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Run away the Belly Fat?

My stomach has always been my problem spot, even if I do ab workouts 50 times a day! Does running engage the abdominals and burn belly fat? Because I don't want to lose any more weight from my legs or upper body or butt, I just want my stomach to be proportionate with the rest of me! I have started running/walking for about 35 minutes on the treadmill about 4 times a week and my stomach feel a little flatter, but not much! Will I have to lost weight all over to flatten the belly????? AHHHH

Thu. Mar 6, 8:30am

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I feel your pain

However, you really can't spot reduce. Fat distribution may also be determined by your genes. I have a similar problem. I carry weight just around my middle. From a cardiac risk perspective this is the worst place to carry weight. Ab exercises will strenghen your abdominal muscles but the only thing that removes fat (other than liposuction) is a combination of diet and exercise (meaning cardio). Having said that, many people have had success with diets like South Beach in losing belly fat. There is another thread out here now on a belly fat diet.

Thursday, March 06, 2008, 8:40 AM

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Honestly Cardio is the only way you'll reduce that fat. You can do crunch type exercises that will help in toning so continue to do those but you won't appear tone until the fat is minimized. I've been doing interval training on my treadmill (walk/run/uphill etc) and it really has helped! Good luck!

Thursday, March 06, 2008, 10:06 AM

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It's true, you can't spot reduce. But, you can firm up the area. While you run and walk, make sure you are sucking in and standing up straight, don't let your belly sag. Also, when you do your ab workouts, make sure you're sucking your abs in toward your spine and not pushing them out. Try hula hopping or belly dancing to help change the shape of your abs too. And I don't know if it really works or not, but I use stuff like Dove firming lotion and really rub it in, and it makes me mentally feel better.

Thursday, March 06, 2008, 12:48 PM

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I'd recommend pilates. If your fat is mostly gone, you need to tone, and pilates is a great way to get long, lean muscles. Just make sure to focus on your form a lot - if you let your lower abs bulge out as you do the exercises, they'll bulge out when you're not working them, too. If you keep them pulled in and flat while doing the exercises, they'll be trained to stay flat always.

If they start to bulge, you're pushing too hard - bend your knees, don't go as far towards the floor, whatever it is that will make the move just a tiny bit easier so you can keep your low abs pulled in.

I've only ever done pilates mat exercises - the machines would be great if you have access.

Thursday, March 06, 2008, 2:42 PM

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How many of you have actually seen their ab flat melt off from running alone? Other areas?

Wednesday, January 21, 2009, 4:31 PM

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Along with working out, really watching what you eat and consuming "whole, natural" foods is important.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009, 4:42 PM

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I typically gain weight round my middle too, and running has definitely reduced the flab in that area. Obviously it doesn't target belly fat (as that's not possible), and my legs, hips and bum are more toned and less flabby too, but I've definitely seen results. I think it's just effective cardio exercise, and seems to be good for fat burning in particular.

Thursday, January 22, 2009, 7:13 AM

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PP again; I've also noticed my stomach gets flatter when I cut right down on refined sugars, although that's obviously due to decreased bloating rather than fat loss.

Thursday, January 22, 2009, 7:15 AM

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The title of this thread made me think of this old commercial...


Thursday, January 22, 2009, 10:41 AM

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Thursday, January 22, 2009, 2:30 PM

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If you dont want skinny legs, but want to lose the belly fat try some weights for the legs. Gain some muscle size, which your body will start using more calories to support. In other words your resting metabolism will increase burning more fat.

Thursday, January 22, 2009, 4:20 PM

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i wouldn't know. hmph. i've read that you have to generally be in single digit body fat % to see abs and then some people have a problem getting the bottom part to show under fat even then. i've read that how your body distributes and burns fat is genetic, and that supposedly your body burns fat from the last place added. i'm still trying to get that fat to burn:(:( i do see that it's genetic though.

Friday, January 23, 2009, 2:35 PM

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Has anyone actually gotten down below 120lbs and whittled their waist by jogging?

