top of page

Weight loss by Running

weight loss by running

A lot of people start running because their goal is to lose weight. A study shows that running burns more calories per minute than swimming or riding a bike. So today let's look at what the best way is for weight loss through running.

Now for most things with running, or anything really, I like to look at the most logic or basic principle of things. So let’s start with calorie intake. Your body needs a certain amount of calories to function, this is your Basal Matabolic Rate (BMR) This is for basic motor functions and not taking in account any activity you might do. There are different calculations for this and you can find a bunch online where you enter your height, weight, sex and activity level and it will give you the amount of calories your body burns daily.

Now here comes the logic part of this. If you take in more calories than this number, you will gain weight, if you take in less you will lose weight.

So we want to make sure to eat healthy and burn more calories than we’re taking in.

A very general estimate is that you burn 100 calories per mile that you run. So if you run for 5 miles you will burn 500 calories. Now you have to be careful with this, cause some people fill in the calculator to figure out they burn 2600 calories, then they run 5 miles and figure they can now eat 3200 calories cause they ran so they treat themselves on something sweet. Now with the calculator if you already accounted for an active lifestyle, the 500 calories are not all extra, plus if you come out to the exact daily intake amount you’re still not burning up more than you’re taking in.

Now how can you speed up this weight loss?

group running to lose weight

Running keeps you active, so you are burning calories by going out running, but what can actually burn more calories after your running is muscle build up. Your body will burn up calories when you’re at rest by building muscle mass. So here is another good reason to do those exercises for your legs, it makes you a stronger runner, it prevents injuries and it helps weight loss.

A great running method to build your muscles is Fartlek running, I posted a blog a few weeks ago about this, it’s a form of interval training. When you are running at different speeds and really work out your legs you will have more muscle build up and therefor more calories are burned.

So should you only do high intensive runs like intervals or fartlek?

No you shouldn’t. Plus maybe you’re not even able to run like that yet. Don’t worry, low intensity runs uses more fat for fuel during your run, it just takes longer, you should run for at least 30 minutes at a slower pace. Your body can still benefit from fat burning after your run, but less then with the high intensity training. But you should only do the high intensity once maybe sometimes twice a week so you’re muscles can recover.

Girls running

That goes for all your running, you can’t be running every day, your body needs to rest and recover. You need enough sleep and be healthy in order to keep the running up, not get injured and keep the weight loss going.

You may have heard this before, but muscle is heavier than fat. So when you start running and you are building up muscle you might not always see the difference on the scale, you might even gain some weight. If you have a scale that shows your body fat percentage, you can see that percentage go down even though your weight might not be going down. It’s cause you are building muscle, so even though the scale doesn’t show it your body will.

So take care of your body by resting and taking in the right foods. Do your runs every other day and try to take in less calories than you are burning and you’ll be losing weight in no time.


bottom of page