Running is an excellent exercise if your goal is to shed some weight. Whether you are a runner who just wants to lose a bit of weight, or you want to start running to improve your physique. But still, losing weight can be tricky. Running, or any other form of exercise requires energy, which burns calories.
You will spend more energy daily, which can make you a lot hungrier than if you were not exercising. To lose weight, you are going to take in less calories or burn off excess calories, called a calorie deficit.
That is the tricky part; you have to eat enough to sustain your energy levels for your workouts and fuel your muscles, but you need to consume fewer calories, so your body does not store them as fat.
But, as much as it can be tricky, it is also the easiest way to lose weight. If you want to run, all you need to have is a pair of running shoes, find out more on Rockay.com, and you can begin your journey.
If you are a beginner runner, and you have not done much exercise before running, you are inevitably going to shed some weight. Even if you run in the park for 30 minutes every day, it is going to be a significant jump from your normal activity levels, unless you start eating more, you are definitely going to drop some weight.
But as your body adjusts to this new routine, your weight loss will stagnate. If you want to keep losing weight,, you are going to have to add a change, be it in your diet, your running distance, or the intensity of your runs.
Before you start your weight loss journey, make a specific target weight that you want to hit and a deadline (but be as realistic as you possibly can, losing a lot of weight in a short period of time is neither healthy or sustainable). Here are some tips on how to lose weight when you start running.
1. Do Not Be Overly Ambitious When Starting
Yes, it does not sound too hard when you say that you ran for 10 minutes, but if that is your limit, you should not set a goal of running every day for an hour. You are just going to give yourself sore muscles and probably give up after the second day.
If you are a complete beginner, you should ease yourself into your running plan, and gradually increase distance and intensity. Losing weight and running is not a race; you can progress slowly, too.
If you are not in shape at all, or if you are overweight, experts suggest that you follow these rules when you are just starting your running program.
- Start by walking. Unlike running, walking creates less force onto your bones but still is hard enough to make your muscles stronger. Walking is a great way to start exercising. Or if your stamina is good enough, you can add walking sessions into your run. It is okay if you cannot run your whole route for the first week or two, just add the regular walks into your running routine. It is much better than giving up.
- Run every other day. Your bones and muscles will need time to recover from your physical activities. For most beginners, running every other day is a great way to allow yourself to rest, but still not fall out of the routine and habit of running. Walking or cycling is a great form of exercise that will not tire your muscles if you want to be active in between your runs.
- Increase the duration gradually. As I said before, overdoing your fitness level is just a way to lose your motivation and give up. Plus, you put your body at risk of serious injury. Instead, slowly increase your running time or the intensity of your runs. Don’t change too much at once, or you may end up overtrained and sore rather than toned and fit. If you have trouble running miles, add walking before and after your run instead.
2. Change Your Diet
Diet plays a crucial role in your weight loss, so be mindful of what food you choose to eat; you need to have a daily calorie deficit. But, in order to achieve this deficit, you do not have to eat less, you can just eat better.
Cutting just around 100-200 calories from your daily intake will be enough to achieve the fit figure you want. Do not skip carbs; just change the quality of your products. Carbs from your diet are the primary source of fuel for your runs and a great source of nutrition for your muscles. The more you build muscles, the faster your metabolism becomes, and you lose more weight.
When it comes to the quality of the carbs, it is recommended that you skip the simple carbs, such as bread, pasta, white rice and potatoes, and add more complex carbs such as sweet potatoes, quinoa, brown rice and oats.
Eat plenty of fruits and veggies, and do not forget healthy sources of fat, such as avocadoes and nuts. You may think that in order to lose weight, you have to avoid fat at all costs, but this is simply not true. Healthy fats are necessary for your body to remain healthy, especially if you are a woman.
Cut out all unhealthy, processed foods, like soft drinks, candy, and junk food, as well as dairy products and red meats. You can reduce your calories by changing high-calorie foods with lower-calorie substitutes. For example, if you love sweets, add just a bit of dried fruits, or if you love fries, have oven-baked sweet potatoes instead.
Do not think of food as your reward for the hard exercise, it is not good for your weight loss. Instead, reward your body with healthy, nourishing foods.
3. Increase Your Distance Or Your Intensity
Doing only tempo runs will give you the results, but there are more efficient ways to go about your weight loss. Set a goal for yourself. Maybe you can currently run for 30 minutes, but you wish to be able to run for an hour. Slowly increase your duration until you reach that goal, then, set another.
But if you are already running as much as you like, in terms of the duration, you can switch up your running plan. Instead of having a constant pace, add some sprinting sessions.
Sprinting is the best way to burn fat. It is just as hard as any weight training. But do not include sprinting in your exercise routine unless your body is ready to add the extra stress to the muscles.
To avoid injury, it is vital that you prepare your bones, joints, and muscles for your sprinting sessions. Run one lap in your running pace and thoroughly stretch your hamstrings and legs. Do not skip the stretching.
Start by doing 6-10 laps of 100-meter sprints. Have a starting line and finish line. After you are done with each lap, walk back to the starting line and allow your muscles to rest before going for the next lap.
Adding sprints will not only change the monotony of your running routine, but it will also increase the fat burn after you are done with your exercise for the day. If you want to add more variety in your runs, you can add hurdles orhigh-knees to your running.
Another great running exercise is running uphill or up the stairs. They promote, not only the shaping of your legs and abs but your arms, as well. Positioning of your arms while you are running is also important. They should always be at a 90-degree angle in relation to your legs.
4. Add Weight-Training
Cardio is a great way to lose weight, but it doesn’t build much muscle.. If you want to build muscles, you should do weight-training in addition to your running program. Strength training is a great way to boost your runs. By building stronger abs, legs and back muscles, you improve your endurance and stability for your runs.
If you are female, you may think that weight-training will add a lot of mass to your body, but this is a myth. It is very hard for runners to build up a lot of muscles. You would have to eat giant portions or to lift hefty weight to achieve the bulk that non-runners achieve.
5. Do Not Lose Too Much
Having fat in your body is a normal thing. A normal range for women is around 25-30 percent of body fat. This limit is a bit lower for men. If you are athletic, your body fat will be lower, but it must never get lower than 14 percent. Anything lower than that puts you at a high risk of serious health issues.
Apart from running and a healthy diet, another important this is rest and sleep. You have to allow your muscles to recover properly. Good night’s sleep is a great way to feel rested and energized for the next day. Sometimes you will need more than a day to rest and prepare your body for another run. This is normal, one day of resting is often not enough.