Lose Weight by Running

One of the most effective ways to shed pounds is to lose weight by running. Running is also a very efficient ways to lose weight and keep it off. One of the biggest challenges for those trying to lose weight and get in shape is adopting a successful long-term plan. Most people that a start running program, stay running because they enjoy it. We all want to get in better shape, but sometimes maintaining that shape is the real challenge. To understand how we lose weight by running, we need to first understand the science of weight gain and weight loss:


  • We need to burn 3,500 calories more than we eat for each pound of fat that we want to lose.
  • Everyone has a unique metabolic rate based on their age, weight & sex (See BMR Calculator). This is the amount of calories we burn every day.
  • Restricting calories too much will cause our bodies to reduce their metabolism, therefore our bodies will actually burn less calories when we’re starving.
  • Exercise raises our metabolism through increased heart rate and the production of additional muscle mass (pound-for-pound, muscle burns more calories than fat).
  • Running or walking just one mile will burn approximately 100 calories.

So if our goal is to lose weight and keep it off, we need to adopt and continue good habits that we can maintain for the long-haul. Losing weight by overly-restrictive diets will usually not bring long-term success because of their short-term nature. What does that mean (you ask)? Well...how long do you foresee drinking only 3 chocolate shakes a day? How long will you stay motivated to workout 7 days a week with zero indulgences...these habits can’t last forever! The fact is that most diets fail because we want to reach our goal quickly and be done with the self-torture. After we reach our goal, we celebrate and slowly slide back into the old unhealthy habits that we know and love. Little by little, we need to adopt habits that are enjoyable and become a part of our daily routine. We need to change. Running is a great hobby and can be a wonderful life-long habit. And while our goal is to lose weight by running, the weight loss is really just one of the beneficial side affects (See the Benefits of Running page for more).

So…what do you have to lose?

Fat. If you’re just starting out, a one-mile jog or brisk walk can take 10-15 minutes. If you look at the 10-week beginner running plan, you’ll be running almost 10 miles a week by the end of that plan. Running 10 miles per week is equivalent to over a pound of fat loss per month or 15 pounds a year...just by running 3 days a week! Give up a snack or two during the day, and you’ll add much more weight loss to the equation.

The successful fitness plan is a series of habit changes that takes time and dedication to adopt...there are no quick & easy solutions. There are so many diets, exercise plans, philosophies, and gimmicks out there that it’s very easy to get overwhelmed by all of the choices. We all want a quick solution, but I don’t think that a high-price gym membership of expensive diet package will get you to where you want to be. Weight reduction should be a long-term goal and to lose weight by running is a great long-term solution.

So…why chose running?

Running is a very flexible form of exercise. The time constraints in my life can be hard to schedule around, so my hobbies have to be flexible. I can run almost anywhere at anytime. With only a pair of running sneakers and workout clothes, I can run in the morning, at night, on business trips, at lunchtime, wherever and whenever my schedule allows. While I also enjoy some of the cardio equipment in the gym from time to time, getting to a gym isn’t as convenient as stepping out my front door and going for a jog. While running doesn’t have to be your only means for burning calories, it’s a great addition to any plan and it’s a potential life hobby.

If you decide that running isn’t for you, be sure to develop a plan that fits your schedule and your liking. If you prefer being inside instead of outside, running may not be an enjoyable hobby for you. Try walking, going to the gym, an aerobics or martial arts class, etc... Whatever your pleasure is, pick something that you can start and maintain – an activity that can fit in your schedule and will be something you can enjoy and look forward to for years to come. Also be sure that it helps meet your goals. For example, it’s much easier and quicker to lose weight by running than it is to lose weight by leisurely bike riding.

And the real reason you’ll lose weight by running...

It’s addictive! The body’s natural chemical release of endorphins (a.k.a. “Runners High”) will keep you coming back for more. It may even lead you to set new goals and enter longer races just for the personal challenge. If you start and stay running for long enough, you’ll likely be hooked. The feeling of accomplishment, the positive energy of the running community, and your slimmer and toner figure, may just convert this great weight lose tool into a life-long hobby. To lose weight by running is really just a positive side affect. Adopting running as a long-term hobby will change your life and help create a healthier and happier you.

Still interested? Here’s what you should do:

  • See how many calories you need to burn to meet your goal (Remember: 1-pound = 3,500 calories).
  • Develop a fitness plan and allow ample time to meet your goal
  • Set milestones, short-term goals and some rewards to entice you along the way.
  • Get out there and start running!!

Running really is a great way to get in shape. It’s as natural a form of exercise as there is, and you’ll be joining millions of others with the same goals, hobby, and aspirations. If you want to lose weight by running, you’ll notice that the calories you burn will really add up over time. Sometimes the hardest part is just getting starting – so mark your calendar and get started!! Welcome to the club.

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