By running and walking for 90 minutes during one session each week, the leg muscles become fat burners. Over time, this means that you will burn more fat when you are sitting around all day at your desk and even burn it when you are sleeping at night.

Slow aerobic running is one of the very best ways to burn fat. But most runners, during their first year, usually hold their own, showing no weight loss. This is actually a victory over the set point. First you are avoiding the average set point inspired increase of 1-4 pounds a year. But runners are actually burning fat by maintaining weight. How can this be? Read on.

As you run, you increase the storage of glycogen and water, all over the body, to process energy and cool you down. Your blood volume also increases. All of these internal changes help you exercise better, but they cause a weight gain (not a fat gain). If your weight is the same, a year after starting endurance exercise, you have burned off several pounds of fat. Don’t let the scales drive you crazy.

Long term fat burn off requires discipline and focus. If you will take responsibility for managing your eating and doing the running and walking needed, you will succeed. One secret to fat burning success is being more active all day long. Once you learn to walk instead of sit, you will be amazed at how many steps you can take per day:

Steps = Calories burned.

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GET MOTIVATED by participating in the origins of our sport (and western democracy)! Join the team at Phidippides Running and Greek-American Dean Karnazes and connect to the rich history of distance running with scenic views, landmarks, and a fun podcast.