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Running and belly fat


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Is running important to burn fat in my midsection? I am asking this question because running is a bit difficult to me. I have been trying to run like 3 miles on the treadmill but it kills me. I don't know if I should continue running or just go for something else like biking or elliptical?

Waiting for your advice.
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Do whatever you enjoy as long as it keeps you moving.  If you hate something, the chances are that you will stop doing it.  You can't target fat removal anyway. Your fat will come off where it wants to and when it wants to.  The best thing you can do is focus on activity that you enjoy and do strength training including your abs to tone up the muscles and build strength. 

You can do it!  I personally like biking, hiking, and walking on the treadmill.  Running can be hard.   

 

Sorry to say but it does not make a difference especially in belly fat. There is no such thing a spot reduction ..In order to burn the fat you have to do cardio and combination of weight training..Weight training helps you to build muscle in which muscle allow you to burn off fat when you at rest and aerobic exercises whether it walking, running elliptical, whatever burns body fat all over..But the MOST IMPORTANT IS CHANGE YOUR DIET. 90 percent of weight lost is  your eating habits. You can do 100 step ups and run 10 miles a day but if you not eating healthy diet that will not help your waist line or weight PERIOD Too lose weight especially in waist line is watch what your eating.
sorry I meant the treadmill . I don't run on the elliptical of course:)
change my diet? quality or quantity?

Hey Safina,

What are your current stats?  You are always so worried about every single aspect of your diet and workout.  I am sure it can't be as bad as you think.  Relax women, RELAX

Thanks Agana. I am just wondering if running would help me? I am now 147 pounds. I am 5'3. my belly looks weird but my ribs are showing... that said, I losing fat from my upper body only.
Running is the exercise that burns the most calories in a given period of time.  There won't be anything that targets your belly fat (or any other fat stores you or anyone else may have).  As you lose the fat, you will see it disappear from your midsection eventually.  Keep exercising, it is key.  You can lose a substantial amount of weight by exercising alone.  It happened for me when I trained for a marathon and was still eating like crap.  However, if you want it to come off more quickly and stay off if you're eating a healthy diet.
Running isn't necessarily the best way to get rid of belly fat. Watch a marathon some day. It's true that the fastest runners will have very little body fat. But keep watching as the mid-packers start going by... and you will notice that a lot of them have a tiny gut or mid-section roll.

I've thought about this over the years, why is this? I think it is probably partly due to basic phsyiology: think about it - if you are a runner, it make sense to concentrate any fat stores around your mid-section, for better balance while running.

And then there may also be the "carb-loading" factor. Lots of runners load up on pasta. Lots of runners think that running gives them a free pass to drink beer. :-)

Stubborn belly fat - the apple shape - can be a sign of insulin sensitivity. So diet is really important here. I am an apple shape and I've found success limiting my carbs. I'm not talking about anything drastic like atkins!!! Please don't get me wrong. I eat unlimited fruits and veggies, but keep the grains and starches low, maybe 1-2 servings. An extra serving if I've run for longer than 30 minutes.

Omega 3 fatty acids are also supposed to be good at tackling belly fat, the internal type in the omentum (which is an organ, this is different than fat that lays under the skin). So try a  handful of walnuts or a TB of flax seed every day, and see if that helps.

Also I once read about a research study that indicated that walking downhill helps improve insulin levels, while walking uphill helps improve blood pressure. As I mentioned, belly fat can indicate insulin sensitivities. I thought this was quite fascinating myself. The advice here is to try walking - but on hills, not on a flat surface.

Adding a little running never really hurt anyone.  Sounds like our stats are pretty similar, but I actually weight a little more that you!!!!  hahaha

 You are doing well, and don't forget weight lifting is going to make that scale move a lot slower than you would like it too.  When we get down to the wire and we don't have a lot of weight left to lose it tends to be harder and harder to lose it. 

I also suggest alternating running with weight days. Running is a great way to lose weight, but running every day can cause knee problems.
#11  
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Original Post by jenmcc:

Running isn't necessarily the best way to get rid of belly fat. Watch a marathon some day. It's true that the fastest runners will have very little body fat. But keep watching as the mid-packers start going by... and you will notice that a lot of them have a tiny gut or mid-section roll.

The belly fat on some marathon runners has nothing to do with the efficiency of running in burning fat. The truth is, marathon training is different than regular running. In marathon training, you get your mileage up so high that you need extra fuel, or you will burn out. And so, in order to sustain their training, marathon runners need to take in a lot of calories. The best marathoners do so with a very clean diet, but the average person doing his first or second marathon will just get those calories any way possible ... which is why marathon training is no time for trying to lose weight. You'll be super hungry all the time, because you're burning crazy calories.

That said, marathon runners do lose weight most of the time ... I lost 20 lbs last year. But if you start with a big gut and lose fat through marathon training, you might still end up with some fat.

As was said above, running is one of the best exercises for burning calories ... and that's the main factor in burning fat ... burning calories combined with diet can put you in calorie deficit.

But to return to the original question ... there are so many good exercises for burning calories, and running is just one of them. I've been trying jump roping, and that's a lot of fun, you can do it in your house, and it burns a lot of calories. Kayaking, hiking, walking, swimming, biking, strength training ... any of these will help burn fat.

