How to Lose Weight on an Elliptical Trainer

Do you want to lose weight using your elliptical? If so, you’re in luck!

In this article, we’ll go over everything from how many calories you can expect to burn to the best moves and workouts. 

We’ll also cover some common mistakes people make when trying to lose weight on an elliptical and how to avoid them. So, whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned pro, this guide has something for you!

Is Elliptical Good for Weight Loss?

If you’re looking for a workout that will raise your heart rate, burn calories, and tone your muscles, look no further than the elliptical machine. This versatile piece of equipment can be used for a wide variety of workouts, making it an ideal choice for people trying to lose weight.

And because it’s low impact, the elliptical is also an excellent option for people who have joint issues or are recovering from an injury. Whether you’re looking to start slow and steady or go all out, the elliptical can help you reach your fitness goals.

If you’re like most people, you probably raise your eyebrows when you see the words “calories burned” on an elliptical machine. But before you write it off as another fad, consider this: according to the American Council on Exercise, you can burn approximately 303 calories in 30 minutes on an elliptical. That’s not too shabby! 

How to Burn More Calories on an Elliptical?

losing weight on an elliptical

Your caloric burn on the elliptical depends on several variables, including intensity and workout duration. 

However, a general rule of thumb is that you can expect to burn about 100 calories per mile on an elliptical. 

So, if you can’t do high-speed, aim for a longer distance. 

Pro tip: Don’t be discouraged if you don’t see results right away. Keep at it, and you’ll start to see the numbers on the scale go down.

Here are other things you can do: 

  • Increase the resistance. 
  • Increase the incline. 
  • Make sure you’re using your arms as well as your legs. 

Pro tip: Sometimes, it may feel like your legs are doing all the work on the elliptical. So, make a conscious effort to stop your legs, then try to move the elliptical using just your arms. That way, your upper body will get an excellent workout too. 

Does Elliptical Burn Belly Fat?

do ellipticals burn belly fat?

The short answer is yes. Here’s why:

Total Body Fat Burner

The elliptical machine can help you burn belly fat because it helps tone your entire body, including your abdominal muscles. In addition, the elliptical machine is relatively easy to use and does not require a lot of coordination. 

Pro tip: This makes it an excellent choice for beginners who are just starting to work out. 

Accelerated Metabolism

Moreover, the elliptical machine is a great way to vary your workout routine and keep your body guessing. This is important because when your body becomes used to a particular type of exercise, it becomes less effective at burning calories. 

Sculpted Core

Besides, the elliptical machine targets your core muscles, sculpting them and getting your six-pack out of the dark.

Here’s why:

First, the elliptical forces you to use your stabilizer muscles to maintain balance. In addition, the elliptical motion engages your core muscles in a way that other exercises, like running or cycling, do not. As you push and pull the pedals, your abdominal and oblique muscles have to work overtime to keep your body moving in a smooth, circular motion. 

As a result, the elliptical is an excellent way to tone your midsection. 

How Can You Burn More Belly Fat on an Elliptical?

If you’re like most people, you probably want to get rid of belly fat. And if you’re like most people, you probably think the best way to do that is by spending hours on the elliptical.

That’s a mistake.

There’s no magic recipe for burning belly fat on an Elliptical, but a few tips and tricks can help you maximize your workout and get the most out of your machine. 

  • Use the right resistance setting. If it’s too low, you won’t be challenging your muscles enough to see results. But if it’s too high, you’ll tire yourself out quickly and won’t be able to sustain your workout.
  • Keep your movements fluid and smooth. Avoid jerking or bouncing, which can put unnecessary strain on your joints and muscles. 
  • Don’t forget to breathe! Proper breathing will help you maintain your endurance and keep your body working at its highest level. 
  • Contract your abs. That’s right – simply contracting your abs while working out can help you burn more belly fat. The reason is that when you engage your abs, they have to work harder. As a result, they become more sculpted.
  • Aim for a heart rate that falls into the fat-burning zone. This value is generally between 70 and 80 percent of your maximum heart rate. To calculate your maximum heart rate, subtract your age from 220. For example, if you’re 40 years old, your maximum heart rate would be 180 beats per minute. So, to find your fat-burning zone, multiply 180 by .7 (70 percent) and by .8 (80 percent). This gives you a range of 126 to 144 beats per minute. Strap on a heart rate monitor or check your pulse periodically on the elliptical to keep track of your heart rate. 

How to Lose Weight on an Elliptical

how to lose weight on elliptical cross trainer

Losing weight on the elliptical is more than just a matter of using it. You have to use it wisely. Here’s how you can do that:

Increase Speed

Increasing the speed on the elliptical will help you lose weight because it burns more calories. The faster you go, the more calories you will burn and the more weight you will lose.

And, as we all know, weight loss is all about burning more calories than you consume. 

