A clean Diet, is the most effective for weight loss. Strength training is important because the more lean muscle mass you have, the more calories your body burns at rest. Cardiovascular exercise utilizing a “bursting” technique (high intensity interval training) will provide you with the fastest results for fat loss in my opinion and experience. You really need to have all 3 components (diet, strength training, “bursting”) in check to maximize your efforts.
Cardiovascular training and strength training are separate components that both need to be utilized in any program. People’s goals are always to lose weight, I think as Health and Fitness Professionals we have to keep our eyes on the prize: facilitating healthy living choices including food choices, balanced nutrition, and exercise that targeting cardiovascular health, muscular strength and endurance, and flexibility. If all of these variables are incorporated, weight loss will come, and last. We need to shift our clients perspective from now-now-now-to slow and steady wins the race.
To really answer your question-the majority of our daily caloric burn is through our RMR(resting metabolic rate), 60-75%. Dietary intake(paying careful attention to what you eat AND when you eat it), and maintaining lean muscles mass are key.
Sensible eating, of course, is obviously critical. Strength training and cardiovascular training address different physiological pathways. Major muscle strength exercises, 1-3 sets, 10-12 RM. High intensity aerobic intervals (treadmill, cycle, eliptical) are a good adjunct. And don’t forget stretching. Altough not a critical component of weight loss, flexiblity is a critical component of overall fitness.