Running for weight loss: how to exercise and eat to achieve results

running for weight loss

It helps, and it is a proven fact. For a year of quiet half-hour running four times a week, you can lose about 3. 3 kg without any diet.

Moreover, running helps to lose weight and maintain weight better than walking and exercise bike exercise (the latter is true for overweight and obese people).

But despite the proven effectiveness, even regular classes can leave you with no results if you do not take into account some important factors. Below we will discuss how to run to lose weight for sure.

If you have problems with the cardiovascular or musculoskeletal system, and you are overweight or obese, consult your doctor before starting classes.

How to run to lose weight

Start gradually

If the last time you ran was a few years ago, do not rush right away. Your main tasks: gradually train the body with physical activity, maintain health and desire to run.

In the first workouts, alternate jogging with brisk walking. For example, run for three minutes, then walk for the next two minutes, and then get back to running.

Repeat this five-minute series six times and you will have a perfect half hour workout that will tire any beginner. Reduce your walking time while getting used to it until you can run non-stop for 30 minutes.

After that, congratulate yourself on a small victory, but do not relax.

Increase the intensity

Running, no matter how difficult it may seem at first, does not burn as many calories as we would like. For example, 30 minutes of running at a speed of 8 km / h burns only about 290 kcal in a person weighing 70 kg.

As speed increases, so does power consumption. The same person spends 360 kcal in half an hour running at a speed of 10 km / h, and if accelerating to 12 km / h - about 450 kcal.

The Cochrane Review of Scientific Studies mentioned that intense exercise increases weight loss by 1. 5 kg per year compared to more relaxed activities. So it makes sense to stretch a little more in your workouts.

Set a goal to close one mile of your run a little faster and see how it makes you feel. If all went well, next time try to run a little more at the selected speed.

You can also gradually increase the operating time - this will also have a good effect on your energy costs.

Quiet alternate jogging with HIIT and sprint

There are several running training methods that are effective for weight loss:

  • Long quiet runsat the same rate. As a rule, they last 30-60 minutes, and during all this time you work at a low heart rate of about 130-140 beats per minute.
  • High intensity interval training(HIIT). This is a method in which short high-pace running intervals alternate with smoother recovery periods. For example, when running for one minute with a heart rate of 90% of maximum (about 170 beats per minute), then for 30 seconds - at 60% of maximum (114 beats / minute), and repeat this for 15-20 minutes.
  • Sprints at intervals(IP). This is when you give your best for a short time and then relax. For example, run as fast as you can for 30 seconds, then rest for 4 minutes and repeat this several times.

There is some evidence that interval training is more suitable for weight loss than long, steady cardio. In one study, 20 men and women either ran quietly for 30-60 minutes three times a week or did 4-6 30-second sprints.

After six weeks, the sprint group lost 12. 6% body fat, while those who did soft cardio lost only 5. 8%.

The same was observed in three other experiments involving 23 and 49 healthy young women: for 6 and 15 weeks of exercise, intensive interval training helped in significant fat loss rather than long, quiet cardio.

But a meta-analysis of 31 scientific papers did not confirm the benefits of HIIT and smooth cardio sprints. The scientists concluded that both options are good, but the difference between them is insignificant.

In another review, 13 studies found that gentle running and high-intensity intervals helped obese people lose about 0. 8 kg of extra fat. True, they noticed that the intervals spend 40% less time.

Thus, regulating absolutely all runs in the interval training format is definitely not worth it. Moreover, they consume a lot of energy for the body and require a lot of time to recover.

But, given the good prospects for losing weight, you do not need to give up on them either. Especially since HIIT is great for pumping stamina. And the longer you run, the more calories you can burn.

Do 1-2 jogs at weekly intervals, accompanied by gentle and long-term cardio.

An example of a 60-minute sprint:

  • Heat: 20 minutes jogging.
  • Sprints: 1 minute maximum jogging effort, 2 minutes fast foot recovery. Repeat 8 times.
  • Cooling: 15 minutes jogging.

Example of HIIT for 20 minutes:

  • Heat: 5 minutes jogging
  • Intervals: 9 out of 10 effort runs, then jog for 90 seconds. Repeat 4-6 times.
  • Cooling: Jog for 5 minutes.

Adjust time and intensity, focusing on your physical abilities and feelings. Monitor your condition - if you feel bad, finish the workout.

Add strength exercises

Despite all the benefits, running will not increase muscle mass. And if, in addition to exercise, you reduce the number of calories in the diet, it is unlikely to help maintain muscle.

Strength training is known as the best strategy to protect against muscle loss. In an experiment involving 60 women, they found that a diet combined with strength training allows you to maintain and even slightly increase muscle mass. But calm cardio, on the contrary, significantly reduces the number of muscles.

In another study, women who did strength training in addition to the cardio interval lost an average of 1. 3 kg of fat and increased muscle mass. But those who did cardio long and quiet without strength, did not lose fat and did not build muscle.

Maintaining muscle is important not only for appearance but also for maintaining metabolism. Muscle mass volume is directly related to energy expenditure at rest. Losing muscle will naturally reduce your energy expenditure and slow down your weight loss.

Do strength training twice a week on rest days or jogging.

At the same time, it is not necessary to visit the gym - exercises with your body weight will be enough. To pump your legs, do squats, stepping on a hill, jumping and jumping out. To strengthen the upper part - push from the floor and pull on the horizontal bar, for the muscles of the body - plank and twist.

Prepare a full body workout with 5-6 exercises and perform them in 2-3 sets with 8-12 reps for the upper body, 20 reps for the lower body and 20-25 for the abdomen.

How to eat for those who run to lose weight

Nutrition is the main factor that can help you lose weight or, conversely, spend all your efforts.

The Cochrane review noted that if you combine exercise with diet, you can lose from 3, 4 to 17, 7 kg, while without attention to nutrition, this figure drops to 0, 5-4 kg at the same time.

So if you are in the mood for significant weight loss, be sure to pay attention to this aspect.

  1. Create a calorie deficit, but not too large. For weight loss without harm to health, it is recommended to lose weight by 0, 5-1 kg per week. To lose about the same, calculate the required caloric content of the diet using a calculator and subtract 300-500 kcal from the resulting value. If you do not want to keep a record, give up high-calorie and not particularly healthy foods: sugar and sugary drinks, fast food, processed flour products, alcoholic beverages.
  2. Do not reward yourself for the effort. In a small study, 16 men and women spent 200-300 calories on a treadmill. At the same time, they themselves considered that they burned 3-4 times more (about 800 kcal). And finally, after running, they allowed themselves a meal whose caloric content was approximately 500 kcal. It is especially easy to cross the border if you are used to rewarding yourself with cakes or junk food. A muffin contains about 370 kcal, and a slice of pizza contains about 400 kcal.
  3. Run on an empty stomach only if it suits you.You can often hear that running on an empty stomach helps you burn more fat. A meta-analysis of scientific papers has shown that fasting exercises increase fat oxidation, but only with light to moderate intensity. When the pulse accelerates to 150-160 beats per minute, the change disappears.

Treat yourself after a run and you will erase all that half hour effort in five minutes.

But even if you are exercising at a low intensity, increasing fat oxidation will not necessarily accelerate weight loss. In a study of 20 young women, they tested whether exercising on an empty stomach really helped you lose more fat. After a month of exercise, all the women lost considerable weight and there was no difference between those who ran on an empty stomach and those who had eaten breakfast before.

Run on an empty stomach if you feel comfortable doing so. If not, you should not torture yourself, believing that this will help you burn more fat.

Remember that the intensity and regularity of exercise, as well as the total number of calories consumed per day, means much more than the hour you eat.