Running to lose weight: how to train and eat to get results

run to lose weight

It helps, and it's a proven fact. For a year of quiet half-hour runs four times a week, you can lose about 3. 3kg without diets.

Also, running helps you lose weight and maintain body weight better than walking and exercising on a stationary bike (the latter applies to overweight and obese people).

But despite the proven effectiveness, even regular classes can leave you with no results if you don't take some important factors into consideration. Below we will talk about how to run to lose weight for sure.

If you have problems with the cardiovascular system or the musculoskeletal system, as well as being overweight or obese, consult your doctor before starting classes.

How to run to lose weight

Start gradually

If the last time you ran was a few years ago, don't rush. Your main tasks: gradually accustom the body to physical activity, maintain health and the desire to run.

In the first workouts, alternate light running with fast walking. For example, run for three minutes, then walk for the next two minutes and then go back to running.

Repeat this five-minute set six times and you'll have a perfect half-hour workout that will tire any beginner. Reduce the walking time as you get used to it until you can run non-stop for 30 minutes.

After that, congratulate yourself on a small win, but don't relax.

Increase the intensity

Running, no matter how difficult it may seem at first, doesn't burn as many calories as we would like. For example, 30 minutes of running at a speed of 8 km / h only burns about 290 kcal in a person weighing 70 kg.

As speed increases, energy consumption also increases. The same person spends 360 kcal in half an hour running at a speed of 10 km / h, and if he accelerates to 12 km / h - about 450 kcal.

The Cochrane Review of Scientific Studies said that strenuous exercise increases weight loss by 1. 5 kg per year compared to more relaxed activities. So it makes sense to stretch your workouts a little bit more.

Set a goal to close a kilometer of your run a little faster and see how it makes you feel. If all went well, next time try running a little more at the selected speed.

You can also gradually increase the running time - this will also have a good effect on your energy costs.

Alternate calm running with HIIT and sprint

There are several effective running training methods for weight loss:

  • Long and silent runsat the same pace. As a rule, they last 30-60 minutes, and all this time you work at a low heart rate of around 130-140 beats per minute.
  • High intensity interval training(HIIT). This is a method in which short intervals of running at a high pace alternate with calmer recovery periods. For example, when you run for one minute at a heart rate of 90% of the maximum (about 170 beats per minute), then for 30 seconds - at 60% of the maximum (114 beats per minute) and repeat for 15 -20 minutes.
  • Sprint at intervals(IP). This is when you give your best for a short time and then relax. For example, run as hard as you can for 30 seconds, then rest for 4 minutes and repeat several times.

There is some evidence that interval training is better suited for weight loss than long, steady cardio. In one study, 20 men and women ran quietly for 30-60 minutes three times a week or performed 4-6 30-second sprints.

After six weeks, the sprint group lost 12. 6% body fat, while those who did the gentle cardio lost only 5. 8%.

The same was noted in three other experiments involving 23 and 49 healthy young women: For 6 and 15 weeks of training, intensive interval training helped lose much more fat than long, calm cardio.

But a meta-analysis of 31 scientific papers did not confirm the benefits of HIIT and sprints over calm cardio. Scientists concluded that both options are good, but the difference between them is insignificant.

In another review, 13 studies found that both gentle running and high-intensity intervals helped obese people lose around 0. 8kg of extra fat. True, they noticed that intervals spend 40% less time.

Therefore, it is absolutely not worthwhile to organize all the runs in the interval training format. In addition, they consume enough energy for the body and take a long time to recover.

But, given the good prospects of losing weight, you don't even need to give it up. Especially since HIIT is great for pumping resistance. And the longer you can run, the more calories you can burn.

Do 1-2 interval runs per week, paired with long-term gentle cardio.

An example of a 60-minute interval sprint:

  • Warm-up: 20 minutes of easy running.
  • Sprint: 1 minute of running with maximum effort, 2 minutes of brisk walking recovery. Repeat 8 times.
  • Recovery: 15 minutes of easy running.

