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Can You Lose Your Muffin Top Using a Treadmill?

author image Erin Coleman, R.D., L.D.
Erin Coleman is a registered and licensed dietitian. She also holds a Bachelor of Science in dietetics and has extensive experience working as a health writer and health educator. Her articles are published on various health, nutrition and fitness websites.
Can You Lose Your Muffin Top Using a Treadmill?
woman on treadmill Photo Credit: YanLev/iStock/Getty Images

Using a treadmill regularly can absolutely help you get rid of your muffin top. However, your success is based on your total calorie intake, not just your daily calorie expenditure on the treadmill. Following several dietary and fitness tips can help you reduce body fat in problem areas – including your muffin top.

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General Recommendations

Success at shedding body fat using treadmill workouts highly depends on your total daily calorie deficit, not just the number of calories you burn running or walking. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggests creating a calorie deficit of 500 to 1,000 calories daily to lose 1 to 2 pounds weekly. You can do this by reducing your current calorie intake, boosting your calorie expenditure using the treadmill or combining these two weight-loss strategies.

Calories Burned

The number of calories you’ll burn using a treadmill depends on your workout intensity and duration. Harvard Health Publications reports a 155-pound person expends 334 calories walking at a pace of 4 miles per hour for one hour, and burns 744 calories per hour running at a pace of 6 miles per hour. Therefore, beginning a daily treadmill workout consisting of a 6-mile-per-hour pace lasting one hour each day will help you lose 1 to 2 pounds weekly -- even if your calorie intake remains constant.

Maximizing Results

Completing high-intensity interval training on your treadmill -- and adding a weight-lifting regimen to your workout routine – helps eliminate muffin tops. A study published in 2012 in the “American Journal of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation” reports that subjects who regularly completed high-intensity interval training and resistance training lost total body fat and trunk fat -- and had improvements in body mass index, waist circumference and triglyceride levels. You can complete interval training on a treadmill by alternating fast running with jogging or speed walking with a lower-intensity walking pace.

Diet Tip

Consuming plenty of protein while completing weight-loss treadmill workouts will help you trade in your muffin top for lean muscle mass. A study published in 2013 in “FASEB Journal” reports that eating dietary protein in amounts two to three times higher than the recommended dietary allowance, or RDA, combined with a reduced-calorie diet, helps individuals maintain lean muscle mass during periods of weight loss. More muscle mass means your body burns additional calories throughout the day, even during rest. According to the Institute of Medicine, protein RDAs are 46 grams daily for women and 56 grams per day for men.

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