Thanks lbatauta, that's interesting info. I've wondered about this a long time, because I live off the Boston marathon course so I get to watch it every year.

The thing is, Boston is a marathon that requires a qualifying time... so I imagine that people who run it are more trained than most?

This is just idle musing but.. I wonder what would happen if we did an experiment, and we took elite runners, kept them training but fed them enough calories to gain some body fat. Where would the body fat go? Would it concentrate in the belly, because it's more efficient to balance the weight there, if you're a runner? Kind of like a fanny pack that ties around the mid section?

But then again, such an experiment with that result might not prove anything... it could be that people prone to apple shapes tend to gravitate towards long-distance running, because that shape makes them better at it!

Call me crazy, but I tend to think there must be *SOME* reason that the apple shape is so prevalent.. some genetic advantage at one point in our evolution.
I had a personal trainer tell me that the ONLY way to lose belly fat is cardio, cardio, cardio. Cutting calories is important too, but the cardio is key (sad to say - because I hate it!).
Your diet is the biggest part of whether you lose the weight or not. I hate running myself but the combination of cardio and proper diet is what will take off that belly fat. Try a Spin Cycling class, depending on how hard you push yourself you can burn a whopping 700 calories in less than 40 minutes!! I had a baby a year ago and still have this nasty belly thing going on, but cutting out the bad carbs, taking in tons of lean proteins and yummy fruits and veggies as well as hiting the elliptical and spin classes are already starting to help! I plan on incorporating free weights once i get back into a routine of just getting myself to the gym. Good luck and hang in there!

The trick is being able to maintain a pace that you feel like you can do forever.  Don't try to kill yourself for like 20 minutes.  That means you'll have to go slower, which is fine, since fat-burning cardio requires a lower heart rate (I know, weird).  Do cardio (running, bike, elliptical, stairclimber) at a pace you can maintain for 30-60 minutes.  I personally never do the same kind of cardio all the time.  It just gets boring if I always just run, or do the bike, etc.

Here's a calculator to help you determine what your heart-rate range should be to effectively burn off fat -

http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/zaino17.htm

Original Post by safina1:

Thanks Agana. I am just wondering if running would help me? I am now 147 pounds. I am 5'3. my belly looks weird but my ribs are showing... that said, I losing fat from my upper body only.

Wow, you and I are the same height, and about the same weight.  I've got the same problem - I've got the ribs, but the flabby paunch down below.  And the big thighs, haha. 

I occasionally run 3 miles as well, but like I said...don't do it at a pace that's gonna kill you.  I start off plodding at about 4.8, then bump it up 1 mph every ten minutes or so.  I finish off the last five minutes sprinting between 6.0 and 6.5 mph.

I ALWAYS make sure to get in at least an hour of cardio, 4-5 days a week.  I constantly switch it up, though...I'll run for 35 minutes, then hop on the bike for 25, or get on the stairclimber for 30 minutes, then do the elliptical for 30 minutes, etc.  'Interval' or 'random' settings on all that stuff, not just a flat pace, so your body will have to constantly guess about what's going on.

Cardio bores the crap out of me, haha.  I've definitely been trying to run a lot more though (even though I hate it), because I read that it was the most efficient form of cardio.

But at least I have Battlestar Galactica on my video iPod to keep me company.  And lots of good music to help me keep pace.  Do you listen to music when you run?  It helps IMMENSELY.  I'd be totally screwed and would probably just forget about doing cardio if I forgot my iPod, haha.

Original Post by traps_of_doom:

The trick is being able to maintain a pace that you feel like you can do forever.  Don't try to kill yourself for like 20 minutes.  That means you'll have to go slower, which is fine, since fat-burning cardio requires a lower heart rate (I know, weird).  Do cardio (running, bike, elliptical, stairclimber) at a pace you can maintain for 30-60 minutes.  I personally never do the same kind of cardio all the time.  It just gets boring if I always just run, or do the bike, etc.

Here's a calculator to help you determine what your heart-rate range should be to effectively burn off fat -

http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/zaino17.htm

What about intervals? I usually do 5 min walk, then 5 min run, back to 5 min walk then to 5 min run again and so on for 65 mins. Would that hurt the fat burning? I have lost over 85 pounds now in about 4 1/2 months doing it the way I have been. I have actually upped the intensity of my 5 min run part as it's gets easier.

Hi Archer,

Ha ha, sorry, I just edited my reponse to include that I set the machines on interval.  Interval is definitely a winner.

And great job on losing all the poundage!

Original Post by traps_of_doom:

Hi Archer,

Ha ha, sorry, I just edited my reponse to include that I set the machines on interval.  Interval is definitely a winner.

OK, cool. *whew*

You don't think it will hurt the fat burning to go up about that 75% of target for limited periods? I want to run a 5k in May for Breastcancer after last May not being able to finish the 3k walk due to being a fat lazy dummy. lol

 

And thanks... it's not fun losing the weight. But it's nice when it's gone. ;-)

My suggestion would be to invest in a heart rate monitor so you can make sure you stay within your 60%-75% range of your max HR for an extended period of time (at least 30 minutes).  Like that Bodybuilding article says, if you stay too high for too long, you'll start burning sugars for fuel instead of fat.
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