Does Running Burn Belly Fat? The Answer May Surprise You

November 27, 2012 | By | 2 Comments

Running is the exercise of choice for those looking to burn belly fat. But does it really work?

So, you’ve decided to do something about your growing waistline. Naturally, you’re looking for the most effective way to burn belly fat and get that flat stomach. After all, nobody wants to lose weight slow, right? And, I’m sure you know that diet plays a huge role in the process.

But what about exercise? And running, in particular? No doubt you’ve seen runners all over – be it in the gym, the city streets, or your rural neighborhood. But is that activity helping them lose belly fat? More importantly, is that the best way to go about it?

All good questions which we’ll answer in the paragraphs below…

For starters, yes, running does burn belly fat. In fact, every form of movement burns belly fat: walking, dancing, gardening, to name a few. With that said, if you’re trying to get a flat stomach as fast as possible – there are better ways to go about it. Here’s why…

Long-distance running (like most prolonged exercises) increases appetite. Oftentimes, this increase is disproportional to the amount of calories it burns. Combine that with a lack of knowledge of how weight loss actually works and you have the perfect storm.

You see, the average person who takes up running to lose weight (i.e. the person just described) will oftentimes end up eating more than they should. Again, running increases appetite – that and a sense of entitlement. It’s the “I’m working out so I can eat what I want” misconception. As expected, this just leads to a bigger belly and studies prove it.

Alright, so we’ve established that long-distance running (or jogging) isn’t the best way to burn belly fat. So then, what is?

Sprints. Quick bursts of “hauling ass” that last 30-45 seconds (tops). Here’s why…

  1. They cause you to release large amounts of Human Growth Hormone (HGH). This anti-aging substance builds muscle, burns fat, and keeps you young. In fact, it’s so effective that people pay thousands for HGH injections. Do sprints and you get it for free!
  2. They result in excess post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC) or “afterburn”. Say what? In a nutshell, you end up burning fat for several hours after you’re done sprinting. In contrast, running only burns fat while you’re doing it. Once you stop, so does the fat burn. In short, by sprinting you get “more for less”.
  3. They prevent muscle wasting. Take a look at the image below:

On the left you have your typical frame of a long-distance runner. On the right, that of a sprinter. Now let me ask you a question: which body would you rather have? Yes, that’s a rhetorical question.

But in all seriousness, you want to have as much muscle as possible. The more you have, the faster your metabolism will run, and the quicker you’ll burn belly fat. Furthermore, it will be much easier to keep it off long-term. However, building muscle is hard work. On the contrary, losing it is easy – especially if you run for miles and miles. Be smart: sprint.

So there you have it. To wrap things up, let me say it again: yes, running will help you burn belly fat. But it’s neither the fastest, nor the best way to go about it. Instead, get your diet in check and focus on short, intense exercises like sprints. Better still, throw some weightlifting into your routine. Finally, if you insist on prolonged periods of activity, do the one thing that will truly help your cause: walk – don’t run.

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Filed in: Dieting Myths & Mistakes

Comments (2)

  1. Sally G.

    I’m 73, gained a big belly after two bouts in the hospital this summer and lots of steroids. Not on them now. 5’2″ and 152#. I have to get down to about 135 to be in good shape. I do yard work (2acres) and play with my dobie. I have a lot of arthritis but am on no meds. Eat very healthy, but my biggest problem is my addiction to dark chocolate chips and walnuts in the evening.
    What can I eat to satisfy my sweet tooth besides the chocolate? P.s. I have your CC Diet book and eat no sugar all day, then blow it with the chocolate!

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