Weight Loss - What You Need to Know and Do to Start Shedding Some
Trying to shed a few pounds? Running and weight loss go hand in
There are dozens of advertisements on TV, radio and in magazines.
They all tell you how a certain pill, powder or fad diet can help you
weight with very
There are also ads that try to sell you expensive and revolutionary
workout equipment (that looks cool).
Somehow, buying the equipment will
make you lose weight quickly.
be the lighter wallet.
Now, when we are going to start talking about losing weight, we may as
well be clear to each other.
I don't think
losing weight is easy.
It requires discipline and a change of behaviors.
You are most likely here because you want to lose weight.
And you want
to learn how running can help you.
I'll help you work it out.
I'll also provide you with some links to other pages on my site.
sure to check those out as well.
Running and Weight Loss - About Energy In and Out
What you need to know is that when you eat you take in energy. The more
you eat the more energy you take in.
When you go about your daily activities you burn energy. When you run,
or do other exercise, even walking, you burn more energy.
At the end of
the day, when you burn more energy than you take in, you will lose
So, less eating helps.
More exercise helps.
Forget all the stupid advice you have heard and articles you have read
about early morning exercise, late night exercise, times of the day you
should or shouldn't eat, etc.
In the end it simply comes down to how much you eat and how much energy
Running and Weight Loss - It's Simple, But Not
So, really, it is very straightforward. You need to eat less and
The reason it is not easy is that it does require a change of
behaviors. Where are you going to find the time to exercise? Where are
you going to find the right advice about what to eat and how much to
I'll provide you with some ideas.
Running and Weight Loss - Diet, Healthy Eating
and Portion Control
Want to learn more about proper diet?
Then you should check out the Lose
10 Pounds ecourse.
the course I am providing you with lots of ideas about diet, weight
loss and exercise. It includes ideas about what foods to eat or not to
eat and lots of good little parts in between.
Want to lose weight? Then you need this course!
portion control: there is nothing really as effective as
logging the foods you eat and the exercise you do. My wife and I have
had good success with MyFitnessPal.com. It's a
website/app which lets you log everything you eat and drink.
In the beginning it's a little bit time-consuming, but you'll soon find
that you actually mostly use the same foods over and over again which
come back in your list
of 'frequently used foods'.
My wife started using it and she felt bad the first few days because
she was eating too much. To make her feel better I decided to log on as
well and enter my food intake. I
I eat pretty healthily. But I basically ate way too much of everything.
In weeks I didn't have a lot of time for running, I'd gain some weight,
in 'normal' weeks, I'd lose some weight. I did not have a weight
problem, but at the time, I was surprised nonetheless that I wasn't
really losing weight despite the amount of running I was doing.
After starting to log my food-intake I understood why!!!
It was an eye-opening
experience and well worth a try. After doing it for
five-six weeks you start to know what your intake is, when you are
going over or not.
I'd advise you
to use the Lose 10 Pounds mini-series and MyFitnessPal.com together as
powertools to start off your weight loss regime.
Also have a look at the runner's
diet page for some more information about healthy
Running and Weight Loss - The
One of the great things about the MyFitnessPal experience was that we
realized pretty quickly that keeping to a lower-calorie diet was
actually really hard.
And I mean, really hard. You need to be so careful about your portion
sizes. You need to be so disciplined.
However, when like me, you are a long-distance runner, you can push up
your calorie-intake quite a lot. On my long run days (when I run
20-35k) I can basically eat all I'd want and more and be
my goal for the day.
You can lose
weight, in the short-term, without any exercise whatsoever.
However, in the long-term, I think you will find it is much more
sustainable to do exercise as well. That way, you'll be allowed to
occassionnally indulge in treats. You can be a bit naughty and still
accomplish your goals.
It's a much more balanced approach to achieving a healthier weight and
Now, why should you choose running over other types of exercise?
Well, maybe you should check out my benefits
of running-page. On that page I am listing a number of
reasons why you should run. Weight loss is only one of them.
is cheap, requires little investment upfront and you get a really good
return on the time you invest, i.e. your energy use is quite high when
you run, so you can accomplish a lot in a short time.
Running is the most natural thing you can do for your body, provided
you do it safely. When you start to run and you are really untrained,
I'd always advise you to use a run/walk
don't worry about all the stuff you have read before about
high-intensity vs low-intensity exercise, how long you need to run for
and all the other facts,
myths and bs.
