When you talk about burning body fat, there’s really nothing "fast" about it, although jogging and running are two of the most effective ways to start melting away that stubborn fat. It’s true, both jogging and running can help burn fat, but running can help get it done faster. It really just comes down to numbers; running burns more calories than jogging. The gist of it is simple, but it’s important to understand the details of how it all works.
Calories Burned Comparison
Both exercises burn a substantial number of calories compared to other aerobic exercises, such as walking or cycling at an easy pace. However, running is a more intense exercise compared to jogging, so you’ll burn more calories doing it. For example, a 150-pound person burns about 238 calories jogging for 30 minutes, while the same person burns 459 calories running at an average speed of 8 mph.
You may have heard of the fat-burning zone before, but it’s important to fully understand it. The idea is that exercising at 60 to 70 percent of your maximum heart rate – determined by taking 220 minus your age -- forces your body to burn fat for energy rather than carbohydrates or protein. The fact is that your body does burn about 60 percent of calories from fat when exercising in the fat-burning zone compared to about 45 percent when exercising at a higher intensity. This doesn’t mean jogging burns more total fat during a workout compared to running; it just means it burns a higher percentage of fat. Using the previous example, the jogger burns 238 calories, which includes 143 fat calories, and the runner burns 459 total calories and 207 fat calories.
When you’re ready to get down and dirty and start losing weight, it’s important to first design an exercise schedule you know you can stick to day-in and day-out. Don’t set unrealistic goals and remember that weight loss is a long-term process. That said, aim for a weight-loss goal of 1 to 2 pounds per week maximum. Reducing your caloric intake and burning calories with exercise at a pace of 3,500 calories per week, or 500 calories per day, will help you achieve 1 pound of weight loss per week. Running for 30 to 45 minutes per day, five days a week can help you burn about 3,000 calories per week. That will get you well on your way to melting away that body fat.
Although running burns fat quicker than jogging, it can take quite a toll on your joints, muscles, feet and really your entire body. This is especially true if you’re overweight or it’s been awhile since your last workout. If this is the case, jogging or even walking at a brisk pace may be the better fat-loss workout in the short term. As your body weight drops and your fitness level rises, you can try increasing the intensity by running. Remember, you can’t lose weight if you’re sitting on the sidelines with sore joints or a pulled muscle, so be smart when designing your weight-loss program.
Joseph Eitel has written for a variety of respected online publications since 2006 including the Developer Shed Network and Huddle.net. He has dedicated his life to researching and writing about diet, nutrition and exercise. Eitel's health blog, PromoteHealth.info, has become an authority in the healthy-living niche. He graduated with honors from Kellogg Community College in 2010 with an Associate of Applied Science.