggest Weight Loss Mistakes to Avoid

What Works Better Than Fasted Cardio?

lift weights for fat loss

When it comes to burning fat, people have cardio tunnel vision. Cardio has become synonymous with fat burning, and many people mistakenly believe that cardio alone will get them leaner and meaner.

But if you focus only on cardio, you’re missing out on a huge piece of the puzzle.

Lift Weights to Burn More Fat!

Your muscles are the metabolic engine of your body. Metabolism takes place inside your muscle tissue. They are essentially fat burning machines.

More muscle requires more energy. Resistance training can boost your resting metabolic rate, leaving you burning more calories all day, every day.

Variety and Balance are the Best Option

Using some variety is the most effective way to burn fat and get leaner without losing muscle mass in the long run. The following would be a pretty good approach to losing fat and maintaining or gaining muscle.

  • 1-2 HIIT workouts per week
  • 2-4 steady state cardio sessions per week
  • 2-3 Resistance Training sessions per week
  • High protein diet, cut out the sugar and limit your carbs, focus on whole foods.

Conclusion: Should You Use Fasted Cardio?

As we said earlier, it really depends on you and what your goals are.

If your goal is improved metabolic flexibility and improved endurance exercise performance, then there’s some research to back up using fasted cardio.

If you just want to lose fat or get shredded, research has pretty definitively shown that training in a fasted state does not provide any measurable benefit vs. training in a fueled state.

At the end of the day, if you feel like something is working for you, and you’re seeing results and like the way you feel, then go for it!

*Note: This article contains affiliate links. Anything purchased comes at no additional cost to you.

Mike (Supastrong)
Mike (Supastrong)

Bioforce Certified Conditioning Coach and personal trainer. I’ve run boot camps and served as the wellness coordinator for a fortune 500 company. Currently a Federal Agent in San Diego, CA, and an Infantryman in the Army Reserve.

Weight Loss:  15 Best Tips for Fast and Lasting Weight Loss

Weight Loss: 15 Best Tips for Fast and Lasting Weight Loss

Weight loss and exercising more account for well over half of all new year’s resolutions each year. Here’s a few statistics for you:

  • About 45 million Americans go on a weight loss diet every year.
  • Only 5-8% actually achieve lasting weight loss
  • Over 30% of Americans are obese. More than half of all Americans are either “overweight” or “obese.”

The 15 mistakes listed here aren’t the same ones you’ll find in every other copy and paste article. This is a much deeper look at the problems keeping you from achieving a goal that could really change your life.

Why do so few people achieve lasting weight loss?

There are many factors that result in a failed weight loss resolution. From the obvious diet and exercise issues, to deeper psychological factors, we’ll discuss the 15 biggest mistakes to avoid if you’re trying to lose weight this year.

Recommendation: Grab a pen and paper. If any of these resonate with you, write them down. Summarize what you get out of the article, and get motivated to crush whatever weight loss goals you have this year.

1. Have a “Why” Statement.

weight loss why statement

This could easily be the best tip for achieving any goal, and none more so than losing weight.

We’re all really good at knowing what we’re doing. We also can easily explain how we’re doing it. But can you really explain why you’re doing it?

When you have a goal of losing weight, your “what” would be trying to lose weight. Your “how” might be, exercise more and eat less. But your why is a much deeper question, and requires a deeper explanation. It is the source of your motivation for wanting to lose weight.

What is your Why?

Maybe you want to feel better and have more energy for life. Maybe you want to feel sexier and more confident. Whatever your deepest reasons are for wanting to lose weight, you need to define them and put them down on paper.

The why statement should resonate with you on a deep, emotional level.

Your “why” statement should be reviewed daily to keep you focused on the reasons you’re doing what you’re doing. In the darkest moments, when you’re feeling like you want to give up, it will come to your rescue and remind you of your vision for a better version of yourself.

To Do: Write down your why statement, and put it somewhere you’ll be able to see it every day. In your wallet, on your mirror or on the bedroom wall.

2. Take Massive Action Towards Weight Loss

Most of us dabble in all sorts of things, without ever achieving mastery of any of it. The reason? We never fully commit to it. We leave room for failure, or lose focus when something else has our attention.

Taking massive action means you are 100% sure that you’ll achieve your goal, because you’re willing to do whatever it takes until you reach it. It happens when you finally decide that you cannot go on living in your current circumstances.

Understanding your “why” can spark you to take massive action. Here’s a really motivational video where Tony Robbins explains how to take massive action.

