Last Updated: February 5th, 2021
When was the last time you thought of weight loss? 5 min back right? You are not alone. Nearly 50% of Americans want to lose weight. Most people want a quick weight loss. Is it even possible? Does it really help? How can you do that? What can you do? There are numerous questions…
Is running the quickest way to lose weight?
Yes, running is the quickest way to lose weight. You do not need any fancy equipment, trainer, or wait to hit the gym for running. All you need is the goal, the right mindset and just keep running. Running is a safe and inexpensive workout. There is no shortcut to a healthy weight loss, hence you must maintain a balance of your intake and the workout. On average, a man weighing 200 pounds lose around 350 cal running for 30 min at a speed of 10 min/mile. Whereas, a woman weighing around 160 pounds lose around 300 cal walking for 30 min at the speed of 10min/mile. Note that the calorie burn depends on other factors like your current weight, age, sex, and your natural metabolic rate.
You can lose weight!!! Let’s figure out how running can help…
How much weight can you lose by running?
Burning more calories than what you are consuming leads to weight loss.
In other words, weight loss is dependent both on your diet and workout.
To be more precise, it is 80% diet and 20% exercise.
With all the exercise that you put in, you must choose your food very cautiously.
Like it is said a healthy weight loss takes time.
By healthy weight loss, I mean losing 1-2 pounds a week.
To lose 1 pound, you need to lose 3500 cal.
Running for 30 min in a day at an average speed of 6-7 mph, makes you lose 500 cal.
So, if you run for a week you lose 3500 cal i.e 1 pound.
However, you must be very careful about calorie intake.
Always, stick to a healthy diet plan, else you will end up wasting all your hard work.
The other point to remember is your current weight.
If you are towards the heavier side of the scale, it is easy for you to lose the first few pounds.
If you want immediate results, either you exercise excessively or opt for a crash diet.
Both of these harms your body.
If you over workout, the chances of injury increase, at the same time if you are not eating appropriately you remain undernourished.
That is why it is always recommended to follow an intermediate way and go for gradual weight loss.
How long should I run to lose weight?
Honestly speaking, if you are a new runner, running is difficult, but not impossible.
Again if you are a little heavy, your body weight makes it even more challenging.
Should you not try running at all?
Nah…you should do otherwise…
Let’s talk about a safe running plan for beginners.
- A proper running shoe – Not a tennis shoe, not a training shoe, and definitely not your favorite pair of sneakers. If you don’t want to spend much, you can use any of these budget running shoes which are beginner-friendly and will last for a longer period of time.
- A fitness tracker (Optional)
- Proper mindset – You will fail. A lot of times, however, you should never give up.
- Your first target should be to able to run for the whole 20 min.
- For beginners, initially, this may be a little difficult.
- You can try the walk-run technique, where you walk for 2 min and run for 2 min.
- As your body is able able to sustain running, increase the running period.
- With consistent practice, you will feel the difference in 1-2 weeks.
- By the end of 3-4 weeks, you will be able to run for the full 20 min.
- You may find that weight loss is not significant.
Don’t get demotivated, this is just the beginning.
Your next target is to build up the pace. If you are running at 3-4 mph, you must increase it to 5-6 mph. Building up the pace takes time.
Here is what you can do.
- Find your stride rate. Take a timer for 1 min. Count how many times your right foot touches the ground. Multiply it by 2 to get your stride rate.
- Let’s say your right foot touches the ground 80 times, then your stride rate is 160.
- Now select a 30 seconds interval in your running where you run with a 5% more stride rate i.e 168 strides per month.
- Do this 3-4 times a week.
- Once you are able to do this, increase the interval to 45 sec.
- Repeat this until you are able to run for 1 min with the increased speed.
- Now you again increase the stride rate by 5% more and repeat the same steps.
- You will see an improvement in your running stamina as well as in speed.
- A 30-40 min run at the average speed of 5-6mph is sufficient to lose around 1-2 pounds in a week.
Is it better to run in the morning or evening for weight loss?
For weight loss consistent running is the key, it really does not matter what time you are running.
However, running in the morning and evening has its own pros and cons.
It depends on you, what do you want to select and go ahead with.
Running in the morning
- A good supply of fresh air and oxygen
- Run with a fresh mind
- Running in the morning finishes your workout plan for the day. You need not have to arrange your schedule for your workout.
- In the morning your muscles and joints are stiff so you need a good amount of warm-up.
- If you are planning to run long, make sure to eat something before running and drink sufficiently else you will feel fatigued.
Running the evening
- It is a very good way to de-stress yourself after a long day
- In a tropical region where the sun is harsh, it is better to run at a lower temperature as heat impacts your running.
- Running long in the evening can take a toll on your sleep.
- You need to be extra cautious about running in the less lighted streets, highways, etc.
- During monsoon, it’s better to avoid running in the evening.
How long should I run to lose weight on a treadmill?
You can also make it way more comfortable and less prone to injury.
It’s a great alternative to running outside.
The question often lingers, how much shall I run?
- Most of the treadmills nowadays come with the fancy in-built fat burning program.
- However, if you do not have this feature, it is always good to run for 20-30 min at an average pace.
- You can start with 5 min warm-up walk at a slow speed and increase it to a speed of 6-7 mph.
- Continue to run at this pace for 20-30 min and again reduce your pace down so that your heart rate is normal.
- This is a safe workout on the treadmill.
- You can repeat this 4-5 times a week.
The most treadmill comes with the “incline” feature.
Walking on the incline gives you the feel of up-hill training.
Incline workout is even more intense but that may put extra pressure on your knees.
It is recommended for beginners to get used to running on the plain surface before trying the incline.
How much should I run a week to lose weight?
Normally, running for 1 mile at a moderate speed of 5-6 mph makes you burn around 100 cal.
If you are running 4 miles a day you burn around 500 cal.
This way in a week you burn around 3500 cal.
To lose one pound in a day you need to lose 3500 cal.
So as per the above statistic, running for 4 miles a day for a week makes you lose 1 pound in a week.
As I have mentioned above, don’t overload your plate to lose the benefits of running.
Remember every drop of sweat counts.
Williams, Paul T. “Greater weight loss from running than walking during 6.2-yr prospective follow-up.” Medicine and science in sports and exercise 45, no. 4 (2013): 706.
Knechtle, Beat, Patrizia Knechtle, Andrea Wirth, Christoph Alexander Rüst, and Thomas Rosemann. “A faster running speed is associated with a greater body weight loss in 100-km ultra-marathoners.” Journal of sports sciences 30, no. 11 (2012): 1131-1140.
Hazell, T.J., Hamilton, C.D., Olver, T.D. and Lemon, P.W., 2014. Running sprint interval training induces fat loss in women. Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism, 39(8), pp.944-950.