Whether you entered into a competition at the office or you want to look your best at your next major event, you’re ready to achieve your peak weight and you’re ready to start now.  We’re right there with you, and we want to help you achieve your goals.

Fortunately for you, running is a great way to lose weight.  The activity burns a lot of calories, helps you boost your metabolism, and brings you to a level of physical fitness that will help your life overall.

If you dedicate yourself to running the amount of calories you burn will be enough to help you lose weight even if you don’t change the way you eat.  That’s right, even if you continue to eat that chocolate brownie ice cream at midnight you’ll still lose weight.  Of course because weight loss is a numbers game where you’re racing to burn more a few more calories than you eat, you’ll lose more weight if you cut out the bad foods.

Still, whatever work you put in you’ll get out, and the better you eat the harder you’ll be able to run. Just getting out and exercising will help boost your metabolic functions, but the more calories you burn during exercise, the faster you’ll drop those extra pounds.  As a general rule of thumb, the average person burns about 100 calories for every mile they run.  One pound is equivalent to 3,600 calories, so if you run 36 miles you’ll lose a whole pound.

All that said, the secrets to success don’t stop there.  There’s a lot of talk around something called the “fat burning zone” that helps people run smarter in order to maximize the amount of fat they burn during workouts.  Here are some examples of runs that will help you achieve that zone.

1. Just Run

The hardest part of getting into running is dedicating yourself to the task.  Motivate yourself and get out there.  Every time you run you boost your metabolism and burn calories.  Recent studies have shown that 40 minutes of exercise can help you burn more calories for up to 19 hours after your workout.  Don’t underestimate that power.

2. Run For 30 Minutes

Most experts recommend that your weight loss workouts should last about half an hour in order to maximize your fat burning opportunities.  According to Covert Bailey, it takes about 12 minutes of aerobic workout (not counting warm up) until your body starts producing fat burning enzymes in the body.  If you continue to workout after that point, you’ll burn fat and reap more benefits.  At about 30 minutes your fat burning levels off, so a 30 minute workout is perfect.

3. Run in the Morning

While the most important part of working out is just getting it in, studies have shown that you can actually burn the most fat if you run in the morning.  Early morning aerobic exercises produce maximum results because after having slept, your muscle and liver glycogen levels are low.  This is a perfect environment for burning fat, and some studies suggest that athletes burn 300% more fat in a glycogen-depleted state.

That said, you should not confuse this early morning tactic with neglecting to eat.  Not eating can actually slow you metabolism and decrease your ability to lose weight at all.

4. Challenge Yourself on the Uphill

If you run or walk on a treadmill regularly, there’s a single button that can help you maximize your results without spending more time pounding the rotating belt.  This button is called “incline” and it will help you strengthen your legs while maximizing your workouts by burning more calories in less time and engaging your metabolic system.

If you’re still in your early stages of getting in shape, you can always walk on the treadmill for 30 minutes on an incline.  Try power walking in order to burn more calories, but you’ll be shocked at the results.  This is one of the more efficient weight loss workouts of all time.

5. Don’t Worry About Going Slow

Surprisingly enough running slowly can actually help you burn more fat.  Studies suggest that running faster will help you burn more calories, but a slower pace will make it so that more of your workout will be dedicated to burning fat than just burning calories.  This is the case to a certain extent and then everything levels off.

Several studies have shown that the best way to lose weight is to mix out your workouts, but don’t worry about going slow every now and then.  Incorporate a few speed workouts to help you burn calories differently and you’ll start to reap the rewards from being a more dynamic runner.