Whether it’s a beer belly, spare tire, or love handles, there’s no doubt that some of us carry a few extra pounds that would look way better on a middle school arch nemesis (kidding… sort of). But running marathons, heavy lifting, or going the no carb route doesn’t guarantee a drop in jean size. to weight loss is (drum roll, please) burning more calories than devoured.

Fat Attack — The Need-to-Know

One pound of fat is roughly equivalent to 3,500 calories, so individuals need to more than they consume to shed that first lb. But what’s the best way to do it? Researchers insist that is key— since studies show that losing weight comes down to a simple numbers game: calories in versus calories out Melanson, E.L., MacLean, P.S., Hill, J.O. Division of Endocrinology, Metabolism, and Diabetes, University of Colorado Denver, Denver, CO. Exercise and Sport Science Reviews, 2009 Apr;37(2):93-101.. Still, exercising the right way will help tip the scale. In one study, overweight participants signed on for eight weeks of either aerobic workouts or strength training Slentz, C.A., Bateman, L.A., Willis, L.H., et al. Div. of Cardiology, Dept. of Medicine, Duke Univ. Durham, NC. American Journal of Physiology Endocrinology and Metabolism, 2011 Nov;301(5):E1033-9. Epub 2011 Aug 16.. Surprisingly, the aerobic group burned more calories than the resistance training group. Consider quick sprints over slow miles to slim that midsection, though; intervals are by many to be a more efficient way to Talanian, J.L, Galloway, S.D., Heigenhauser, G.J. et al. Department of Human Health and Nutritional Sciences, University of Guelph, Ontario, Canada. The European Journal of Applied Physiology, 2007 Apr;102(4):1439-47. Epub 2006 Dec 14. Boutcher, S.H. School of Medical Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia. Journal of Obesity, 2011;2011:868305. Epub 2010 Nov 24.. (Also Check Out: The 63 Best Health and Fitness Apps) But we may need more than a pair of Asics. Researchers grabbing those dumbbells is an effective way to get rid of excess flab Schmitz, K.H., Hannan, P.J., Stovitz, S.D., et al. Center for Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, Philadelphia, PA. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 2007 Sep;86(3):566-72. Thorton, M.K., Potteiger, J.A. School of Nursing, Georgia Southern University, Statesboro, GA. Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, 2002 Apr;34(4):715-22.. And unlike aerobic exercise (like running and biking), strength training dramatically increases muscle— which ramps up metabolism and calorie-blasting, too.

Bye-Bye Beer Belly — Your Action Plan

Still, let’s not forget (that Iron Man isn’t quite worth it if we hit the all-you-can-eat buffet every day this week). on calories through healthier choices can make all the difference— so skip the super-sized burger and fries and go for some lean blackened chicken instead. And while calories count most when it comes to the number on the scale, researchers have found that higher protein diets have a greater , a fancy phrase for speeding up metabolic rate Bray, G.A., Smith, S.R., de Jonge, L. et al. Pennington Biomedical Research Center, Baton Rouge, The Journal of the American Medical Association, 2012 Jan 4;307(1):47-55. Halton, T.L., Hu F.B. Dept. of Nutrition, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, MA. Journal of the American College of Nutrition, 2004 Oct;23(5):373-85.. (So maybe get that burger, but hold the bun?) The body also , so keep that workout routine varied to stay challenged while beating out boredom. Besides, studies suggest a of cardio and strength training is the best way to say sayonara to that excess body fat— something we surely won’t miss Bryner, R.W., Ullrich, I.H., Sauers, J. Department of Human Performance and Applied Exercise Science, West Virginia University, Morgantown, WV. Journal of the American College of Nutrition, 1999 Apr;18(2):115-21.. Do you have a weight loss success story? What are your tips for keeping off the pounds? Also check out Glamourgirlz's complete Fitness Resources This article has been read and approved by Glamourgirlz Experts Emran Riaz and Michael George.