Affiliate links on our site may earn us commissions. Learn More.

This website uses cookies. By continuing to use this website you are giving consent to cookies being used. Visit our Privacy Policy.


Discover The Best Wellness Tips In Your Inbox

Subscribe to Health Reporter’s newsletter and get our health experts’ highlights and the latest news about healthy living.
The newsletters are spam-free and sent from our health experts and professionals.

Thank You!

You have successfully subscribed to our newsletter!
Home arrow Fitness arrow Running arrow Does Running Burn Belly Fat?

Does Running Burn Belly Fat?

Written by Isabel Mayfield
Fact checked by Rosmy Barrios, MD
Last update: March 17, 2023
6 min read 1798 Views 0 Comments
clock 6 eye 1798 comments 0
does running burn belly fat

Stubborn belly fat can be one of the worst things to deal with while trying to lose weight. There are all kinds of specialized workout plans and exercises that the weight loss community has pushed to help people lose belly fat.

But what if one of the best ways to lose belly fat is as simple as strapping on your sneakers and going for a run? Running is an attractive form of exercise for all kinds of athletes: from amateurs to Olympic athletes.

We worked with our diet and exercise experts to dive into the question: does running burn belly fat? This article will look at how running benefits your belly fat, weight loss, and overall health.

Does Running Burn Belly Fat?

If you don’t exercise regularly, you may be wondering where to start, especially if you’re looking to burn belly fat. While running may seem intimidating, it’s one of the best ways to shed away that stubborn belly fat.

Belly fat, also known as visceral fat, is some of the most dangerous fat in our bodies. Visceral fat is known to occur alongside serious health issues, like heart disease, stroke, some cancers, and even type 2 diabetes.

So, burning belly fat is good for more than just your figure – it is also essential to your health! The less visceral fat you have on your body, the healthier you’ll be.

But how do you start running if you’ve never done it before? One of our favorite ways to help beginners is through smartphone running apps.

Does Running Help You Lose Weight?

Yes, absolutely. Running is an excellent exercise if you’re looking to lose weight or burn belly fat.

The basis of it is to burn more calories than you consume. Due to running being such a high-intensity exercise, you burn calories faster than other forms of exercise. High-intensity interval training that includes running will burn more calories than other exercises.

Does the treadmill burn belly fat? Well, on average, running 1 mile on a treadmill will burn 30 more calories than walking for 1 mile on the treadmill. Some studies have found that your body continues to lose calories after you’ve stopped running, too.

If you have a hard time burning more calories than you’ve eaten because of a never-ending appetite or hard to resist cravings, running can help you with that, too. Experts have found that running can help you suppress your appetite and beat cravings.

How Much Weight Can You Lose From Running?

The weight loss that someone can achieve by running varies from person to person. If you’re an expert runner, you might lose more weight than someone who’s just started. It also depends on someone’s diet, metabolism, age, starting weight, and other factors.

Someone who runs 1 mile a day will burn about 100 calories. That 1 mile a day results in 700 calories burned throughout the week. Weight loss also depends on someone’s calorie deficit.

Someone wants to have a calorie deficit of about 500 calories per day to lose weight or burn belly fat. The CDC recommends that safe weight loss consists of losing 1 to 2 pounds per week.

With a proper diet, a daily 5-mile run could result in a 500-calorie burn that would result in just the right amount of deficit.

How Long Should I Run to Lose Weight?

Following the CDC recommendation of losing 1 to 2 pounds per week, you would need to run about 35 miles per week in order to burn fat and lower your weight. This amounts to running 5 miles a day. 

While this may seem like an unattainable goal, you’ll be surprised that the more you run, the easier it is to keep running.

We’ve already determined that running 1 mile will burn around 100 calories, and running one mile every day, seven days a week, would burn 700 calories. So how can you go about running to get this distance covered? The trick is to mix it up. 

Choose the longest distance you want to run, for example, 10 miles, and do that on a Sunday. Then divide the rest of the distance into the remaining days, ensuring you leave one day free for rest (normally the day after the longest run). 

Then mix up the distances – do one day with 7 miles, three days with 5 miles, and one day with 3 miles. This will give your body variety while burning fat.

How Often Should I Run to Lose Weight?

If you’re running for weight loss, you should run at least 4 times a week for a minimum of 45 minutes. You should also engage in the exercises on your off days while maintaining a healthy diet.

