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How To Lose Weight Running

Updated on December 22, 2012

Losing Weight By Running Can Be Great Fun

Losing Weight By Running Can Be Great Fun
Losing Weight By Running Can Be Great Fun | Source

A Guide To How To Lose Weight By Running

Lots of people would like to lose a little weight and get themselves fitter too. Running is seen by many as a great way to lose that weight. This guide has been put together for people that wish to lose weight by running to provide advice, guidance and tips to help successfully use running to achieve weight loss goals.

Good Luck

How Many Calories Can You Burn While Running?

If you're looking to lose weight and get rid of those bingo wings or annoying belly fat it makes sense to have an idea just how many calories your can burn by running.

How many calories you're burning whilst running is going to vary greatly depending on your level of fitness and effective workload. It is a general misconception that you'll burn the same number of calories running a mile as you would walking a mile. This is as a result of the energy demands of running increasing exponentially in line with oxygen consumption.

The below table provides a rough guide to how many calories you burn while running at steady pace. The stated formula refers to walking at 3-4 mph.

Net calorie expenditure refers to calories burned, minus basal metabolism which is a calculation used to assess effectiveness of an exercise at a detailed scientific level.

Calories Burned Per Mile While Walking And Running: A Comparison

Calorie Burn Per Mile
Net Calorie burn Per Mile
0.53x your weight (lbs)
0.30x your weight (lbs)
0.75x your weight (lbs)
0.63x your weight (lbs)

Adapted from Cameron et al (2004) Energy Expenditure of Walking and Running, Medicine & Science in Sport & Exercise

The Golden Rule Of Weight Loss- Patience!

Rome wasn't built inn a day and you're never going to run yourself slim within a week- no matter what miracle weight loss pill someone tries to sell to you (stick to natural weight loss- it's better for your body)

There is no way that you can lose weight fast from running or any activity. If you push your body too hard in the quest for weight loss it will go into 'starvation mode' and start to preserve calories as part of it's natural defence systems.

Step 1- Get The Right Running Shoes Before You Start

Running is an intense exercise which puts a great deal of stress on your body. If you don't already own a good quality pair of running shoes one of the best investments you can make into your health, fitness and weight loss goals is to get yourself the right running shoes.

The best advice I've ever been given and that I've passed on to anyone who's a beginner planning to start a running program is to get themselves down to a their local running shop and explain to them what your goals are. It may be cheaper to buy a pair of running shoes on the internet and read lots of different advice on websites but there's nothing that can replace a trip to a running shoe specialist. The likelihood is that they will kit you out with the best running shoes for your foot type and running needs.

Running in the wrong shoes or heavily worn runners is a sure-fire way to injury. It's often de-motivating and therefore the right running shoes will really help you address your weight loss needs.

Enjoy Your Running To Help You Lose Weight

Do the Mo-Bot like Mo Farah. Running to lose weight can be easy when you're having fun.
Do the Mo-Bot like Mo Farah. Running to lose weight can be easy when you're having fun. | Source

Sister- Get Yourself Into The Running Habit

When you're looking to get into running with the aim of losing weight one of the key factors is making running part of your lifestyle.

Losing weight is a lifestyle choice, not a chore and therefore you need to consider when you have available time to incorporate running into your life.

Ideally if you're looking to lose weight you need to get into a regular exercise routine. Aim to build up to running 3-4 days a week. This will allow you sufficient time for your body to recover yet an excellent opportunity to reach your weight loss goals.

Build Up Volume Steadily- Don't Be Over Eager

If you're new to running you need to have patience. You can't go from your first proper run to a marathon event in the space of a few weeks. May have tired and very many have been successful with this approach.

If you're aim is to use running to lose weight your targets and motivations have to look long term. Start off by trying a gentle run for a mile. If you can achieve that- fantastic. If that's not possible you can break a mile down into walk-jog-walk-jog for however long you feel comfortable running.

If you struggle to run for one mile in total a good initial target should be to be able to run continuously for one mile within two to four weeks. has a great guide on Learning To Run One Mile over the course of a four week period.

It doesn't matter how far you can run at any time. It's completely acceptable to start with running a minute at a time and then building up to 2, then 3, 5, 7, minutes. You'll steadily build up to 15 and then 30 minutes or more of running. By that point you'll be into a running habit.

