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How to Lose Weight on Elliptical: 14 Best Tips to Burn Maximum Calories

 Written by 

Julien Raby

 Last updated on 

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An elliptical is a safe tool that has a lot of benefits. But the effectiveness of this cardio trainer often is overlooked. In this article, we are going to show you how to lose weight on elliptical. We are going to provide you with 14 tips on how to lose weight on elliptical faster. Let’s get started.

Our Guide To Elliptical Calorie Burning: How To Lose Weight on Elliptical

Ellipticals are good for burning calories but are they good for burning fat as well? A study in the Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness shows that after 12 weeks the participants had bigger volumes of oxygen associated with faster fat oxidation. 

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However, if you read the study, you’ll notice that the subjects exercised 30 minutes three times per week at 70-80% of their maximum heart rate in the first stage of the study. Next, they exercised for 40 minutes three times per week at 80-90% of their max heart rates.

So, if you want to burn more fat on your elliptical trainer, that’s what you have to do. But first, remember to talk to your doctor to make sure it’s safe for you. Especially, if you have chronic health problems and heart disease.

Secondly, a doctor can help you find a more appropriate fat-burning zone. Depending on your heart rate and your specifics, you may only need to be exercising at 55% of your max heart rate.

Sunny Health & Fitness Magnetic Elliptical
Based on our testing, this is the best budget Elliptical for beginners. For less than 475$, it has most essential features that you've come to expect. It's compact and sturdy, frankly it offers great value for money. It's also backed with an 3 years warranty.
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Factors That Affect Weight Loss on the Elliptical Machine 

Unfortunately, using an elliptical trainer is not a miracle cure for your pounds. You have to take several factors into account and practice smart cardio training. 

Sure, an elliptical can help you lose weight. Some research shows that elliptical machines can help you burn about 500 calories per hour. However, this result is influenced by several factors. 

1. Body Weight

The heavier you are, the more calories you’ll burn. 

2. Your fitness level

You’ll burn fewer calories if you have a big body fat percentage.

3. The intensity

Increase the intensity level and add more resistance to lose more weight.

Now we’re not saying you should gain more weight to burn more calories on the elliptical. But there are some things you can do about the other two factors. 

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14 Tips on How to Lose Weight on Elliptical

If one of the main reasons that you’ve purchased an elliptical machine is to lose weight, there are a few keys to making sure that it’s effective.

1. Add Strength Training

Increase your muscle mass by incorporating strength training into your routine. A bigger muscle mass results in a higher resting metabolic rate which leads to elevated energy expenditure and calorie burn. That’s because muscles destroy fat even when you’re doing nothing.

2. Do Workouts According to Your Fitness Level

Increase the intensity of your body workout smartly. But remember not to tire yourself excessively. Instead, choose cardio exercises according to your fitness level. Also, incorporate interval training in your aerobic exercise routine to avoid slowing your metabolism.

3. Consistency

You have to actually use the elliptical. In fact, consistency is one of the keys to an effective weight loss process. The adult needs at least 30 minutes of cardio activity at a moderate pace, five days a week. 

A home elliptical is a great tool to ensure that you get out of your comfort zone for a minimum of 30 minutes every day. So, use the elliptical trainer every other day at least until you get a solid foundation. 

4. Get Out of Your Comfort Zone

When you’re on the elliptical, try to push yourself, get the resistance up, get the incline up, and go past your comfort zone. If you can do high-intensity interval training on the elliptical, you’re going to have the best results and burn a ton of calories. 

So, find an elliptical machine at your gym or buy one for your house and get on it as soon as possible because it’s a great machine for your body to lose weight.

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5. Set an Incline Mode

You can make your entire workout more difficult simply by adjusting the level of tension setting on the machine. And then you have to work your muscles a little bit harder. So, if you’re looking to come into the gym and get a good aerobic workout with a little bit of strength as well, the elliptical machine might be for you the most effective tool. It’s up to you.

6. Create a Calorie Deficit

Combine your workout routine with a calorie-reduction plan to lose weight faster. 

