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  • Running and Weight Loss: Things About Running Your Fat Friend Wants to Know

    Learn about the relationship between running and weight loss. Is running good for weight loss? Is it a healthy workout? Find out here.

    March 30, 2015 | Related: , ,


    running-and-weight-loss Run Forest, Run!

    Running and Weight Loss

    Indeed, these two can go hand in hand. Running is a healthy workout, which is good for weight loss. It is easy to do. You do not need those high-tech wearables but you can wear them if you want your workout to be more fun.

    What you need when you go out and run is a good pair of shoes. And if you are a woman, you must wear a supportive sports brassiere.

    One of the reasons running is a popular healthy workout is that it is easy to do as every person knows how to run. You do not need to run fast, like an athlete going for gold in Olympics.  But you do know how to place your one foot in front of the other, right?

    When running, there are no new skills that you must master. Although you may need a good pair of rubber shoes made for running, you do not have to purchase an expensive equipment to buy to help you get started.

    Up to 800 calories an hour 

    In a study conducted at the Medical College of Wisconsin, participants who used the treadmill for one hour had burned around 800 calories.

    When your legs start to hit their comfortable pace, your body starts to pump more blood to your heart causing you to sweat. The harder your heart works, the more you perspire.

    Running and weight loss for your knees

    Running will not cause injury to your joints. What you must worry of when it comes to osteoarthritis is your body weight. Bear in mind that the biggest risk factor of this condition is body weight, besides age.

    Obese women are four times at risk of this medical condition than those who have healthy weight. Thus, runners are not likely to suffer from this condition. You only have to worry about it when you are living a sedentary lifestyle.

    In fact, running can strengthen the ligaments of your joints as this healthy workout increases oxygen flow to your cartilage while it flushes out toxins.

    Essentially, running can build your joints, rather than tearing them down.

    Prevents disease

    Running is not only good for weight loss but it is also great for your overall health as it prevents different kinds of cancer, such as colon, lung, etc.

    In addition to cancers, regular runners can also prevent suffering from heart disease, diabetes and stroke. The reason for this is that this healthy workout lowers blood pressure, while it raises good cholesterol and boosts immune function.

    And it may prevent vision loss. In two studies conducted by the US Department of Energy at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, researchers found that running might reduce the risk of developing age-related macular degeneration. This healthy workout might also reduce the risk of cataract development.

    But these are not the only reasons you must start running to conquer your weight loss and fitness goals. Running is really good for your overall health.

    Why some people do not lose weight through running?

    As previously mentioned, running and weight loss can go hand in hand. But some people cannot just lose weight. Each time they hop on their weighing scale, they are discouraged by the results.


    Choose unhealthy foods after running

    It is true that running is good for weight loss as it can burn mega calories.

    However, this healthy workout can also cause you to be hungry afterward. If you choose junk foods to recover, you are not only putting more calories to your body but you will also get hungry again after an hour.

    Eating a post-run snack is necessary. But it must be packed with high amount of protein. Your snack may have carbs but they must be satisfying.

    And of course, your snack must not exceed 150 calories.

    If you find yourself hungry after a long run, you should probably eat before you run or exercise.

    Not enough time for running

    You may be running but the time you devote for this healthy workout may not be enough to help you lose weight.

    Bear in mind that a 45-minute run a week will not help you burn enough calories to lose weight. You must cut 500 calories each day through diet and exercise.

    If you wish to run to lose weight, you should run up to four times a week. And you must include other healthy workouts, like strengthening training in the other days.

    Or you may be thinking that you are running enough because, each time you get back from a run, you perspired. Thus, you are convinced that your body has already burned 500 calories from that running time you made.

    But you must consider that a 150-pound person can only burn around 400 calories when he/she runs for 45 minutes.

    Perhaps, you might not be running that long or that fast. If you are not then, you will not see significant results the next time you hop on your weighing scale.

    This is where a heart rate monitor or a wearable comes into play. It can help you track your running time and your miles to make sure that you are surely burning 500 calories or more for your weight loss goal.

    Perform the same healthy workout every time

    Running is good for weight loss. It is true. But if you do it every day, it becomes a habit, which is good.

    But your muscles tend to adapt to the demands you are putting on them. This is one of the reasons some people hit a weight loss plateau, despite running every day.

    To avoid that, you should consider mixing up your speed intervals, long runs and short runs.

    You should also consider running on different surfaces: rough or plain. And try different places. In this way, your muscles will keep on guessing and continue to strengthen your body.

    You must also incorporate other healthy workouts. Yoga and Pilates are good strengthening workouts for your muscles.