Monday, March 16, 2009, 3:51 PM

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try green tea and belly dancing

Tuesday, March 17, 2009, 12:13 AM

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Eating clean, watching your calories, cardio and weight training will do it for you.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009, 2:05 AM

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In response to 3:51PM: yes, I have. I'm 116lbs and lost the last few lbs by running. It's really helped me keep my weight stable too, rather than yo-yoing back up to 120lbs (or more). I still have a little tummy, which ideally I'd like to get rid of, but if I lost much more fat I'd be too skinny elsewhere. I think women are supposed to have a little fat in some places, so I'm mostly OK with it.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009, 6:57 AM

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I lost a lot of weight (down to 115-ish) while running about 20 miles/week. BUT I did not do that "just" by jogging. Let's be honest; weight loss is about 70% calorie restriction and 30% exercise. I completely re-tooled the way I eat.

OTOH, weight loss is not "all" I accomplished by running. I have lower cholesterol. lower blood pressure, better physical endurance, etc. as a result as well.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009, 9:39 AM

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It's possible

I have gotten down to 118 strictly running - that is, running at the very least 3 miles a day, no strength training. I must say, it definitely takes the inches off around the middle (although I still have some to go), but it also takes the shape out of your butt! This happens to most runners. Keep on running and add strength training to your routine that targets your quads, hamstrings, and glutes.

Thursday, March 19, 2009, 5:50 PM

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5:50 post, what was your starting weight when you started running? How long did it take for you to get to 118? Did you use a strict diet with the running? Do you run in the morning or afternoon?

Friday, March 20, 2009, 12:45 PM

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It's possilbe

I started at 130. It took me about 1 and a half months to get down. This is including a very healthy eating plan - not a diet exactly. Some of my rules are: never eat a carb without a protein (it aids in the burning/digestion of the carbs), never eat past 7 pm, only drink water and coffee, no starchy carbs after 3, potion control, control sugar and fat intake. I wake up at 4:30 am during the weekdays and run a plan that I got off of It consists of different mileage each day - the maximum only being 5 miles a day. I take 1-2 days off a week. I have to wake up at 4:30 am if I plan to run a full 5 miles, however, most days I can wake up at 5 am and get in 3 - which is plenty to initiate weight loss. Just try running for 30 minutes straight a day! My only problem is that I find I get much better runs in if I eat at least an hour before. Since I'm not willing to eat at 4:30 am, I find myself hanging some mornings. Was thinking of waking up at 3:30 to eat a banana and then going back to sleep for an hour! Just run, run, run!

Friday, March 20, 2009, 1:49 PM

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What a fun idea! Wouldn't it be great to fill Hummer Field with hundreds of people who want Google in Google, 220-701, 350-001, 640-802 I'll see you all there.

Thursday, August 26, 2010, 8:01 AM

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Can anyone give me a specific example of how much they lost, time it took, miles run per day, and other special workouts in their schedule of success. I just want to try an follow a good example! Thanks!

Thursday, August 26, 2010, 2:46 PM

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Baby Fat

Will running get rid of the tummy I have after having three boys? Will it tighten up the pudge that seems to be glued around my middle? Can anyone explain how they have done this?

Thursday, August 26, 2010, 2:47 PM

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I would like to start running in the mornings. Does anyone have a story about the results they have seen from running and how long it took to get to those results?

Sunday, August 29, 2010, 8:44 PM

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For me, weight loss is 80% what I eat (and how much) combined with some form of exercise. The trick with running as your primary form of exericise to lose weight is avoiding the belief that all that hard work allows you to eat more than you should.

And mom belly fat - the best thing you can do is eat clean - stay away from oods that are highly processed with lots of ingredients.

Sunday, August 29, 2010, 9:55 PM

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I seem to have a hard time breathing while running. I can run for a little while but then must slow down and walk before running again. I do not have any lung issues. Is this just an endurance and stamina issue that will improve as I keep at it?

Monday, August 30, 2010, 2:26 PM

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Do you find it better to run in the mornings or in the evenings? How do you build up yourself to run a whole 30 minutes?

Monday, August 30, 2010, 2:27 PM

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2:26 - do the run/walk intervals on purpose the next time you run. Consider it strategic. You will improve over time and you can gradually stretch out the running intervals until you're running continuously, if you like.

2:27 - It's best to run whenever you will consistently get out there and do it!

Monday, August 30, 2010, 3:04 PM

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I have heard that intervals give better results than running continuously. Has anyone had any experience with noticing better results in fat loss with intervals versus continuous running?

Wednesday, September 01, 2010, 11:28 AM

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I have. I run the intervals and it allows me to work much harder for shorter periods followed by a brief recovery, which I think is much more effective than a static pace, which may not be as challenging. Or at least for me - it's very easy for me to fall into this very comfortable pace that allows me to cover distance, but not *really* challenge myself.