A pound is equal to about 3,500 calories so if you burn 500 calories a day on the elliptical and reduce your caloric intake by 500 calories, you can expect to lose about 2 pounds per week.

Burn calories on an elliptical and keep track of the calories with a monitor that comes with many machines. If you input your age and weight into the equipment, you will get a better perspective on the number of calories you are burning. 

7. Intensity

Increase the intensity of the elliptical cardio workout to burn more calories. For the biggest calorie-burning effect, your heart rate should be between 70 and 85% of your maximum heart rate.

Pedal faster and set the cardio machine on an incline to increase the burn. Break up your full-body workout into two 15- or 20-minute sessions so that you can pour it on heavy for the time you are working out. 

8. Include Different Workouts

You should introduce variety into your workout routine. It leads to more burned calories. It might also be a little bit more enjoyable. 

9. Try Advanced Workouts

Don’t be afraid of performing advanced workouts. Interval workouts have been shown to increase calorie burn by going from low intensity to high intensity. And many of the elliptical built-in programs will do that for you automatically.

10. Use the Entire Machine 

You should use the entire machine when you work out on an elliptical trainer.

By using the upper and lower body, you are making the most efficient use of the workout time and burning the most calories. Since there is no strain put on the body, you can maintain the workout for longer and break into a pound-reducing sweat.

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11. Use the Reverse Mode

Switch between going forward and backward. The more muscles you engage, the more calories you burn. Because toned muscles are more efficient at burning calories while you are working out and for a longer period of time following your cardio workout.

12. Adjust Your Machine

Adjust your workout as you become more efficient on the equipment. Add time to your workout and build up the intensity over a period of time as the workout becomes easier. 

Sunny Health & Fitness Magnetic Elliptical
Based on our testing, this is the best budget Elliptical for beginners. For less than 475$, it has most essential features that you've come to expect. It's compact and sturdy, frankly it offers great value for money. It's also backed with an 3 years warranty.

13. Recovery Periods

Don’t exhaust yourself on the elliptical. Too much cardio exhausts your muscles. Besides, doing cardio burns your muscles as well, not just your fat stores. Rest your muscles and give them time to heal between elliptical workouts.

14. Avoid Magic Fat Burning Food or Supplement

There is no magic food or supplement and most fat-burning supplements on the market are dangerous. Our body adapts very quickly. Basically, we build up a tolerance for this food. For example, products that include caffeine. So unless you keep guzzling down more and more, you won’t see the same benefits you did initially. The impact seems to decrease as we get older.

The more you start to rely on the burning supplements, the more you sabotage your recovery. It can lead to hormonal imbalances that end up holding you back. Not to mention, we often even become dependent on these products to maintain our current energy level and weight. And often our sleep ultimately suffers which can be detrimental to our metabolism. 

So, stop searching for fat-burning supplements to improve your metabolism. Instead, focus on a balanced diet and whole-natural foods.

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How to Lose Weight on Elliptical: FAQs

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

Elliptical machines are good fitness trainers for beginners who want to start out slowly and stick with the same workout to increase efficiency. It’s enough to exercise 30 minutes three times per week at 70-80% of their maximum heart rate to see the results.

Can you lose belly fat by elliptical?

An elliptical trainer is good for losing weight and belly fat, but you’ll have to listen to your body, do challenging workouts, and increase your muscle mass. Also, take rest days. Diet is also important. So watch your serving sizes and eat healthy food. Remember that moderation is key to weight loss and achieving the best fitness goals.

How long does it take to see results from an elliptical?

An elliptical machine can be an effective tool for any weight-loss program. Also, an elliptical cross-trainer machine is a good exercise equipment for those who have leg or back problems and cannot withstand the jarring caused by running on a treadmill. After 2-3 months of constant exercising, you can see the first results.


Julien Raby is the owner of BoxLife. He owns a bachelor in literature and a certificate in marketing from Concordia. He's Crossfit Level 1 certified and has been involved in Crossfit since 2010. In 2023 he finally made it to Crossfit Open Quarterfinals for the first time. LinkedIn Instagram Facebook

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