3. Don’t Keep Calories Too Low

It’s a fact that you have to have a calorie deficit to lose weight. That means you’re expending more calories than you’re consuming every day.

Many people think that by this logic, they should eat as little as possible. This is a huge mistake, and can have some very negative consequences, such as:

  • Loss of muscle and strength
  • Increase in stress hormones, causing inflammation and signalling the body to store fat.
  • Slower metabolism. As the body tries to conserve energy due to limited nutrition intake, it will actually fight off weight loss. This is known as Adaptive Thermogenesis (AT).
  • Decreased energy and impaired immune system.

A 2015 Study showed that calorie intake below 1500/day should be avoided by active people. Numerous studies have shown the negative effects of consuming less than 1200 calories per day.

The bottom line is that our bodies adapt to everything that we do. The way the body adapts to an energy shortage is by slowing down, and trying to hold on to as many calories as possible.

To Do: It’s far more productive to focus more on what you’re eating. Base every meal around lean protein, and have whole, single-ingredient foods make up a big part of your diet. This alone can have a dramatic effect on your health and success in losing weight.

An anti-oxidant, appetite suppressing fat burner

4. Too Much Exercise is Not Beneficial

weight loss exercise

It’s another easy trap to fall into. The more exercise we do, the more calories we burn, right?

Not so fast…

One particular study placed overweight, sedentary women into four groups: No exercise, low exercise, moderate exercise and high exercise. They then predicted how much weight they should lose over a 6 month period based on how much activity they were doing.

The graph below shows the results. While it was predicted that the high exercise group should lose the most weight, this is not what actually happened. The moderate activity group lost the most weight.

weight loss study graph


It’s important to understand that in a given day, there is only so much energy to go around. Our body cannot infinitely supply energy. When exercise levels, activity and stress go beyond a certain point, the brain will take over and begin pulling energy away from other functions.

Recovery Debt

When this happens, we end up accumulating a recovery debt. When this becomes a chronic problem, our body’s homeostasis becomes completely disrupted. Hormones go out of control, our insulin sensitivity decreases, and the body is unable to properly recover from all the demands being placed on it.

Read: 10 Ways to Boost Recovery

To Do: Pay attention to your body. If you’re feeling run down, perform low intensity cardio, or even go for a long walk. Recovering from the daily stress we place on our body is essential for staying healthy and for long term weight loss.

5. Eat More Protein for Faster Weight Loss

eat for size and strength

Protein is probably the single most important component of a weight loss diet. Getting at least 30% of your daily calories from protein will:

  • Boost your metabolism
  • Reduce your apetite
  • Improve fat burning and weight-regulating hormone levels

Studies have shown that high protein diets result in improved body composition, greater weight loss, and greater reductions in fat-mass.

Here’s a list of some of the best protein sources for a weight loss diet:

  • Lean meats like chicken breast and white fish
  • Beans: Black beans, Lima beans, Garbanzo beans (also high in fiber!)
  • Low-fat cottage cheese
  • Eggs or Egg whites

To Do: Base every meal around protein. Shoot for 25-30 grams of protein at each meal. You can also use a protein supplement. Whey protein, or if you prefer, there are vegan options such as pea protein that are high quality.

6. Alcohol Can Hurt Your Weight Loss Goals


I don’t want to be the one to ruin the party, but I have to tell you…

Weight loss can be completely derailed by having too many drinks. The main reasons why alcohol is counterproductive for weight loss are:

  • Alcohol contains empty calories. Zero nutritional value, but still provides energy that has to be burned off..
  • Alcohol will be used as energy first before fat. That means that when you drink, fat burning ceases until your body has burned the alcohol away.
  • Regular drinking reduces testosterone levels. Lower testosterone = less muscle. Less muscle = slower metabolism. Slower metabolism = … you get the idea.
  • Alcohol affects nutrient uptake in the digestive system.
  • Drinking makes you HUNGRY! You’ll eat more after having a few drinks. (You’ll think of me when you’re ordering Mexican food at 1:00am)

To Do: Having a few drinks once in a while isn’t likely to stop you from achieving your weight loss goals. Stay away from binge eating when you drink, and try to limit how often you consume alcohol.

7. Don’t Rely on Motivation and Willpower to Lose Weight

weight loss willpower and motivation

“Don’t expect to be motivated every day to get out there and make things happen. You won’t be. Don’t count on motivation. Count on Discipline.

