How Long Should I Run To Lose Weight?

Not a lot of people realize that being overweight is a serious problem. For one, being overweight makes you feel unattractive, which can then significantly affect your confidence level and self-esteem.

And yet, how you look is the least of your worries if you are not watching your weight.

The real issue with being overweight is it’s a literally a grave problem as it increases your risk to a plethora of health issues from cardiovascular diseases to rheumatism.

We all know that doing exercise can help in controlling one’s weight.

Hence, it’s prevalent for people to ask the question – “can running everyday help to lose weight?”

Running And Losing Weight

The truth is, the answer to the previous question is not as straightforward as people would assume. If you are trying to lose weight, here’s a crucial point that you should know.

Losing weight can be boiled down to simple mathematics. If you’re burning more calories than you are consuming, then weight loss is inevitable. This is what is known as “calorie deficit.”

In other words, to lose weight, you can either increase your calorie burn, decrease your calorie intake or both. This is where running comes into play.

Running can help you increase your daily calorie burn, which can then help you lose weight. However, if the calorie you burn by running is being negated because you’re eating too many calories, then you’ll never experience significant weight loss.

Most people are concerned about the length of time dedicated for running in order to achieve weight loss. This is just an inefficient way of solving a problem. Instead, you should be focusing on what to improve to get the most out of your running time.

Running For Weight Loss – How To Do It Better

For most people, running can burn around 8.5 calories in a single minute if running at a comfortable pace. A 30-minute run would typically burn 255 calories. Since yoga can only help burn about 120 calories in the same amount of time, running is one of the best forms of exercise for losing weight.

Now, this is the part where most people would start thinking in the lines of “for me to burn around 1,000 calories, I have to run 2 hours a day.” Unfortunately, it doesn’t work that way.

The thing with the human body is its good at adapting. This means that the longer your run and the more you do it, the body becomes better and better at it. As a result, the calorie you burn per minute would also decrease. Thankfully, there’s a way to solve, or at least, minimize this problem and that’s through interval running.

Best Type of Running to lose Weight – Interval Running

The idea behind interval running is easy to understand. Keep in mind that the body adapts to a certain task if you keep repeating it, like running. To disrupt this natural mechanism of the body and prevent diminishing returns on your calorie burn, you must trick it.

To dupe the body, you cycle at least two workouts with different intensity. By doing so, you’ll confuse the body, which then prevents or slows down the body’s adaptation mechanism.

If you’re starting, you can do an interval between running and walking, or also known as the run-walk method.

The run-walk method has plenty of other advantages. For example, it’s highly unlikely for a beginner to run for 30 minutes straight. With the walk-run method, you can pace out yourself and achieve a 30-minute run comfortably.

Another advantage is you’ll be able to run faster and harder during the running phase of the method. As a result, you’ll burn more calories during and even after your workout. Yep, that’s not a typo.

According to research, doing high-intensity interval training, your body’s metabolism will go into overdrive. In fact, it will continue to burn more calories up to fourteen hours after you finished your workout.

This is such a revolutionary discovery that elite runners and athletes are incorporating high-intensity interval training in almost everything. As a bonus, interval training can help if you want to tone your body. However, there’s a drawback that you should know.

Boosting your metabolism into overdrive will also lead to hunger. Hence, if you are not careful with what you’re eating, you might just eat back the calories you just burned.

How To Do It

If you’re a beginner, you can start and follow these steps:

Start by warming up with a 10-minute brisk walk.

Then, run for two minutes. After that, walk for one minute.

Then, run again for two minutes followed by walking for one minute.

Keep repeating this pattern as much as you can.

When you think you’re almost at your limit, you can then do a cool down walk for 10 minutes of easy walking. This should slowly and safely bring down your heart rate.

It’s essential that you allow a single day in between the workout. This should allow your body to heal, recuperate and minimize the “diminishing returns” problem.

Over time, you should be able to bring your endurance up so you’ll have more time to do the walk-run method, and that means more calorie burn for weight loss.

If you want to keep your workout time short, one option you can do is to increase the intensity. This may mean intense running for two minutes followed by a one minute of easy running.

Does Running burn Fat or Muscle?

Generally, any workout would burn the fat first. After all the fat is consumed, the body starts burning muscles.

Keep in mind that this is just a general behavior, and genetics also plays a significant factor.


Running can definitely help you with weight loss, but it should be part of an overall plan. Specifically, running is a good way of burning calories for creating a calorie deficit situation. However, part of the equation is the amount of calorie intake.

Hence, if you want to lose weight by running, it’s near-impossible to achieve it without controlling your calorie intake.

Don’t forget you can significantly increase your calorie burn during running if you do an interval training, specifically the walk-run method. Preventing your body from adapting too quickly allows you to burn more calories per minute.

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