The most effective way to blast those extra inches off your middle? Hit the weights, says a new study in the journal Obesity.
For 12 years, researchers tracked the waist circumference of 10,500 men who either lifted regularly or did mostly cardio. Result: The cardio group gained nearly twice as much belly flab as the iron pumpers.
“People who weight train have a higher metabolic rate, and that increases their energy expenditure not just during the workout but for 48 hours after,” says study head Rania Mekary, Ph.D.
Don’t toss your running shoes just yet, though. “We’re not trying to discredit aerobic activity,” says Mekary. “In fact, we found that a combination is ideal—you’ll get the best results doing both.” Plus, if you’re looking to shed more pounds overall, the research found aerobic activity decreased total body weight more than lifting.
But, bottom line, lift heavy things and say hasta la vista to those love handles.