The Best Way To Lose FAT. Not Just Weight.

The Best Way To Lose Fat, Not Just Weight.

Recently we have seen a surge in “weight loss groups” driven by social media as a support medium. I think this is great & I wish all who participate every success. Given that it’s important we lose fat & NOT lean muscle mass than it raises the question, “What is the best way to lose fat & not just weight?”. Whilst the type of both aerobic & resistance exercises are important, we will address this topic another day. For the purpose of this article lets examine the results of a recent review “Effects of aerobic and/or resistance training on body mass and fat mass in overweight or obese adults. J Appl physiol.2012Dec;113(12):1831-7

This study used 3 groups:-Aerobic Training Group/ Resistance Training Group/ Combined Aerobic & Resistance Training Group

Key Results were:-       Aerobic Training Group                Resistance Training Group                     Combined Group

Exercise duration:-      130 minutes per week                       180 minutes per week                        5 hours(300 min.) per week

Weight :-                             Loss-1.76kg                                            Gain-0.83kg                                    Loss-1.63kg

Lean body mass:-             LOSS-0.10kg                                           Gain-1.09kg                                   Gain-0.81kg

FAT LOSS:-                         1.66kg                                                      0.26kg                                               2.44kg

In other words, combination training led to the greatest improvements in body composition.

As exercise adherence is key to achieving your goals over the longer term the study looked at drop out rates. The aerobic group had the highest with 34% followed by the combined group with 23% & the resistance group not far behind with 21%. Interestingly 44% of the aerobic group dropouts said it was due to time constraints & yet the combination group exercised twice as long as them & had a better retention rate.

Both groups who did resistance training showed lower drop out rates, which is important if the goal is long-term lifestyle change.


The combined aerobic/resistance training group lost the most fat while gaining muscle.

They had lower drop out rates.

They spent the most time working out, around 5 hours per week.(N.B. Metabolic Resistance Training can reduce this if you are time poor.)

I believe a combination IS the best way to achieve sustainable results whilst also addressing the functionality needs of our bodies that will improve not only longevity but also the quality of our life.

Remember, aerobic & resistance training are NOT distinct entities. Recently “Metabolic Resistance Training” (resistance training that is also aerobically demanding) is gaining favour with great results. More on this next time.