5 Simple Tips To Boost Your Weight Loss Through Running
If one of your running goals is to lose a bit of weight, you need to go about it the right way.
These tips will ensure your weight loss success.
1) Calories Matter
The fundamental key to losing weight is calories in vs calories out. You need to create a calorie deficit. Eat fewer calories than you burn, or burn more calories than you eat. Without a calorie deficit, you will not lose weight. But you’re running, so of course you are burning more calories than you take in! Right? Well, perhaps.
Lots of runners think they must be creating a calorie deficit through their running. But they could easily be maintaining a calorie balance, or even eating more than they burn. If you’re not aware of the calories in your food, you can eat more than you burn – even as a runner! Sneaky calories from snacks, fancy coffees, finishing the kids’ dinners all add up.
Track your food using an app for a couple of days to get a clear picture of how much you eat and drink. Then assess how many extra calories you are burning from running. It might not be as much as you think.
2) Are You Staying Active?
Here’s another trap runners fall into. As they increase their mileage, they subconsciously scale back on every day activity levels. This can be because they feel tired and sore. Or because they think they’ve “been good” and “done loads” today so deserve to put their feet up. It’s true you do need to rest and recover. But strategic running recovery is not the same as becoming more sedentary.
You need to keep regular every day activity levels up to keep the weight loss coming. NEAT (non exercise activity thermogenesis) is all the activity you do outside of official training sessions. Don’t let your running stop you from being a generally active person.
Keep your daily step count high, and keep active at work and around the house.
3) More Water Than You Think
Water plays a key role in weight loss. It keeps your digestive system healthy, and makes it easier to manage hunger signals. Us runners need even more water than other people. 2 litres per day should be the absolute minimum. Are you drinking enough?
Make it your mission to drink more water. Decaffeinated teas and coffees, herbal drinks, and sugar free squash all count. Drink a glass of water in the morning. Have a water bottle with you on the go, keep a water bottle at your desk, and finish the day with water or herbal tea.
4) Rest And Sleep
As a runner, you need more rest and recovery than non-runners. And sleep is directly linked to weight loss. When you get enough sleep, your body’s fat loss and hunger hormones function better. You’ll feel less hungry, be able to manage cravings, and will be likely to make better food choices.
Pay attention to rest days in your training schedule, and prioritise getting enough quality sleep at night.
5) Pick Up The Pace
Whether you’re a beginner runner or an experienced club level athlete, your training week needs some faster-paced running. Tempo runs, intervals, sprints, or fartlek will keep the weight loss coming. If you fall into the trap of being a “one pace pony”, your body will adapt. Weight loss will slow or stop. Keep things moving by pushing the pace and forcing your body to adapt.
Include interval training, hill reps, or fast paced tempo runs in your weekly training to keep training intensity high.