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How to Workout On Elliptical to Lose Weight

An elliptical is an exercise machine that allows the user to burn plenty of calories at any given time. While working out regularly on an elliptical increase strength and stamina and promise great weight loss, weight loss doesn't occur often.

In fact, many trainees were disappointed with their weight loss after using ellipticals for some time. But, are the ellipticals to blame, or there is some other issue responsible for the lack of weight loss?

Published: June 27, 2022.

elliptical weight loss 1

 Elliptical vs Other Exercise Machines

Ellipticals are often compared with stationary bikes, recumbent bikes, treadmills, and rowers in terms of burned calories, increasing strength, stamina, and overall effect on the human body.

The fact is that if You are preparing yourself, for example, for a rowing event, Your best bet is to row on both boat and rower. Similarly, if You want to prepare yourself for running, the treadmill is better than the elliptical, and for cycling events go for bikes. Plain and simple.

However, if You are looking for a general fat loss, and full body workouts, the elliptical offer many benefits over other exercise machines, including:

- more muscles worked: when working out on an elliptical, the whole body works out.

- zero impact workout: all motions are smooth, with no impacts on joints, especially not on the knees, hips, and ankles.

- calorie burn on elliptical ranges from 3 to 8+ calories per kg of body weight per hour of exercise. This is similar to the calorie burn on other exercise machines, but since the whole body is used, actual stress per muscle group is lower, allowing the user to exercise longer, etc.

For example, if a 100kg athlete works out on an elliptical with high intensity, it burns ~800 kcal per hour, and that is a lot.

Since 1 kg of fats equals 9000 kcal and 1 kg of fat tissue equals ~7500 kcal, that means that the athlete in this example is able to burn an extra 24000 kcal per month, which equals the fat loss of ~3.2 kg (~7 pounds) per month, just from the elliptical exercise.

However, not even that is enough to cause fat loss in some trainees. People ask - why?

Weight Is Lost In The Kitchen, Not On An Elliptical

On average, a daily calorie intake required just for the maintenance is a person's weight in pounds x 10.

For example, a 100 kg athlete needs:

(100 kg / 0.453) x 10 = ~2200 kcal

~2200 kcal just for keeping the body working. Now, add to this everyday physical activities and the required energy goes up.

Note: this is just a very simple method used to calculate the required daily calorie intake. This method doesn't take into account body type (ectomorph, mesomorph, endomorph), gender, age, BF%, etc.

Some people require up to 1000-2000 sometimes even more kcal than their base calories, just to keep the weight on. And on the other hand, some people have very efficient metabolism and require very few calories to do the same job/exercise.

So, if You want to lose weight, it is important to adjust your daily calorie intake to match your goals - for example, if Your goal is to lose one kilogram per week (~2 pounds per week, a very realistic goal), Your daily calorie deficit must be:

7500 kcal / 7 = ~1100 kcal

Note: it is not the same for 100 pounds or 100 kg person to lose constantly 1 kg per week. Also, when going on any kind of diet, consult your doctor first. Better safe than sorry.

1100 kcal daily deficit is a serious calorie deficit and should not be taken for granted.

In order to achieve such weight loss, one must combine proper nutrition and regular exercise, if possible on the elliptical, but also don't forget other activities like walking, cycling, going to the gym and similar. All those activities burn extra calories and help with fat loss.

For example, one may combine a daily calorie deficit of 700 kcal with an additional 400 kcal burned on an elliptical for a total of 1100 kcal daily deficit.

And burning 400 kcal per day while exercising is much easier than 1100 kcal. Also, having a calorie daily deficit (from a calorie intake when the user doesn't gain nor lose weight) of 700 kcal is much easier to sustain for a longer period of time than the calorie daily deficit of 1100 kcal.

So, if You want to lose weight, with or without an elliptical, start with the kitchen and your nutrition. An elliptical can help, but no workout can outrun bad nutrition ...

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