Running is basically one of the most basic and simplest exercise that you can do to burn fats and lose weight easily.
So you may be wondering is running a good way to lose weight? how to lose weight by running? can running really burn fat? how can I lose weight easily? and a long list of questions.
Any average Joe, like YOU can begin running with minimal equipment, all you need is a proper running attire – you can run naked anyway, just kidding :p – and a good pair of running shoes and you are good to go.
You also don’t need to know any technical stuffs about running, everyone can run.
Of course as you start running, you will surely be interested about good running technique and so on.
Follow these nine effective and simple running tips to lose weight fast:
1. Quit being a couch potato and start running now
If you are spending most of your time sitting; be it working or just chilling, you are a couch potato.
Yes yes… I know starting is always the hardest, but you still gotta start running anyway.
Running itself is not that hard, I am not asking you to go out and run 10 km like a crazy person. I am only asking you to start running! – is that too much to ask?
The easiest way for you to start running is to implement the run and walk method. The run and walk method is meant for beginners starting to run.
Of course as a beginner, it is impossible to run non-stop. You will end up panting for breath, burning and sore legs. Eventually giving up altogether.
To implement the run and walk method, you run for as long as you can, comfortably. Once you feel tired and uncomfortable, then walk.
Keep repeating this process until you are too tired to continue, then you are done for the day. Remember: Take it easy on yourself, for now. :p
Just by being disciplined and determined to get off the couch, you are already doing yourself a good favor. No matter how lazy and un-motivated you are, you still gotta start running!
How do you lose weight if you are lazy? You can’t. Mehh… If you still want to remain lazy like a sloth and being a couch potato, go ahead with that and you will gain more weight instead.
2. Control your diet and limit your calories intake
By eating a burger, you are consuming, say 600-800 kcal of calories. Wow… That’s damn lot of running you gotta do to burn those calories!
Burger? Did I mentioned burger? Yuppp… You need to understand that to lose weight, it is basically 80% diet and 20% exercise.
BURNING calories is way harder and tougher than NOT CONSUMING it in the first place. It is way easier NOT to consume unnecessary and high-calories food.
Do you need to abstain from eating those delicious food? NO… It is not necessary to REFRAIN from eating it. I am only telling you to CONTROL your diet intake.
As long as you limit your high sugar, high fats and high calories food to a minimum, say once a week only. Then it is all good and you don’t need to worry about gaining weight.
Examples of high sugar, high fats and high calories food are:
- Soft drinks.
- And so on… And so forth..
Besides, if you are wondering what’s your body mass index (BMI) and how much calories intake you need each day, you can use the BMI weight loss calculator below.
Here is the BMI weight loss calculator:
The calculator will show you results of your calories intake per day to:
- Lose weight.
- Maintain your current weight.
- Gain weight.
And it will also show you roughly how much weight you will lose or gain per week.
This is important as you can gauge how much calories intake is required to lose weight.
If your calories intake = calories expenditure, then you will maintain weight. To lose weight, your calories intake must be less than your calories expenditure.
In simple words, you MUST restrict your diet to eventually lose weight. Gradually limit your calories intake, don’t make an abrupt change.
You won’t have the motivation to control your diet if you make a sudden change in your usual lifestyle. So chill and make a gradual change instead.
The simplest way to do it is to eat proper meals with sufficient green leafy vege, carbo, protein and fat based on the diet plate. You can read more about the diet plate here.
A diet plate shows you the amount of fruits, vege, carbo, protein and fats you must consume with every meal. You should be eating 2-3 proper meals per day.
If you are lactose intolerant and can’t take any milk or dairy products, you can replace it with more fish, meat, egg and alike. Also, limit snacks and other unnecessary fast foods and sugary drinks!
If you find diet plate a little confusing, then I recommend you try meal prep for runners.
Meal prep is basically preparing your meals for the whole week. It is less time-consuming and you can munch on it as soon as you are ready to eat. If you are interested in meal prep, you can read more here.
As a beginner, you maybe too busy to prepare meals prior and after your runs, you can try meal prep to overcome this problem.
If you are too busy to meal prep, here’s a good balanced nutrition diet that can help you lose weight and sustain long term.
Besides, as long as your calories intake is less than calories expenditure, you will eventually lose weight. Eat healthy, eat properly, run hard and you will see results sooner or later!
However, if you restrict your calories intake and adhere to healthy eating habits along with sufficient running, and you are not seeing any weight loss results, it could be due to these possible reasons.
3. Progressively overload your volume and intensity over the weeks
But before that, you need to begin running with the lowest volume and intensity before progressing to more volume and higher intensity over time.
The risk of injuries is extremely high if you abruptly increase your running volume and/or intensity.
This is because your body can’t handle the sudden increase in running demands and eventually your body will give way to pain and injuries.
The rule of thumb of increasing either running volume or running intensity, or both is a maximum of 15% compared to the previous week’s volume and intensity.
Progressively overload means you increase volume/intensity after your body has adapted to your current running volume/intensity.
