Does Doing Taekwondo Help Us Lose Weight?

With regards to the very popular “20-80” rule of thumb – which involves 20% exercise and 80% diet, losing weight is definitely possible with any form of exercise. According to the Mayo Clinic, a person who weighs about 160 pounds (73kg) can burn up to 752 calories in an hour doing Taekwondo – that is a considerably huge and almost double the amount from basketball or swimming.

Taekwondo emphasizes mainly on lower body movements and since it is a highly cardiovascular exercise, a simple yet short session of doing Taekwondo can burn a substantial number of calories. 

Of course, the number of calories burnt in each session of Taekwondo varies for every individual as it depends on one’s weight as well as the percentage of muscles we have.


Losing weight is tough – I know, I feel you, readers. I’ve been facing this problem as well for the longest time, until recently where I got to learn the mechanics of having a healthy yet sustainable diet on top of exercising in appropriate amounts. 

Another surprising factor that Taekwondo brings us is that it helps to suppress the appetite, so we consume lesser quantities of food and in turn, lesser calories are being inputted on a daily basis.


Practicing Taekwondo helps to control our bad eating habits – snacking at various times of the day, binging on food after an intense workout to recoup the losses, and even regulates our emotional states so that we don’t crave for as many sweet foods for the ladies with monthly periods and cravings. 

Taekwondo is a sport that engages with a lot of muscles, especially in the lower body areas, hence this activity with sustained intensity promotes active muscle growth which helps to burn fats more easily. 

Combined with rapid speedy movements, Taekwondo may seem like an all-rounded package sport – cardio accompanied with strength training, which is essential for burning those calories and losing your desired weight. 

I have a friend whom I’ve known for years now. Before deciding to join Taekwondo in junior college, she was a lean girl as she focused on dance previously. Being bold and adventurous like her character, she wanted to try out something new and decided to go for Taekwondo. 

I would like to say that I’m not exaggerating, but in a year, I thought she had grown and developed so many muscles that her previously lean thighs were now filled with visible definitions.

Not gonna lie, upon catching up with her (we were in different schools) after a year, I was slightly surprised, in a good way, at her physical changes. I also noticed that she had less flabby arms and in general was looking more toned up. 

In a study conducted by (The Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research), individuals who finished an hour of strength training burn more calories over 24 hours as compared to those who did not use weights, which emphasizes my earlier point – that muscles are effective fat burners.

Although muscles are more commonly known to weigh heavier than fats, having more muscles is not necessarily a bad thing. I know many women are afraid of gaining muscles because they don’t want to look too bulky or wish to avoid gaining too much muscle mass. 

Muscles aid in the process of losing weight so all the more we should scrap off the idea that muscles are detrimental to our outward appearances, although I get their concerns, as I was once in their positions as well. 

So how should you go about doing this? Here are a few simple tips to guide you through. 

  1. Set aside an hour daily

As much as possible, do try to practice taekwondo regularly, for at least an hour during each session. Otherwise, try to attend a minimum of 3 sessions per week to maximize the benefits of doing taekwondo. This is to allow your body to get used to the new routine and adjust accordingly. 

Remember to do some strength training to maximize the effect of losing weight.

  1. Seek professional help

It is important to get the basics and proper techniques right before delving into more advanced movements. A trained professional will be able to help you hone your foundation and teach you the correct moves to enhance your weight loss and strength training.

  1. Grab your friends to join in the fun 


Join Taekwondo classes in nearby community clubs as a recreational activity or join a similar CCA in school. Make more friends in the process and practice together. I promise you, having friends by your side while learning something new makes everything more fun and exciting. They can also serve as a side motivation to spur you on in your weight loss journey.

  1. Inculcate a healthy diet 

Consume lesser calories each day and opt for healthier food options. Remember the rule of thumb “20-80” as diet is vital in one’s weight loss journey. You don’t have to starve yourself, but consuming foods in lesser proportions can make a difference. 

It is never too late to try something new and exciting like Taekwondo. Aside from losing weight, Taekwondo can equip us with self-defense skills which are extremely important in unprecedented times. 

Chelsie is a typical student on this sunny island. She has always been in awe about martial arts and someday, she wishes to learn a thing or two about it.
Other Posts By Author