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Resistance training for weight loss?

Resistance training for weight loss?

Is aerobic exercise the only way to lose weight? Or can resistance training be effective too?

A recent meta-analysis of 114 studies (involving more than 4000 participants) aimed to answer that question.

To be included, the studies needed to compare a resistance-based exercise program to no intervention and measure its effect across all ages on:

🔹 Body fat percentage

🔹 Whole-body fat mass

🔹 Trunk fat mass

🔹 Visceral fat tissue

🔹 Subcutaneous fat tissue

🔹 Lean mass

🔹 Body weight

🔹 Body mass index

The meta-analysis came to 4 main conclusions:

1️⃣ Resistance training significantly reduces body fat percentage and whole-body fat mass in people with overweight or obesity—with greater effects when combined with caloric restriction.

2️⃣ Resistance training significantly reduces regional fat—with greater effect in middle-aged and older adults or when combined with aerobic exercise.

3️⃣ Resistance training alone is the most effective way to increase lean muscle mass.

4️⃣ Resistance training significantly reduces body weight and BMI in all age groups except children and adolescents. There is a greater effect when combine with caloric restriction and/or aerobic exercise.

The bottom line?

👉Resistance training can be an important part of weight management at any age.

Do you have any favorite forms of resistance training?


Lopez P, Taaffe DR, Galvão DA et al. Resistance training effectiveness on body composition and body weight outcomes in individuals with overweight and obesity across the lifespan: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Obes Rev. 2022. [link]

Tracey Mixon is a certified Family Nurse Practitioner, certified functional medicine health coach, and Founder of Desire To Live Now. After a lifelong battle with autoimmune disease, Tracey was introduced to Functional Medicine in 2012 which not only transformed her health but her life. Tracey became a nurse practitioner to help anyone who desires to optimize their health with lifestyle medicine and combat health disparities amongst minority communities.

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