Running is great for your overall fitness. However, you’ll probably be disappointed if you’re trying to lose weight exclusively by jogging.
Most beginning runners shed pounds in their first few weeks before hitting a plateau, unless they make additional lifestyle changes. That’s because your body adapts when you repeat any activity for long. In fact, some studies show that your metabolism becomes more efficient in just one week.
Before you hang up your sneakers, keep in mind that running can still be a valuable part of your workout program. Try these tips for runners who want to reach their weight loss goals.
Train for strength. It’s also important to build up your muscles, so you’ll burn more calories even at rest. Lift weights or take a boxing class. Avoid overeating. Many runners overestimate how many calories they’re really burning. You may wind up gaining weight if you have extra helpings of junk food, thinking that the running will counteract it. Pace yourself. On the other hand, set your own goals. Depending on your size and other factors, you burn about 100 calories per mile regardless of speed. If you like jogging slowly, it will take you longer to lose weight, but you’re more likely to stick with a program that you enjoy.
Try these proven tips for slimming down:
Limit processed foods. Prepared foods like frozen dinners and cookies are a major source of excess sugar, salt, and unhealthy fats. Choose whole foods whenever possible. Focus on fiber. Increasing your fiber intake will help you to feel full while eating less. Delicious options include vegetables, fruits, and whole grains. Eat more protein. Protein also leaves you feeling satisfied and takes more energy for your body to digest. Include plant-based protein or dairy products, meat, and fish in your meals and snacks. Control portions. Diets that are too restrictive can make you want to binge. Enjoy your favorite treats in moderation. Prepare most of your meals at home, so you can keep an eye on the ingredients and serving sizes.
Drink water. It’s easy to confuse hunger with thirst. Drink a glass of water first to see if your food cravings go away. Manage stress. Chronic tension can affect your hormones and make you store more fat. Find safe ways to relax, such as daily meditation or playing a musical instrument. Sleep well. High quality sleep is also essential for your overall health, including digestion and hormone levels. Go to bed and wake up at the same time each day. Allow yourself 7 to 8 hours of sleep each night.
Consider a wellness coach. Have support that will help you to reach your weight loss goals. Find others that are on the same journey. Let your family and friends know how they can assist you.
Running will enhance your heart health and boost your spirits. However, if you’re trying to lose weight, it’s also important to eat a healthy diet and stick to a balanced workout program.