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Good, better, best: The ideal exercise for fat loss

Last Modified: February 24, 2022

Sports & Exercise


This post was written by Sami Kauffman, RD, sports dietitian, Parkview Sports Medicine.

For a variety of reasons, many people are working toward reaching or maintaining a healthy weight. If this includes you, and your journey involves fat loss, exercise is likely part of your regiment. When it comes to exercise as a tool for lowering the number on the scale, not all forms are created equal. All movement is beneficial, but here are some suggestions for maximizing your results through your effort.

Good – Steady-state cardio

Steady-state cardio is when you are doing a steady pace for a longer period of time. This might be walking, jogging, elliptical or biking. With this form of movement, you are only burning calories while you are performing it. There is no elevation in your metabolic rate afterward.

Better – High intensity interval training

High intensity interval training (HIIT) allows us to get the same caloric benefit of steady-state cardio in a smaller timeframe. It also helps you create new mitochondria, the powerhouse of the cell, and can elevate your metabolic rate for a period of a few hours afterward you’ve completed the workout.

Best – Resistance training

If you are working on fat loss, the greatest benefit comes from resistance training, whether with added weight or bodyweight. Any exercise that provides resistance stimulates muscle growth and elevates the metabolic rate for up to 24 hours after the workout completed. The added benefit is that your body composition will improve through added muscle mass, which increases metabolic rate, and improves your body fat percentage and decreases your risk of disease.

Again, all movement is beneficial for your health, but if you are currently working toward fat loss, you should prioritize resistance training with small amounts of HIIT and add steady-state cardio, as needed or desired.


Learn more about the Sports Nutrition support available through Parkview Sports Medicine by visiting us here, calling us at 260-266-4007 for more information or to schedule a consultation.

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