Jocko Willink

We’ve all felt the spark of motivation. We get excited to start something, jump right into it, and soon find that our motivation has left us. Where did it go?

Motivation vs. Willpower

Motivation is our desire to do something. Willpower is our ability to get it done. The problem? Willpower is fleeting. One really interesting study terms this “Decision Fatigue.” Exercising our willpower over and over results in fatigue, until it is finally spent and we are no longer able to execute our motivations.

How to Overcome limited willpower

It’s only a matter of time before willpower will fail you. To overcome this obstacle, here are 3 things you can do:

  1. Develop routines: From the moment we open our eyes in the morning, our day is full of decisions. Limiting how many decisions you have to make can reduce decision fatigue and prolong willpower. Have your meals planned out. Have your workouts planned ahead of time (or use a program).
  2. Develop habits: Research has shown that over 40% of what we do every day is done on autopilot. If you eat donuts every morning, that will become a habit. Likewise, if you prepare your meals every other night, have a morning ritual of reviewing your “why” statement, and work out every day at 5:00am.. those things will also become habits that will no longer require decision-making energy.
  3. Increase your mental toughness: Discipline is certainly one form of mental toughness. So is controlling your emotions. If you want to learn how to improve your mental resilience, check out my article on 6 Habits for Serious Mental Toughness.

Motivation and Willpower alone will never be enough to achieve long term, lasting weight loss. You’ll need to establish routines, habits and will have to have a personal why statement to remind you of what you’re trying to accomplish.

8. Don’t Get Too comfortable with your workouts.


It’s one of the three fundamental aspects of any training program:


The other two are specificity and overload. Progression means that you must continue challenging your body in order for it to improve.

If you’re doing the same exact workout without ever making it more challenging, your body will stop improving. This is because:

  1. Over time, the body gets more and more efficient at doing whatever tasks we do all the time. More efficient means it takes less energy to do it.
  2. The body has adapted to the activity already and no longer needs to improve to accomplish the task.

To Do: Try adding some new exercises to your routine, walk or run a little faster, or start lifting weights if you aren’t already. You have to give your body a reason why it has to make changes.

9. Don’t Rely on Weight Loss Pills to Lose Pounds

weight loss pills

Americans spent around $2 Billion dollars last year on weight loss supplements. And that number is only going up. So, do they work?

The truth about diet and weight loss supplements

The truth is that you never really know exactly what you’re taking when you buy a supplement. Supplement companies can make all kinds of claims, and do not have to disclose exactly what’s inside the product.

The most popular fat loss supplements, like Hydroxycut, contain stimulants like caffeine that boost metabolism and speed up fat loss. While this may work, you can simply get the caffeine naturally through a cup or two of coffee, without the added mystery ingredients.


Studies show that caffeine can increase metabolism by up to 11% and boost fat burning by up to 29%. And that was on only 100mg of caffeine! The bottom line, it works, and chances are you’re already drinking a lot more than 100mg per day.

To Do: Basing your diet around protein and limiting sugary foods is a far better and more effective approach to losing weight than relying on diet pills. Use natural caffeine, which has proven health benefits, along with a solid diet strategy, to achieve lasting weight loss.

10. Lift Weights For a Toned Body

inspirational quote lifting

Neglecting resistance training is a huge mistake people make when they set out to lose weight. There’s an important fact you should understand about your metabolism:

Muscle is the engine driving your metabolism. More muscle = higher metabolism.

It takes energy to grow, maintain and repair muscle tissue. Resistance training can raise your resting metabolic rate (the amount of calories you burn at rest) and speed up fat loss. That means you’ll burn more calories, even when you’re at home watching netflix.

Studies show that a combination of cardio and resistance training gets the best results for weight and fat loss. If you’re not lifting, consider implementing some resistance training into your routine. You’ll get stronger, lose more fat, and look better.

11. Ignore fancy Marketing Labels When Making Food Choices.

It’s a hugely successful ploy by food companies. Slap a label like “low fat” or “all natural” on a product, and people will assume it’s healthy.

Unfortunately, the “no fat” healthy fruit drink has 60 grams of sugar in it. The “all natural ingredients” cupcake has 20 grams of unhealthy fat.

Read the nutrition label

nutrition label

Instead of being lured in by fancy marketing, turn the product around and read the label in the back. Look for how much sugar it has, how much fat it has and how much protein it has. Stay away from high sugar foods at all costs.

