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Do Ellipticals Burn Belly Fat?

 Written by 

Julien Raby

 Last updated on 

People use exercise machines for many reasons, but mostly to lose weight and stay fit. In this article, we are going to answer the question “Do ellipticals burn belly fat?” Let’s get started.

What Is Belly Fat?

Belly fat (abdominal fat) is fat stored deep under the ab muscles. It surrounds your organs such as the stomach, liver, and intestines. Belly fat is easy to gain and harmful to human health. It’s also hard to lose.

A man wondering if ellipticals burn belly fat
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What Is Visceral Fat?

“Visceral fat” is the medical name for belly fat. Most of the fat in our bodies is stored just under the skin. Visceral fat is stored deep in the belly behind the abdominal wall. It’s in the spaces between our internal organs. Visceral fat is deep within a cavity in the belly. It surrounds some of the vital organs of the body including the stomach, the liver, and the intestines.

Why Is It Important to Lose Belly Fat?

Deep belly fat is a problem, especially in healthy adults. It can be dangerous since it causes health issues such as diabetes and heart disease. It makes it harder for the body to use insulin well, which causes “insulin resistance”. Therefore, we need to pay attention to what these molecules can cause in our bodies.

A waist size of over 35 inches for women and 40 inches for men increases our risk of developing diabetes, heart disease, and cancer. 

In fact, visceral fat is very close to the liver so it can be turned into cholesterol. From there, this fat goes through the bloodstream. It may collect along the walls of the arteries and make them narrow and hard.

The body stores a lot more visceral fat as we age. This interferes with digestion efficiency.

A woman looking at her belly asking herself "do ellipticals burn belly fat?"
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Why Is It Hard to Lose Belly Fat?

Do you know that some people lose weight but don’t lose belly fat? Why? Visceral fat is always the LAST to go.

Metabolism slows in older age which contributes to the caloric surplus. The food supply nowadays makes it very easy to overeat because processed foods are designed to be highly addictive. The fat accumulates everywhere, but the visceral fat is MUCH harder to lose because it is specially protected. 

Our body regards belly fat as if it is a new organ added to our body. Fat tissue contains numerous nerve cells and blood vessels, just like any other organ. Therefore our body protects it just like it protects our heart, our liver, and other organs. But in terms of number, blood vessels in the fat tissue are relatively inadequate, meaning that it is weak. That is why we can convince our body to send away this unwanted organ. 

Sadly, it’s been scientifically proven that fat around our abdomen is even harder to shift than fat in other areas of our body. Essentially, fat around the belly occurs because of the same reason we get fat build-up anywhere on our body; when we’re consuming more energy than the body is using. 

To put it simply: it’s harder to lose belly fat because it has more fat cells that don’t respond as easily to the fat-breakdown process.

Can I Lose Belly Fat Without Physical Activity?

When people diet, their cells begin to lose fat and that decreases the amount of leptin produced. But if it goes below their personal leptin threshold, their brain senses starvation. It sends the signal to our brain that “We don’t have enough energy onboard, Captain, eat more!” 

If your leptin is high, you’re carrying a lot of body fat but your brain just can’t see it. Our brain is actually starved while our body is obese. Obesity is brain starvation. 

So the answer to the question, Why is belly fat so hard to lose especially in adults? It’s that we all have a leptin floor, the problem is we don’t have a leptin ceiling. The good news is that our body fat set-point can be reprogrammed and our leptin sensitivity can be reset by a healthy diet and intense cardio exercise.

How to Lose Belly Fat

As important as a healthy diet is for weight loss, simply switching up our eating habits probably won’t lead to a significant decrease in belly fat. To lose visceral fat, you must lose fat overall. 

We need at least 12 hours without food which is a good way to burn belly fat since it is less protected under those conditions. But this is not realistic. Diet alone is not enough to lose deep belly fat. 

Here are some tips for overcoming belly fat:

1. We are required to do strength training as it will raise the muscular tissue mass, which will certainly help the body melt much more fat;

2. Also, we are required to increase our cardiovascular exercises such as elliptical exercise. People who performed high-intensity interval training lost a lot more belly fat than those that executed a low-intensity cardio workout. This is because high-intensity workouts help us burn a lot more calories

A woman at the gym burning belly fat on ellipticals
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Does the Elliptical Burn Belly Fat?

Elliptical training can help you get leaner overall, but you can’t target specific areas. As long as you eat clean and stick to your workout routine, your belly fat will melt away.

In fact, the elliptical is the best way to burn belly fat and lose weight. Here is why does the elliptical burn belly fat so effectively:

1. It Engages the Entire Body

Elliptical trainers are among the best workout machines to lose belly fat because they engage your entire body. That means you can burn more calories and thus diminish your fat stores more. That is a point in favor of the elliptical. 

