It’s the question that everyone asks at least once in their life, hoping that the answer will be as easy as buying products promoting weight loss. However, fat loss is a lot more complex than choosing fat-free cheese. (Seriously, is that even cheese?)
The best method for fat loss differentiates from person to person. Everyone’s body responds differently to everything.
But one strategy that remains consistent to all fat-loss tips is exercise. If you want to lose your gut, you’ve gotta get off your butt. And cardio alone probably won't cut it -- you should always add weight training into your program if you want to lose fat.
Many people believe that if they do some type of walking or low-intensity workout that doesn’t involve much muscle building, it leaves their body no excuse but to burn fat. These people are right - partially.
The amount of fat lost during more intense workouts is smaller compared to low-intensity ones, but the downside is that you’re doing far less work and burning even fewer calories.
When you’re trying to lose fat, you need to focus on intensity. The more intense your workout, the more calories you’re burning. Since calories are a measurement of energy, the more calories you’re using, the more energy you’re using, and the more energy used, the more oxygen you’ll need (or else you’ll pass out).
Oxygen is like the key to all the doors hiding the fat lodged near your stomach, in your arms, your waist, etc. You need high-intensity exercises to boost your heart rate. This will, in turn, enable your body to demand oxygen, which will help you burn calories from fat.
But once you get in that stage of fat-burning, don’t think you can stay there forever! After all, you can only demand oxygen for so long until you really pass out.
Eventually, you’ll have to slow down so that you don't over train your body, but that doesn’t mean your fat-burning capabilities have to slow down as well. Prolong your fat-burning time by lifting weights.
Strength training helps because it’s an anaerobic exercise. In other words, you don’t need to rely on oxygen so much to burn fat.
When you lift weights, your body skips all those steps and goes straight to those fat reservoirs. That’s because when you’re lifting weights, you’re also boosting your metabolism. The faster your metabolism, the more fat your body uses up as energy.
You may be thinking, “Why not just lift weights since that burns fat faster?” You definitely can lose fat by just lifting weight. But this study suggests that compared to just weightlifting, cardio and strength training together burn fat more efficiently (Dolezal & Potteiger 1998).
So what should you do if you want to lose fat? You can try going for a jog, dancing, or doing any other type of activity that’ll get your heart racing. But don’t forget to combine that cardio with weighted movements like squats, deadlifts, chest presses, or your other favorite muscle building exercises. Lifting weights is the key to building lean muscle tissue, boosting your metabolism, and turning into a fat-burning machine.