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Weight Loss

From the effects of the hormone cortisol to the role of genetics in weight loss, this category is packed with everything that you need to know about losing weight the healthy way.

Cardio vs Weight Lifting Which is Better for Weight Loss

You may be wondering "Cardio or weight lifting for weight loss?" Does one take precedency over another? Let's find out!


Also known as aerobic or cardiovascular exercise, cardio requires oxygen to supply the body with energy to sustain workouts. Aerobic exercises include jogging and running, brisk walking, cycling, dancing, and canoeing and involves continuous, rhythmic movements of large muscles for at least 20 minutes.

During the initial 20 minutes, the body utilizes carbohydrate and its body stores as its primary fuel source and after 20 minutes of constant movement, the body starts to burn body fat to power the muscles and body, also known as "aerobic fat-burning." 

Strength training is the act of building strength. Most of the relation between strength training and weight loss is related to muscle growth, as gaining muscle mass and reducing body fat ultimately accelerates metabolism, even when the body is at rest. 

But does one take precedency over the other in terms of weight loss?

Strength Training vs. Cardio for Weight Loss 

When it comes to weight loss, cardio is shown to burn more calories during the practice and granting quicker results. But we must not already dismiss strength training...

And while gender, age, and weight also establish metabolic rate, body composition (muscle versus fat tissues) mostly determines the rate at which energy is produced. 

In fact, while each pound of fat burns only two calories daily, every pound of muscle requires approximately six calories a day to purely sustain itself!

The Verdict

Choosing between the two mostly comes down to your personal health goals: Want to drop the number on the scale quickly? You should probably lace up your running shoes. Desiring greater fat loss over a longer duration? Get those weights ready. 

Nonetheless, health experts encourage at least 150 minutes of aerobic exercise weekly, along with the incorporation of strength training at least twice a week.

Think of it like this: One food cannot supply the body with every nutrient it requires for optimal health, thus warranting the need for a well-balanced diet. 

That being said, both cardio and weight lifting complement one another and are advantageous beyond weight loss. The compilation of the two strengthens heart and lung capacities, increases strength and body mechanics, reduces the risk of day-to-day injuries by lessening muscle wasting and weakening, supports strong bone density, and improves pain associated with osteoarthritis. 

But the benefits do not stop there, as cardio and strength training can support mental health. So not only will you stand tall related to improved posture, but acquire boosted confidence and mood, lessened feelings of depression and anxiety, improved sleep cycles, and an elevated overall quality of life.

Ultimate Success to Weight Loss

Aside from physical activity, we must not discount the importance of a well-balanced diet and other lifestyle factors. 

In fact, most nutrition experts suggest weight loss is mostly attributed to diet, with exercise being an effective supplement and synergist. So if desiring and needing weight loss assistance, look no further than the nation's leading weight loss meal delivery service. 

Delivering chef-prepared and dietitian-approved meals straight to your door, bistroMD takes the guesswork out of good nutrition and offers ongoing support throughout your weight loss journey.

Written By Sydney Lappe, MS, RDN. Published on January 14, 2018. Updated on March 11, 2019.


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