Can Running Help Slim Your Waistline?

Running helps you burn calories to lose fat throughout your body.
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Running is more than just a way to enjoy some fresh air while blowing off a little steam from your stressful workday. It's also an effective way to burn calories to help you lose fat and develop a slimmer waistline. If you're tired of carrying a few extra pounds around your midsection, running several days a week is an effective way to help you develop a healthier body.

Spot Reduction

While running is an ideal exercise to adopt when you want to slim your waistline, you can't specifically target the fat in this area through any exercise. Running will help you lose fat, but in order to reduce the fat around your waist, you'll also have to reduce the fat throughout your body. The theory of spot reduction, which indicates that you can target the fat in one specific area, is a common weight-loss myth, notes the American Council on Exercise.

Burning Calories

Losing fat is all about burning more calories than you consume. Because a pound of fat is equal to about 3,500 calories, you must burn an excess of 3,500 calories to lose a pound. Running regularly is an effective way to create this calorie deficit. Burning 3,500 calories in one or two runs is virtually impossible; suggests creating a daily deficit of 500 calories to help you lose about a pound per week.

Running Calories Burned

Although you might be able to think of dozens of ways to burn calories, few exercises will help you do so faster than running. Harvard Medical School reports that a 185-pound person who runs for 30 minutes will burn 355 calories while running at 5 mph, 444 calories at 6 mph, 555 calories at 7.5 mph and 733 calories at 10 mph. Although your body is constantly burning calories throughout the day, adding a daily run is an effective way to reach your goal of burning 500 excess calories.


Running can help you reach your weight-loss goals, but only if you're careful about the calories you consume each day. If your goal is to burn 500 extra calories every day of the week, you must also monitor the number of calories you consume daily. The average daily calorie intake differs among people based on age, body type and the amount they exercise, but on average, the Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion suggests that women consume 1,800 to 2,400 calories and men consume 2,400 to 3,000 calories.

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