Running to lose weight seems to be the main reason why many people start running. I admit it was one of the reasons I starting running. I had no idea that I would love it so much and that it would become so much more than just exercise to me. Like most runners, I became addicted to how good it feels to just get out there and pound the pavement every week!
I was pleasantly surprised to discover that running can be such a social sport. The camaraderie felt in running groups often develops into lifetime friendships both on and off the trails.
I also love the simplicity of running. What other form of exercise can you partake wherever and whenever you want, alone or with a group, and the only equipment you need is a pair of running shoes?
However, my goal to lose weight wasn't going as well as I expected.
Many are surprised, as I was, that the weight didn't just fall off. There are a number of possible reasons for this. As a beginner runner, the distance covered is quite short and the pace is usually quite slow. At this level, only a small portion of calories is burned and new runners often experience an increase in appetite and very little weight loss.
If you are a new runner, it is important not to increase your food intake or you will probably gain weight. Try to eat real, unprocessed foods and avoid sugar. Running to lose weight is an effective way to lose weight, but it won't happen overnight. It requires a long term commitment.
As your running progresses, you may be losing fat but gaining muscle. The weight scales will not show you this, so you will need to find another way to measure successes achieved while running to lose weight.
Take out those old jeans that haven't fit you in a while. Use them to measure your progress. Alternatively, you could take and record your measurements and check them again in a few weeks.
The strange thing about running and weight loss is that they go hand in hand. As your running performance improves, it will become easier to lose weight. As you lose those extra pounds, your running will become easier and your running performance will naturally improve.
This is typically the case, unless you have lost the ability to burn fat.
Increasing your metabolism will help you achieve your goal of running to lose weight. With improved metabolism, your body will burn more calories throughout the day, even when you are not running.
It is important not to do things that will impair your metabolism, such as restricting your calorie intake too much or skipping meals. These activities can put your body in starvation mode, which in turn reduces calorie burning, stores more fat, and reduces muscle mass.
In this condition, it will be impossible to lose weight or to improve your running skills.
Consider these other options that may help:
If you are running to lose weight and you are eating right and running regularly, the weight loss sometimes comes to a sudden stop. When this happens, you have probably reached a plateau; and you will need to change-up your routine.
You are probably doing the same runs every week - the same distances at the same speed. You can try running longer distances or adding speed or tempo runs to your routine. Try strength training exercises at the gym to increase your muscle mass. An increase in muscle mass will boost your metabolism and get the weight loss going again.
If you are running to lose weight, try to put your focus on running and feeling good about yourself rather than dwelling on those unwanted pounds. If you are familiar with the law of attraction, you know that focusing on the weight you want to lose will cause you to gain even more weight. Whatever you focus on will increase!
I have seen this pattern many times and you probably have as well. Chronic dieters focus so much on the weight they want to lose that they deprive themselves completely of the foods they love. They become depressed, frustrated and then binge out to try to feel good again.
After "the binge," they feel guilty, frustrated and angry at themselves and then start dieting and depriving themselves once again. This cycle goes on and on and there is never any weight loss, just an unhappy, frustrated and perhaps, even heavier person.
Sometimes we need help changing old habits. A structured plan that really works maybe the answer you are looking for. A runner friend of mine had great success and continues to enjoy the benefits using The Human Being Diet. It is not just about losing weight, it's a painless way to achieve:
This book will help you find out when to eat, what to eat, and how much to eat, to reset your rhythm and restore your joy of living.
Running to lose weight, like other sensible weight loss programs, requires patience and perseverance. Focus on the person you want to become and start to act like that person. Decide that you are going to eat sensibly and enjoy the foods you love in moderation.
You are not going to overeat. You stop eating when you are full because you don't like how overeating feels. Your body deserves to be treated well. Try mindful eating. It will not only change your relationship with food, it can change your whole approach to life.
Sometimes there will be special occasions and you will probably indulge a little more than normal. We are human after all, but these are "special" occasions and "special" occasions don't occur every week!
Be happy and grateful that with running and your new attitude towards food, you are going to look and feel your best ever.
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