Elliptical trainers are somewhat misunderstood. People tend to run out and buy elliptical trainers thinking that they will use it every so often and, in that way, they will maintain and even lose weight.
Some even see it as a “quick fix” to quickly lose some weight. This is not what an elliptical trainer is used for and it is not some type of miracle weight loss machine.
Yes, it will help you to lose weight, however, if you want to be successful you need to be willing to put in the hours and do the work. While you probably will see some weight loss by simply doing 30-40 minutes routine training on your elliptical, the real weight loss begins when you have a plan in place and you stick to it.
If you get stuck in a rut doing the same workout every day, after a while, your body will become accustomed to it and it will have no weight loss or muscle toning effect on your body. So, you will feel like you are exercising, but you will be wasting your time. Exercising for 30 minutes changing the intensity and adding some variety to your workout will be more effective than a longer workout at a consistent intensity.
If you are looking to your elliptical trainer to become your only source of exercise with the goal of losing weight, then it would be a good idea to look for an elliptical trainer that has preset programs. The pre-set programs make it easy for you to mix up your exercise without any planning or adjusting; simply choose the preset program you would like to use and off you go. Manually having to adjust the resistance for different levels of intensity will become tiresome and frustrating.
Without mixing up your exercise you will become very bored, very quickly, your body will become accustomed to it and you will stop seeing results. Positive results such as visible weight loss is what keeps you motivated to keep going. If you lose your motivation it won’t be long before your elliptical trainer is standing in a corner collecting dust.
On average, using an elliptical trainer will burn between 150 and 400 calories every 30 minutes on the elliptical trainer, depending on the type and intensity of your training. To lose weight you need to burn more calories per day than what you take in. So, for example, if you have a calorie intake of 1,000 per day you need to burn more than 1,000 calories per day to see some weight loss.
This highlights the importance of following a balanced diet and controlling your calorie intake while using the elliptical trainer for your exercise. Remember that an elliptical trainer is a cardio workout machine; cardio workouts burn calories. The higher the intensity of your workout the more calories that are burned.
To achieve the best weight loss in the shortest amount of time you will need to step up your workout and make some changes. What makes an elliptical trainer so great is that your feet never leave the pedals, so it has an extremely low impact on your joints. Because of the lower impact on your joints, you can pick up the pace a bit and increase your speed. Increasing your speed is just one way of mixing it up a bit and forcing your body to burn more calories.
Avoid doing the same exercise every day. If your elliptical trainer has preset programs, choose a different program, or rotate through all the different programs and don’t do the same program two days in a row. Boredom and lack of visible results are possibly the two highest reason why people quit exercising.
The higher the intensity of your workout, the more calories are burned and therefore more weight loss. Start off slow and then start mixing up the intensity in intervals of 90 seconds. This is extremely effective for weight loss.
Don’t get comfortable and settle for simply just stepping for 30 minutes; you need to feel your body burning, and if you don’t feel anything, it means nothing is happening and you will need to push harder to reach your weight loss goal.
How long should I use the elliptical to lose weight? To lose weight using the elliptical, it is recommended that you spend a minimum of 150 minutes per week training. This is achieved by 30 minutes a day for 5 days a week.
The intensity of these workouts is what will determine how much weight you lose. More is not always better; in this case, you would achieve better results at 30 minutes per day with high intensity, than 40 minutes a day with low to average intensity.