Here’s the problem:

While it’s true that working out at a higher intensity will help you burn more calories in a shorter amount of time, there are other factors to consider. 

For one thing, if you push yourself too hard, you may injure yourself. And even if you don’t get injured, you may find that working out at a high intensity is too difficult to sustain over the long term. 

So what’s the best way to lose weight on the elliptical? 

The answer is: that it depends on your fitness level and goals. 

If you’re just starting, it’s probably best to stick with a lower intensity until you build up your endurance. Once you’re able to sustain a higher level of activity, you can gradually increase your speed and intensity. 

And if weight loss is your primary goal, don’t forget to factor in diet and lifestyle as well. No matter how hard you work out, you won’t see results unless you eat healthily.

Increase the Resistance

By increasing the resistance, you can activate more muscles, burn more calories, and increase your metabolism in the long term. Here’s how these variables are intertwined:

Increasing the resistance will help tone your muscles, which will help you burn more calories. In addition, by working against more resistance, you will build more muscle. And you know, muscle burns more calories than fat! 

Therefore, not only will you lose weight in the short term by increasing the resistance on the elliptical, but you’ll also be setting yourself up for long-term success. 

So get on that machine and get sweaty! Your dream body is just a few resistance levels away.

Focus on Muscle Strength

elliptical trainer weight loss

Stronger muscles speed up your metabolic rate so that you can lose more weight. What tips and tricks are there to increase your muscle mass on the elliptical?

  • Make sure you’re using the correct resistance setting. If the resistance is too low, you won’t be challenging your muscles enough. But if it’s too high, you may strain yourself and risk injury.
  • Keep your movements smooth and controlled. Jerky movements can lead to injuries, and you won’t get as much of a workout if your movements are uncontrolled.
  • Vary your workout routine. Mix up your resistance settings and workout duration to keep your muscles guessing. This strategy will help you see results faster.
  • Keep a correct posture. Aim to stand straight and tall, with your shoulders back and down. Your core should be engaged, and your hips slightly tilted inward. Otherwise, you may end up putting strain on your back and neck. 


HIIT, or high-intensity interval training, is a popular exercise that involves alternating periods of intense activity with rest periods. HIIT on the elliptical can also help you burn more calories.

One reason is that HIIT workouts are designed to challenge your body and push your limits. When you HIIT on the elliptical, you force your body to work harder than it would during a traditional aerobic workout. As a result, you burn more calories and improve your fitness level. 

Besides, HIIT keeps your body guessing. So, unlike steady-state cardio, it accelerates your metabolic rate instead of slowing down your metabolism. As a result, you can avoid weight loss plateaus.

Pro tip: Not all ellipticals are good for weight loss. Some don’t have high enough resistance or incline options, while others lack built-in HIIT workouts. So, if you need to lose weight quickly on your elliptical, choose the right machine for the task.


While exercise is undoubtedly crucial to any successful weight loss plan, it’s important to remember that rest days are just as important. Not only do rest days allow your body time to recover from workouts, but they also give your metabolism a boost. 

When you’re constantly exercising, your body becomes more efficient at burning calories, leading to a plateau in weight loss. Taking one or two days off each week can help jumpstart your metabolism and help you continue losing weight. So don’t forget to schedule some rest days as you’re working on your weight loss goals!

Eat Healthily

When it comes to weight loss, there are no magic bullets. 

The only way to lose weight and keep it off is to eat fewer calories than you expend each day. And while that sounds simple enough, the reality is often much more complex. 

That’s because our bodies are incredibly efficient at keeping us at a certain weight, and when we try to lose weight, our bodies fight back by making us feel hungrier and slowing down our metabolism.

So, how do you overcome these obstacles and achieve sustainable weight loss? By eating healthy foods that support your weight loss goals.

Healthy foods help to keep you feeling full, so you’re less likely to overeat. They also provide the nutrients your body needs to function properly, which helps boost your metabolism. And when your metabolism is running efficiently, you’ll burn more calories throughout the day. 

So, if you’re serious about losing weight, make sure to include plenty of healthy foods in your diet.

How Long on Elliptical to Lose Weight?

elliptical machine for weight loss

If you’re like most people, you probably want to know how long you need to spend on the elliptical to lose weight. The answer, unfortunately, isn’t as simple as you might hope. 

In general, you’ll need to spend at least 30 minutes on the elliptical to see any weight-loss benefits. However, the amount of time you need to spend will vary depending on your fitness level, age, and weight. 

And if you’re looking to lose a significant amount of weight, you’ll need to be even more diligent about your elliptical workouts. 

So if you’re serious about shedding some pounds, be prepared to put in some time on the elliptical – and make sure to consult with your doctor before starting any new workout routine.

However, even ten minutes per day can make a world of difference.

Consider that ten minutes on the elliptical will help you burn 100-200 calories, depending on your current weight, metabolism, and how hard you’re challenging yourself.

