Does Lifting Burn Fat?

Does Lifting Burn Fat?

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Lifting weights can support your goal of burning fat.

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When you put weight loss at the top of your health to-do list, it's easy to focus solely on cardiovascular exercises. While it's true that you'll have trouble burning fat without an ample amount of cardio every week, lifting weights should still be on your fitness plan. Don't think of lifting weights solely as a way to bulk up your muscles. Instead, consider this activity's boost to your metabolism as an effective tool for your weight-loss efforts.

Bye Bye, Fat

Fat burn is often a byproduct of increasing the amount of time you spend exercising in conjunction with removing unhealthy, high-calorie foods from your diet. When your caloric burn and intake are identical, you won't eliminate fat, but as soon as your burn exceeds the calories you consume -- a state known as a caloric deficit -- you begin to experience fat loss. To achieve the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's recommended goal of 1 to 2 pounds of weight loss per week, your overall deficit must range between 3,500 and 7,000 calories.

Fat-Zapping Cardio

Activities that burn calories at a rapid rate are crucial if your intention is fat loss. Although the range of cardiovascular exercises burn calories at different rates, many forms of cardio, including running, swimming and riding a bike, can help you burn hundreds of calories in a single workout. Lifting weights has a comparatively low calorie burn. A person who weighs 190 pounds, for example, only burns about 259 calories in an hour of moderate weight training, notes the Wisconsin Department of Health and Family Services. Running, swimming or cycling can help the same person burn in the vicinity of 800 calories an hour.

Higher Metabolism, Higher Burn

The light calorie burn you'll experience when lifting weights doesn't mean you should strike this exercise from your fat-loss fitness routine. Indirectly, weight training contributes to fat loss by boosting your metabolism. The higher your metabolism climbs, the more calories you'll burn, regardless of the activity in which you're engaged. Muscular bodies have higher metabolisms than non-muscular bodies, and adding 1 pound of muscle throughout your body leads to the burning of roughly 50 extra calories a day, on average.

Fat Burning and Beyond

Lifting weights isn't just a way to contribute to fat loss. Including weight-training exercises in your fitness regimen two or three times a week can provide a wealth of advantages. Lifting weights builds stronger bones, and can reduce or eliminate aches and pains throughout your body and even elevate your self-esteem. Lifting weights isn't the only way to receive these benefits. Other forms of strength training include using weight machines and using your own weight as resistance in body-weight exercises.

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