Running is a wonderful way to burn calories, and can be an effective part of a weight loss program. Running for weight loss, however, can be frustrating and difficult. Here are four important things to know when you decide to include running for weight loss in your fitness program.
Running doesn’t always mean weight loss. Yes, it can, but weight loss really comes from a calorie deficiency. That means your body is burning more calories than it takes in, whether that is achieved by eating less or burning more. If running for weight loss is going to work for you, you’ll need to find a way to create this caloric deficiency even when you add fuel requiring running to your day.
You aren’t running all day. When running for weight loss, it’s important to consider your entire day. Being sedentary before and after your exercise period can easily undo all the work you’ve just put in. When designing your meal plan, but sure to take into account your level of activity all day long and steer clear of high calorie post-run foods if you’re done being active after your exercise session.
Include variety. Challenging your mind and body is an integral part of any running for weight loss plan. Your body works hard to adapt to training stimuli, and that means burnt calories. By giving your muscles a new type of work to do, they constantly work to adapt. Adding interval or hill work changes the demands your muscles and cardiovascular system have to deal with, aiding in post-exercise calorie consumption, increasing resting metabolism and increasing muscle mass.
Fat loss, not weight loss. One pound of muscle weighs exactly as much as one pound of fat, it just happens to take up less room. Muscle is more dense, and running will help build it. Running for weight loss might not change the number on the scale, but as fat burns and muscle builds, clothes will fit better and legs will tone up.
Most importantly, run because you love to run, not because you’re trying to burn calories. You must enjoy the type of exercise you do if it’s going to help with weight management or loss. There are tons of exercise options out there, and any of them can be equally as effective as heading out for a run.
Want to add running to your plan? Team FitNice is here to help! Email us at Info@FitNicePT.com or fill out the form below.