Use That Diary That's Stuck In A Drawer To Do Something Positive- Create A Running Log

A great way of keeping track of your running mileage, fitness progression and ultimately goals is to keep a running log. Ideally you can do this in an old school diary or use the calendar on your phone or email if you prefer. The main priority is keeping a record of your progress.

The Eat Run Read website has an awesome article on How To Create A Running Log or alternately you can purchase specific runners logs to help you track your progress.

Alternately grab yourself one of the excellent runners journals that are available in all good bookshops, running stores (and featured right!)

Why You Should Consider Getting A Running Buddy

If you've struggled to keep to your fitness and weight loss goals in the past consider getting yourself a running partner/ buddy. There are three main reasons to get yourself a running partner.

  1. Accountability- Running with a friend, partner or a running club means you have someone to be accountable to. It's much harder to miss a run if you're letting someone down.
  2. Running Regularly- A key benefit of having a running partner is that it allows you to get into the habit of regular, consistent training.
  3. Long Term Performance Improvement- Having a partner will help you to push your weight loss running goals higher and further to really progress towards a new you.

Where can you find a running partner if you don't know one already? Ask colleagues at work or the gym or there are a number of free-ads sites such as Craigslist and Gumtree where you can post an advert for a running buddy in your area. Just be careful to meet initially in a public, safe place and if you have any doubts don't go ahead.

Enter A Running Event To Provide Weight Loss Motivation

Running events are a great way to give focus to your weight loss aims and a fantastic opportunity to make like-minded friends with similar outlooks
Running events are a great way to give focus to your weight loss aims and a fantastic opportunity to make like-minded friends with similar outlooks | Source

Enter An Event To Help Motivate Your Weight Loss Goals

There are so many amazing events across the world that you could use to help further motivate your running to lose weight. Running is such an inclusive sport that most events are run for a wide proportion of the population to take part so you can all find an event for you.

Whether you're ambitious and choose to sign up for your fitness marathon or decide to take things step-by-step and start off with a local 5k event as your starting point. You never know where it will lead and the opportunity to meet like-minded runners can be very motivating on your long term weight loss goals.

If you're looking for an event near you to enter there is a host of information available online. Check your national running federation website for information or alternately the Athlinks website has an awesome race events database for you to browse.

Combine Running With Healthy Eating To Help Weight Loss

To lose a pound of fat you need to effectively burn around 3500 calories. Running can help you burn more calories towards your weight loss goals but effective weight loss through exercise needs a more targeted approach to your nutrition.

A common mistake that many newcomers to running is that they still may be eating too many calories from food and drink as an overcompensation of their daily needs. The initial tiredness that can be associated with starting a beginners running program can often lead the body to crave more calories too.

A good technique is to keep track of what you eat. This will allow you to make a good estimation of how many calories you are consuming on a day to day basis. Be honest with yourself as those cakes and biscuits you might snack on over the day all add up significantly over the course of a week or more.


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    • profile image


      7 years ago

      hey there, Running is the most effective way loosing weight, but it is more effective by eating in right time, enough hours of sleep. it is also more enjoy to exercise when you join n group like friends, family. and motivate yourself everyday.

    • CyclingFitness profile imageAUTHOR

      Liam Hallam 

      7 years ago from Nottingham UK

      Thanks Kerry- a diary can be the help some people need as it's often difficult to keep a long term tracker on fitness and mileage- It's a simply and inexpensive way to chart your progress although you don't need a specific runners diary- sometimes a 2013 diary will do just as good a job if you're thorough in your entries. Thanks for the comments. Liam

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Hello :) I had never thought to use a diary for running/walking, what a great idea! I also appreciated seeing that calorie burn conversion chart you posted, thanks so much.

      Have a fun Sunday...


    • CyclingFitness profile imageAUTHOR

      Liam Hallam 

      8 years ago from Nottingham UK

      Thank you prasetio- I hope this article inspires others too. I enjoy running and hope that attitude shows in the hub. Cf

    • prasetio30 profile image


      8 years ago from malang-indonesia

      Very inspiring hub. I love running. I think it's one of the cheapest exercise, but it gave us good result. You have good tips here, and I believe that many love will love running after reading this hub. Voted up!


    • CyclingFitness profile imageAUTHOR

      Liam Hallam 

      8 years ago from Nottingham UK

      Thanks ted for your feedback- that's a nice brief page on interval training but would definitely help running for weight loss. Cf

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Great tips on your hub!

