Let’s start by pointing out, once more, that there’s a difference between weight loss and fat loss. While the former is obviously the buzz word, the latter is the more desirable goal. Why?
You see, you can lose weight without being healthy. Starvation, illness, and dehydration are among the things that can cause you to be thin but unhealthy. This is why we prefer the term “fat loss” to the term “weight loss”.
Plus, conversely, you can be above what is considered the ideal bodyweight and still be healthy. The amount of lean mass does contribute to overall body, even more so than fat, only it is healthy weight.
Which brings us to the question: Which is better for burning fat, cardiovascular (aka cardio) or weight training?
Proponents of each side have their own arguments. And there is the gender difference. Most men prefer weight training, perhaps because it is seen a “manly” thing and also because, let’s face it, muscular men do tend to attract women. Women on the other hand prefer cardio, shunning the weights due to the (baseless) fear of appearing “masculine”.
The result that while men do too much weight training, women do too little. On the other hand, women tend to do too much cardio while men do too little. So, which one burns most fat?
Here’s a tip: most fat loss does not take place while exercising. Most calories are actually burnt outside the gym. Something called resting metabolic rate is crucial to “weight loss” success. Your resting metabolic rate may be defined as the amount of calories you burn while at complete rest.
Nay, exercise intensity more important than duration. More fat may be burnt during short bursts of high intensity training than through longer periods of low intensity training. Hence the popularity of high-intensity fitness systems such as high intensity resistance training (HIRT) and high intensity interval training (HIIT).
Traditional cardiovascular exercise is low intensity, done over an extended period of time in a session. Weight training, even non-HIRT, is more intense and requires bursts of energy during a set. HIRT takes the intensity to a whole new level, offering both aerobic and anaerobic fitness benefits.
Also, increased muscle mass helps improve resting metabolic rate. This means that you are burning calories even while not physically active. This and the foregoing is why most experts assert that weight training is better than cardio for losing fat, including belly fat.