Running to help you lose weight is not as straightforward as it might seem. Here’s how to get it done and what to avoid.
It is possible to be fit from running but still overweight.
Yes, it is.
The reason being, running is hard. It’s the hardest physical activity we can do.
You’ll burn plenty of calories when you go running. But it will make you hungry.
The danger is: that you will replace those calories by eating them back on - because running has made you hungry.
Sorry, but if you thought running was the magic way to lose weight, you’re wrong.
Well, it’s wrong for most people.
There are always exceptions. It’s possible that there are some lucky souls out there who can eat what they like and still maintain a healthy weight.
But for the rest of us? We have to battle a bit harder.
Rule 1 - eat less
When I finally realised why I wasn’t losing weight (even though I was running 40-50 miles a week) I stopped eating as much.
That was it.
It’s a good first step. Just reduce how much you actually eat.
Smaller portion sizes and less food in general started the weight loss process.
Rule 2 - don’t go on a diet
The changes you need to make are permanent. Dieting tends to be short term.
So, don’t follow some fad diet.
Aim to reduce your calorie intake by:
- Not eating as much
- Reducing the carbohydrates and sugar in your diet
It is a lifestyle change. Does your body need that doughnut? Really?
Is that Dominos pizza going to help? Or that Burger King burger?
We all know the answer is a resounding NO.
You have to train yourself to just not have them. Maybe once in a while won’t hurt.
But ordinarily? You don’t eat that stuff.
I love sandwiches.
Yeah… I do. Almost any kind of sandwich.
However, bread in any of its forms, is high in basic carbohydrates. As are potatoes. So, you know what you’ve got to do…
Rule 3 - Appreciate the trade-off
Here’s what will happen as you begin to lose weight.
Your running will improve.
You’ll runs stronger and faster and you’ll recover quicker. It’s a fact (I have the empirical evidence).
I’ve run more PB’s in the past few months than I ever have before.
That’s because I’m over 9KG lighter than I was. That’s 1.5 stone lighter. And I’m working hard to lose more.
Because for me, it’s win, win.
- I can get faster still
- I’ll be within the weight parameters for the blood thinning medication I have to take
- I’ll get fitter still
- I won’t need ‘x’’s on the size labels of my clothes
Trust me, the trade-off is worth leaving the unhealthy food alone. And I love my food.
BUT I love running faster and stronger too. I love it more, in fact.
And that’s why I’ll keep going with shifting the timber.