For example, you ran a total of 25 km this week. You can aim to increase up to 15% the following week. 25 km x 15% = 3.75 km.
This means that you can increase your total running volume by as much as 3.75 km the next week.
Assuming you are running 3-4 days a week, then you divide 3.75 km with the total of days you want to run that week.
The calculations will look like this:
- For three running days each week: 3.75 km / 3 = 1.25 km.
- For four running days each week: 3.75 km / 4 = 0.93 km.
So this means that for each running days you can increase up to 1.25 km and 1 km (round up) for three and four running days, respectively.
Yes, you need to be doing simple mathematical calculations to gauge your progress and whether you are running too little or too much.
Besides, that’s about running volume, so now we come to running intensity. This usually refers to how fast you run and whether you run on a gradient.
If you are running at a leisure pace or speeds similar to jogging, then it is called low-intensity run.
However, if you are running at a quicker pace or running uphill, then it is called high-intensity run.
Similar to increasing volume over the weeks, you can increase running intensity also. But, try not to increase both factors simultaneously.
Because even increasing running volume equates to a higher intensity since you are running longer and further.
So with all these information, how does it help me run to lose weight?
Our body is constantly adapting to the stress, pressure and tension that’s placed on our muscles, joints, tendons and ligaments.
If you just remain with the same running volume and intensity, the demands of your running is the same. Therefore, you will not be losing weight anymore.
However, if you progressively overload your training over the weeks, your body have to adapt to the increase of demands of your running. Thus, you will eventually lose weight.
4. Start doing variations of running
These types of training are high intensity, so take extra precaution!
As these variations are high intensity, it will be exhausting and is extremely effective in burning fat and ultimately losing weight.
These variations of running are used to increase your running intensity and effectively burn more calories:
a) Tempo Runs
Tempo runs is a type of threshold run, in which you are running at a pace slightly below your anaerobic zone.
The effort and intensity of tempo run is at which your body can still remove byproducts as quick as it’s being produced.
The removal of byproducts such as lactate acid is equal to the production. Therefore, you don’t get the burning sensation or burning legs while running.
This is not an all-out run, tempo run is a run whereby you maintain a steady-quick pace a.k.a “comfortable hard” pace for at least 20 minutes.
An example of tempo run workout routine would be running at a pace that you are tired but still can keep going for at least 20 minutes, the pace differs from each individual and your own fitness.
b) Interval Runs
Interval runs is a type of high effort run, in which you are running at a quick pace for a predetermined distance, then you either jog and walk a short distance for your rest period.
You won’t be able to enjoy the scenery or talk to your friend. Interval runs is tough and challenging, take it easy on yourself and rest more if required.
An example of this run would be running fast for up to a minute, then walk or jog for up to two minutes, repeat 3-4 times, or more…… Good luck!
c) Fartlek Runs
Fartlek in Swedish means speed play. This means you vary your speed and effort throughout the run. It is similar to interval runs but not the same.
This basically means you are continuously running while changing your running speed at certain duration and distance.
This means you are intermixing fast running with slow running without stopping or walking. You can only stop and rest once you are done with your run.
The main difference between Fartlek and interval runs is that interval runs is done at a much greater effort and it is not continuously running. You have a rest period in between each hard effort, i.e., walk, jog, etc…
An example of Fartlek runs workout routine would be 20 minutes continuous running, with 20-30 seconds of fast running followed by 2-3 minutes of slow running.
d) Hill Runs
Hill runs are great workout to burn a ton of calories while improving your cardio and strength. However, this can only be done if you have an access to a hill – preferably a hill at least 100m in length.
Hill runs is extremely high intensity and may not be suitable for everyone. Therefore, build up your fitness and strength prior to attempting hill runs.
Here’s a hill runs workout routine for you to get started and burn those stubborn fats.
Sprint workout is an excellent way you can do to burn tons of calories, build muscles and lose weight quickly. Sprint workout is also a great addition to your usual cardio and resistance workout.
You don’t need to be a sprinter to be sprinting. You should sprint at least once a week to further improve your fitness, improve leg strength and burn even more calories.
Sprinting is a type of high-intensity workout and is also an effective way to burn tons of calories with a shorter workout duration – especially if you are short on time.
However, sprinting may not be suitable for everyone, specifically those with knee, back and joint problems.
Here’s a sprinting workout routine for you to get fired up to effectively burn even more calories with a shorter workout duration.
5. Run faster to burn more calories instead of running longer distance
It is easy and common for runners to keep running longer and longer distances without increasing their running speed. Why? Because it’s easy and comfortable.
Our body adapts quickly to cardio, – that’s why you can easily run longer, but harder to improve speed – but you need to work really hard and put in the effort to improve speed.
You may eventually build up your cardiovascular fitness and muscular endurance to run for an hour straight.
However, due to the fact that running slow like sloth is a low-to-medium steady intensity workout, you may not achieve the results you wanted, i.e., to lose weight.
