Running has one of the highest caloric expenditures of any sport. In order to lose weight permanently, you must burn more calories than you consume. After just a few weeks of running you will already start to feel the health benefits.
How does running lead to weight loss?
Whatever pace you run, a good estimate is 1 calorie burned per kilogram of body weight, per kilometre run. I.e., if you weigh 70kg and jog 10km, you will burn 700 calories. To lose 1 kg of fat, you need to burn 9000 calories, which is the equivalent of walking 130 kilometres…
Fortunately, after a few weeks of sport, your body (basal metabolism to be precise) will expend more burn more calories at rest and which will allow you to lose additional calories.
However, when losing weight, exercise and running is only part of the process. Indeed, it’s advisable to (re) adopt good eating habits, principally reducing your consumption of sugars. If you only have one nutritional focus point, it should be to reduce your consumption of sugars.
Sugar not used by the body is stored as fat. Water is the best thing to drink, whilst fruit juice and fizzy drinks should be kept as an occasional treat. Fruit juices (even fresh ones) contain as much sugar as sodas and the vitamins that are present are often simply not assimilated by the body…
Cereal bars are also often made up of more than 40% sugar. Instead fruit, or almonds or other nuts should be favoured as they are composed of good fats, Omega 3 and 6.
Running slowly to focus on weight loss?
To burn fat while running, the most effective way is to run at an easy pace. This pace is rather slow, you should not be out of breath and you should be able to talk. If you are breathing too hard, you are going too fast, and you should not be afraid to slow down.
For some people, their fundamental endurance zone is actually a brisk walk. The ideal duration is around 30 minutes, and you shouldn’t hesitate to alternate walking and running initially. Obviously, the longer you can run/walk, the more calories you burn.
You can also replace running with another “cardio” sport like cycling or swimming. This is a great way to start gradually.
Running fast for weight loss?
High-intensity interval sessions once a week are also a very effective way to lose weight and work on your cardiovascular system. Interval sessions alternate fast running and recovery. The body mainly consumes sugars during these intervals.
An example of an interval session: 10 x 30 seconds fast (but not a sprint) with 30 seconds of recovery between each fast interval. Start with a 10 to 15 minute easy jog/walk at a low intensity to warm up the body.
An alternative to a running interval session is to do a similar workout on a stationary bike in the gym where in the same way you alternate high and low intensities.
Is running on an empty stomach effective for burning more calories?
Running on an empty stomach does not allow you to burn more fat during exercise. Actually it’s the running pace that determines the consumption of fat/sugar. Running on an empty stomach can feel quite tough. And therefore we recommend that beginners avoid running on an empty stomach because the effort of a training is already significant enough.
With a low-intensity aerobic activity twice a week, a more intense activity once a week, and by limiting your consumption of sugars, you will succeed in losing weight sustainably! To help along the way, the RunMotion Coach app is there for you. And in the app, you can find a special “weight loss” program with your personalised running training program, with nutrition advice every week 😉.