2. It Burns A lot of Calories

For a 150-pound person, it brings a calorie expenditure of 302 calories per 30 minutes. Heavier people lose belly fat faster and burn more calories on the elliptical. 

3. It Is a Low-impact Cardio Exercise

If you have knee or ankle pain, running on the treadmill is a big NO. That’s why fitness experts advise people with joint problems and overweight body mass index to work out on an elliptical rather than a bike.

Elliptical machines have some advantages over other aerobic exercise machines. Compared with treadmill, an elliptical impacts your body less, which particularly helps protect your joints, feet, and lower back. Ellipticals let you raise the incline to target different leg muscles, a benefit that machines such as exercise bikes can’t match. You can even pedal the elliptical backward to target your hamstrings and calves.

4. It Targets Abs

Consider that ellipticals reach your midsection better than treadmills because of the slight twisting motion you execute each time you pedal. As such, you can target your core muscles better on an elliptical machine. 

5. It Hits Fat-Burning Zone

Because you’re working your entire body simultaneously, the perceived effort is smaller on an elliptical machine. Thus, you will enter your heart’s fat-burning zone seamlessly. Your body will start using your fat cells for fuel once your heart rate increases that much.

6. It Requires Less Effort

Moderate exercise on ellipticals feels as easy as walking. Perceived effort is actually essential to keep you motivated. For instance, just 14% of people running on treadmills are highly motivated to keep up with their workouts. And that’s a problem in the long run.

7. It Can Build Muscle Mass

You can increase the resistance. As a result, your muscle mass will increase because you have to push against a higher force. And having more muscle mass in your body helps you burn more body fat even while you are resting. 

A man being coached on how to burn belly fat on the elliptical
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How to Use Ellipticals to Lose Belly Fat

Some people don’t know that they can lose belly fat by performing cardio. They think that abdominal exercises burn belly fat. In fact, by doing cardio you set your body in motion. This allows blood to circulate throughout the entire body thus promoting fat burning. However, to avoid injuries, it is advisable to gradually increase the duration and intensity of your sessions.

Tips to Burn More Belly Fat on Ellipticals

To lose weight quickly with the elliptical, you just need to speed things up a little.

1. Doing HIIT

Higher-intensity elliptical workouts burn more calories and help you lose weight faster. Science says that HIIT decreases body fat stores, including the abdominal area. 

To gain the maximum weight-loss benefits, hold the machine’s handles or handrails as lightly as possible. Don’t let them support your weight.

2. Become the Master of Your Elliptical

Typical elliptical machines offer two or three main options to intensify your workout. Increasing the machine’s speed forces you to take more strides per minute and is the equivalent of running faster on a track. Rising the incline simulates running uphill. 

Boosting the resistance level makes it more difficult to stride as if you were running in the sand on the beach. Increasing any of the settings forces you to work harder, which means you burn more calories to reach your weight loss goals faster.

3. Supersize Your Calorie Burn with Intervals 

Any type of interval workout burns more calories than a workout in which you work at a steady pace. To perform an interval workout on the elliptical, determine how hard you can work for a given time of at least 20 minutes. Alternate periods in which you work at your base level with intervals in which you work harder than usual. 

For example, warm up as you usually would and then move for 2 minutes at your standard level and then follow the interval with 2 minutes of higher-intensity work. Continue the pattern for the rest of the workout.

A group of people at the gym burning belly fat on ellipticals
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Do Ellipticals Burn Belly Fat: FAQs

Does the elliptical give you a flat stomach?

Ellipticals are one of the best exercise machines to lose belly fat because you’re doing cardio on them. The elliptical promotes overall weight loss. Because by using it to lose belly fat, you also work all parts of your body.

How long does it take to lose belly fat on an elliptical?

The older we get, the more visceral fat we will normally have. The older you are, the more time it takes to burn your belly fat. You should work out at least 3-5 times a week for 3 months to see results.

Exercise is key to losing and preventing belly fat. And the elliptical is a great tool to do that. But exercise alone is not enough to reduce deep belly fat. You should also have a diet.

Is 30 minutes a day on the elliptical enough to lose weight?

Depending on your fitness goals, if you do it at least 3-5 times a week, it’s enough to perform a 30-minute aerobic workout on the elliptical to lose weight. If you want to have a lasting result, it is best to use the machine continuously.

Remember: the number of calories you burn depends on the workout intensity. Also, to increase the burn, consider training at an incline. It also engages your abs more because your core muscles will have to keep you in this tilted position. As a result, you gain more core muscles.

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