Are Elliptical Cross Trainers Good For Weight Loss?

woman using Elliptical weight loss

Weight loss can only be achieved one way: by burning more calories than you consume. Following a calorie-conscious diet plan will be instrumental in reaching your target weight, but you can speed up the process by burning extra calories through exercise. Namely, in a cardio session. In this post, we are going to look at elliptical cross trainers and how they can provide the setting for an energy-intense workout, as well as give you some tips on how frequently you should be using them and when you can expect to see results.

Elliptical machines and weight loss

Weight loss is a matter of calories in versus calories out. So, clearly, it is important to know how many calories you will burn when using an elliptical machine. In a 30-minute session, a 125lb person burns 270 calories, a 155lb person burns 324 calories, and a 185lb person burns 378 calories. Aiming for 2 or 3 sessions per week is a sustainable way of structuring your weight loss regime.

Of course, there is nothing to stop you from hopping onto your elliptical machine more frequently, but we find that promising to work out every day or every other day is not practical and that people end up losing their motivation to workout at all. This is especially common with people who are at the very beginning of their weight loss journey. It is easy to overestimate what is possible in a standard week and then blame yourself for not keeping up with a, frankly, unrealistic workout plan.

I am new to this, will it be too hard?

An elliptical machine is an ideal piece of equipment for a newbie because it is a low impact exercise. High impact exercises, like jogging, for example, are a bad option if you are overweight because they put a lot of pressure on the joints. If you are worried that the exercise itself will be too difficult, then rest assured that the elliptical machine is suitable for even the most unfit person because it is simple to use and you can go at your own pace.

Another thing to remember when you are just starting out is that…you are just starting out! Go easy on yourself. If you find that you are panting and breathless after 15 minutes, then recognise that you have reached your limit in that session and congratulate yourself for working hard.

Over time, you will find that your limit changes as your stamina improves and your power per stroke increases. 15 minutes will become 20, which will become 25, which will become 30, and then you will start adding extra resistance to that 30. A good way to structure your workout is to follow a HIIT approach of pushing yourself for short bursts and then taking an active recovery.

Attention to diet

Some people will tell you that ‘exercise is a bad way to lose weight’. This, however, is not correct. What they really mean is that if you do not pay attention to the calories you are consuming, it is easy to eat back all the energy you burn through exercise. This is especially true for people who do not know how many calories they have burnt and do not check nutritional labels because we tend to overestimate the calorie burn of exercise and underestimate the calorie content of food.

What often happens is someone will do a cardio session, then ‘reward’ themselves with a treat…eating back everything that they have just burnt! It is easy to do when you consider the fact that most 30-minute workouts only burn the equivalent of a serving of ice cream or a bar of chocolate.

Attention to diet - calculate calories

Is there a diet with a magic secret?

To make sure that you ‘bank’ your calories instead of eating them back, it is a good idea to use a calorie tracking app like My Fitness Pal or Noom. There are a million and one diets out there that claim to hold a magic secret, but if you stick to the simple ‘calories in versus calories out’ formula and aim for a 500-calorie deficit a day, you will lose around a pound a week.

Although, we would caution against getting too hung up on the number on the scale because sometimes fat loss is obscured by water retention, muscle growth, etc. What matters most is how your body changes over a longer period of time and that you are heading in the right direction.

Elliptical cross trainers and weight loss

If you are new to working out and are unsure about where to begin, an elliptical cross trainer is a good cardio option because it burns calories, is easy and safe to use, and it allows you room to grow as you become fitter. However, exercise should always be done in combination with attention to diet, to ensure that you do not undo all of your hard work.

Tom Armstrong

Hey! I've been training in all kinds of places, with all kinds of equipment for the best part of 30 years. I love training with my weights at home and writing about new products and training methods online. Well, with a name like Armstrong, I would have to be into training, right?