How to lose weight by running

Someone puts on sneakers and a warm sports suit “to sweat”, someone tries to run fast to accelerate fat burning, and someone starts running, but, not achieving quick results, passes to other sports.

So which methods work and which don’t? While working on this article, we spoke with professional trainers and athletes, as well as people who were able to shed extra pounds through running.

As a result, we have succeeded in bringing together the main theses, debunking several myths and arguing some “for” and “against” running as a means of losing weight.

Let’s start with the fact that running is not the best way to lose weight, but it is one of the most effective.

The main problem is a high degree of trauma in beginners: the desire to get the result as soon as possible (before the start of the beach season, before the New Year holidays, wearing a favorite dress, and just because it’s urgent), overstated ambitions – all this does not correspond to the physical preparation of the body.

At the same time, running is perceived as a kind of pill, after which the kilograms magically dissolve within a week.

Why is this attitude not working? All people are different – this well-known and even banal statement is confirmed during running lessons in the best possible way. There is no single recipe: someone will start losing weight after the first runs, and someone will not be helped by a 30 km cross.

Much depends on your starting weight. Sometimes, in order to start running without risk of injury, you first need to lose several tens of kilograms in a safer way – for example, a competent diet and swimming.

How to lose weight running

A well-balanced diet

If eating habits have contributed to weight gain, it will be difficult to lose weight without giving up old habits. Start with a healthy diet and lose weight, and running will help you get in great shape. This is the main recipe for losing weight, without which jogging will be ineffective.

Increase your physical activity, especially if you spend 8-10 hours sitting at a desk. However, training 3 times a week for an hour is no excuse for eating whatever you want: many runners exaggerate their energy expenditure and consume more calories than they expend, justifying this as ” hard physical activity. In fact, it’s just a reason for overeating.

Running is not a license to eat everything in a row during the day.

Nutritionists even derived formulas for calculating the rate of calorie consumption for men and women, forgetting to indicate from what products these calories are obtained. Agree that 1000 Kcal of spinach and a piece of cake are perceived differently in different people and depend on the rate of metabolism.

Basic principles of losing weight using running

Run regularly. But don’t expect miracles from the first run, follow the training program patiently. Jogging twice a month, after a rainy Thursday or just in the mood, won’t achieve anything. Start running 3 times a week every other day. For example Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday.

Pick a time of day that works for you. are you a lark – great, running in the morning. Do you have time after work? – an exercise in the evening. British scientists have not yet established a link between the time of day and the rate of weight loss. Here we find out in more detail when it is better to run: in the morning or in the evening.

Don’t try to set world records. Excessively high speed will lead to injury and effective training begins after 30-40 minutes of activity. Try to start with brisk walking, alternating it with short runs. For example, 2 minutes of walking and 20 to 30 seconds of running.

Learn to listen to your body. If you’re running so fast that your pulse is racing, you’re out of breath and you’re about to pass out, take a step, you don’t need to exhaust yourself. Do it for fun. The main sign of a good workout: you can talk on the go without getting out of breath.

The first month of training is the most difficult, but if the body has time to adapt and does not manifest itself in various injuries, you will begin to take real pleasure in running. Now you can increase volumes, but not dramatically. You don’t have to try to run a marathon in a month. Increase the distance by no more than 10% per week.

Don’t dress too warmly. During sweating, in response to overheating, fluid is released from the body. It’s not about “melting” fat, as many people think!

Excess clothing can cause heatstroke, not weight loss.

Drinking after training will help the body return lost fluid.

Don’t run in the same place especially around the stadium. It’s difficult psychologically. Parks, forest, change of environment, relief, recovery, all this helps to not give up running from the first lessons.

Connect strength training to running: for example, exercises to strengthen the press, back, core muscles. Fitness, yoga, pilates are good for this. Someone likes to swim, for someone an additional activity can be a bicycle. The main thing is to find the right balance so as not to overtrain.

The higher the speed, and, accordingly, the heart rate, the more calories are burned when running. This fact is especially important for those who like to balance debit with credit, i.e. count calories consumed and expended.

However, we cannot recommend increasing running speed for faster weight loss. Let’s go back to what we started with – a high rate of trauma among newbies. And with sufficiently large body weight, the main problems arise with the musculoskeletal system, excessive loads on the knees and feet damage the joints (read more about running with excess weight).


To be fit, you need:

  • monitor nutrition, do not overeat, and choose quality products
  • running properly and not overexerting yourself, while sitting less and paying more attention to other types of activities
  • choose the load so you have time to recover before the next training session.

Be patient: in running, the result does not come quickly, and after a few months you may notice a loss of only a few kilograms. It’s normal.

Running regularly will help you lose weight, but running as a way of life will keep you healthy and happy.