Hopping on an elliptical machine regularly can help you shed unwanted pounds -- women who exercise regularly are more likely to keep lost weight off for good, according to a study published in 2008 in “Archives of Internal Medicine.” However, the weight-loss results you’ll get using an elliptical vary based on your workout duration, intensity and, of course, your diet.
To peel away pounds effectively, work out on your elliptical machine more than 250 minutes each week, suggest authors of a review published in 2009 in “Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise.” This could break down to working out on the elliptical for 50 minutes a day, five days each week. Another study published in 2010 in “Applied Physiology, Nutrition and Metabolism” found that women who used elliptical machines or treadmills four days a week for 40 to 90 minutes at high intensities and reduced their caloric intake effectively lost weight.
Ellipticals offer high calorie-burning workouts, which is why they are effective for weight loss. Harvard Health Publications estimate that a woman who weighs 155 pounds will burn about 670 calories per hour using an elliptical machine. Burning 670 calories more than you eat daily will help you shed more than 1 pound per week.
Importance of Diet
Avoid overindulging in food in response to exercise, especially if you have a lot of pounds to drop. Using an elliptical machine for one hour and lowering your intake by 500 calories daily can help you lose about 2 pounds per week. The National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute suggests most active women limit their food intake to 1,200 to 1,600 calories a day for safe but effective weight loss.
It’s a challenging task to maintain a weight loss long-term. However, sticking with your elliptical workouts, even after completing your weight-loss program, will help prevent you from packing on pounds. The 2009 review published in “Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise” found that exercising 150 to 250 minutes weekly helps prevent weight regain. You can accomplish this feat by completing elliptical workouts for at least 30 minutes, five days each week.
- Archives of Internal Medicine: Effect of Exercise on 24-Month Weight Loss Maintenance in Overweight Women
- Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise: American College of Sports Medicine Position Stand. Appropriate Physical Activity Intervention Strategies for Weight Loss and Prevention of Weight Regain for Adults
- Applied Physiology, Nutrition and Metabolism: Effects of Exercise Combined with Caloric Restriction on Inflammatory Cytokines
- Harvard Health Publications: Calories Burned in 30 Minutes for People of Three Different Weights
- National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute: How are Overweight and Obesity Treated?
Erin Coleman is a registered and licensed dietitian. She also holds a Bachelor of Science in dietetics and has extensive experience working as a health writer and health educator. Her articles are published on various health, nutrition and fitness websites.