Run­ning to Lose Weight


Run­ning to lose weight is an easy work­out for those wish­ing to reach their weight loss goals. Weight gain is quite com­mon these days since there are a lot of unhealthy snacks and foods that you sim­ply can­not resist, not to men­tion strug­gling to find time to exer­cise because of fam­ily and work commitments.

The Ben­e­fits of Run­ning to Lose Weight

Obvi­ously, run­ning for weight loss will help increase your health and qual­ity of life through ben­e­fit­ing your mus­cles and organs. This type of exer­cise is a type of car­dio­vas­cu­lar train­ing (car­dio).

Car­dio is used to ele­vate your heart rate in order to train your heart and make it stronger, and train the mus­cles on the out­side of your body. An ele­vated heart rate helps your blood flow and causes your metab­o­lism to quickly reach its max poten­tial in as lit­tle as 10 minutes.

Your metab­o­lism is used to con­vert the calo­ries from the food you eat (e.g. carbs and dietary fats) into energy that you will con­sume while jog­ging. The sim­ple process of run­ning to lose weight is:

  • When run­ning, you begin run­ning car­dio weight loss and require more oxygen.
  • Your heart reacts by pump­ing blood faster.
  • The lungs receive the oxy­gen and trans­fer it to fast mov­ing red blood cells.
  • Oxy­gen is sent to all areas of the body and is even­tu­ally breathed out as car­bon dioxide.
  • Metab­o­lism increases through ele­vated blood pres­sure, using calo­ries to burn fat.

All of this takes place quicker than it sounds, and all you have to do is try run­ning for weight loss and lean mus­cle gain to know what it feels like to have a rush from car­dio train­ing (i.e. runner’s high).

Fat loss will allow more oxy­gen to pass through your body, assist with decreas­ing high cho­les­terol lev­els, and may even help pre­vent can­cer­ous cells from form­ing. Each of these are caused by exces­sive fat on the body, which may result in obe­sity if you do not pre­vent it by try­ing to reduce your weight!

Lean Mus­cle Gains from Weight Loss Exercises

Some do not under­stand that in order to lose weight, one must gain lean mus­cle. Lean mus­cles require energy com­ing from the use of calo­ries, and this require­ment is 24⁄7. Assum­ing you eat sen­si­bly, this process keeps fat from being able to return after run­ning for weight loss and of course want to keep all that weight off.

Strength train­ing helps a lot with lean mus­cle gains, but you can hon­estly achieve this goal of mus­cle gain through run­ning as well. Run­ning requires the pri­mary use of your leg mus­cles to cre­ate the momen­tum nec­es­sary to pro­pel the body for­ward.

How­ever, your abdom­i­nal mus­cles and back mus­cles are also work­ing to help keep your body in good pos­ture. Addi­tion­ally, your arms will alter­nate at the same time as your legs. As your body fat per­cent­age begins to fall these lean mus­cles will start to appear. If the weather doesn’t per­mit you to go for a run try rope skip­ping or indoor rock climb­ing for these same gains.

What to Eat When Run­ning to Lose Weight

Run­ning to lose weight requires daily con­sump­tion of a lot of healthy nutri­ents – espe­cially if you begin to run more than 10 miles a few days a week. This means you want to stay away from unhealthy snacks and empty calo­ries from sodas, and focus more on com­plex carbs, lean pro­teins, and dietary fats.

These are the three macronu­tri­ents are needed for energy, mus­cle recov­ery and devel­op­ment and gen­er­ally keep­ing your body healthy.

Com­plex car­bo­hy­drates are best suited for your diet since they are a great source for energy with­out high amounts of sugar. They usu­ally con­tain plenty of fiber to increase diges­tive health, and should be eaten in higher amounts two hours prior to your train­ing regimen.

Pro­tein is needed for your mus­cles to recover from train­ing, which encour­ages mus­cu­lar growth even after a short weight loss run. This macronu­tri­ent is also impor­tant to your diet because it makes you feel fuller through­out the hours after your meal.

Drink a glass of water with your pro­tein meals to keep your­self from want­ing to snack. Dietary fats increase organ health and are used as a sec­ondary source for energy through your metab­o­lism. Your body is using the car­bo­hy­drates first in the form of glyco­gen, but they do not last for­ever.

Once glyco­gen lev­els have decrease your body turns toward body fat for the energy required to con­tinue run­ning. For more run­ning dietary infor­ma­tion check out my marathon train­ing diet post.

Run, Eat, and Rest

Run­ning to lose weight is easy for you to per­form at your own pace and when­ever you feel like it. You can eas­ily step out­side and run, or hop on a tread­mill if there is bad weather out­side, or if you want to be in the com­fort of your own home.

Drink at least 2 ounces of water per pound on your body to ensure that you are hydrated for the next day run­ning pro­gram. Rest is also very impor­tant, and can actu­ally lead to weight gain even if you rest too long.

Once you get fit from los­ing weight, you might want to con­sider train­ing to run a marathon. Run­ning to lose weight is not a dif­fi­cult task if you are com­mit­ted to los­ing weight.