      You should read this

    • CyclingFitness profile imageAUTHOR

      Liam Hallam 

      8 years ago from Nottingham UK

      Thanks dave. Stronger muscles are also a great added bonus. Thanks for taking the time to comment

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Running is always a great activity and is known to increase your lifespan by stengthening the muscles. Congrats on HOTD

    • JMcFarland profile image


      8 years ago from The US of A, but I'm Open to Suggestions

      great hub, although I don't really have the endurance required for running. Walking, sure. Boxing, most definitely. great writing, though.

    • Night Magic profile image

      Night Magic 

      8 years ago from Canada

      Great Hub. I like the fact that you talk about eating healthy as part of your weight loss program.

    • shuck72 profile image


      8 years ago from Seattle

      Great hub, as someone who took up running 3 years ago its become a cherished daily routine for me. As you note, running isn't the magic bullet to staying slim. I run 20 miles a week and still have to watch what I eat. You have to run a mile and a half just to burn off one chocolate chip cookie! Congrats on hub of the day, you deserve it!

    • jclaffee profile image

      Jesse Claffee 

      8 years ago from Winston-Salem, NC

      Excellent job on this article! I really really like how you mentioned patience- way too many people give up way too soon, long before results will appear.

    • Learning in Life profile image

      Megan Garcia 

      8 years ago from Florida

      I love this hub! It actually has numbers for people to understand their individual senerio and not generalized numbers. Voted up.

    • CyclingFitness profile imageAUTHOR

      Liam Hallam 

      8 years ago from Nottingham UK

      Thanks for the Feedback Carozy, glad you enjoy running too. CF

    • CyclingFitness profile imageAUTHOR

      Liam Hallam 

      8 years ago from Nottingham UK

      I know a lot of slim walkers mio cid which would counteract your observation. I think it would be difficult on the body to run for a large number of years and be overweight due to the increased stresses. But the increased calorie burning and health awareness of many runners must have a factor in that slimness equation.

      Many thanks for your feedback and comment CF

    • carozy profile image


      8 years ago from San Francisco

      Great tips and encouragement! Running is my favorite way to keep in shape.

    • mio cid profile image

      mio cid 

      8 years ago from Uruguay

      This is an observation I have made over a long period of time,and there's nothing scientific about it.And I certainly don't know which is better for one's health.But I've seen people who walk every day for years on my way to work and they are let's say... over weight.I see people who have been running for years and they look slim and trim.As a disclaimer I must say I'm not a walker or a runner,unfortunately ,so I have no dog in this race,although I wish I had the will power to be either one.Good hub voted up, shared, and everything else

    • CyclingFitness profile imageAUTHOR

      Liam Hallam 

      8 years ago from Nottingham UK

      Good luck turtlewoman, Some people run for the hell of it, and enjoy it as a result. Whislt some people need a specific targeted activity for weight loss. I love your attitude- the weight loss is more of a positive side effect and thats a great attitude to have.

      Good luck with your half marathon- you'll be stepping up to the full next. Although make sure you have the right shoes for any distance running as your joints and rest of the body will be truely grateful.


    • Turtlewoman profile image

      Kim Lam 

      8 years ago from California

      Congrats on a well deserved hub of the day! I am a consistent runner and actually enjoy it. The weight loss is just a side effect :-) Great tips! I'm actually thinking about doing a half marathon this year. It would be my first time too. Maybe I will do the Mo-Bot at the finish line! :-)

    • CyclingFitness profile imageAUTHOR

      Liam Hallam 

      8 years ago from Nottingham UK

      Thanks tim, glad you appreciated- a running partner can seriously make a difference. CF

    • timtalkstech profile image


      8 years ago

      My wife is my jogging partner and we always keep each other going. It really does make a difference when you have a running buddy.

      Great hub! Congrats on the HOTD!