The best approach is to have whole, single-ingredient foods make up as large a percentage of your diet as possible. This way you know what you’re eating, you know it probably has a lot of nutritional value, the fats are much healthier, and it’s going to be a lot better for your weight loss goals than any processed food could possibly be.

12. Most People Overestimate How Many Calories They Burn

calorie burning

A 2015 study showed that people tend to overestimate how many calories they burn while exercising by 3-4 times what they actually expended.

To make things worse… the study found that when people were asked to compensate for how much energy they expended in their workout by eating, they ate 2-3 times more calories than they actually burned in the workout.

This is a common mistake people make when trying to lose weight. We exercise and mistakenly believe we burned 700-800 calories, when in reality we actually only burned around 200-300. We then allow ourselves to eat a big meal to compensate for the exercise we just did, believing the workout will negate the food.

To Do: Pay attention to how many calories you’re eating, and don’t overestimate how many calories you burn, because you probably burned less than you think. An hour of jogging will burn less than 400 calories. Don’t be discouraged by this. Add resistance training to your workouts, and mix up the type of cardio you’re doing. Along with healthy eating, long term results will be all but guaranteed!

13. Have a Vision

lack of vision

Along with having a “why” statement, having a clear vision of the end result is critical to achieving your weight loss goal.

Beginning with the end in mind is one of the 7 habits outlined in Stephen Covey’s bestseller “The 7 Habits of Highly Successful People.” It means beginning each day with a clear vision for what you want to accomplish.

Having a vision of exactly what you want to look like when your weight loss goal is achieved can keep you motivated to make the right choices throughout the day. Seeing that vision in our mind can give us clarity in making decisions every day that we know will lead us toward our ideal vision.

To Do: Take 5 minutes and visualize looking in the mirror at yourself, seeing what you look like and imagining how you feel with your goal achieved. Be as vivid as possible. Do this every day for 5 minutes.

14. Stay Away From High-Glycemic Carbs and Sugar Drinks

too much sugar

If there’s one thing that has contributed the most to our obesity problems, it has to be sugar.

High glycemic foods like white bread, donuts, soda and cake are cheap and taste amazing. Eating these foods causes a huge release of dopamine in the brain, which causes us to feel good and want more. This essentially becomes an addiction.

What happens when you eat high-sugar foods?

Eating high-glycemic foods causes a massive spike in insulin, which is an energy-storage hormone. This causes that huge dose of sugar to be converted into glucose and then into fat, which then gets shuttled into cells for storage.

Repeat this process over and over for years, and you can see how easy it is to gain weight over time. We have a sugar epidemic, and if your goal is weight loss, you NEED to leave the sugar fix behind.

Here are a few ways you can cut back on the sugar:

  1. Stop drinking sugar drinks like soda, gatorade and fruit juice.
  2. Eat low-glycemic fruit, like watermelon, to help curb the cravings.
  3. Drink more water, or zero calorie flavored water.

15. Sleep is Crucial For Burning Fat

weight loss sleep more

Studies have clearly shown a link between poor sleeping habits and obesity.

A 2010 study found that when a group of dieters were sleep deprived (5.5 hours/night), they lost significantly more muscle mass and less fat mass than when they slept for 8.5 hours per night. When sleep deprived, the subjects also expressed that they were much hungrier.

When we sleep, our body is active. Repairing tissues, regulating hormones and preparing us for the stress and activity of the upcoming day. When we don’t sleep enough, we incur a recovery debt and cause our body to be in a sympathetic stress-state. The result is a cascade of catabolic hormones, inflammation and poor insulin sensitivity.

Getting solid sleep is a huge part of being healthy, and is critical to any weight loss goal. Try to develop a bedtime routine, limit screen-time before bed, and make the room cool and dark.


The statistics certainly aren’t on your side, and I hope this article helped shed some light on why so many people fail to achieve their weight loss goals. Armed with some new knowledge and tools, you can dust yourself off and get after it.

Take massive action, write your “why” statement, have a vision. Drink some coffee, lift some weights, and crush some goals!

I hope this article was helpful, and as always… I hope it somehow helped you get a little closer to that best version of YOU!

*This article contains affiliate links. Any purchases made come at no additional cost to you.

Mike (Supastrong)
Mike (Supastrong)

Bioforce Certified Conditioning Coach and personal trainer. I’ve run boot camps and served as the wellness coordinator for a fortune 500 company. Currently a Federal Agent in San Diego, CA, and an Infantryman in the Army Reserve.

