Running is one of the most effective forms of exercise for losing weight. It burns calories quickly, can be done anywhere, and has multiple health benefits beyond just weight loss. For those looking to shed pounds, incorporating running into their routine is a great strategy. Read on to learn how to start, stick with, and see results from a running program aimed at weight loss.

Getting Started

If you’re new to running, take it slow by mixing running and walking intervals. Begin with more walking than running, then gradually increase your running intervals over several weeks. This allows your body to adapt to the increased activity. 

Starting a running/walking program 3 days a week is ideal. Try 30 seconds of running followed by 2-3 minutes of walking for a total of 20-30 minutes. Slowly add more running intervals until you can run for 30 minutes straight. Consistency is key, so stick to your scheduled running days.

There are lots of beginner running plans online that take a beginner from scratch to running for 30 minutes continuously. Look for a Couch to 5k plan to get started.

Avoid pushing too hard too soon to prevent injury. Many beginners try and do too much, too soon. It is always a bad idea and will likely cause you to end up giving up because of an injury.

Invest in proper running shoes to support your feet and joints. Visit a running shop for a gait analysis so you can be fitted for shoes that correct any overpronation or underpronation you might have. Women need a good sports bra too. 

Progressing Your Running

Once you can run continuously for 30 minutes, you can start gradually increasing your distance and speed. Slowly add 5-10 minutes per run each week. Monitoring your heart rate helps avoid overexertion. You may also alternate longer runs of 3-4 miles with short, faster runs of 1-2 miles. 

Varying your runs keeps your body guessing and continues progress. Include hill runs for a bigger calorie burn. Joining a local running group or getting a training partner provides camaraderie and motivation to keep pushing yourself. Use a tracking app to monitor mileage, pace, calories burned, and other metrics. Sites like Strava are good for tracking runs and using your stats to monitor your progress. 

Seeing Weight Loss Results

While exercise alone won’t produce dramatic weight loss, adding 150-200 minutes per week of moderate running can help you to lose weight steadily over time. Run at an intensity where you can still hold a conversation. This burns fat efficiently without putting excessive strain on your body.  If you can run for an hour or more at a comfortable pace, you should see results over time. 

Combine your running program with paying attention to what and how much you eat for the best weight loss results. Be sure to eat enough protein, healthy fats, and carbohydrates to properly fuel your runs and recovery. A slight calorie deficit of 500 or less along with consistent running leads to losing about 1-2 pounds per week on average.

If you want faster results, try a fat burning pill you take with water. This will help give your metabolism a boost.

Have patience and stick with your routine even if you don’t see results right away. The more miles you log and the faster you run, the more calories you’ll burn both during exercise and afterward. Over time the pounds will start to come off if you stay committed. Investing in your health with running gives both immediate and long-lasting rewards.