When it comes to losing weight, running happens to be one of the best exercises to burn off calories. Running, like swimming and biking, is a cardiovascular exercise, which means it elevates the heart and respiratory rate, and increases the blood and oxygen flow throughout the body over time.
Whether you are a beginner or an experienced runner this runner guide for weight loss will help you achieve more effective results. What I find best about running is, it is the most convenient exercise with no restriction to commute. Whether you like road-side running or you are a treadmill person, as long as you have your running shoes and comfortable clothes you are good to go regardless of weather and place conditions.
Then the question comes, how many calories you burn in that sweat session? Well, that depends on you completely. Read on to find out how.
Running and Weight Loss Connection
According to a report from American Council on Exercise (ACE), running burns the most number of calories than any other exercise including weight training, swimming, hiking, biking, dancing and downhill skiing.
Here is a chart for further details: (Source)
Coming back to running – number of calories burnt during your running workout depends on two factors:
- How much you weigh
The more you weigh, the more calories you are going to burn during a run.
- How fast you run
The more fast you are, the more calories are going to burn off.
An average of 100 calories are burnt per mile in a run, says Dr. Daniel V. Vigil, Health Sciences Associate Clinical Professor at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA.
According to ACE 120-pound person burns about 11.4 calories per minute and for a person weighing 180-pounds the calorie burn goes up to 17 per minute. Making it a burn of 114 calories per mile for 120-pound and 170 calories per mile for a 180-pound person, if that person runs 10-minute mile.
Losing a pound per week is so far the safest weight loss target. A pound equals 3,500 calories which means in order to lose a pound, you need to burn about 3,500 calories per week. That brings you down to burning 500 calories per day in a week. Here is a breakdown for your understanding:
Losing 1 Pound per week = Losing 3,500 calories per week
1 Pound = 3,500 Calories
3,500 / 7 = 500 calories per day
If you have decided to get rid of these calories through running then you need to have a good diet plan as well (More on this in a while). Because as a matter of fact, just some extra cookies will undo the calories you burnt during your run.
7 Steps You can Lose Weight Fast with Running
Running is proved to be the best exercise when it comes to losing weight. Following are the 7 ways which are to be considered while you plan to lose weight by running. These are the steps by which you can speed up your calorie burning and get better results in less time.
1. Set Your Weight Goal
Setting a goal always helps in achieving what you want. It not only defines the plan but also helps in focusing on the task at hand. Whether you decide to lose a pound per week or less or even two, unless you track your progress and keep a check on your plan you are unlikely to see good results.
The best weight loss plan must include two things, reducing the calories you eat and increasing the calories you burn. Setting your goal at one hand helps you achieve your goal while at the other it keeps you on track at maintaining what you have achieved.
2. Watch Your Eating Habits
Running more should never mean eating more. If you are just a beginner you might get caught up by the increased hunger level after a run resulting in excessive eating – this should never be the approach.
Calories burnt > Calories consumed = Calorie deficit
It’s a simple equation. Your calories burnt should be greater than your calories consumed in a day. Or else your workout and running plan are all going down the drain.
You need to focus more on eating healthy food, and avoiding junk and processed food. Aim to take protein rich diet and food that contains more fiber. Protein helps your body to heal fast and fiber helps to make it strong and to increase feeling of fullness to assist in weight loss. High protein foods include chicken, sea food, milk and nuts while high fiber foods include different seeds (Chia seeds, Black seeds, Flax seeds), prune juice and fiber rich fruits and vegetables.
You can include weight loss drinks in your diet for more effective and quick results or you might want to add protein shakes in your diet to boost up your protein intake and have a quick muscle recovery.
3. Interval Running to Scale Up
Interval Running means adding walk breaks in your running. For most beginners a 20 minutes of continuous run might seem impossible. Interval running approach not only makes you run longer but research have found it also allows you to run harder and faster on running parts. Runners of all levels use interval workout approach in their running to get the most out of their workout, including myself. I have been using this method since day one to increase the duration of my workouts and get the best results and even today I find it working as effectively as day one.
Another benefit of the walk-run method of training is it helps to burn calories at a higher rate, it revvs up your metabolism which helps your calorie burning during and after the activity. After high intensity intervals your calories may continue to burn up til 14 hours after your workout.
4. Weight Loss is a Marathon, Not a Sprint
This is something that I always say, Weight loss is a marathon not a sprint. And the reason why I say this often is, the more you rush things in losing weight the more it frustrates you and increases the odds of you giving up. This is the most common problem I see in people who try to get results instantly, they give up so fast. I can not emphasize this enough to give yourself and your body enough time and reason to work things out and move at a natural pace rather than rushing things up and getting zero results.
It has been proven in research, people who lose weight fast tend to regain it more quick than before. Your body will never adjust to any change not made in real time thus comes back to its original shape before you even know.
So my suggestion to you is to work hard, train hard and let your body do the work at its own pace. This will not only let you lose weight but also to maintain it.
5. Know Your Limits
It’s always good to push yourself to go an extra mile but you don’t really need to go crazy if you are just starting out. Walking is less stressful on joints, bones and muscles than running. The idea to start off by walking then gradually getting your body ready for running always works out best for the body. Your early workouts may only consist of walking then gradually a mix of walking and running and eventually running, depending on how fast your body adapts the idea and gets ready for the straight run. Do not overindulge yourself in it you might end up with a muscle strain.
Let your body take its time and get completely ready for the straight run. Let your muscles take time to recover and adapt to the stress of running rather than pushing yourself too hard and getting hurt. Your training plan will do no good if you get yourself injured and be unable to continue your workouts for a while.
6. Increase Time or Distance Gradually
Once you get comfortable in running start to increase your time or distance (whatever suits you the best) but not to forget, do it gradually. Stick with the running plan that upgrades your time or distance gradually or you may end up soar rather than fit and toned. You can do it by making your long runs longer or short runs fast but do it naturally in a steady manner.
If its harder for you to add an extra mile to your run, start by adding extra walk at the end. You can also consider using the walk-run technique here to increase distance.
There is a 10% rule used by runners to increase their running time. Which states to increase your run by only 10% at a time, making it achievable for yourself and adaptable for your body. For instance, if you run for 10 minutes add only 1 minute (10%) to increase your time. I consider it a good guideline for sensible running increases as it allows you to increase the challenge level of your workouts and makes it look easier at the same time.
7. Determination is the Key !
Last but not the least, something that I consider to be the Key to your success and achieving your goals whether it be weight loss or any other thing associated with you life is Determination!
You can not expect to run 10 extra miles this weekend and lose 10 extra pounds. You will see results with time, don’t get overwhelmed by the idea of losing weight fast. No matter how fast it happens, it will not happen in a day. You need to keep your self calm and be patient. The Best things come to those who wait and don’t give up.
Stay focused on your training plan, go out daily for the run, be determined to get the best results.
You might also want to check these weight loss tips to help you along the way.
The Bottom Line
Weight loss is a common issue in today’s society but with proper tips, techniques and defined plan you can overcome the toughest of challenges. And with running you can definitely overcome the challenge of losing weight. These are the best guidelines that can help you lose weight along the way with running. Make sure to follow these and start your training now if you haven’t already. Other than losing weight, running has a number of benefits on mind and body. It keeps you active and helps to keep you focused. This runner guide for weight loss is a solid template for you if you are planning on sticking on a running plan for losing weight.
I would love to hear your thoughts about running, do comment below and let me know if I can help you out with anything. I would be more than happy to do so.