Running For Weight Loss – Is It A Good Way To Burn Fat?

Who else has wondered about running for weight loss…

wants to know if running to lose weight is the best way to burn fat…

flatten your stomach…

and lose inches from those stubborn areas.

Running as a form of exercise is popular means used in weight control, lots of people do it. There are those that don’t get any results, only aches and pains. Then of course there are those who have seen results, lost weight, improved their health, and got in better shape. But is this the best method to use if you want to lose weight and burn fat. You are about to discover the good and bad of running and ultimately if you would be best served using this method to control your weight and lose the belly.

Running and walking to lose weight has been done for a long time. Bodybuilders almost always use walking as a way to burn fat. There isn’t any denying that pounding the pavement can be used to help you burn extra calories and lose weight. After all, you’ve seen how skinny marathon runners are.

Since it is a fact that running does burn calories the debate becomes a question of how effective is it, and are there better ways to lose weight….

Just because it can be done, doesn’t mean it should.

How Running Helps You Lose Weight

If you want to lose weight you have to burn more calories than you take in. Long slow steady runs and long walks burn calories. In fact it takes the same amount of calories to cover a mile no matter if you walk or run. The benefit to running is that it is done much faster allowing you to cover more ground and burn more calories in the same amount of time.

A 105 pound person can expect to burn about 100 calories after traveling a mile. If you walk it will take somewhere around 15 minutes, if you chose to run an average time will be in the area of 9 minutes. The heavier you are the more you have to work and with that comes a slight increase in calorie consumption. Of course the same applies for the smaller people, but just the opposite. A Smaller lighter person burns less calories per mile.

Benefits of Running

Quite possibility the biggest benefit to steady state running is that most anyone can do it. And you can do it anywhere at anytime. Add to that the fact that you don’t need any fancy equipment…

there are some who don’t even wear shoes. So really it’s easy to get into.

  • You can do it easily while you travel.
  • Running is a cheep viable source of exercise.
  • You can do it with friends or play some music and go it alone.
  • You can also make it a great social event.

I have run a few road races and they are great fun…

  • nice people
  • lots of prizes
  • races support good causes…

it is an enjoyable way to get a run in.

What is Wrong With Running

True, long slow runs do have their benefits, but there are some drawbacks too.

The biggest two problems with long slow runs as a means to control weight is,

  1. boredom
  2. time and effort doesn’t reflect results

Those may be the two biggest reasons to forgo joining your local running club and find a different means of losing weight.

Not convinced, well maybe this may get you thinking differently.

Most fitness professionals and nutritionists agree that a pound of body fat stores about 3600 calories. Now, to burn just one pound of your belly fat you will have to cover 36 miles, approximately 5.5 hours. And that is if you run at a good pace. Not something a beginner could do. Did I mention that was only 1 pound worth of belly fat!

In case you were wondering, here is the math. On average a person burns 100 calories for every mile they cover. We also know a pound of fat contains 3600 calories. An average runner will cover a mile in 8 to 10 minutes.

So you can see it is going to take a lot of miles to burn off that stubborn fat. Think getting in better shape helps…

sorry, it makes it worse. The better in shape you are the more efficient of a runner you are the less calories you burn. You may be able to run faster but you will have to run further.

If that doesn’t sound like a lot of work for little results and not to mention dull then maybe consider this…

Frail and week

Most people who run to lose weight do so to look good naked. If that is the case, take a look at a distance runner. They are frail and week looking. Not what most would consider sexy. You want too look good, have a flat stomach and some muscle. You want to look more like a Hollywood star or fitness model. Long runs will eat away at your muscle making look frail and week, because of that I prefer other methods to burn fat.

Decreased muscle mass has two drawbacks

Long slow runs will decrease muscle mass. This reduction in lean muscle slows down you metabolism and because of that you are burning less calories throughout your day. I purpose of the run was to burn calories, not slow down your metabolism and make it harder to burn fat and easier to gain weight.

Muscle tone adds shape, you will look healthier and sexier. Don’t you want to look better naked.

Better Way to Burn Fat For Weight Loss

Listed below are the 3 best methods for shedding unwanted body fat. For the best results do a combination of all 3. But if for some reason you can’t they are listed in order of importance from most important to least.

  1. Nutrition
  2. Interval training
  3. Weight training

Nutrition is by far the best way to lose weight. There is no need to binge diet, just learn to make better food choices and know the calories of what you eat.

Lets look at a small snack you may have at the office or a while visiting a friend. There are cookies, cakes, and pastries all over. The cookies are small and you want to lose weight so you gram 2. These 2 tiny Oreo cookies equal 140 calories. Depending on your size you would have to run about 1.25 miles to burn that off.

Now you need a little something to wash that down with and reach for a bottle of Coke add another 1.25 miles to your trek. In a matter of 5 minutes you just consumed enough calories to fuel you for about a 20 minute run. Because calories add up so fast you do not want to rely on long slow runs to burn them off.

A Better Way To A Better Body

Chances are that you’re not running for the fun of it, or the health benefits. You want to lose weight and look your best. As mentioned before, long runs burn more than just fat. That 5 or 10 mile run will also eat into your muscle. Because these long runs eat away at your muscle you would be better served doing some kind of interval training. Something that will preserve your muscle and metabolism.

Interval Training for Fat Loss

Intervals can take on many different forms, you can

  • Bike
  • Sprint
  • Weight train
  • Jump rope
  • this list is as long as a child’s Christmas list

Intervals are good for 3 reasons.

  1. you burn more calories after the workout stops because of the afterburn
  2. you are more likely to do it because it is shorter, different, and keeps you more engaged
  3. preserves your muscle so you look good

As you see long slow runs for weight loss is a tough way to burn body fat…

…because improved running ability decreases calorie consumption

… because it is nearly impossible to out run poor nutrition

… because long slow runs decrease lean muscle

The best way to get rid of stubborn belly fat is to eat a balanced portion controlled meals. To further enhance your fat burning ability include some strength training and interval training because these two forms of exercise boost your metabolism to keep you burning fat constantly.