Cardio for Optimal Fat Burning, Weight Loss and Health

Cardio for Optimal Fat Burning, Weight Loss and Health

How can you properly do cardio for optimal weight loss, fat burning, fitness and health? My goal is to give you all the information you need, plus a cardio workout program at the end.

It is possibly the most overused word in the gym… “Cardio.”

  • The buff guy walking on the treadmill says he’s doing an hour of cardio.
  • The lady maxing out the speed on the elliptical says she’s doing cardio, right before she passes out from exhaustion.
  • The strange guy with the short shorts doing some form of a crossfit workout says it’s his cardio day.

Which one of them is actually doing cardio?

What is Cardio?

To answer the above question, we will need a definition of what cardio means. We’ll need to understand this so we can actually make sure we’re getting the benefits we think we are from the activity we’re doing.

Cardio is short for “cardiovascular.” I know you already knew that, but I’m going somewhere with this…

Training the cardiovascular system implies that we’re performing Aerobic exercise. Aerobic exercise is any activity from low to high intensity that relies primarily on the aerobic energy system; this means that the body is able to use oxygen to meet all of the demands of the activity.

Exercise Intensity Determines whether it’s aerobic or not.

As exercise intensity increases, the aerobic system can no longer supply all of the energy needed to continue. As a result, the anaerobic energy system will begin to dominate. Instead of oxygen, stored energy in the muscles will be used for energy, and will run out fairly quickly.

So, the buff guy on the treadmill gets a pass. The lady sprinting on the elliptical was probably outside of the aerobic zone. The short shorts guy doing Crossfit; well it really depends on the intensity and duration of his workout.


Let’s go ahead and get a definition so we can move on:

Cardio – Any activity, from low to high intensity, involving constant movement lasting at least 20 minutes, where the aerobic energy system is supplying the majority of the energy.

Cardio Can Serve Different Purposes

If I were your trainer, I would never tell you to go do “cardio.” I would tell you specifically:

  • What to do
  • How long to do it for
  • What heart rate range I want you in for the duration of the session
  • How it should feel to you (perceived exertion), on a scale from 1-10

This is because there is no best form of cardiovascular exercise. The best method of training depends entirely on your goals and your current abilities. The form of cardio you’re doing should match up with this.

Fat Burning and Weight Loss

fat burning cardio

Understanding how the body works can really open your eyes to what you’re doing in the gym.

Your body stores fat as a means to store energy for future use. Fat cells are basically balls of energy. It’s a survival mechanism. If food became scarce, that stored fat could keep you alive. Of course, food isn’t exactly scarce these days. We’re cursed with our own biological adaptations.

Our bodies burn fat most efficiently at rest and during low intensity activity. This is because the process of breaking down fat cells into energy is very efficient, but slow. Fat cannot be used to fuel more intense anaerobic activity. Thus, fat is burned most efficiently during lighter activity.

The traditional “fat burning” zone would look like this:

  • 50-70% of your max heart rate. (Max HR = 220 – Age)
  • A pace where you could carry a conversation, a level 3-5 on the perceived exertion scale.)
  • Use any cardio machine, fast walking/jogging, or a combination.
  • 30-60 minutes of low intensity exercise

For Optimal Fat Burning, You Need Higher Intensity Training

high intensity cardio

The “Fat Burning Zone” is great and all, but it’s only a piece to the puzzle. It is not the ultimate method for losing fat. Again, understanding our bodies can really give us insight into what we’re doing when we work out.

During higher intensity workouts, it’s true that we burn a smaller percentage of fat for energy. However, at higher intensities you’re also burning far more total calories. Less efficient doesn’t necessarily mean less total fat burned. Here’s an important fact to keep in mind:

The only place in the body where fat gets burned is in Muscle tissue

Training only at low intensities will never encourage your body to build or maintain muscle. More powerful muscles are fat burning machines. They take more energy to maintain. As a result, resistance training and higher intensity cardio can increase your resting metabolic rate.

Resting Metabolic Rate

Your resting metabolic rate is the amount of calories your body burns at rest. If you can burn more calories while you’re binge watching Netflix or shopping on amazon, you will inevitably lose more fat and become leaner.

Recovering from higher intensity workouts takes energy, too

Higher intensity workouts create an “after-burn” effect. Since the body requires more energy to recover from these sessions, additional calories will be used. Since you’re at rest while you recover, fat will be used to fuel this recovery. It’s a simple concept that adds value to incorporating some resistance training and higher intensity training to your workouts.

