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Best Exercise for Weight Loss

If you are really motivated to lose weight through exercise, aerobic training is likely your best bet.If you are really motivated to lose weight through exercise, aerobic training is likely your best bet. Researchers at Duke University looked at whether supervised aerobic exercise, resistance (strength training with weights), or a daily routine incorporating both would lead to the most weight loss. They divided a group of 234 overweight or obese adults into one of three training groups: The first group performed aerobics only (workouts on treadmills, elliptical machines and cycle ergometers – a type of stationary bike), the second group participated in resistance workouts, and the remaining group exercised using a combination of both. A total of 119 participants completed the study. Results showed that those in the aerobic group trained for an average of 133 minutes per week and lost weight; the resistance training group worked out for approximately 180 minutes per week and gained weight (they replaced fat with muscle, which is denser than fat). Participants who did both types of exercise didn’t lose as much weight as those in the aerobic group but had the largest decline in waist circumference. The study was published in the December 15, 2012 issue of the Journal of Applied Physiology.

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Reader Comments (7)

When will we get over this obsession with weight? We could easily title an article, "want to lost weight? Go into outer space!" Ask those folks who replaced fat with muscle if they like the way they look better than their aerobic counterparts!

March 5, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJoe

Wait- so the "fat burn" zone all exercise equipment and HR monitors use is total BS? This is a pretty big deal... I've been using that for years...

March 5, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterkristen

To Kristen, I don't think the fat burn zone is total bs, it's just the zone where you can do a longer period of aerobic training without being completely exhausted afetr 20 minutes of super intense maximum training. The fat burn zone is where you'll be confortable to train for a longer period, hence resulting in burning more fat.... Am I right mr Weil?

March 6, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSamuel Savard

Percentage of fat burned and total calories burned are very different. If you end up burning glycogen(glucose/carbs), then fat gets burned to replenish those glycogen stores that were used up. What's missing from this write-up is the level of intensity of the aerobic work and the strength work. The fat burning zone is only focused on the calorie source during exercise. I'd rather stoke my metabolism with higher intensity exercise which burns less fat and calories during exercise but burns much more fat in the long run or build muscle which would also burn more fat over time. Getting stronger and building muscle is almost always better than "losing weight".

March 6, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJoe

This is such an interesting and informative article. It is interesting that often we obsess over "weight loss" as opposed to "fat loss". It's telling that the group that incorporated the aerobic excercise with strength training lost the most inches in the waist. You will look better if your goal is fat loss as opposed to weight loss.

March 11, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJane Cibran

It's hard to argue against the fact that cardio does burn more calories, but strength training is SO important to 'build' the types of body/muscles you want AND give you the strength to keep up the calorie blasting cardio!

March 12, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterErica House

Why this is news is beyond me. Plus, though the explanation of muscle as denser than fat, and the replacement of fat with muscle is a good thing, the article implies weight loss of any kind is best, and therefore aerobic exercise is superior. It is not. I agree with Joe, the first comment. Regardless of gender, a combo of aerobic and strength training is always the best bet: weights strengthen muscles AND bones, staving off osteo and helping to maintain posture. Muscle is the best natural antidote to cellulite and the aging process in general. Losing weight shouldn't be the primary objective, but getting healthier, in which case on loses weight in the process. But what do I know? I'm only 9% percent body fat and I only did with weights, cardio, great diet, occasional cheat days, and a great multi.

March 21, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJackson

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