Can running everyday help to lose weight?
Let’s start off with the good news. Scientifically speaking, running is one of the most effective ways for human beings to burn calories, period.
This article by the Independent newspaper ranks the best ways to burn the most amount of calories in one hour. It’s easy to see that running dominate that top 5.
5. Running at 5mp/h – 755 Calories/hour
4. Running up stairs – 819 Calories/hour
3. Vigorous swimming – 892 Calories/hour
2. Taekwondo – 937 Calories/hour
2. Soccer – 937 Calories/hour
1. Jump Rope – 1074 Calories/hour
1. Running at 8mp/h – 1074 Calories/hour
Please note – All the stats from the list above were calculated with a body weight of 200 pounds.
At this point, one thing should be very clear. Running everyday will help you burn a ton of calories, provided you don’t crank up the mileage too much (this could lead to injury).
But the real focus of this question is whether or not daily running can help you lose weight. Even though these 2 things seem synonymous, there is more to this particular issue.
The tried and trusted recipe for weight loss only has 2 ingredients.
Ingredient 1) How many calories you burn?
Ingredient 2) How many calories you consume?
So at this point we know that running is an excellent way to burn calories, and it can be a powerful ally on your weight loss journey.
But running is only one half of the equation. Now let’s turn our attention to the other half.
The Fundamental Truth which underpins every successful diet and eating plan
Here’s the thing about diets. Every expert seems to have a different opinion on what you should eat.
There’s Atkins, Keto, Paleo, Banting, Intermittant Fasting and a whole host of other popular diets which all promise similar results, despite having radically methods for achieving those results. How is this possible?
The reason this happens is because creating a calorific deficit will help you lose weight, regardless of which eating plan or philosophy you choose.
In other words, the key to weight loss is actually really simple. Burn more calories than you consume. This fundamental principle underpins every weight loss program that has ever been created.
But I’m just a guy that likes running. You probably want some concrete evidence that what I’m saying is actually true. To illustrate this point, we are going to turn to two men who managed to lose weight by following a McDiet. What’s a McDiet you ask? It’s a weight loss plan where you restrict your calories, and only eat McDonalds for a set period of time (that means breakfast, lunch, dinner and everything in between).
McDiet Success Story 1 – Meet John Cisna – The 55 Year Old Science Teacher who lost 56 pounds eating nothing but McDonalds for 6 months.
In total, Cisna ate 540 straight meals at McDonald’s. Not only did he lose weight, other important health metrics also improved. His total cholesterol dropped from 249 to 170, his triglycerides dropped from 156 to 80 and his LDL levels (the unhealthy type of cholesterol) went from 170 to 113.
In other words, John lost more than 60 pounds, and he became a healthier person in the process.
McDiet Success Story 2 – Meet Ryan Williams, the fitness Nut that got ripped by eating nothing but MacDonald’s for 30 days
It’s hard to argue with the the before and after pictures above. Ryan literally uncovered his 6 pack by following a calorie restricted McDiet.
So are you saying it’s okay to eat McDonalds?
Nope. I’m making it clear that if you want to lose weight, you should focus on creating a calorific deficit (where you burn more calories than you consume). Understanding this point is absolutely critical if you are serious about dropping those pounds.
The secret question that every runner wants to know
How much do you need to run to have a good chance of losing weight, without changing your diet?
To answer this question, let’s assume that you’re a 36 year old woman who consumes about 2200 calories per day and weighs 150 pounds.
For you to have a really good chance of losing weight (without really adjusting your diet), you will need to burn about 500 calories (or more) during your workout.
To burn around 500 calories running, you will need to run for about 50 minutes at 5mp/h, if you weigh 150 pounds (if you are heavier than this, you will actually burn more calories).
The good news is that as you get faster, you can drop the amount of time needed quite significantly.
For instance, if you increase your speed to 7mp/h, you only need to run for 40 minutes to burn 500 calories.
There are 2 things to note here.
1) If you have limited time, you can burn a lot more calories in that time if you run faster. This is scientifically verified cold hard fact.
2) For most people to hit the 500 calorie mark, they need to run more than 4 miles.
So basically, if you want to lose weight through running, without really changing your diet, you need to run about 4 miles a day.
If this isn’t feasible, you need to rethink your eating habits, with the primary goal of controlling your calorie intake in order to create a calorific deficit.
The science on this particular subject is actually pretty simple.
If you want to lose weight running, without really changing your diet, you need to burn more than 500 active calories per day. For most people, this works out to just over 4 miles day.
Furthermore, if you are truly serious about losing weight, you need to recognize that controlling your calorie intake is the most effective way to do so, regardless of which eating plan or philosophy you choose to follow.
Next Steps From Here:
Get yourself a pair of running shoes and start smashing those calories!
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