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Benefits of Running on Weight Loss

Friday, March 08, 2013

My friend advised me yesterday that she read that if you want to lose weight that running is NOT the way to make that happen. Have any of you read this? Or for that matter experienced it?

I will note that 2 times in my life I have lost 30 lbs just by walking. The 2nd time I was about 5-8 lbs from my goal weight when I took up running and I never did lose the last 5lbs.

Tell you lose weight while running?
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  • FRANCO1230
    Here's an article on that very topic. It makes some very interesting arguments and I have had similar experiences--running 'forever' and not losing an ounce. When I shifted my focus to weight training, that made a HUGE difference. You need muscle to burn fat! Don't get me wrong, I still run, just a lot less. I lift weights as my main workouts, and run to fill in the 'gaps'. The weight training makes my running stronger and easier, so it's a win-win!!! I could go on, on about it, but if you have any other specific ???'s, just ask....always glad to give my 2-cents.


    1926 days ago
    A good friend of mine is an athletic trainer. I remember her telling me walking has the same benefits as running,,it just takes longer to burn the same amount of calories. Walking is more kind to your joints,knees,,ankles and feet. But the health benefits and calorie burn are pretty much equal,,just have to work at it longer. I've always been a walker and a hiker. And I've incorporated strength training and have had very slow results. It wasn't until I started Couch 25k running instead of walking that the weight loss has finally started budging off that plateau. So I'm not sure if its the running or like everyone here has said maybe it's just the changing things up,,my body got use to what I was doing and was basically maintaining. Either way I'm glad for some weight loss and finding out I enjoy the challenge of running!!
    1927 days ago
    What a good question. I don't know the science, but my experience is that as a long time Runner, I can maintain my weight running, but I have to change my routine to lose weight, either up the intensity or do interval work or by the addition of another exercise such as walking. I think my body (and my cardiac fitness) just takes running as part of the routine, not as exercise that's in the fat burning zone. Glad you are going to keep running no matter what!
    1927 days ago
    Thank you everyone for weighing in. Right now my focus is on weight loss. But, as others state, I do not want to give up running. I enjoy it and it relieves stress for me. I'm doing a 6 mi race next weekend but I'm not training for anything longer than that any time soon. I'll keep a close eye on my calories and try and vary my runs. I'll make sure I drink water...before eating anything to see if that helps first.

    Keep the comments coming...they all give me something to think about!
    1928 days ago
    Based on anecdotal evidence and experience, I have found that they are not incompatible, but you have to be clear with yourself and to your body what your goals are.

    If your primary goal is to lose weight and you still want to run, keep your runs shorter and vary the intensity - like a fast 5 k, or a 400 m intervals with walking or slow jogging in between. I would probably run no more than 3 days a week and alternate with ST.

    If your primary goal is to get faster and train for a specific race (especially longer distances like HM to M), then weight loss should be a secondary goal. When ramping up your running, it is really important to see food as fuel for your training. Weight loss and change to your body will occur, but perhaps not as rapidly as when you were focused on losing.

    Good luck!
    1928 days ago
    It's more about the calories you eat than the calories you burn running. The more you run, the hungrier you get. Just focus on staying within your calorie range.

    Here is an article that I got from a spark friend's blog with more details:


    1928 days ago
    Exercise doesn't seem to help me at all with the weight loss. But I have read that running helps more because you burn more calories. I think it is more about the consistency.
    1928 days ago
    Personally, not really, but it's my stress releiver so I refuse to give it up. I see better results when I do extreme cardio and ST but I just don't like to limit myself. And I enjoy it so that helps. My endurance is greatly impacted by running. I guess it just depends on the person.
    1928 days ago
    Yeah -- I switched from just walking to walking and running a couple of weeks ago for my exercise and lost four pounds that week.

    A lot of people seem to have the misconception that running burns so many calories that you can just start running a couple of miles three times a week and the pounds will fall off, no matter what you eat or what else you do, and that's just not the case. Walking also has the benefit, for someone who's out of shape to begin with, that it can be done for a lot *longer* than running can (walk 60 min each day vs running 10 min every other day sort of thing), and I think that duration of exercise does matter in terms of boosting the metabolism. But as for it being bad for weight loss that's just a superstition IMO.
    1928 days ago
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