What exercise burns the most fat?

There are three basic approaches that you can take if you are exercising to lose weight and get a flat stomach. These are: Cardio, High Intensity Interval Training [HIIT], and Weight Training. Many people opt for cardio. It is gentle and undemanding and not as intimidating as HITT or weight training. But what exercise burns the most fat?

My choice would be weight training

I do not advocate just one exercise method for burning fat. My flat stomach workout combines weight training and HIIT. However if I had to pick one exercise for fat burning it would be weight training. It is entirely possible burn fat and and develop a flat stomach through weight training and dieting alone.

There are a number of reasons why weight training is the most effective exercise for burning fat.

Weight training boosts your resting metabolic rate

Your metabolic rate is the rate at which your body burns calories. When you do any form of exercise you boost your metabolic rate for the duration of the exercise and possibly for a limited time afterwards if the exercise is high intensity.

With weight training you also stimulating your body to build muscle mass. Building muscle mass is the key to losing fat. Studies have shown that one pound of muscle burns 7-10 calories in a day whereas one pound of fat burns only 2-3 calories in a day.

By building muscle, weight training increases your resting metabolic rate [RMR], the rate at which your body burns calories when you are at rest, even when you are sleeping in bed. Increasing your RMR means that your body will be burning calories at a faster rate 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. If the total calories that your body burns is greater that the total calories you are eating, you will start to lose fat.

Weight training is very time effective

Weight training is a very effective use of your time. The best weight training method for building lean muscle would be to use multi-joint movements known as compound movements and lift heavy weights. You can effectively cover all the major muscle groups with 4 compound movements. This means that you can work your whole body in 30 minutes.

If you train with intensity you can increase your muscle mass with only one weight training session a week. However for best results I would recommend 2 weight training sessions a week.

Weight training will sculpt your body

When you say you want to burn fat, you also want to transform the appearance of your body. The physique you want typically involves having broad shoulders, v-taper back, a flat stomach, firm butt and toned arms and legs. Burning body fat through cardio is not in itself going to give you this kind of physique. You need to sculpt your muscle all over your body and you can only do this through weight training.

The Importance of Diet

Of course following a healthy diet is an essential part of your weight loss plan. I am not an obsessive calorie counter and I moderate my food intake simply by eating wholefood meals and snacks as set out in my flat stomach diet. However diet should always be combined with exercise.

People who rely solely on dieting to lose body fat will find in fact up to half of the weight lost is muscle.

Muscle is the part of your body that burns up the calories from food. The less muscle you have, the less calories you burn. When you have wasted your muscle mass away through dieting, you will not have to eat much to produce a calorie surplus. Your body will convert this calorie surplus into fat.

This is the downfall of many diet plans and explains why so many dieters eventually find that they start piling the pounds back on.

Weight training is the ideal answer to this problem for as it will ensure that your body will maintain and even increase muscle mass even whilst you are reducing your calorie intake through your diet.

Short and sweet

So if you are extremely pressed for time and you can only commit to two short exercise sessions a week, you would best spend this time lifting weights. The muscle you gain will boost your resting metabolic rate, and your fat will burn off day and night. Therefore lifting weights is the exercise that burns the most fat overall.

2 Responses to 'What exercise burns the most fat?'

  1. Karina Sanchez says:

    This is a very good article. It’s good to know about our body besides all those diets don’t explain about muscle mass.

    Thank you so much for educating us.

    • Kelly says:

      Hi Karina

      Thanks for your comment, I’m glad you found it useful.

      Good luck!


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