Just, make sure you get
out of the door. That's all, just do it. Insert
swoosh-sign here... :)
A few useful links:
Running and Weight Loss - How
Much Do You Run
how much do you have to run to lose weight? Probably one of the most
asked questions about weight loss and running. The answer: it
Yes, it does. As indicated before, it depends on
how much you eat. With a tool like MyFitnessPal.com you can get an
indication of a calorie goal per day.
Just to give you an
indication, I'll include some possible scenarios that will
you lose approximately one pound per week.
Losing a pound per week requires that you burn about 3,500 calories per
week (500 / day) extra than you take in.
Suppose that to stay at the weight you are now you need to eat about
2,000 calories per day. And to lose 1 pound per week you need to
create, on average, a deficit of 500 calories / day or 3,500 calories /
eat, on average, 1,500 calories per day. Then you don't need to run at
all. You are already eating 500 calories less per day, so you'll lose,
roughly, one pound per week.
You eat, on average, 1,750 calories per day. That's
250 calories per day already taken care of, or 1,750 of weekly
calories. Now, what do you need to do to lose the remaining 1,750
calories in that week?
You can work out with the Calories
that if you weigh 70 kg, you'd need to run
approximately 24 km in a week (15 miles) to burn 1,750 calories.
That sounds like a lot, but if you do four running sessions of six km
(3.8 miles) that is actually not too bad. With a bit of dedication you
can, even from a base of no running, build up to that kind of mileage
in a matter of only three months or so.
And if you throw in a bit of other types of exercise like bike riding
or rowing which all burn calories, then you wouldn't even have to run
those 24 weekly kilometres. I
consider this a very doable scenario for virtually everyone!
You eat, on average 2,250 calories per day.
Without any running you'd gain weight! In order to stay at this weight
you'll need to burn 250 x 7 = 1,750 calories per week.
So, using your weight of 70 kg you'll have to run 24k per week just to
stay at your current weight!
And if you want to lose one pound per week you'll have to burn 1,750 +
3,500 = 5,250 calories / week. That's no less than 72 km / week (45
miles per week). A lot less doable, unless you are reasonably well
So, even if
the maths above was a bit difficult to follow, I hope the bottomline is
clear: in order to achieve weight loss, it is not only running, but
also your diet that plays a major role!
Running and Weight Loss -
Additional Reasons Why You Need to Run
Now, reading through the examples above you may have concluded that you
don't have to run at all. You might prefer scenario 1, i.e. "just" eat
500 calories less than the recommended intake and lose the weight
without breaking a sweat.
why you'll have difficulties:
1) Deprivation is hard. It is simply not easy to deprive
yourself, day in, day out, of 500 calories. Your body will be screaming
for you to drop your guard. After a while, it's likely you'll succumb
to the pressure.
2) Your body
reacts to deprivation by slowing your metabolism. Over
time, your body gets used to getting less food. It reacts by slowing
down how quickly it burns the food it gets. After an initial period in
which you do experience weight loss, you are likely to reach a plateau.
At this point, you will not lose weight anymore as your body is used to
dealing with getting less food.
These are the main reasons diets fail. It is hard to maintain. And even
if you are able to maintain it, at some point the diet is not going to
have much effect anymore!
So, you'd better start running!
Running and Weight Loss -
That's really all there is to it. When you start running, run three or
four times a week and combine it
with a healthy diet and portion control. There is nothing then to stop
you from losing
should know though is that when you run to lose calories it is
not so much about how fast you go, but about the distance you cover.
So, running one mile fast or slow is not going to make a huge
difference in the amount of calories you burn. There is proof that when
you run fast, you'll keep on burning more calories for longer
afterwards due to your elevated heart rate.
However, if you run
fast, you might not be able to go much further than that one mile! Run
slower, and you might take longer, but you could continue on after that
one mile and keep on burning more and more calories.
There are more benefits to running at a slower pace. I cover these in my running for fitness article (see link at bottom of this page) which deals with the differences between running for fitness and running for health.
Interested in more weight loss advice? Then also check out my running
for weight loss page
which also features a few sample running schedules.
Running and weight loss are tied closely together.
It is a true
wonder that people even attempt using other methods of weight loss.
The answer is so simple!
Again, it's simple. Not easy... :)
Good luck on your weight loss journey.
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