Can You Lose Belly Fat By Running On A Treadmill

Having belly fat is annoying, and we all want to get rid of it as soon as possible. There are different manners to go about it, but perhaps there is a convenient way that doesn’t require an enormous amount of physical exertion. We all know that doing cardio is a good way to lose fat – so, the question is: can you lose belly fat by simply running on a treadmill?

It’s possible to lose belly fat by running on a treadmill. Losing fat requires one thing: burning more calories than what you consume. If running on a treadmill causes you to have a calorie deficit, you will lose fat. 

Running a treadmill can be a tedious thing, then why should you do it as opposed to running outdoors? How long must you do it before you start seeing results? Are there things one can do to make the treadmill experience less tedious and more rewarding? Also, running on a treadmill is only half of the equation to lose body fat; what is the other half?

Can You Lose Belly Fat By Running On A Treadmill?

Treadmills are a great way to do some running and are considered to be very good substitutes for outdoor running. Some maintain that treadmills are even better than outdoor running because they are more delicate on your joints and can be better for your mental health if you are severely overweight.

Accordingly, treadmills are a great way to start your weight-loss journey. It provides comfort while doing exercise that allows you to target your body’s fat content. When you target your body’s fat content, you also target your belly fat.

Fat in your belly is like fat anywhere in your body: it is possible to lose (or burn) it in some fashion. If you subject your body to a calorie deficit (meaning you burn more calories than what you consume), your body will start burning its fat reserves to function.

Since you lose overall fat content (meaning you cannot decrease the fat content of a single body part in isolation), for the most part, your general fat content and belly fat content will decrease equally when you go into a calorie deficit.

If you start exercising, you start using and burning more fuel (fat). If you had not provided your body with enough calories for the day, your body starts seeking fuels in reserve places. If you have a lot of fat stored in your body, that is exactly where your body will go and look for fuel to power it.

Thus, if you maintain your current diet but you start running on a treadmill, your calorie consumption will remain constant, but your calorie expenditure will increase, leading you to burn more fat as you exercise.

If, for example, your body requires 2500 calories per day, but you now burn 3000 a day (due to the running activities increasing your calorie expenditures), you will burn 500 calories a day. 500 calories burned in one day translates to (500 * 7 =) 3500 calories burned in one week. Some experts believe that 3500 calories translate into 1lb of fat!

There are some experts that dispute the 3500 calorie-rule, and state that it does not always work. However, there have been more than 35000 journals that make use of this rule, and many of the scientists that dispute this rule claim that it might only work in the short term. Regardless, no one disputes the fact that you will burn fat while running on the treadmill – the only dispute to be had is how much fat you burn.

If you do have a lot of belly fat and are very overweight, then it is recommended that you start walking on the treadmill first. This is because if you start running immediately whilst being obese, you can hurt the joints in your knees. Don’t risk injuring your joints; start walking first – something which also burns a lot of calories.

Once you have started walking and have done walking exercises for some time (this time can vary for each person), you will get used to the walking and might want to start walking at an incline. Once you have gotten used to this, you can start running to burn even more fat, even quicker.

How Long Should You Run On A Treadmill To Lose Belly Fat?

The general rule regarding how long to run before it starts working is as long as possible or as long as you can. However, do not overdo this and take it to complete extremes.

A quick guide is to try and put in 30 minutes, at least, on the treadmill every day. This is a very good goal, and you will most likely see results sooner than later. It must be noted that there is also a maximum; do not do anything more than 45 minutes of running per session.

The law of diminishing returns dictates that the benefit of losing fat is not worth the physical effort at that stage.

So, stick to short and powerful intervals – between 30 and 45 minutes per day is your target range.

How To Lose Belly Fat By Running On Treadmill

Here are some approaches you can try on the treadmill to shrink that belly fat away! 

Start Adding An Incline To The Treadmill

You will immediately increase your workout’s intensity if you add incline to the treadmill. More intensity means more calories will be burned. More calories burned means more fat, which means more belly fat.

Start your session with a bit of a warm-up without any incline. The warm-up should just be long enough to get you going, so keep it between 5-10 minutes. Thereafter, add incline to your treadmill, but just enough so that it feels challenging to complete the 30-minute workout. It mustn’t be an incline that is so steep that you cannot finish your 30-minute session.

Do not place your hands on the rails of the treadmill; this will decrease the results of your workout – try and work solely with your legs as much as you can.

Make sure you track your running progress and adjust your program accordingly; start walking/running faster and start increasing the incline on the treadmill as the routines start feeling easier.

Mix Running Intervals

This is a bit more advanced and might require that you first feel very comfortable doing your 30-minute runs.

  • Start your five-minute warm-up and thereafter proceed to start jogging.
  • Once you have started jogging, try and jog at a pace that is just difficult enough that you will not be able to conduct a conversation whilst jogging. You must be able to maintain this for 30-60 seconds.
  • After 30 – 60 seconds of jogging, slow down to start walking. Continue this walking pace for one minute to a minute and a half.
  • After the walking period is over, continue this cycle how many ever times you can fit into 20 minutes.

The Other Side Of The Story

Yes, running on the treadmill is, undeniably, very good for you. But it must be made clear that exercise, including running, is only half of the story when you try and lose fat. As already mentioned: you must be in a calorie deficit.

So what does this mean? It means that you must increase your burning of calories, but you should also limit your intake. Be careful about what you consume. A healthy lifestyle is something that is very important when you try and lose overall fat, but also belly fat. You can NEVER out-exercise bad eating habits.


It is quite simple: running on the treadmill increases the rate at which you burn calories. If you burn more calories than the calories you consume, you will start burning excess reserves of fuel for your body (or, in other words, fat). There are various things you can do to maximize your experience of running on a treadmill and burning belly fat.

It must be noted that you cannot out-exercise bad eating habits. If you load up on McDonald’s in every meal, you will not be able to run away from that fat on a treadmill. Make sure you consume healthy food that is conducive to a weight-loss, balanced lifestyle.


About Me

Hey, I'm Mark and I've been running for around eight years. I'm by no means an elite runner. I'm in the mid-pack, doing what I can to improve and learn along the way.

I've learnt a few tricks along the which I share on this website and my Instagram: