Running occasionally is great for your overall health as it offers an effective workout for the whole body. If you are trying to trim off some belly fat and become slimmer, you probably have come across many recommendations that you should consider running.
You might therefore be asking ‘does running help lose belly fat?’ Read on below to find out.
Understanding Belly Fat
There are two kinds of fat that surround the abdominal area and cause the formation of belly fat; visceral and subcutaneous fat. The subcutaneous fat layer is responsible for the visible sings like love handles, beer belly and even floppy under arms.
Even though this kind of fat is quite unappealing and is also considered as unhealthy, the main concern when it comes to belly fat is actually the visceral fat.
Visceral fat forms deep inside the abdomen and affects the healthy function of your internal organs. It can lead to heart disease, cancer, and diabetes.
Both running and jogging help to significantly reduce the amount of visceral fat, thus improving your overall health.
How Running Helps You Lose Belly Fat
The concept of weight loss is basically burning more calories than you are consuming. Once you enter this kind of calorie burning state, the body is forced to dip into the fat stores in order to continue fueling the activities.
In this regard, running is one of the best calorie-burning exercises that you can do. For example, an average 180-pound individual can easily burn close to 450 calories when running for half an hour at a 6mph pace.
It is necessary to point out that you cannot really direct that the fat should start disappearing from around your belly. However, the inflammatory visceral body fat is usually one the first fat stores to go after lots of running.
If you have some love handles or simply lots of unappealing subcutaneous fat you want to shed off through running, you will need to be very patient with your workout. Running will significantly reduce your overall weight, including your belly fat, but it does not specifically target the abdomen area.
Effective Belly Fat Loss Guidelines for Runners
Running is an effective workout if you are looking to get a flatter stomach. Nevertheless, there are much better ways of handling your running if you want to get great results.
This is because running normally increases appetite and this leads to a situation where you eat more than you should. As expected, the result is a much bigger belly. So, you must approach your training with enough knowledge to ensure positive outcomes.
It is obvious that working out for a long time burns more calories. In fact, going for a run for more than 90 minutes significantly improves the ability of your body to burn fat as fuel.
However, since these long workouts are usually more demanding on your body, it is recommended to only do one long run per week.
Increase the Intensity
For effective belly fat loss, it is all about intensity rather than distance. Instead of sticking to long, slow and steady running, consider adding some high intensity interval sessions to the workout.
For instance, you can jog for one minute at a steady pace and then increase the pace or intensity for around 30 seconds. These intervals of high-intensity running will help burn more belly fat even at rest.
Run On a Hill
If you have become used to flat surfaces when doing your running workouts, then switch things up by running on a hill. You could end up getting approximately a 10% increase in the number of calories burnt.
The same kind of gains can be achieved from running up a staircase at a higher intensity for around 30 seconds and then jogging back down.
Spice Things Up
The body generally adapts to any kind of exercise very quickly. Hence, the key to have a successful belly fat loss is through adding variety and different workouts.
If you have been doing slow jobs, throw in some high intensity intervals training. You can even consider running with high knees where you place more emphasis on working your abs instead of your leg muscles.
The main idea is preventing your body from getting used to the workout, so make sure you add in new challenges every couple of weeks.
Run on an Empty Stomach
Various studies have proven that scheduling your running workout before eating can help you get rid of more fat. The problem with eating before an exercise session is that it substantially reduces fat metabolism during the workout.
It is advisable to exercise before breakfast when your body is in a natural fasted state as you will effectively burn a lot more fat content.
Nevertheless, if you plan on doing a very long and vigorous running workout, you might need some replenishing foods mid-way in order to have a good workout. Interestingly, if you add some glycogen to your body during a workout, it does not affect the sustained fat loss.
Consider having some black coffee as it promotes fat loss by stimulating your metabolism.
Even though running is very beneficial for losing belly fat, you can get greater benefits if you also make additional nutritional changes, including:
- Eating less refined grains and sugar
- Reducing your daily alcohol intake
- Eliminating fast foods from your diet
These simple strategies will not only allow you to cut back on calories, but they also remove some of the foods that have a higher likelihood of causing you get more belly fat. Also, set enough time aside for resting and ensure you are getting sufficient sleep.
Running is definitely an effective strategy of losing your belly fat. However, it must be used as part of a comprehensive weight loss plan that includes avoiding bad dieting habits.
In addition, consider adding some strength training with machines, dumbbells or barbells a few times a week to exercise your muscles. Having a leaner, muscular body will result in more efficient fat burning both during the exercise and at rest.