To lose 1 to 2 pounds a week, exercise experts conclude that you’ll need to run upwards of 5 miles a day.

Is Running Enough as Cardio?

Running is great cardio, but many exercise experts agree that running alone isn’t going to be enough for cardio. High-intensity running is excellent for helping your body and heart build power. This is an essential aspect of both losing weight and preventing heart disease.

However, our bodies need both high-intensity exercise and low-intensity exercise. Jogging at a steady pace will help your body build stamina, making it easier to reach an intense pace on your high-intensity interval runs.

Running is one of the most accessible ways to move your body: it’s free, and you don’t have to go anywhere with specialized equipment. If you don’t mind the same scenery every day, you can run around your neighborhood and get the same benefits as running on a treadmill at the gym.

However, if you’re looking to shape your entire body, you may want to consider more than just running. While running works as your primary exercise for cardio, things like strength training and weight lifting will shape different parts of your body and benefit from burning belly fat.

Abdominal exercises also have a lot of health benefits, especially when it comes to belly fat. Take the time to research which exercises work best for the areas of your body where you want to lose fat from.

Is Running the Best Way to Lose Weight?

So is running the best way to shed a few pounds? Our answer is yes! It’s one of the top ways to burn belly fat.

Any exercise will help you with losing belly fat. Burning calories is one of the best ways to see the numbers drop on the scale. However, some exercise burns fewer calories than running. Exercise experts agree: running burns calories faster and for longer.

Moderate to high-intensity running will burn body fat for a long time after you’ve stopped the exercise. Interval running, high intensity runs for shorter periods between secondary exercises, will burn more calories than moderate pace walking.

The more calories you burn, the more weight you’re likely to lose.

Walking vs. Running for Weight Loss

If you’re new to exercise, walking is one of the best ways to move your body and get used to exercising. Adding a brisk, 30-minute walk to your daily routine can help you burn belly fat and calories.

Walking and a weight-conscious diet are great places to begin if you want to start losing weight. When you consume fewer calories and add walking to day-to-day life, you’ll see numerous health benefits, including reduced belly fat.

However, running will always help you burn that pesky belly fat quicker and more efficiently than walking. With running, the fast pace exercise works your heart and lungs faster, burning more calories and giving your heart and lungs more stamina and endurance.

Running also encourages your body to use oxygen for energy, which helps pump more oxygen into your blood.

A Word From Our RD

Many people don’t realize how running opens up a whole world of benefits for your health. Many athletes who have a very low body fat percentage use running as one of their primary forms of exercise.

If you’re looking to lower your body weight and build up your endurance and stamina, then running is a great place to start. Running helps lower blood sugar, reduce high blood pressure, reduce your risk of heart disease and stroke, and even helps with bone strength.

However, it’s essential to know the risks that come with running, too. If you’re an inexperienced runner, you’re at risk of injury. Be on the lookout for knee pain, plantar fasciitis, and Achilles tendonitis.

There are ways to ensure that you protect yourself while running. First, always have the right running gear. Good running shoes are crucial to not harm your arches and ankles while running.

Before you start running, you should ensure that you have the proper running form. Improper running form can pull your leg muscles, harm the joints in your knees and ankles, and even cause issues with your back and hips.


So, does running burn belly fat? After a deep dive into the issue with consultation from our running and exercise experts, we can definitely say yes! Running is a great way to burn fat, whether you run around your neighborhood or run on a treadmill.

Belly fat can be some of the most dangerous fat on a person’s body because it is so intertwined with our organs. This belly fat is more dangerous than subcutaneous fat. Focusing on fat loss around the stomach can prevent worrisome illnesses.

Paired with eating fewer calories, running can be one of the best ways to burn belly fat. While running can be risky for inexperienced runners, it can also be highly beneficial to your overall health.

Written by Isabel Mayfield
Isabel Mayfield is a certified yoga instructor with over 10 years of experience in the fitness industry. She is passionate about self-improvement and loves to help people improve their sense of self-worth through education and support in meeting their fitness goals.
The article was fact checked by Rosmy Barrios, MD
Was this article helpful?
Thank you! We received Your feedback
Written by Isabel Mayfield
Fact checked by Rosmy Barrios, MD
Last update: March 17, 2023
6 min read 1798 Views 0 Comments

Leave a comment

Thank you for your comment!
We will review it as soon as possible.
Your Name
Missing required field
Your Comment
Missing required field