Aerobic Exercise Helps Lose Belly Fat More Than Weight-Lifting

Written by Michael Lambarde on Aug. 31, 2011

If you want to lose that belly fat, a new study says that aerobic exercises are a better bet to lose that muffin top than weight-lifting. Researchers at Duke University Medical Center say they compared those who weight-lifted in contrast to those who did aerobics like jogging, swimming, and bicycling. Researcher say that the latter group were more likely to lose more belly fat than the former group.

Specifically, researchers wanted to see what was the best exercise to lose that unhealthy belly fat, called visceral adiposity or liver fat, which can sometimes lead to fatty liver disease, heart disease, and type 2 diabetes.

196 overweight adults between the ages of 18-70 were used in an eight-month study with the participants splitting into two groups — with some of the participants in the aerobic group doing the equivalent of 12 miles of jogging per week at 80% maximum heart rate, while the resistance group did three sets of 8-12 repetitions three times per week.

The study found that the individuals who did the jogging lost 2.5 square inches of belly fat, or 20 times the amount of belly fat loss by those that were lifting weights.

“When it comes to increased health risks, where fat is deposited in the body is more important than how much fat you have,” said Cris Slentz, a physiologist at Duke University and the lead author of the study, said. “What really counts is how much exercise you do, how many miles you walk and how many calories you burn.”

Researchers note that jogging shouldn’t replace resistance training, but those that are looking to lose weight should focus more on jogging rather than resistance training because it burns up to 67% more calories.

The results are published in the August 25 issue of the American Journal of Psychology.