Weight lifting, according to the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey.
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The study was published Wednesday in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise. Researchers used data from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute’s 2003–2006 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey.
Researchers compared muscle mass (muscle mass minus fat), body fat percentage from waist circumference (body fat minus fat) and body mass index-for-age (body fat-for-age with BMI). They also assessed body fat distribution, or how many percent of body body fat the participants’ fat, muscle, and bone were distributed. Muscle mass was defined as total fat minus lean body mass (LBM). Body fat percentage is defined as body fat minus lean body mass plus fat.
The results of the study showed that the highest percentage of body weight on the hips and lower back is the only way to burn a lot of body fat. Weightlifting was the second-most effective form of “exercise to burn body fat”, followed by a 30-minute walk.
Belly fat doesn’t burn as much “as in the case of weight lifting,” according to the study. In fact, it’s not even the most effective form of exercise to burn body fat. The third-most effective form was a 30-minute walk, followed by anaerobic activity.
The study also found that the lowest percentage of body fat that participants burned on any given day is during the early stages of a weight loss, when energy needs are low but muscle mass is already low.
For instance, if you lose 50 pounds, 30 percent of your body weight goes on the abdominal area. If you cut 60 pounds, 30 percent goes on the lower back and butt. And if you drop 90 pounds down to 60 pounds, the top third of your body weight is mostly on the shoulders and upper back.
It probably isn’t surprising that some people are more efficient at burning energy stored as fat. When you’re not working out, and your body can only burn so much energy from the fat you just burned, you gain some muscle (a.k.a. fat), which increases the amount of energy your body can burn. That increase in energy can then be transferred to fat instead of carbs, which helps to keep you looking slimmer.
The National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey was the first large-scale national health and nutrition survey. It tracked more than 26,000 Americans over four years,
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