The 3 Cardio Zones

I don’t really like the traditional cardio “zones.” I like things to be simple, and there’s no need to complicate things unless you’re an elite athlete looking for very specific adaptations. I like breaking it down into 3 groups:

Low IntensityModerate IntensityHigh Intensity
Basic endurance
Good for beginners
Cardiac Output
Improve aerobic abilities
Build Endurance
Major Health Benefits
Training Zone
Aerobic Power
50-70% of Max HR70-80% Max HR80-90% Max HR
30-90 Minutes20-60 Minutes10-25 Minutes

How To Train in Each Zone

Here are some examples of how to train in each of the 3 zones. As you’ll see towards the end of this article, using a combination of these methods is what will get you optimal results for burning fat and losing weight.

Low Intensity

  • Use any cardio machine, brisk walking/jogging, or any light activity.
  • You should keep constant movement and be able to hold a conversation
  • You should feel like your level of exertion is a 3-5 out of 10.
  • Heart rate 50-70% of your max HR.
  • 30-60 minutes


  • Stimulates recovery in the body
  • Burns fat
  • Increases blood flow into joints and muscles

Moderate Intensity

  • Use any cardio machine, jogging or other activity
  • You should be able to talk, but not full conversation
  • Should feel hard but maintainable
  • Heart rate 70-80% of max HR
  • 20-60 minutes


  • Improved Cardiac Output: Heart pumps more blood per beat
  • Improved endurance
  • Increased size of left ventricle of the heart – (stronger heart)
  • Improved cardiovascular system
  • Studies show can reduce risk of dying from all causes

High Intensity

  • Running/Sprinting in intervals: (ex, 1 minute run, 1 minute walk).
  • Can use circuits with full body exercises done in intervals
  • Should feel difficult. Exertion 8-9 out of 10
  • HR 80-90% of max HR or greater.


  • Improved Aerobic power: Your body’s ability to use oxygen
  • Metabolic rate is higher for several hours after the workout
  • Can gain muscle
  • Can get a lot done in a short time

So What’s the Best Way to do Cardio?

As stated earlier, there is no “best method.” Each method has it’s own place in your plan of attack, and all three are necessary if you want optimal results in losing fat and improving your health and fitness.

For Best Results, Use Various Approaches.

The best results will come by reaping the benefits of all three forms of cardio:

Use High intensity training to stimulate aerobic power, build muscle and boost metabolic rate.

Use low intensity to promote recovery from harder workouts and to continue burning fat when you would otherwise be doing nothing.

Use Moderate intensity training most frequently to reap the massive benefits of improved aerobic fitness.

The Massive Benefits of Focusing on Moderate Intensity Training

Studies have shown that the higher a person’s level of aerobic fitness, the less chance that person has of dying from all causes. Read the quote below from the largest study on this topic every compiled:

“cardiorespiratory fitness was inversely associated with all-cause mortality without an observed upper limit of benefit.”

aerobic fitness and mortality

I’ve mentioned this before in previous articles because it is so important. Aerobic fitness and mortality are intimately related. Improving your aerobic fitness can help you not only feel better and live a better life, but also to live longer. Read the article for yourself here:

Association of Cardiorespiratory Fitness With Long-term Mortality Among Adults Undergoing Exercise Treadmill Testing

By performing different types of cardiovascular exercise, you can build your aerobic fitness from the ground up, while burning fat, losing weight and getting a more toned body in the process.

An example of how to split up your cardio workouts:

cardio for weight loss toned body

This is just an example. Depending on your current abilities, you can always do more or less. The important points to always keep in mind are:

  • Treat high intensity training with respect. More is not better. Studies show that 2 days per week, or 40 minutes per week, is optimal.
  • Use low intensity training to stimulate recovery and keep your body moving and burning calories and fat.
  • Focus on moderate intensity training to get the biggest overall benefits
fat burning workout cardio
Example of how to split up your workouts for optimal results.


I hope you enjoyed this article. If you think it’s important, feel free to share it. Cardio is often misunderstood, but is a critically important part of any workout program. Understanding how your body works and what you’re trying to accomplish can take you to new levels of fitness and health. As always, I hope this helps get you a little closer to that best version of you.

Mike (Supastrong)
Mike (Supastrong)

Bioforce Certified Conditioning Coach and personal trainer. I’ve run boot camps and served as the wellness coordinator for a fortune 500 company. Currently a Federal Agent in San Diego, CA, and an Infantryman in the Army Reserve.

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