If you want to lose belly fat by running, this article will show you how to get the most out of your workouts and the diet changes to make.
Running is a great exercise for improving your cardiovascular health. And like every other physical activity, it can help you lose weight.
Many experts and fitness enthusiasts agree that cardiovascular exercises such as running are not as effective as strength training with regard to weight loss. I have actually written an article explaining why strength training is better than cardio.
While running has many health benefits, it is not the best exercise for losing belly fat. Running doesn’t increase muscle mass as fast as short full body workouts. This is a huge disadvantage because building muscle is the most effective way to boost metabolism.
The good news is that you can make your runs more efficient for weight loss. In fact, running can help tone your muscles when done correctly. Here are some of the best ways to lose belly fat by running.
How to lose belly fat by running
1. Change Your Diet
No matter how hard you exercise, you may never achieve your weight loss goals if have poor eating habits. Changing your diet will help you get better results from your running workouts.
According to this Danish study, new runners who changed their diets lost an average of 12.3 pounds (5.5kgs) running over 5km (3 miles) per week in a year compared to those who didn’t change their diets who lost on the average 8.4 pounds during the same period and exercise intensity.
Some of the diet changes you should make include cutting back on processed foods, eating high-fiber foods, eating more protein, eating more healthy fats, and avoiding sugary drinks.
2. Track Your Macros
Have you been running regularly but can’t see any change in your waistline, even after adopting healthier eating habits?
The problem could be the amount of food you eat. Simply eating healthy foods doesn’t guarantee that you will lose belly fat. You have to eat fewer calories than you do burn in order to lose belly fat by running.
You can avoid the common mistake of overeating by tracking your calories. Go to CalorieKing and search for the calorie content of the foods you eat regularly.
Note that tracking calories can turn into an unhealthy obsession. Don’t obsess over every calorie that goes into your mouth. You only need a rough estimate of your total daily calorie intake.
3. Eat Before Your Workouts
There is a lot of debate on the effectiveness of eating or not eating before workouts. However, it is better to eat before your workout if you are going for a long run.
Some argue that running on an empty stomach helps burn more fat but this approach may not be beneficial. In fact, running on an empty stomach lowers performance in some cases.
Eat heavy meals 2 hours before your run. Eating sooner than that can lower your performance. Eat light snacks like bananas 15 minutes before your run.
4. Start Slow
It’s important to gradually ease into a running workout routine or any other exercise to avoid injuries and burnout. Running is a high impact activity that can cause overuse injuries to the knees and ankles.
Follow the ten percent rule. According to this rule, you should never run more than 10 percent of the distance you ran in the previous workout.
It is advisable to start with a simple exercise like walking in order to improve your fitness, especially if you are morbidly obese.
5. Don’t run every day
Run every other day to allow your bones and muscles to recover from the rigors of exercise. Runners who don’t rest often suffer more injuries. If you are a new runner, rest for at least 2 days a week. Experienced runners can run for up to 6 days a week.
Make sure your workout goals are sustainable. One of the best ways of doing that is to allow your body enough time to rest and recover. Your body repairs and builds damaged tissues and restore energy during rest.
6. Increase the Intensity of Your Runs
One way to increase the fat-burning potential of your runs is to increase the tempo. Rather than running long runs at a slow and steady pace, do high-intensity workouts.
Research has shown that HIIT workouts build more muscle and have a higher post-workout calorie-burning effect.
7. Run on the hills
Don’t avoid running on hills because it is more challenging. Running on hills burns more calories and builds more muscle than running on flat ground.
If you think you have hit a plateau with your runs, you can turn up the challenge by running on a small hill to increase your calorie expenditure by as much as 50 percent. The body burns 10 percent more calories for each degree of incline that you run.
I highly recommend you take this approach if you want to lose belly fat by running. You may also want to try hill sprints since they burn more calories per minute than any other exercise.
8. Stair Climbing
Running on the stairs is a powerful fat-burning exercise that helps to condition the body for advanced physical performance. All you need to do is run up the stairs and jog back down the stairs to rest.
You must be careful when running up or down the stairs to avoid missing your steps.
9. Shuttle Runs
Shuttle runs increase your agility and speed, two important ingredients for long runs. If you are looking for an ideal HIIT workout to complement your runs, shuttle runs are perfect.
Here’s how to do shuttle runs:
10. Strength Train
Strength training should be part of your workout program if you want to lose belly fat by running.
Strength training helps to build muscle mass, and muscles increase fat burning by boosting metabolism. Research also shows that strength training boosts metabolism for hours after the workout.
Bodyweight exercises such as pushups, burpees, hand walkouts, and squats will give you all the benefits of strength training, yet they don’t require any equipment.
11. Change Your Running Routine
One of the reasons people cannot lose belly fat by running is because the body quickly adapts to the workout. You have to change your routine regularly to keep challenging your muscles.
Rather than maintain a single type of run, you can do a fast-paced run today and a slow run the next time. You can also include bodyweight exercises in between your runs to spice things up a bit.
12. Fast If You Are Doing a Short Run
As I said earlier, there is a lot of controversy about fasted training. Some research shows that working out in a fasted state can increase fat loss and decrease the levels of fat in the blood.
13. Stay properly hydrated
Water is essential for optimal performance whether you are working out or doing your daily activities. Running while dehydrated can make you sick. Drink water before running and carry a water bottle with you.
If you usually run long distances, drink at least 3 liters a day. If you are not very active, drink at least 2 liters a day.
14. Do not rely on running alone
If your goal is to lose belly fat by running, you need to follow a well-planned diet, give your body enough time to rest, and be patient with yourself as the weight didn’t pile up in a day.
The truth is you can get a flat stomach faster if you combine running with the fat blaster sequence. It’s simply a sequence of workouts that build muscles, burn fat, and boost energy in less than 15 minutes.