When combined with healthy habits and a balanced diet, running can be an effective and enjoyable way to lose weight. For a running weight loss program to be successful, you must burn more calories by running than you take in through eating. If you have been running regularly, yet are not losing any weight, reconsider your running routine, eating habits and lifestyle.
Eating Too Much
In most cases, simply adding an exercise program to your life will not be sufficient for stable weight loss. In addition to running, you must also follow a healthy, balanced diet. Eating more calories than you burn through running will not lead to weight loss. Avoid foods high in fat and sugar. Additionally, new runners often experience a sudden surge in their appetite once they start a vigorous running regimen. As you burn these extra calories through exercise, your body craves additional calories. If you fulfill this craving with calories from unhealthy foods, you will not experience weight loss.
Eating Too Little
Similarly, eating too few calories also hinders your ability to lose weight. When you begin a running exercise program, your body relies on a regular intake of calories and nutrients for energy. Rather than adopting an extremely low-calorie diet of only healthy foods, try making small positive changes to your diet. Runners need to follow a diet “high in carbohydrates, low in fat, and sufficient but not excessive in protein, according to Cool Running. Also, try to incorporate more fruits and vegetables into your meals, drink plenty of water and limit your intake of soda, white flour and refined sugars.
Wrong Running Program
Some runners may be following an inappropriate running program, which results in minor or absent weight loss. For example, once the body becomes familiar with a slow jogging routine, it will no longer be as effective for weight loss. Instead, a quicker, more intense run results in more effective weight loss. Fitness magazine explains that an interval training program allows your muscles to burn energy more efficiently, resulting in more significant weight loss. With an interval training program, you alternate the speed and intensity of your run. For example, alternate between a brisk jog and short bursts of sprinting. Interval training not only burns more calories during the run, but also allows the body to continue burning calories after your run.
Need More Time
New runners typically gain weight at the beginning of a running program. Once you begin running, your body starts replacing fat with muscle tissue, which weighs more. Although you will likely feel stronger and look more toned, you will also gain a small amount of weight as your body undergoes this transition. If you have been following a regular running routine and you are not losing weight, give it some more time. In some cases, it may take several months before you begin noticing any weight loss from running.
Sitting Down Too Much
Even if you run several times per week, this exercise regimen might not be enough for you to lose weight if you have an otherwise sedentary lifestyle. For best results, add small bouts of physical activity to your daily routine. For example, take the stairs instead of the elevator and park at the back of the parking lot. Rather than calling or e-mailing co-workers, walk to their office for a quick chat. If you work at a desk all day, take a quick walk around the office once every hour. Although these small lifestyle changes might not seem effective, they will contribute to weight loss.
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This article reflects the views of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the views of Jillian Michaels or JillianMichaels.com.