Wednesday, September 01, 2010, 11:52 AM

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To the PP-Did this help you melt off the belly fat faster? What are your typical intervals like?

Wednesday, September 01, 2010, 2:54 PM

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11:52am here...

It did help with the belly fat, and I included the article that got me to switch to doing intervals vs. running the same pace over and over again. I will say that my diet seems to play a bigger role. When I am more diligent about eating quality foods in amounts that promote weight loss - I always see results.

Anyway, I tend to mix up how I do my intervals. Sometimes I do a pattern of 7 minutes run, 1 min walk for the duration of a run - and for shorter runs, I'm really pushing myself during those 7 minuters. If I'm doing a long run then I run those 7 minutes at a slower pace and the walking intervals help me go much farther than I would without them. I'll also do a more moderate paced 20-30 minute run and end it with 5 cycles of 1 minute really fast, followed by a recovery jog/walk of a minute or two.

Whew! Did that make sense?! All I know is that it really prevents me from mailing it in, which is what I tend to do if I don't do the intervals.



Wednesday, September 01, 2010, 3:28 PM

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To the PP-I tried using diet to reduce my pudge but found that while I did manage to get my weight down around 115 I still had a lot of fat around my stomach and could not get rid of it even though I was getting skinny everywhere else. I think that this is one reason why exercise is important because while diet dropped the weight it did not tone and firm my stomach area which is my main focus. I need something that will melt the fat and tone my stomach at the same time...

Thursday, September 02, 2010, 11:28 AM

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I don't disagree :) I have to exercise, too, otherwise I'm just skinny, flabby! Right now I weigh less than I did a year ago, but I don't look nearly as good (and my measurements are bigger) b/c I haven't been exercising. But I can exercise til the cows come home and I won't lose a thing unless I'm diligent with the food! That's the only reason I say diet is 80% for me when it comes to weight loss. If I don't pay attention to the food I get in great shape, but I don't have a great shape! The interval running is great for burning the fat, though, b/c you really can't mindlessly exercise - you have to put oomph into it.

Thursday, September 02, 2010, 12:17 PM

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I agree, PP. However, this does not seem to really hold true. Calorie restriction is not seen in diets for people who run 20+ miles and strength train each week. They are eating 2000+ calories and fit as a fiddle! Why are people telling me to restrict my diet to around 1300-1500 if I can eat much more and just burn it all off with exercise? Doesn't that show that exercise is more important and should be the 80%?

Friday, September 17, 2010, 11:54 AM

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11:54 - the comment about 80% diet was about weight loss and losing the belly fat. I have a decent workout regimen that is challenging and varied, but I wouldn't have lost a pound if I hadn't addressed my diet. And 80% diet wasn't a reference to just calorie restriction. It's the quality of the food, too. And, for me, it's much easier and less time consuming to just say no to the extra 500 calories then have to spend another 1-1.5 hours working to burn it off! That's just my preference b/c I don't have that kind of time!

You know, now that I think about it - I once trained for and ran a marathon, did other training, etc. but didn't watch what I ate - didn't lose a damn pound or any belly flab! I was as flabby and a teensy bit overweight when I crossed that finish line as when I started the training!

Friday, September 17, 2010, 1:31 PM

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treadmill/belly fat

I was having that problem,but I went to Wal-Mart paid $5 for a waist trimmer belt I not only wear it while excercising,Iwear it everywhere. Barbara

Wednesday, November 24, 2010, 9:10 AM

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PP does the belt really help that much???

Wednesday, November 24, 2010, 4:28 PM

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I have the same problem as you. I've spoken to personal trainers and they all said the same thing. You need to do a combination of cardio and strength / toning exercises AND changing your diet. Only if you do all three and do them right, will you see results. So, yes, start running say 3x a week (if you have good knees), that's your cardio. Then do different ab exercises 3x a week and also cut down your calorie consumption by 500 a day. And then adjust accordingly. It works. It's just bloody hard to stay disciplined enough to follow through with it.

Thursday, November 25, 2010, 10:09 AM

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New PEERtrainer article on belly fat. Yes, running is a component, among others:

How To Get Rid Of Stomach Fat


Saturday, June 02, 2012, 2:00 PM

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Tuesday, June 19, 2012, 7:10 AM

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