Running for Fat Loss: Is Losing Weight By Running Possible?

In this post, I’ll discuss running for fat loss, or rather, why the idea of losing weight by running is quite flawed!

Running Burns 400 – 600 Calories Per Hour!

This is misconception number one.

Everyone looks at the number of calories burned per hour… and for running, that is quite high. The calories mentioned are assuming that you can do five miles in one hour, that’s a lot of calories.

However, what most people neglect to consider is the fact that running is a sport, not just an exercise which you do.

Running at such a rate does burn a lot of calories. But running really puts a lot of stress on your body. Your muscles get very sore, you can suffer from a lot of discomfort (especially true for women) and you can get injured if you’re not running in good form. Of course, an injury is a major setback if you’re trying to lose weight by working out.

running for fat lossIn addition, over time your body gets used to running.  So you’ll find that over time, running feels easier and the amount you burn reduces – this is your body adapting, or hitting a plateau.

Since running is a sport, you will need to put a lot of effort into maintaining proper form. For a one mile run, you will need to stretch properly for fifteen minutes afterwards, warm up properly and may even have to use hot packs if your muscles are too sore.

In addition you cannot diet if you go running. Running is very taxing for your body, so you need proper nutrition and foods for running. You will need to ensure that you stay hydrated and have enough vitamins and minerals, i.e. you will need to eat more to compensate for all the stress you’re putting on your body. You will wind up needing to have an extra 300+ calories as running nutrition, so in the end you will only have burned about 200 calories per hour. And this is not considering that large meal you may have wolfed down because you were starving after your run!

At the end of the day, you’ll find that you need to put a lot of effort into running – it’s not as easy as just joining a gym or doing a few hill sprints for HIIT.

Why Running For Fat Loss Really Doesn’t Work

Running for loss breaks down because most people need to eat a lot to make up for all the stress that they’re putting on their body. At the end of the day, they wind up with a caloric surplus and not a deficit – many runners have been surprised to find that they put on weight after they started running.

If You’re Still Interested in Running For Weight Loss…

If you ask people why they run, losing weight or maintaining their weight levels will be at the top of most people’s lists. Yes, it is possible to lose weight by running, but it’s not as simple as most people or mainstream fitness magazines would have you to believe!

Going running in order to lose weight really only makes sense if you love running and love the lifestyle of being a runner. You must be dedicated about it, just as you would be with any other sport.

If you feel that you’d like to go running, read up on proper running form and watch videos showing proper running form.

Get fitted for running shoes and make sure you wear quality shoes. Depending on the time you go running, you may also want to wear safety clothing. Above all, stay safe when you go running and try to avoid deserted areas if you go running at night or in the early morning.


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Category: Cardio, Exercise Plans, Weight Loss

About Alisha: Alisha is a Melbourne-based blogger who is happy to have lost a lot of weight recently! She is now trying to be more fit and lead a more healthy lifestyle. In this blog she shares tips for losing weight quickly and easily. You can read more about her on the "My Story" page.

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  1. Mary says:

    Thats it – I’m done with running. I never really enjoyed it anyway…

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