Running for weight loss – Will I really lose weight?

Running for weight loss – Will I really lose weight?
  • PublishedMay 5, 2020

Running is a hobby to many, to some, it is just a game, and to others, it is for weight loss.   It is an incredible and popular exercise for weight loss. Running is linked to many health benefits and of which weight loss is included.

This article will answer most of your questions about running for weight loss. From calories burned, the use of weights, types of running, and the tips to get more of running for weight loss.

 What are the types of running?

No matter your level of fitness you will be able to get a running style that suits you. There are many different styles of running and they include;

Base run: This is a short moderate length running of around 6 miles or 10 km and is done at a normal or natural pace. It is what you may refer to as normal running.

Long runs: These involve running a longer distance than in a base run. Here the distance covered is around 10-12 miles which are 15-20 kilometers. You run at a normal pace like in the base run but the distance is longer in this one. Long runs improve overall fitness and endurance.

Interval run: Short burst runs done over short distances with short breaks between them. This type of running trains power and speed.

Hill runs: These are runs of which you run fast and hard up a hill, then freely slope down at a slower pace as rest. They are like interval runs but these happen on a hill. With hill repeats, you will build running power and speed while improving stamina.

Recovery runs: These are slow runs after harder runs like interval or hill repeats. They are often slow-paced and are aimed to give the body rest from the hard runs done.

Progression runs: Tith these you start slow but end at a faster pace. These runs build endurance, speed, and reduce fatigue.

Is running good for weight loss?

running for weight loss
Image by StockSnap from Pixabay

For one to lose weight, he or she must burn calories than they consume. It is often through dieting and exercise that you lose weight.

Running has a lot more towards weight loss as discussed below.

Running is known for reducing appetite after a workout.

Especially high-intense running, running is known for reducing hunger and suppressing appetite.

Studies have shown that high-intensity running can reduce appetite by suppressing the levels of the hunger hormone ghrelin and producing more satisfying hormones of peptide.

Reduced appetite means less food is eaten and thus fewer calories consumed that might be easier burned for weight loss.

Burns more calories than alternative workouts.

Running is an exercise that on average burns around 370 calories in just 30 minutes and speed of 6 miles per hour. The measurement of real calories though is measured in relation to body weight, speed, and distance.

That’s 33-35 more calories burnt running than while walking. Though 33 calories may seem like not a big deal but after 10 miles of running the difference will be great.

Targets the whole-body muscles including belly fat.

Running targets many large muscle groups making it favorable while achieving whole body weight loss. Muscles like thighs, arms, legs quadriceps, hamstrings, glutes, hip flexors, and calf muscles.

While running you will be able to burn fat all around the body with the belly inclusive since running involves many body muscle groups.

You can find out a detailed look into muscle groups targeted while running. Heart muscles are involved too!

Research also shows that high aerobic exercise like running are able to reduce belly fat even without the change in your diet.

Burns calories even after exercise.

Running will help you burn calories even after your workout. Up to 48 hours, a high-intensity workout will continue to burn calories. This is due to what many call ”the afterburn effect”.

The after-burn effect is also referred to as the excess post-exercise oxygen consumption which refers to the increased quantity of calories burned time after a workout.

You can learn more about the after-burn effect.

How Many Calories Does Running Burn?

The number of calories you burn varies from one person to another. There is no general figure due to the way calories are burned differently depending on weight, intensity, and time spent while running.

However, on average, experts estimate 100 calories to be burned per mile of running.

Also, consider that the number of calories that one burns increases if a person weighs more or is a more efficient runner.

The more time you spend on the course and distance covered, the more the calories burned.

David Swain a professor of exercise science and director of the wellness institutes says that ”It doesn’t matter how fast you go.” He adds that the number of calories burned by a slow or faster runner roughly is the same.

Here is an example, a person running 10-minute miles per hour for over an hour will cover 6 miles while burning 600 calories. Another running at 6-minute miles per hour will cover 10 miles and burn 1000 calories during the course.

The more time spent running will equal more calories burned.

How to get the most out of running for weight loss


In order to get the most of your running for weight loss, you should have these in mind;

  1. Choose the right gear.

An old pair of sneakers you no longer use will not act as effective running shoes. Having the best gear will make you work out effectively and with no injuries.

The main gear you must have are running shoes. These are built to absorb the impact and give you comfort as you work out. They will give you the push to achieve much as they will protect you from injury.

For women, it’s highly recommended to have a sports bra for comfortability and reduce pain while running.

Other gears you should have while running might be an athletic vest, yoga pants, sports shorts, and anything you can think of. As long as you have the right running shoes, you will get the best out of your workouts.

You can find out how to choose the best running shoes in this article we have written. You will also learn what to consider when choosing a pair for yourself. Most of the running shoes recommended in this article are only $50 and less which is a good start for anyone looking to improve their workouts. See the full article here.

2. Start out slow.

For beginners, you should start out slow and gradually increase. Aim for about 30 minutes of running. You should also work out 3-4 days.

Working out for 4 days a week will be able to give you results and at the same time not to exhaust you as it will allow you to rest your muscles.  It will give your body enough time to recover from muscle tears and exhaustion.

Avoid over-exercising and challenging yourself to great feats that may injure you or exhaust you so much.

Keeping it consistent also helps to build stamina, endurance, and weight loss.  Taking weeks in between rest and workouts will not help you achieve your weight loss. Being persistent will deliver results by shedding down those pounds.

3. Decide your weight goal.

Knowing your current weight and your target or dream weight will both help you to estimate the number of calories you have to burn.

