Why Lifting Weights Is Best For Fat Loss

POPSUGAR Photography | Kat Borchart
POPSUGAR Photography | Kat Borchart

Admit it: the last time you wanted to drop a few pounds or decided to reclaim your health, the first thing you did besides throwing out that last batch of macaroons was cardio — lots and lots of cardio! We get it. We've all made the mistake of thinking the only way to lose weight is by punishing ourselves with mind-numbing hours of cardio. But the truth is that weight loss isn't exclusive to people on the ellipticals and Stairmasters. In fact, lifting weights has been proven to be just as beneficial to overall weight loss and better lean body composition. The bottom line is if you really want to lose weight, lifting weights is essential. Here are a few of the reasons lifting can do more to drop weight than cardio!

Get More Out of Your Effort

There might be nothing more annoying than going to the gym and putting in the work and not seeing results. According to Travis Jones, CPT and owner of Result Based Training, your pounds may not be coming off because you're not lifting: "Lifting weight burns more fat than an equal amount of time doing typical cardio sessions." Not a believer? Jones told us that an eight-minute weightlifting workout focusing on major muscle groups could burn up to 250 calories, while that many minutes on the elliptical likely won't even reach a 150-calorie drop.

Burn More Calories Than Cardio

After you've done your workout, it's time to rest, right? Well, if you've worked out by lifting weights, you may be resting, but your body is still burning calories. Why? According to Mike Kamo, certified nutritionist at Nutrition Secrets, "When you target your muscles by weightlifting, your body has to expend the energy to repair those muscles after each session." Said Kamo, "most people experience a spike in their metabolism for almost 40 hours after a weightlifting effort in the gym." Sounds like weightlifting is even going to make watching Gossip Girl a part of your fat-burning efforts.

Stay on Your Diet

Ever notice how the people who tend to lose the most weight are the ones who work out regularly and stay true to their diet? According to Holly Perkins, CPT, fitness and nutrition expert of Promax Nutrition, "When you lift weights regularly, your mindset towards your health and fitness changes towards your diet, making you more likely to stick to your daily caloric allowance." If staying on track with your diet has ever been your problem, and we figure there might be a few of us out there that have this problem, it's time to stop spending so much time weighing out portions and more time lifting weights.

You'll Be Able to Do More

By now, it must seem like lifting weights is the answer to all of your fat-loss woes — and it is! The benefits of lifting weights can even positively impact how much you can do during a day as well! Terry Asher, CPT and owner of Gym Junkies, told us he has found that "people who lift weights are usually more productive than those that don't work out or those that only do cardio." Doing more at the gym can lead to doing more throughout the day and residual weight loss that comes as a result — which is a bonus — but it also means that you'll be more productive at work, play, and in anything you do! Being able to do more in a day couldn't possibly be on any our wish lists, right? It sounds like we all need to get into the gym and start lifting!