    Not getting your body measurements too

    You may not see results when you hop on to your weighing scale but that does not mean you are not losing weight. Remember that your waist circumference and bra size may change as well. Measure them too when you want to know if you are indeed losing weight through running and other healthy workouts.

    How to make sure that you will lose weight through running?

    Eat a healthy diet

    As mentioned earlier, you need to have a healthy, balanced diet if you wish to lose weight. Running for hours each day will do no good to your weight loss goal if you continuously eat unhealthy foods.

    Always keep in mind that you shed pounds if you burn more calories than you eat.

    Thus, you should combine running with a healthy diet.

    Runners and athletes have special nutrition needs. But they still practice healthy eating.

    Instead of eating high-fat and high-calorie foods, try consuming more fruit and vegetables and whole grains.

    To prevent mindless eating, you must have a food journal. Having it by your side each time you eat will help you see what food you have taken. You can also evaluate whether or not your diet needs improvement so you can finally achieve your weight loss goal.

    Have sufficient training schedule

    You must stay motivated if you want to lose weight. You should have a training schedule. In this way, you know what to do every day.

    You may perform yoga on Tuesdays and Thursdays, while running and brisk walking on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. Then, Pilates on Saturdays.

    With a schedule, you can also avoid injury while running. The reason for this is not you will not be increasing your mileage too quickly.

    How should you get started running for your weight loss goal?

    You can start by walking for 30 minutes. Once you pick up your pace, you can start your running sessions. As you regularly run, you can easily run longer until you can do it for 30 minutes straight.

    It is normal that you feel discomfort during your first day of running. And as you add intensity or distance to your training, you will feel pain. But do not worry as it will just go away.

    However, if you experience real pain, you need to stop running immediately. Rest for a few days. If the pain is not gone, consult your physician.

    When running, it is important that you invest on a good pair of shoes. Sneakers are good but they are not made for running.

    You should wear running shoes to help your feet in properly striking the ground. In this way, the amount of shock that will travel up your leg will be greatly reduced.

    Slipping and sliding will also be prevented when you wear running shoes, instead of sneakers. The reason for this is that, they fit snugly to your feet.

    How about running on a treadmill?

    Outdoor running and running on a treadmill can help you achieve your weight loss goal. However, the former will help you experience wind resistance. Then again, if you are injury-prone, running on a treadmill can be a better choice. But make sure that the machine is padded.

    To run on a treadmill like you are running outdoor, you can set the machine to an incline position.

    If you opt to run outdoor, you can run anywhere you want, provided it is in a safe and enjoyable place. It must be well-lit and free of traffic.

    You should consider this healthy workout as your way of exploring new territory. If you have a wearable, you can use it each time you run so you can gauge your distance.

    You may also consider asking other runners in your area about the best routes you can explore and they have discovered.

    When you feel like you are running out of breath when performing this healthy workout, you should slow down and relax. The reason for the feeling of out of breath is that you are running too fast.

    It is one of the biggest mistakes of some beginners. They run too fast thinking that it will help them achieve their weight loss goals quickly. But it is a wrong move. Instead, concentrate on your breathing. Then, if you feel like you are out of breath, take walking breaks.

    Will running outdoor burn more calories than running on a treadmill?

    It depends on how fast you are running and how long. Most studies show no difference between the two.

    But outdoor running can make you work harder because of the wind resistance. Treadmill running is easier because its ground is pulled underneath.

    You should also remember that the calories burned being displayed on the LCD of your treadmill might not be accurate. Some cardio machines overestimate calories being burned up to 20%.


    When you choose running as your healthy workout, you should set a realistic goal. To help you set up a healthy weight loss goal, you should consult your physician before you even start a weight loss plan.

    Your body composition must be measured by a professional. In this way, you know how much you need to lose to achieve your goal.

    And when you do perform this healthy workout, make sure that you are fueling your body and replenishing your energy stores. You must consume the right amount of carbs, protein and healthy fats, unless you are following a ketogenic diet.

    Running is good for weight loss. But you should incorporate it with a healthy diet, avoid processed foods as much as you can.  You must not skip breakfast. Instead, eat high-protein meal to break your fast. For your healthy fats, consume oatmeal, eggs and yogurt.

    For your snacks, go for nuts and fruit and vegetables.

    When you feel dehydrated after a long run, replenish your body with water, rather than sports drinks. Bear in mind that sports drinks contain high amount of calories.

    Then, do not forget to include strength training in your healthy workout plan. By developing muscle mass, you are actually improving your resting metabolism, thereby, improving your ability to lose weight.

    About the author

    Rod Jong Rod Jong is a BS Chemistry graduate who believes that people must start consuming foods that are organically produced. If he’s not writing, then he’s busy managing his (organic) farm that utilizes the power of natural processes.

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