This will help you calculate the distance, pace, and time to run in order to lose those extra pounds. Knowing your target helps you hit it and also to avoid over-exercising which might be exhausting.

4. Do Warm-up and cool-down exercises.

Before you embark on the run, it is highly recommended to do warm-up exercises to prepare the muscles of what is coming. Start by stretching followed by 5 minutes of walking and then gradually embark on a running pace.

At the end of your run, never take an immediate stop as it may cause muscle pulls or any other related risk. Just like a car doesn’t come to a sudden stop, so shouldn’t you.

Make sure to cool down by gradually decreasing your speed gradually up to a 5-minute walk.

5. Take note of your total time.

Aim for a minimum of 30 minutes if you want to lose weight by running. In this period can be the 5 minutes of warm up, 20 minutes of running, and 5 minutes to cool down.

Going beyond this time is fine but working under it may not help you achieve the best weight loss results. (especially in the time you want them).

As you grow stronger, you can increase to an hour or more accordingly.

If you plan to add other workouts to running, it’s okay to have running times under 30minutes aday. 30 minutes a day could be the minimum if running for weight loss is not supplemented by any other workouts. 

How many days a week should I run for a beginner?

As said earlier, 3-4 days a week will give you weight loss results. This will help to give your body time to rest and heal.

You will still lose weight if you do the runs effectively.  For beginners, a quick recovery from the stress of running may not be possible overnight.

Therefore, a day of resting in between runs helps your body to heal and recover. Resting will allow your muscles to come back stronger.

As you get stronger and have muscles get used, you can run on consecutive days. It’s possible to run every day when you have more stamina and the body is used to the stress.

How long should I run?

It is recommended to run for longer than 30 minutes if you are running at a low intensity. A low running intensity burns few calories compared to a high-intensity run.

Running at a faster and high intensity burns more calories in a short period of time. Therefore, it will depend on the intensity and weight loss goal.

While exercising on a low intensity you will need to run for a longer period of time. Whereas running at a high intensity will help you burn calories faster and thus you can hit your weight loss target after running for a short period.

What should you eat while running as an exercise to lose weight?

While running for weight loss, you will need these foods to heal your body, boost your metabolism, and generally aid in weight loss.

  • Avocado.

It is filled with so much potassium which is an essential electrolyte that helps to run faster and healthy for weight loss.

  • Greek yogurt.

It is filled with carbs and proteins the body needs to recover from running wear and muscle tear.

  • Eggs.

Eggs are among the healthiest foods and are always included in many diets. For runners, eggs provide body healing proteins to mend broken muscles. Eggs also have weight aiding nutrients.

  • Whole grains

These have healthy carbs that provide energy and aid weight loss.

Other foods to eat while running for weight loss.

  • Beet salad.
  • Nuts.
  • Lean beef.
  • Beet salad.
  • Watermelon
  • Hummus and raw vegetables.
  • Apples.
  • Bananas.
  • Whey protein shake.

Is running with weights safe?

Will running with weights help you burn more calories or slowed you down? Here is what you should know.

  • Running with weight will increase your calorie burn, top speed, posture, stamina, and bone health.
  • You will be able to improve your endurance, speed, and strengthen your joints.
  • Running with weights means more resistance training which means your body will be challenged thus more calories burned.
  • Runners often use ankle and wrist weights to add challenges to their workouts.

Important note:

Running with ankle weights is not advisable as this alters your gaits an lead to imbalances. This will happen gradually and may not be noticed in a short period of time.

Please see an article we have written about ankle weights. This article doesn’t only show you our recommended ankle weights but also answers other popular questions about them. See the article here. 


So now, would you choose running over a visit to the gym?

Is running better than the gym?

The gym provides a whole space and different kinds of exercises you can try out for weight loss. This ranges from lifting weights to many other cardio equipment you can use.

Personally, with mixed minds I wouldn’t say running is better or more effective than gym in terms of aiding weight loss.

However, the gym has so many distractions and obstacles that would limit you from an effective workout. The subscriptions tend to be expensive too making running money-saving.

The debate about whether the gym is better than running will depend on a person’s preference and comfortability.

Is running on a treadmill as effective as running outdoors?

Running on a treadmill is easier than outdoor running due to the following reasons

  • The treadmill assists during workouts by absorbing the impact which isn’t the case with an outdoor run. Impact absorption helps reduce the chances of injury and increases effectiveness.
  • The treadmill is more convenient than outdoor running most especially when you own it at home. No matter the weather or time of the day, you can work out on a treadmill which isn’t the case with outdoor running.
  • Running on a treadmill is much safer than running outdoors. With outdoor running, you are prone to road accidents, getting lost compared to the treadmill running which is safely done at home.
  • With the different speeds on the treadmill, you can have a controlled pace and intensity which isn’t the case with outdoor running where flat areas and hills will influence different speeds.

Learn how to choose the best treadmill in this post. This post will also show you where you should consider putting the treadmill in your house.

However, outdoor running burns more calories compared to a treadmill workout due to outdoor running being more challenging. While running outside you will have a change of scenery which might improve your mood and increase effectiveness.

Running outdoors is also money-saving since it will not involve owning a treadmill that is most times over $1000 (for a decent one).

The bottom line

No matter style or pace of running, you will be able to achieve weight loss if you do it in the right way.

However, running alone may not help you achieve your weight loss. A healthy weight loss diet is essential to losing weight. Therefore in order to lose weight, you should combine a weight loss diet and an effective running routine.


Subscribe for weekly insights on faster weight loss and good health.

[activecampaign form=3]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *