So we hear a lot about people just doing an insane amount of cardio to make sure they are "burning fat". Of course we all want to burn fat, that is the ideal case scenario! So here is what you probably see at the gym: your cardio machine telling you that you are burning a lot of calories and your fitness tracker telling you that you aren't burning as much when you lift weights. So in your mind, you said "great! cardio it is!". Although, here are some reasons why weights are actually superior to cardio when it comes to weight loss:
1. People often are scared that when they lift weights/lift heavy, they will "get big". Great news, I am here to tell you that you will not "get big". It takes a LOT of effort to get big. Believe me, I have tried and it isn't going to happen unless I want to spend WAY more time in the gym than I currently am.
With that being said, when you lift weights, you will build muscle which is ideal. When you are building muscle, you will use more energy (burn more calories) throughout the day to do your normal day to day activities. That's right! That means that you don't have to do any extra work to burn more calories. You just have to change what you are doing while you are at the gym. In addition, I am sure the words "I just want to tone up" have come out of your mouth before. In order to get "toned", you need to have muscle. Otherwise, you will just be skin and bones. Typically the order of "getting toned" is to build muscle first, then go into a calorie deficit.
2. The biggest problem with cardio that many people do not realize is that when you are actually performing the activity, you WILL burn more calories than when you lift weights BUT you will burn calories longer when you lift weights than when you do cardio. So for example, let's say you compare an hour long cardio session to an hour long weights session. Within that hour of cardio, you might burn 400 calories and you might only burn 300 calories lifting weights. Although, you body will stop burning calories when you are finished with cardio and will continue to burn after lifting weights. Your body is trying to help you recover from the major "stressor" that you put on your body so it is working on repairing your muscles. After you leave the gym, your body will continue to burn calories and might end up overall burning about 600 calories!
3. Lastly, your body WILL adapt to both the weights and cardio. Although, the only way to counter adoption with cardio is to just do more. So instead of that hour you have always been doing, you will need to bump it up to an hour and ten minutes or an hour and a half to burn the same amount of calories. The nice thing about weight lifting is that when you body adapts to the 10lb curls you have been doing, you just just either do a different type of curl or increase the weight! You do not need to increase your time spent!
So moral of the story is that there are SO many reasons why weight lifting is superior to weight loss than cardio. With that being said, make sure you are always trying to do the form of exercise that will actually just get your body moving! If weights aren't your thing, that's totally fine! Learn to switch up your running workouts!