A weight loss running program, combined with proper diet, is the best way to drop the pounds. Running is one of the most effective forms of exercise. It burns tons of calories, builds lean muscle, and boosts metabolism. When it comes to serious long term weight loss, running on a regular basis is a must. Here are a few pointers to help you incorporate running into your weight loss program.
Creating an effective and clear weight loss running plan is quite simple. Always keep in mind this formula: burn off more calories than you consume. More specifically, you must create a deficit of 3500 calories for each pound you want to lose, assuming your daily calorie intake is consistent. The average 45 minute run burns about 500 calories. If you run every day for 45 minutes, you will lose one pound per week (7 days x 500 calories). Running every other day would then result in a one pound loss every two weeks. Alternatively, you can mix up diet and exercise, restricting 250 calories from your diet and burning 250 calories through running (about 23 minutes) daily for example. Please note, it is not healthy to lose more than 2 pounds per week.
There is much debate as to what is the most efficient running intensity for weight loss. On one hand, running at lower intensities burns a higher percentage of fat calories of total calories burnt. On the other hand, running at higher intensities burns more total calories than a lower intensity run of the same distance or time. Furthermore, a higher intensity run will burn a greater number of fat calories than a lower intensity run. One thing that most experienced runners, including I, agree upon is that doing the same workout over and over will diminish results over time. This is due to the body not having to work as hard to reach the same level of intensity after so many weeks of conditioning. To lose weight, and most importantly keep it off, you must keep mixing up your running intensities. For example, on one day you may do a light jog. On the next day, you may do a tempo run. Yet, on another day you may want to work on speed running or sprinting. Sometimes, I work the whole gamut from power walking to sprinting all in one workout, spending a couple minutes in each level.
Duration of running seems to play a big role in a weight loss running program. Most health experts agree that 20-30 minutes of running daily leads to huge improvements in overall health. However, running longer than 30 minutes will result in an accelerated rate of calorie burning with a large percentage of it being fat. The reason being is after 30 minutes of running the body typically depletes all its glycogen (carbs) stores and has to draw on fat stores for more energy.
The most important piece of of advice I can give for successful weight loss is to lead an overall healthier lifestyle. Running plays only one role, although a big one, in successful weight loss. You still have to maintain a sensible daily diet. Don’t think that you can eat all the fast food and junk food you want and still lose weight. You may be able to maintain your body weight this way, but it will be difficult losing weight. Eating fruits, vegetables, low fat dairy, lean meats, and whole grains will provide much more nutrition in a smaller amount of calories. Go to your local bookstore and buy a cook book for healthy meals. An added benefit is not only will a healthy diet accelerate your weight loss, but it will reciprocally improve your running as well.