    • CyclingFitness profile imageAUTHOR

      Liam Hallam 

      8 years ago from Nottingham UK

      Thanks Rebecca, It'd be great to see more runners out for the new year. Activity can be a great stimulus for weight loss. Thanks for your comment CF

    • CyclingFitness profile imageAUTHOR

      Liam Hallam 

      8 years ago from Nottingham UK

      Thanks for the feedback movingfinger. You've hit the 'nail on the head' as this hub really mainly targets beginners but I hope all can take something away from the information CF

    • CyclingFitness profile imageAUTHOR

      Liam Hallam 

      8 years ago from Nottingham UK

      Thanks Victoria, running can be fun but achieving weight loss is all about finding the regimen which is right for you. Many of these principles can be applied to other activities such a cycling or even walking. Fitness and weight loss should be about fun to make it life changing. Thanks for your comment CF

    • CyclingFitness profile imageAUTHOR

      Liam Hallam 

      8 years ago from Nottingham UK

      Thanks gmwilliams for the comment. Running is a great way to improve our cardiovascular fitness. And it can be great fun too (though not for all- a healthy weight loss regime is about finding out what activity is fun for you specifically) Thanks for the feedback CF

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Great Hub and some important tips for beginners..

    • rebeccamealey profile image

      Rebecca Mealey 

      8 years ago from Northeastern Georgia, USA

      This is a great Hub. Let's all get to running for the new year! Congratulations!

    • Victoria Lynn profile image

      Victoria Lynn 

      8 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      While I don't think running is fun, I do agree it is a great tool for weight loss. I've thought about trying to run for just a few minutes here and there to help aid in weight loss. I still may. Your hub is very thorough--a much deserved hub of the day. Congrats!

    • gmwilliams profile image

      Grace Marguerite Williams 

      8 years ago from the Greatest City In The World-New York City, New York

      This is an excellent hub. Running is a fabulous form of cardiovascular fitness in addition to being all around fun. Beautiful, voted UP!

    • ComfortB profile image

      Comfort Babatola 

      8 years ago from Bonaire, GA, USA

      Great tips on losing weight while running. Voted up and useful, and congrats on the HOTD award.

    • Millionaire Tips profile image

      Shasta Matova 

      8 years ago from USA

      Congratulations on HOTD. These are great tips on losing weight by running. Voted up.

    • Backyard Flare profile image

      Dan Heston 

      8 years ago from Tucson, Arizona

      As an avid marathoner and ultra distance runner, I am in complete agreement with this hub's advice to seek the help of a shoe specialist. Buying online can be done once you have the right shoes for your feet. Once you have the correct tool in your bag, (your shoes) you will prosper and your running experience will be much more enjoyable. Great hub!

    • CyclingFitness profile imageAUTHOR

      Liam Hallam 

      8 years ago from Nottingham UK

      Haha thanks Tim- I think there's lots of crossover between different sports so we have an excellent opportunity if we spread our wings.

      Have a great 2013- there's plenty of space for you here too

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Congrats, CF, on another Hub of the Day. Won't be long and you'll be sprinting away with the running niche in your jersey pocket.

    • CyclingFitness profile imageAUTHOR

      Liam Hallam 

      8 years ago from Nottingham UK

      Thanks Veronica. Bingo wings are quite a well known term here in Britain and refers to the excess that can accumulate under the arms and around the back- hence the term wings. Maybe it's time the term went worldwide tho. Thanks for your comment

      Thanks to you too learner- if this hub helps anyone it's served it's purpose. Many thanks. CF

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      BINGO wings???! HA! I've never heard THAT term before!



    • learner365 profile image

      Saadia A 

      8 years ago

      Great tips. Running has always been a great exercise for all those who really want to reduce some weight. I am sure your tips will come in handy to all those who are interested in losing weight in a better way.

      Thank you for sharing and congratulations for your Hub getting selected as Hub of the day.

      Voted up and useful !!!!

    • CyclingFitness profile imageAUTHOR

      Liam Hallam 

      8 years ago from Nottingham UK

      Thank you so much carol, glad you approve and thanks for the share. There are so many things involved with weight loss and i'm sure this can help many people in future

    • CyclingFitness profile imageAUTHOR

      Liam Hallam 

      8 years ago from Nottingham UK

      Thanks bdegiulio for the feedback- glad you approve. Their's so much you can write on the subject that there's so much potential to develop further in future

    • bdegiulio profile image

      Bill De Giulio 

      8 years ago from Massachusetts

      Excellent hub Liam. Well written with lots of great advice and tips.

    • carol7777 profile image

      carol stanley 

      8 years ago from Arizona

      You did a great job on this hub covering all aspects. People often want to lose weight but lack the commitment. So if they are having some fun it is a step in the right direction. Voting UP and sharing.


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