How fast a person can lose weight on an elliptical machine depends on several factors. Get the scoop on how many calories you burn if you do a half-hour on the elliptical, as well as tips to maximize weight loss. Aerobic activity combined with cutting calories is a good way to reach your goals.
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Regular exercise along with following a low-calorie diet is the most effective way to lose weight. If you work out on the elliptical bike for 30 minutes to one hour each day, you can safely lose 1 to 2 pounds per week.
How You Burn Calories
How fast you lose weight on an elliptical machine (or any type of cardio machine) is based on more than just how long you work out, although that is also important. According to the Mayo Clinic, your weight is determined by how many calories you take in, how much physical activity you get and your basal metabolism.
Your basal metabolism is the energy your body uses to perform basic functions, such as breathing and digestion. You have little control over your basal metabolism, but you can change your eating and exercise habits to achieve the desired weight.
Each pound of fat you want to lose requires 3,500 calories to be burned. You will lose weight more quickly if you combine diet with exercise. As the USDA National Agricultural Library notes, cutting 500 to 1,000 calories per day can help you drop 1 to 2 pounds a week, which is a healthy rate of weight loss.
The American Council on Exercise recommends you burn at least 250 calories per day through exercise. Combining decreased calories with exercise is the right formula for weight loss.
Calorie Burned on the Elliptical
The number of calories you will burn on an elliptical bike depends on several factors, including how much you weigh, says the University of Rochester. To get a more accurate estimate of the calories burned, use their calculator and enter your weight in the designated field.
For example, if you weigh 150 pounds, you will burn about 648 calories in an hour or 324 calories in a half-hour on the elliptical. As you see, the elliptical machine is a great way to torch calories and get leaner.
This calorie count is an estimate, though. If you aren't working out hard enough or don't have enough resistance on the elliptical, then you may not burn as many calories. To ensure you are burning calories, the American Heart Association (AHA) says you need to have your heart rate within a healthy range.
To find this, take your age and subtract from 220 to get your maximum heart rate. According to the AHA, your target heart rate should be 50 to 70 percent during moderate activities and 70 to 85 percent during vigorous activities. For example, if you are 40, then your maximum heart rate is 180. You should aim for a heart rate of between 90 and 153 while exercising. Check out their chart for more information.
Burn Maximum Calories on Elliptical
Ready to get started? Here are some examples of how much weight you can lose on the elliptical:
- If you cut 500 calories from your diet and do a half-hour on elliptical five days a week, you will lose more than a pound in one week.
- If you bump up your time to one hour on elliptical five days a week and cut 500 calories from your diet, you will lose about 2 pounds per week.
- If you don't change your diet at all and just do the elliptical for one hour, five days a week, then you will lose about over 2 pound a week.
To maximize your calorie burn, try our HIIT Elliptical Workout. This type of workout really torches calories because you do high-energy bursts followed by a short rest period, which gets your heart pumping.
In general, an elliptical machine is a great way to get aerobic exercise because it burns calories efficiently. Plus, its design makes it less stressful on your joints, says the Mayo Clinic. If you have knee issues, using a treadmill or stair-climbing machine can be painful — unlike an elliptical, which is low impact. The moveable upper body handles and poles also help you exercise your arms and torch more calories.
- Mayo Clinic: "Metabolism and Weight Loss: How You Burn Calories"
- American Council on Exercise: "Physical Activity Calorie Counter"
- University of Rochester Medical Center: "Calorie Burn Rate Calculator"
- American Heart Association: "Know Your Target Heart Rates for Exercise, Losing Weight and Health"
- Mayo Clinic: "Are Elliptical Machines Better Than Treadmills For Basic Aerobic Workouts?"
- USDA National Agricultural Library: "Weight Management"
- "Medill Reports Chicago"; Elliptical v. the Treadmill, Which is Better?; Ben Wolff ; January 2007