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What Exercise Burns the Most Fat?

Shedding all those extra pounds and kicking back to the most perfect body curves is what today’s fitness regime is all about. Let us make no mistake out here. Staying fit is important, being healthy is mandatory but looking good is no less significant. People these days move ahead towards their fitness goals with the aim of burning all the extra fat and the extra flaps and getting back to the desired shape of the current times. In a bid to attain this goal, people feel that the amount of workout that they do and the amount of strain that they take in the gyms alone will be responsible for shedding all the extra weight. However, this is one of the biggest misconceptions possible. It will probably intrigue you to know that we lose a large part of our body fat at the time of sleeping. There are certain exercises which when performed in a proper manner helps the body to burn the extra fat when we are asleep.(1,2)

What Exercise Burns the Most Fat?

In this context, we need to mention the fact that our body comprises of various parts. The fat that accumulates in the different parts of the body requires different and definite treatment so that they can get burnt off. Hence, just one form of exercise is never enough to work on all parts of the body. A good workout or exercise regime always consists of a blend of a variety of workout styles, prominently of those of weightlifting and that of cardio.

Weight Training

Weight training is one of the most effective ways through which we can lose a good amount of fat. When we lift weight, we put a lot of strain on our muscles. Repair of these muscles can take up time up to forty hours. With each progressive session of workout, the muscles experience more and more strain. The repair of these muscles happens when we are sleeping. After the repair work, the muscles grow bigger and also stronger by burning the accumulated body fat. Weight lifting is a great process through which one can have bigger and stronger muscles.(3)

Hence at the end of the day, you will have a bigger muscular built with most of your body fat gone.(1)

Cardio Exercises

Cardio exercises are also known as aerobic exercises. The various cardio exercises that can be done in the gym and also at home aim at working on the cardiovascular system of the body and not burn the fat exactly. However, unlike the weight lifting process where the body continues to burn fat even after 48 hours of exercise completion, cardio exercises burn fat only when one is doing the exercise, for example running or brisk walking. While doing cardio we need to make the whole body work a lot faster and in a much more vigorous manner. This as a process burns a lot of calories all over the body and the muscles require a greater amount of oxygenated blood. This helps to burn the fat stores in our body.(4)

Cardio exercises happen to work on the entire body fat as a whole and not on parts. Through cardio, you can make your core muscles much stronger and leaner. However, this form of exercise will not help to make your muscles bigger and more attractive which is the case in weight lifting. Another point that you need to remember while doing cardio is that the body gets accustomed to the cardio exercises much faster. As a result, the fat-burning process soon slows down and even stops after a certain while. Hence the person following this form of exercise must give more effort with a passing lapse of time. In order to avoid stagnation of weight loss, one either needs to work on the intensity or increase the hours for which they are exercising.(4)

Other Forms of Exercises

If you do not have access to a proper gym, you can try some of the age-old and simple exercises like:

While opting for exercises in the gym, you can try the different exercises like those of a reverse crunch, Captain Chair leg raise, exercise ball crunch, vertical leg crunch and so on.


Different patterns of body fats require different forms of exercise regimes, routines, and mixes. Your professional trainer can help you out the best to make a detailed exercise regime. Have a detailed discussion with him before making a plan for yourself. Moreover, it must also be kept in mind that exercise alone won’t be able to help in reducing the fat. Along with exercise, one needs to also keep a look on the diet they are following. A healthy diet along with a proper exercise routine helps to burn the most fat from the body.(5)


  1. Nedeltcheva AV, Kilkus JM, Imperial J, Schoeller DA, Penev PD. (2010) Insufficient sleep undermines dietary efforts to reduce adiposity. Ann Intern Med. 153(7): 435–41. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2951287/
  2. Chaput JP, Tremblay A (2012) Sleeping habits predict the magnitude of fat loss in adults exposed to moderate caloric restriction. Obesity Facts. 5(4): 561-6. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22854682
  3. Willis LH. et. al. (2012, Dec) Effects of Aerobic and/or resistance training on body mass and fat mass in overweight or obese adults. Journal of Applied Physiology. 113(12): 1831-1837. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3544497/
  4. Villarea DT, Aguirre L, Burney AB, Waters DL, et al. (2017) Aerobic or resistance exercise, or both, in dieting obese older adults. The New England Journal of Medicine. 376(20): 1943‐1955. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5552187/
  5. Miller T , Mull S , Aragon AA , et. al. (2018, Jan) Resistance training combined with diet decreases body fat while preserving lean mass independent of resting metabolic rate: A randomized trial. International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism. 28(1): 46–54. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28871849

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Sheetal DeCaria, M.D.
Sheetal DeCaria, M.D.
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Sheetal DeCaria, M.D. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:November 11, 2020

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