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What is an ideal exercise program for fat loss?

Amy Jamieson-Petonic
Nutrition & Dietetics

The best exercise for fat loss would be low to moderate cardiovascular exercise, such as walking, easy biking, or swimming. It is also important to follow a nutrition program that is high in 100% whole grains, lean protein, low fat dairy, and healthy oils, such as nuts and olive oil, to get the best results.

Exercise of any form, resistance training or cardiovascular exercise, provides opportunity to expend energy, creating the possibility for a negative energy balance that will result in fat loss. A great method to exercise is to perform a circuit training program. Circuit training consists of several stations in which the client performs an exercise for a set amount of time or repetitions. Once time or repetitions have been achieved, then the client moves on to the next exercise in the station. Circuits can have as few as three exercises but can be as much as desired.  

Circuit style resistance training may be better suited for burning calories and thus losing fat. Recently, several studies have compared the effects of circuit resistance training to traditional cardio forms of exercise. It was shown that circuit training was just as beneficial as traditional cardiorespiratory exercise for improving and/or contributing to improved fitness levels. The following benefits of circuit training were stated:

  • Produced equal to or greater caloric expenditure for the same given time span as cardiorespiratory exercise
  • Produced greater levels of calories expended after exercise.
  •  Increased overall strength.

 Based upon this information, it appears that circuit training is a viable means for producing caloric

expenditure, increasing strength levels, and maintaining or increasing fat-free  mass while cutting down on the overall time of a complete workout.    

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.