You’ve made it to the gym, you’ve pumped yourself up for a workout that will melt the pounds away, and now you’re left with an overwhelming amount of free weights, machines and cardio equipment in front of you. What’s the best choice for your weight loss workout? Read on to find out!

First, Know How Quick Weight Loss Really Works
The most important thing to know before even stepping foot on the treadmill or stair climber is that not all calories are created equal—and weight loss isn’t as simple as ‘the less calories you consume, the more weight you’ll drop.’ For example, if you skipped a meal regularly, you may lose water weight initially, but there’s a good chance the weight will come right back.

Someone else who loses weight with a nutritious diet and weight training regime may actually look thinner and more toned than someone who consumed less calories— thanks to lean muscles which improve your overall body composition. Start each day with a balanced, high protein, nutrient rich (not calorie rich) breakfast, and when you head to your gym for a workout, focus on these machines:

•    The elliptical. If you want to lose weight, but you’ve recently suffered from an injury (or currently experience joint pain due to weight gain and inflammation), the elliptical machine is a no-nonsense and low impact choice. Depending on your size, a person can lose a significant number of calories (a 180 person can lose up to 600 calories in an hour). But, no matter how much you’re trying to lose, the elliptical is a great weight loss and toning tool.

•    The stairmaster. A great cardio machine for anyone, it’s particular useful for those who want to lose weight, because as you change up the resistance, you can burn more calories—and lose more weight. At the same time, it’s a great lower body workout. It focuses simultaneously on the glutes, calves, hamstrings and quads— which means at ten minutes in, you’ll be sweating away last night’s dessert and on your way to trim thighs!

Muscular men using rowing machine at gym•    The rowing machine. Besides cardio (which is best for weight loss), the indoor rowing machine is a favorite of personal trainers, everywhere. To lose weight correctly (and have a toned, lean body), you want to use as much muscle during your workout as possible. The row machine allows you to utilize about 80 percent of your muscle mass, and challenges your body with a large range of motion (the outcome is a total upper body workout). Lose up to 1,000 calories in a single hour!

In order to shed the weight off of your stomach, hips, thighs and back, you have to burn more calories than you consume. Do it the right way (with our suggestions above), and you’ll have a killer body from head to toe.