6. Incorporate HIIT exercises into your training routine
Yessss yesss… Solely running to lose weight can be really boring once you have been running for a certain period. So why not add some extra ingredients for the extra kick?
You can try to incorporate some strength training along with high-intensity interval training (HIIT) exercises. And no, you don’t need to go to a gym to do these exercises.
Example of 10 minutes strength training workout for runners:
Example of 10 minutes core workout for runners:
These exercises look easy until you try it out for yourself! Adding these extra ingredients into your running routine will really give you a motivational boost.
7. Rest and sleep well or you gain weight instead
Don’t underestimate the importance of sufficient rest and a good night’s sleep! When you are running, your muscles are “damaged” at a microscopic level.
Therefore, you need sufficient rest between runs to allow your body to recover and repair itself.
If you ever feel so tired and fatigue after days of running, that’s a good indicator that you lack of rest between runs.
When you have a good night’s sleep, – afternoon nap doesn’t count! – your body quickly repair your “damaged” muscle cells and you come back stronger! But if you don’t have enough sleep….
Knock knock!! Read this aloud, insufficient sleep can cause weight gain. Sleep deprivation causes your hormones and internal functions to wreck havoc.
As your hormones are in a state of confusion, it increase the feeling of hunger and also increase your appetite. This creates an intense craving for high-sugar and high-fat foods.
Now you know why you are always craving to eat potato chips, cakes, pizza, chocolate, and so on…
The more sleep deprived you are, the more high-calories food you will eat. Ultimately, this will lead to weight gain and will defeat the purpose of you running.
8. Step out of your comfort zone
Losing weight is as easy as A-B-C, on paper…. The journey won’t be cozy and comfortable. You must step out of your comfort zone, put in the effort and work really hard for it.
How determined and dedicated are you in realising your goals of losing weight? The amount of effort and hard work you put into losing weight will answer the question.
You need to enjoy the journey and process, and understand that the journey and process won’t be comfortable and easy. What comes easy won’t last, What lasts won’t come easy.
Your hard work will eventually be paid off when you start to see weight loss results that you always wanted. Don’t give up, keep running, keep working out and you will achieve it!
9. Don’t ever give up when it gets tough
A weight loss journey is never an instant results, it is the results of months and maybe years of effort, hard work and self-restriction of your calories intake.
Many people literally give up halfway, sad but true. When you give up, all your effort and hard work goes down the drain.
Always remember: look at how far you have come, not at how little you have achieved so far.
Here’s a video of why you must never give up:
There will be many ups and downs; go further when it is up and bounce back stronger when it is down! NEVER GIVE UP! It will be painful and tough, but it will be worth it in the end.
What are the benefits of running?
- One of the easiest way to lose weight.
- Simplest way to stay fit and to maintain a healthy lifestyle.
- Increase bone and muscle strength.
- Improves cardiovascular fitness and muscular endurance.
Why should I run?
- A simple form of exercise.
- Anyone can begin running, just put on a pair of running shoes and you are good to go.
- You can run anywhere; at the gym, at the park or in your neighbourhood, and even on the treadmill at home.
- Running doesn’t require an understanding of sophisticated sporting technical aspects, i.e., you don’t need to know running technique to even start running, you just run.
- Running gives you a sense of well-being and may relieve your stress level — the same euphoria feeling after munching down on your ice cream.
The words “running or exercise” maybe daunting to people who rarely run/exercise or never run/exercise.
Before you even think about running or exercising; ask yourself:
- What are my goals?
- What is the purpose to start running?
- Am I willing to dedicate some of my time to it in the long term?
You need a goal or a target set by yourself in order for you to have a purpose and the motivation to even begin running or exercising.
Since your goal is to lose weight, you need to be focused in your efforts to eventually achieve your goal. This will give you a healthy dose of motivation to keep running.
You don’t need to be the one running so hard to participate in your local marathon. Take it easy, enjoy running and you will see results eventually!
Furthermore, there are many recreational runners around, mix with them and you’ll eventually have a group of friends to accompany you during your runs.
If you are looking for an alternative to lose weight, swimming, a great zero-impact exercise to lose weight fast.
- Always warm-up for 10 minutes prior to your runs and cool-down for 10 minutes after your runs.
- Get medical help if you have any unbearable pain in your chest, lungs, heart, or head. Medical conditions such as excessive burning in the chest, burning sensation in the throat, nausea, dizzy, extreme headache, arrhythmia (irregular heartbeat) and or breathlessness.
- If there is any sharp pain, nagging and/or throbbing pain, immediately stop running (DO NOT run through the pain!) and consult your local physician.
Note: Your muscles may feel sore the next day or so after running and this is normal.
- Consult your local physician before beginning any exercise/training program.
Running is a great way to lose weight, but a combination with restriction of calories intake will be a more effective way to lose weight easily. Although, you still need to put in the effort and hard work to achieve it.
Look at how much you have achieved and never give up, keep swi- running and you will eventually achieve your desired results!