I'm no expert in this field, but I have used running to lose weight. In this blog, I'm going to tell you what worked for me and who knows...it may work for you as well!
I didn't start running until I was around 250 pounds. At this point, I had lost 100 pounds and then gained a little back to get up to 250. This was due to a lack of activity and some unhealthy eating patterns. I lost a lot of discipline when I gained that weight back and that was because I stopped hunting. I became okay with where I was at and this led to complacency which ultimately resulted in weight gain.
I didn't start running with the intention of losing weight. In fact, I never thought I'd turn into a 'runner' because I hated the feeling of discomfort from rapidly putting one foot in front of the other. I started running because I had signed up for a 5k race in Disney World during their marathon weekend event.
A 5k was a huge accomplishment for me at this time because when I started running I couldn't make it a single mile without stopping. I had lost 100 pounds, but that didn't mean I was in good shape. The way I lost weight was through nutrition and cutting back on my calories. The exercise I did do which wasn't intense helped me take off weight a little quicker than if I wouldn't have done any at all.
My first day training for the 5k was extremely hard. In fact, the first few runs were very difficult and I questioned if I was going to finish the race two months later. I did stick with the running though and it paid dividends in my life within the sport and in my weight loss journey.
My first tip for using running to lose weight is to keep your diet in check. I have seen a lot of people gain weight when they first start running because they believe they can eat more. This is not true because if you eat more than you burn you will still gain weight overtime despite the increased activity. Running just allows you to grow your calorie deficit so never forget that nutrition is still the main factor in weight loss.
The second tip I have for using running as a means for weight loss is to start slow! I can't express this enough to any new runner. Running is not easy and it takes time to get over the hump where the exercise becomes enjoyable. Also, time on feet burns more calories than just running a mile and leaving the track so don't go too quick too soon where you get discouraged. If you don't run, you will not burn the extra calories so the key is to continue showing up. My first double digit distance covered included walking breaks so there is no shame in slowing down the pace. I use intervals in my training to this day in my 100 mile prep so there's nothing wrong with walking. The action of putting one foot in front of the other makes you runner...not pace.
Third, you need to know that the journey is going to be hard and you must face the adversity you're dealt when it's thrown your way. No matter how slow you go, there will be days when you don't want to run or you want to give up early. Don't cave to temptation, remember why you're lacing up your shoes, and make the most of each run because it will pay off in your weight loss journey. Consistency is key and over half of the battle of success is accomplished by just showing up. There will always be bad runs or days in general, but a bad run or day doesn't mean that progress wasn't made towards your goal.
What are your thoughts? I'd love to hear! Comment below, send me an email, or reach out on social media.