Running For Weight Loss: 5 Things You Should Know

One of the most widespread tips you’ll hear about effective weight loss is to jog regularly, simple as that. You’ll also notice that the individuals spreading this advice are rarely athletic professionals. While there is an outline of sound advice somewhere in there, it’s also as if you’ve been told a half-truth. 

The human body is possibly the most complicated machine in existence. Every experienced nutritionist, athlete, trainer or a kinesitherapy expert will tell you that a piece of simple advice such as ‘simply jog’ only scratches the surface and that nothing is simply black and white. After a few months of intense running, don’t be surprised if you’d end up asking yourself why running doesn’t help with weight loss. Naturally, regular jogging and recreational running have broad health benefits. It bodes well for your endurance, your core strength and your cardiovascular system. Weight loss is simply not the core benefit. 

However, if you are keen on running to slim down your waist, there are at least 5 things you should know before you take up the effort. 

What are the benefits of running?

Make no mistake, humans are built to move. This is why running can represent one of the greatest cornerstones of joy in the life of someone who is diligently improving their life quality. The activity itself encourages the secretion of serotonin and dopamine. There is a good reason for the coinage of an expression such as ‘runner’s high’. Running also improves bone density and strength – which is an effect that only grows stronger if you prefer to jog in the outdoors, under the natural sun rays that trigger your body to produce vitamin D, which is just as responsible for bone density as it is for mental health.

Furthermore, it strengthens your knees, joints, and elbows, which renders your entire body more resistant to injuries and sprains. Jogging also speeds up your metabolism, forcing you to sweat the toxins out and encourages the fluid transition. This, combined with bigger challenges and benchmarks in your jogging schedule, contributes to weight regulation.

Where does the confusion come in?

And this is where most fallacies come from – weight regulation is not the same as weight loss, and people tend to have different weight goals in mind. Quite often, they will simply not get the results that they wanted, and as they ponder why running doesn’t help with weight loss, they abandon the activity in frustration. 

Concrete tips that lead to results

1. The body requires bigger challenges while running

Do you have a regular running trail that you cover every day? Every singular person that has tried to lose weight while running and failed will tell you that you should not stick to the same trail as it will put you in a conformist mindset. Before you know it, you will always cover identical distances which will leave you with no results whatsoever. 

Remember, as you do any type of regular fitness routine, you need to challenge your body with increased physical difficulty. It is not only a matter of running every day – but you also have to increase distances, change up the trail, run uphill and downhill, and mix casual jogging with surprise sprints. Overall, the broad advice would be to surprise your body whenever you can while on the run! The identical pace is a road to nowhere and if it feels too comfortable, you are not doing it right. 

2. False calorie burn trap

One of the first things you’ll read on many blog posts that are focused on providing ample advice about weight regulation while running is that you can easily fall into the trap of false calorie burn. As you push yourself further, you will feel the fatigue due to your body’s proclivity to spend more calories when faced with a challenge, and this is when your ‘inner animal’ can take over once you return home. 

You will feel famished and more prone to consume junk food, and this is how many people gained weight while running. The crucial move would be to prepare a healthy, filling meal that will wait for you once you return home. Unless you have a juicer that you can use to prepare a smoothie, drink nothing else but water with your post-jog meal. This should keep you satiated and more likely to lose weight. 

3. Accompanying fitness options for weight loss

There are more efficient fitness options out there for quicker and more satisfying weight loss than running. That’s not to say that you should abandon running at all! You should look into HIIT (high-intensity interval training), or CrossFit or doing supersets, and consider them as natural companions to regular jogging. 

At the moment, many experts on fitness recommend HIIT as the best bet for weight loss. The very name of the workout – high-intensity interval training – gives away the key aspect of the operation. It is essentially a cardio strategy of doing intense anaerobic exercises and mixing them up with short rest intervals. It is all about pushing your body to its edge and doing your best to squeeze every last ounce of energy out of you, while short rests give you enough of a respite to take up another exercise, plus it shocks your body. Supersets are all about avoiding rest all together and doing an eclectic range of exercises non-stop as you engage one group of muscles as the other one rests. 

4. You need to lift weights!

Since the topic of doing a variety of exercises in addition to running is at the forefront, you can also achieve noticeably better results if you lift weights in addition to running. You have probably noticed that switching up your daily routine and engaging as many muscles as possible is a reliable recipe for achieving your goals. The same goes for challenging your body with a steep difficulty curve. 

If you start practicing weight lifting in addition to running, you’ll hit the jackpot because you will, for lack of a better term, hack your metabolism. Your muscle mass is defined as a metabolically active tissue, which means that it tends to prefer burning calories, not fat. By adding fierce strength training to the proceedings, you will increase your metabolism in addition to supporting your running habit. Plus, it helps build mass as it contributes to your leg strength, which builds into your endurance. It is a beneficial feedback loop. 

5. A matter of nutrition

You are what you eat, and it has become easy to eat badly in this modern-day and age. In other words, even if you adhere to the above-mentioned advice to increase difficulty whenever you can during your run, you’ll hardly achieve anything if you are a slob for the rest of the day. 

The first thing you need to do is change your dietary plan. Reduce the intake of carbohydrates. Rely on whole grains, or simply ingest the ‘good’ carbs from fruits and veggies. A few bananas can go a long way if you are cutting out pastry laden with sugars. 

Healthy fiber will also contribute to speeding up your metabolism, so if you rely on fruits, veggies and lean meat throughout your routine, while you do everything in your power to avoid sodas, candy, snacks and pastry (dark chocolate is recommended, though), you should lose weight faster than you can chew. 

Conclusion

At the end of the day, you need to find the perfect combo of exercises that will help you achieve results, while you still get all the enjoyment out of it that you possibly can. If you find yourself desperate before the training, it means that you have probably assembled a routine that brings you nothing but hardship with minimal results. The equilibrium of elation and results as you run your way towards a slimmer waist is the golden spot everyone strives to hit.

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