Also, consider cutting 300-400 calories/day from your diet by eating cleaner and adjusting your portion sizes. That’s 500 calories/ day.

And if 3500 calories equal a pound, you can be a pound lighter by the end of the week, with just ten minutes of elliptical/day.

What if you’re using the elliptical for an hour per day?

In this case, you could technically burn 1600 calories/day, translating into a 3-pound weight loss per week.

However, this way of exercising isn’t sustainable in the long term. Here’s why:

  • If you’re exercising for an hour every day, you’re likely not getting enough rest. And if you’re not getting enough rest, your body won’t have the time to recover from workouts and repair muscle tissue. Overexercising can lead to injuries, fatigue, and decreased overall fitness.
  • You’ll eventually hit a weight loss plateau. Your body will become more efficient at burning calories, which means you’ll have to work harder and harder to lose weight.
  • You’ll start eating more because your body will need more energy to sustain these challenging workouts.

That’s why it’s essential to focus on sustainable weight loss goals. Losing a few pounds quickly is great, but if you can’t keep the weight off, it’s not worth it in the end. So, aim for a healthy rate of weight loss – between one and two pounds per week – and make sure to include other lifestyle changes, like eating a healthy diet and getting enough rest, to help you reach your goals.

Elliptical Benefits for Weight Loss

elliptical benefits for weight loss

In addition to helping you lose weight, the elliptical has several other benefits that make it an ideal workout for those looking to improve their health.

  • The elliptical is a low-impact workout. This means it’s easy on your joints and muscles, making it an excellent choice for people with joint pain or other injuries.
  • The elliptical is a great cardio workout. It gets your heart rate up and helps improve your cardiovascular health.
  • The elliptical is a great way to improve your balance and coordination. As you get better at using the machine, you’ll develop better balance and coordination, which can help you in other areas of your life.

Read more: 9 Elliptical Benefits And 3 RISKS To AVOID

Elliptical 30 Minutes a Day Weight Loss

Here’s what happens if you work out on the elliptical for 30 minutes a day:

  • You’ll burn approximately 200-400 calories, depending on your weight, fitness level, and how hard you’re working.
  • Thanks to the elliptical’s afterburn effect, you’ll also continue to burn calories for a few hours after your workout.
  • Over time, these workouts will help you lose weight and develop leaner, stronger muscles.
  • You’ll also improve your cardiovascular health and develop better balance and coordination.

Just be sure to vary your workouts:

  • Use the elliptical at a challenging resistance and/or incline three days per week to strength train.
  • Focus on speed and cardio on two-three other days to give your muscles a break and build cardio resistance.

30 Day Elliptical Weight Loss Results

If you commit to working out on the elliptical for 30 minutes a day, five days a week, you can expect to see some pretty impressive results in just one month.

You’ll lose weight, build lean muscle, improve cardiovascular health, and develop better balance and coordination.

Plus, you’ll have more energy and feel great overall!

You might even reach your weight goals by the end of this month. Either way, your sculpted body will look much firmer and shapely. You will rock whatever outfit you want to wear – and you’ll also have the confidence for it.

Your before and after photos will be unique, and you’ll be so proud of your accomplishment.

Elliptical Workouts for Weight Loss

elliptical trainer workouts for weight loss

If you’re looking for an elliptical workout that will help you lose weight, here are a few tips:

  • Start with a warm-up: Increase your heart rate gradually by starting at a lower intensity and then increasing the resistance and/or incline as your body warms up.
  • Work at a challenging level: To see results, you need to push yourself. Increase the resistance and/or incline until you’re working at a level that is challenging but still manageable.
  • Focus on your form: Good form means a better workout, so keep your abs engaged and your back straight while you’re elliptical. Many people tend to bend over the handlebars, hunching their shoulders and backs.
  • Cool down and stretch: When you’re finished with your workout, cool down gradually and then stretch your muscles.

Here is an elliptical workout that will help you lose weight:

  • Day One: 30-minute HIIT elliptical workout (focusing on speed)
  • Day Two: 20-minute steady-state cardio
  • Day Three: 30-minute HIIT elliptical workout (focusing on resistance)
  • Day Four: 20-minute steady-state cardio
  • Day Five: 30-minute HIIT elliptical workout (focusing on increasing the incline)

Remember to warm up and cool down for at least 3-5 minutes.

If you commit to this elliptical workout plan, you’ll see some fantastic results in just one month! You’ll lose weight, build lean muscle, improve cardiovascular health, and develop better balance and coordination.

Wrap Up

If you’re looking to lose weight, the elliptical is an excellent piece of equipment to use. With its many health benefits and ability to burn calories, the elliptical can help you reach your weight loss goals. Just be sure to commit to a regular workout routine and focus on your form. 

Mary D. Brown

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