It’s a common scenario: You start running because you hope to lose weight. When you get on the scale, however, you see that you are actually gaining weight. Sometimes, the reason is just that you’ve lost fat and put on muscle, which can be heavier than fat tissue. For a good return on your investment in running, you need to tweak both your diet and your workout. If you choose to run to lose weight, you should make sure to try these ideas below.
Make sure that you eat for a calorie deficit
When you start running, the exercise is bound to improve your appetite. You are likely to feel free to cut yourself some slack because you now work out, and believe that you can burn off anything that you eat. Getting exercise hardly makes it okay to eat a calorie-rich diet, however. If you love the idea of a 700-calorie post-workout shake, there’s no way that you’re going to be able to lose weight. You’ll simply put all the calories back that you burn in the workout, and some more.
Try intermittent fasting from noon to 7 o’clock in the evening. It can help you stay on a moderate calorie intake plan. When you eat, you should try your best to concentrate on carbs, protein and high-quality fats to help feel sated. Such a meal plan can be especially helpful at dinner, or before a run early in the morning.
You need to burn 3,500 calories to lose one pound. If you’re to lose a pound a week, then, you would need to either burn 500 calories a day, or cut your calorie intake by as much. It’s important to focus on a healthy diet full of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, nuts and lean proteins. If you eat a diet full of sugar and refined starches like white bread, you will take in so many calories that you’ll never be able to work out enough to burn it all off.
Keep your running route fresh
Running the circuit at the park or running around the block can be a great way to start a running program. The body can quickly get used to steady-state runs, however, and stop losing weight in response. It’s a much better idea to keep surprising your body. A run down a forest trail with uneven terrain, bends, rocks and logs along the way, is more likely to keep your body guessing, and keep it from learning to become efficient at burning energy.
Running on trails that keep throwing different kinds of terrain at you is also a good way to avoid injury. Unlike running on a flat, smooth track, running on a forest trail has you using different muscles all the time. You avoid overusing any specific set of muscles.
The best part of mixing up your running is that it helps you lose weight faster. You won’t even need to spend a whole hour on the treadmill. All you need to do is to try 20-minute high-intensity interval training exercises. You burn the most calories when you keep your body guessing at what kind of challenge comes up next.
Run more frequently
When you first start to run, you’re likely to be unable to do no more than 20 minutes a day, 2 days a week. Since a slow, 20-minute run can only burn about 180 calories, you are unlikely to be able to lose weight. When you increase your workout frequency to 5 times a week, and run 45 minutes each time, you will put on muscle, and lose fat.
It doesn’t matter if you can only run 5 minutes at a stretch before you need to walk a little to catch your breath. Just as long as you keep moving as well as you can for an entire 45-minute period, you’re giving your body what it needs. The rule should be to run frequently, and to mix up your running to keep your body alert.
Build some muscle
If you want to lose weight, it’s critical that you try strength-training alongside of running. Not only does strength training help improve your body’s fat-to-muscle ratio, it also helps you feel stronger and more confident about your ability to work out. You’ll find yourself skipping workouts far less often.
Strength training is also vital because it helps build muscle, tissue that tends to burn more energy than fat tissue. The more muscle you have, the more energy you burn.
Running can be a reasonable way to lose weight. You need to make sure that you run the right way, however. It’s important to run multiple times each week, mix up your running route so that help keep your body from getting used to the route, and build muscle. When you run the right way, it is exercise that can help you lose weight.