Who else has wondered about running to lose weight? Wants to know if running for weight loss is the best way to burn off fat, flatten your stomach area and lose inches from the stubborn areas of your body?
Running as a form of exercise is popular means used in weight control. There are those that don’t get any results, only aches and pains. Then of course there are those who have seen amazing results, lost excess weight, improved their overall health, and got in great shape. But, is this the best method to use if you want to lose excess weight and burn away fat?
Since it is a fact that running does help burn away calories the debate becomes a question of how effective is running for weight loss, and are there better ways to shed the pounds?
Just because it can be done to lose weight, doesn’t mean it should be.
How Running Helps You Lose Weight
If you want to lose extra weight you have to burn more calories than you take in during the day. Long slow steady runs and long walks burn calories. In fact it takes the same amount of calories to cover a mile no matter if you walk for a mile or run for a mile. The benefit to running is that it is done much faster.
A 105 pound person can expect to burn about 100 calories after traveling one mile. If you walk it will take about 15 minutes, if you chose to run an average time will be around 10 minutes. The heavier you are the more you have to work and with that comes a slight increase in calorie consumption. Of course the same applies for the smaller people, but just the opposite. A Smaller lighter person burns less calories per mile.
Benefits of Running
Quite possibility the biggest benefit to steady state running is that most anyone can do it. And you can do it anywhere at anytime. Add to that the fact that you don’t need any fancy equipment to run.
- You can do it easily while you travel.
- Running is a cheep viable source of exercise.
- You can do it with friends or play some music and go at it alone.
- You can also make it a social event.
What is Wrong With Running
True, long slow runs do have their benefits, but there are some drawbacks as well. The biggest two problems with long slow runs as a means to maintain your weight is,
- Time and effort doesn’t necessarily reflect results
Those may be the two biggest reasons to not join your local running club and find a different means of losing weight. Not convinced, well maybe this may get you thinking differently.
Most fitness professionals and nutritionists agree that a pound of body fat stores about 3,600 calories. Now, to burn just one pound of your belly fat you will have to cover 36 miles, approximately 5.5 hours of running. And that is if you run at a good pace. Not something a beginner could do. Did I mention that was only 1 pound worth of fat you’re losing!
So you can see it is going to take a lot of miles to burn off that stubborn fat. Think getting in better shape helps. Sorry, it makes it worse. The better in shape you are the more efficient of a runner you are the less calories you burn. You may be able to run faster but you will have to run further.
Frail and week
Most people who run to lose weight do so to look good naked. If that is the case, take a look at a distance runner. They are frail and week looking. Not what most would consider sexy. You want to look good, have a flat stomach and some muscle. You want to look more like a Hollywood star or fitness model. Long runs will eat away at your muscle making look frail and week, because of that I prefer other methods to burn fat.
Decreased muscle mass has two drawbacks
Long slow runs will decrease your muscle mass. This reduction in lean muscle slows down your body’s metabolism and because of that you’re burning less calories per day. I thought the purpose of the run was to burn calories, not slow down your metabolism and make it harder to burn fat and easier to gain weight? Muscle tone adds shape, you will look healthier and sexier. Don’t you want to look better naked?
Better Way to Burn Fat For Weight Loss
Listed below are the 3 best methods for shedding that unwanted body fat. For the best results, do a combination of all 3 through out the week. But, if for some reason you can’t they are listed in order of importance from most important to least:
- Interval training
- Weight training
Nutrition is by far the best way to lose weight. There is no need for the latest fad diet, just learn to make better food choices and know the calories of what you are eating. Lets look at a small snack you may have at the office. There are cookies, cakes, and pastries all over. The cookies are small and you want to lose weight so you grab 2. These 2 tiny cookies equal 140 calories total. Depending on your size you would have to run about 1.25 miles to burn the fat off of eating those two cookies.
Now you need a little something to wash down the cookies with and reach for a soda, better add another 1.25 miles to your run. In a matter of just 5 minutes, you just consumed enough calories to fuel you for about 20 minutes of running. Because calories add up so fast, you do not want to rely on long slow runs to burn them off.
A Better Way To A Better Body
Chances are that you’re not running for the fun of it, or the health benefits it has. You want to lose weight and look your best right? As mentioned before, long runs burn more than just fat. That 5 or 10 mile run will also eat into the muscle you have. Because these long runs eat away at your muscle you would be better served doing some kind of interval training routine. Which will preserve your muscle and metabolism.
Interval Training for Fat Loss
Intervals can take on many different forms, you can
- Weight train
- Jump rope
Intervals are good for 3 reasons.
- You burn more calories after the workout stops because of the afterburn
- You are more likely to do it because it is shorter, different, and keeps you more engaged
- Preserves your muscle
As you see long slow runs for weight loss is a tough way to burn body fat. The best way to get rid of your belly fat is to eat a balanced, and portion controlled meals through out the day. To further enhance your fat burning ability include some strength training and interval training because these two forms of exercise boost your metabolism to keep you burning fat constantly.