Example of HIIT for 20 minutes:

  • Warm-up: 5 minutes of easy running
  • Intervals: 9 out of 10 effort run, then easy run for 90 seconds. Repeat 4-6 times.
  • Recovery: light jogging for 5 minutes.

Adjust the tempo and intensity, focusing on your physical abilities and feelings. Monitor your condition: if you feel bad, finish the workout.

Add strength exercises

Despite all the benefits, running will not increase muscle mass. And if, in addition to training, you reduce the number of calories in your diet, it is unlikely to help maintain muscle.

Strength training is recognized as the best strategy to protect yourself from muscle loss. In an experiment involving 60 women, they found that a diet combined with strength training allows them to maintain and even slightly increase muscle mass. But calm cardio, on the contrary, significantly reduces the number of muscles.

In another study, women who trained for strength in addition to interval cardio lost an average of 1. 3 kg of fat and gained muscle mass. But those who did long, calm cardio without strength, didn't lose fat, and didn't build muscle.

Muscle preservation is important not only for appearance, but also for maintaining metabolism. The volume of muscle mass is directly related to the expenditure of energy at rest. Losing muscle will naturally reduce energy expenditure and slow down weight loss.

Do strength training twice a week on rest days or light runs.

At the same time, it is not necessary to visit the gym - exercises with your body weight will be enough. To pump up your legs, do squats, stepping on a hill, lunges, and jumping out. To strengthen the upper part - push-ups from the floor and pull-ups on the horizontal bar, for the muscles of the body - planks and twists.

Compose a full body strength workout of 5-6 exercises and perform them in 2-3 sets of 8-12 reps for the upper body, 20 reps for the lower body, and 20-25 for the abs.

How to eat for those who run to lose weight

Nutrition is the main factor that can help you lose weight or, conversely, negate all your efforts.

The Cochrane Review noted that if you combine exercise with diet, you can lose 3. 4 to 17. 7 kg, while without attention to nutrition, this figure drops to 0. 5-4 kg in the same time.

So, if you're in the mood for significant weight loss, be sure to pay attention to this aspect.

  1. Create a calorie deficit, but not too large. For weight loss without harm to health, it is recommended to lose weight by 0. 5-1 kg per week. To lose about the same amount, calculate the required calorie content of the diet using a calculator and subtract 300-500 kcal from the resulting value. If you don't want to keep a record, give up on high-calorie and not particularly healthy foods: sugary and sugary drinks, fast food, processed flour products, alcoholic beverages.
  2. Don't reward yourself for the effort. In a small study, 16 men and women spent 200-300 calories on a treadmill. At the same time, they themselves felt that they burn 3-4 times more (about 800 kcal). And in the end, after jogging, they indulged in a meal, the calorie content of which was about 500 kcal. It's especially easy to cross the line if you're used to rewarding yourself with sweets or junk food. A muffin contains about 370 kcal and a slice of pizza contains about 400 kcal.
  3. Run on an empty stomach only if it suits you.You may often feel that running on an empty stomach helps you burn more fat. A meta-analysis of scientific articles has shown that fasting exercise increases fat oxidation, but only at light to moderate intensity. When the pulse accelerates to 150-160 beats per minute, the difference disappears.

Give yourself a run after a run and you'll undo all that half-hour fatigue in five minutes.

But even if you train at a low intensity, more fat oxidation won't necessarily accelerate weight loss. In a study of 20 young women, they tested whether exercising on an empty stomach really helped you lose more fat. After a month of training, all women lost weight significantly and there was no difference between those who ran on an empty stomach and those who ate breakfast earlier.

Run on an empty stomach if you feel comfortable doing it. If not, you shouldn't torture yourself, believing this will help you burn more fat.

Remember that the intensity and regularity of exercise, as well as the total number of calories consumed per day, means a lot more than the time you eat.