Can I Lose Weight Running?

Yes! You can lose weight running. One study found runners to be leaner and lighter than people doing equivalent amounts of other types of exercise.

But, if you want to lose weight running, there are a number of other factors to consider. Read on to discover how to approach running for weight loss.

Consider Calories

Lose weight running - consider calories

Running aids weight loss by burning calories. To lose weight running, you need to burn more calories than you consume. This is called creating a calorie deficit.

The average man needs around 2,500kcal a day to maintain their weight. For a woman the figure is slightly less at around 2,000kcal a day. To lose weight, you'll need to burn off around 500kcal more than you consume.

Avoid Sugary Post-run Snacks

Lose weight running - avoid sugary snacks

As running increases your appetite it can often be tempting to treat yourself to a sugary snack. However, rewarding yourself with junk food after running won’t help you lose weight running.

Most 100g chocolate bars contain over 500 calories, so eating them after running is counterproductive. Instead, try to eat healthy snacks after your run making sure that they do not exceed more than 150 calories.

Also, eating 5 small meals a day can be healthier than 3 large meals in terms of calorific content.

Choose Healthy Foods

Lose Weight Running - Choose Healthy Foods

Eating healthily, as well as running, will support your weight loss. Research shows runners who make healthy dietary changes lose more weight than runners who make no dietary changes.

Try to choose foods that are nutrient-rich, satisfying and less energy dense than processed foods. Healthy options include vegetables, fruit, nuts/seeds, healthy oils, diary, fish and poultry.

Run Regularly

Lose Weight Running - Run Regularly

If you want to lose weight running, come up with a realistic plan to keep you on track each day. If you're aiming to burn 500 calories then you should run for 45-60 minutes.

Whilst finding an hour each day to run can be a challenge, there are numerous benefits that make it all worthwhile.

By getting up an hour earlier to run you will be more energised and less stressed making you more productive throughout the day.

Running often will drastically improve your cardiovascular fitness. This will aid your endurance and stamina level, helping you to run for longer. The result being more calories burned and thus more weight loss potential.

Challenge Yourself

Lose Weight Running - Challenge Yourself

To lose weight running, it's important to increase the intensity of your run. You can do this by stepping up your pace. By running faster and for longer you will challenge your body and burn fat more efficiently.

Every few weeks tweak your running program so that you are always pushing your body to work that little bit harder.

As running is a high intensity exercise your body will experience "afterburn". This means that even at rest your energy expenditure is still elevated for some time.


Lose Weight Running - Try HIIT

Doing HIIT (high intensity interval training) could help you lose more weight running. Research found that seven sessions of HIIT over two weeks increased fat burning for moderately active women.

Sprint for a minute and then rest for 30 seconds and repeat. Interval training in this way will help you get a more intense workout without overexerting yourself.

Running at a higher intensity in intervals will create more of an afterburn. Your body will continue burning calories after you finish running.

Run in the Morning

Lose Weight Running - Run in the Morning

If you’re able to run in the morning rather than the evening, you may get better weight loss results. Not for any magical reason, but simply because exercising first thing can set you up for a healthy day.

One study found that those who exercised in the morning consumed fewer calories each day than those who worked out at other times. As a result, the morning exercises lost more weight.

Make it Fun

Lose Weight Running - Make it Fun

When you’re running to lose weight, consistency is key. To ensure you stick to your running habit and look forward to each run, find ways to make it fun. For example, listen to music as you run or run with a friend.

Research suggests that finding ways to make exercise more enjoyable increases your likelihood of exercising consistently and for the long-term.

Get Plenty of Sleep

Lose Weight Running - Get plenty of sleep

Not getting enough sleep could be sabotaging your weight loss efforts. One study found that people who sleep for longer are more likely to have a lower BMI.

Luckily, running regularly will also aid your sleep. Daily aerobic exercise improves sleep, according to research.

Understand Your Weight Loss Goals

Lose Weight Running -Understand your weight loss goals

After a few weeks of running you may notice that you appear to be the same weight. Despite this, you may be losing inches around your waist and thighs. This is because your muscles become denser, taking up much less space.

If inch loss is your target make sure you use a tape measure when you first start running and then measure your progress monthly.

Body fat and BMI are also important tools to help you monitor your progress in a healthy way. When you run regularly, challenge yourself and create good eating habits running will effectively aid weight loss.

Please speak to a doctor or physiotherapist if you are at all worried about running. All material on this website is provided for your information only and may not be construed as medical advice or instruction. No action or inaction should be taken based solely on the contents of this information; instead, readers should consult appropriate health professionals on any matter relating to their health and well-being.

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