Running For Weight Loss – Here’s How To Do It

Lose Weight

Running For Weight Loss – Here’s How To Do It

Running For Weight Loss – Here’s How To Do It
sarah baker -

Written by

Sarah Baker

Nutritionist @Nutiro

Running for weight loss is practical. Those who don’t want to spend endless hours at the gym use running to burn around 300 calories per mile (at an average weight of 125lbs). The calories burned per mile increase the higher the weight of the runner.




Running for weight loss – is it possible?



Weight loss help comes in the shape of running for many individuals. In the past, it was believed that 3.500 burned calories through running led to 1 pound of fat loss. However, burning fat is not as easy, as proved today.



The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases’ online calculator takes into account variables such as weight, age, sex, height, and the activity level to determine the fat loss. This weight loss help tool shows a 5ft 5in. female at the age of 30 (with a weight of 180lbs) with a very active lifestyle needs 2,845 calories per day (to maintain weight). To lose weight, a 10-minute running routine 5 times per week is needed. To reach a 125lbs weight in 100 days, the same woman needs to consume 1,237 calories per day.



This means every running session burns around 1,000 calories. Running weight loss results are seen in around 14 weeks in this scenario. Does running help you lose weight? It certainly does, adhering to a weekly running plan is necessary.






Can I lose weight by walking 30 minutes per day?



Walking might also be one of the simplest activities to lose weight. A study even shows that 60 minutes of walking 5 times per week is sufficient to lower body weight. Weight loss runs are not necessary and in some cases, they can be uncomfortable, such as for overweight people.



Fast weight loss tricks applicable today to start losing weight



A 2016 study shows running and diet changes trigger weight loss in one year. Overweight people don’t even need to run too much every week to see these changes.



Run 5km per week



Running 5km (3.1 miles) per week is a good place to start. The subjects of this study ran for 5km (3.1) miles and lost an average of 5.5kg (12lbs) within a year. But this length doesn’t necessarily need to be covered within a running session. It can be split up into multiple running sessions each week.



Eat better



Diet changes are also recommended in this study. Even if a few subjects of the research lost weight with no diet following this plan, the best results were accompanied by positive dietary changes. Those asking themselves how to lose weight without even trying need to implement similar dietary changes on the long-term.






Track your efforts



It may be difficult to estimate 5km, especially when running in new places every day. Those looking to lose weight by running can consider a fitness tracker to reach this minimum weekly objective of 5km.



Weight loss running plans – types of runs to lose weight



With so many weight loss running plans, it seems complicated to know where to start. But not all types of running are suitable for each individual. Here are a few general directions that can be used to reach and surpass the weekly running target.


  • Base run

This short run is undertaken at a personal pace. Runners adjust their own pace and run the length they feel comfortable with.


  • Long run

Long runs have the purpose of building endurance. This is why they might not be the best choice for new runners. But in time, cardiovascular endurance improvements allow runners to cover more ground with higher efficiency.


  • Progression run

The progression run is inspired by professional runners. It is among the top tricks to lose weight faster. Runners start at their own pace but they finish at a higher pace. A familiar place where this type of running is seen is in marathons where participants finish on a high note.


  • Fartlek

Another running plan to lose weight comes with fartlek running. This style of running mixes running intervals of varying duration or distance. It has a strong appeal among those who want a less-structured approach to the activity.


  • Tempo run

The tempo approach requires runners to stay at the fastest pace for the entire duration of the run. Short distances such as those mentioned above (5km per week) can be sustained with this specific approach.


  • Hill repeat

Losing weight by running is also possible with hill repeats. As their name suggests, they require running repeatedly on short uphill segments. This type of running can be a challenging method of adding resistance and high-intensity training to the running plan.


  • Interval run

Another good tip on how to lose weight fast is to consider interval runs. They’re made of repeated short segments of running at a high pace. Compared to long runs, this plan enables people to run more at higher speeds in a single workout.




Is running the best way to lose weight?



While these types of runs are popular, some may still ponder about the actual value of running. Where does it sit on the scale of weight loss efforts? Or is running the best way to lose weight?



According to a comparison chart by Harvard University, running at a pace of 5.2mph at a weight of 125 pounds burns 240 calories. This is more than swimming (180 calories) and bicycling (240 calories). Just a few other activities are more efficient than running at this pace. Playing handball burns 360 calories in 10 minutes. But in essence, handball is similar to interval running as seen above. This is why such sports might answer the question of why am I losing weight without trying?



How to start losing weight for beginners



Staring to lose weight can be daunting. There’s so much information that many feel confuse or even worse, they give up before even trying. Running at a high pace seems to be the best when beginning to run for weight loss. At a higher pace, the body relies more on sources of carbohydrates as they are readily available as a source of energy.



Lower-intensity running relies more on fat as a source of energy. It might make more sense to run at a low pace for weight loss. But even running at a higher pace burns more overall calories which are a great start. Both types of high intensity and low-intensity running is beneficial for weight loss. But how should new runners rely on these run workouts to lose weight? Here’s a popular 4-week plan.




4-week workout plan for weight loss



4-week workout plans for weight loss are common in the running world. While they may incorporate other activities, weight loss is possible solely based on running as seen above. Here’s a detailed plan of how a running for weight loss workout plan looks like.




Week 1

Judging on the research-recommended 5km weekly running, this distance can be achieved within the first week on this plan. It has the following structure.

  • 4 days of training where every post-running day is a rest or recovery day with no running at all
  • Monday debuts with 2 minutes of running and walking/resting 2 minutes, this is repeated 5 times to burn at least 300 calories
  • Tuesday is a rest day
  • Wednesday the running interval and the resting interval is increased to 3 minutes and they are both repeated 5 times
  • Thursday is an off day
  • The 3-minutes running/3-minutes walking 5 times is repeated Friday
  • Saturday is a rest day
  • The last run of the week is on Sunday and it’s the same 3 minutes of running followed by resting for 3 minutes and repeating the process 5 times



Week 2

The second week of training already increases the running capacity and the body’s recovery process. Runners start to better understand their bodies and how they react to running. The weight loss running plan looks as follows.

  • Monday is a rest day, following Sunday’s running session
  • Tuesday debuts the week with 5 minutes of running followed by 2 minutes of resting (this is repeated 3 times)
  • Wednesday is a recovery day
  • Thursday runs are based on 6 minutes of running and 2 minutes of rest repeated 3 times
  • Friday is an off day
  • Saturday sees runners in action for 8 minutes and resting for 2 minutes (since the running sessions are longer, they are only repeated 3 times)
  • Sunday is an off day



Week 3

During the third week on the weight loss plan, runners should already come closer to their highest capacity on the plan.

  • Monday starts running with 8 minutes of running and walking or resting for 2 minutes for repeated together 3 times
  • Tuesday is a rest day
  • Wednesday is the first day with 10-minutes runs followed by 2 minutes of resting repeated only 2 times
  • Thursday is a recovery day
  • Friday is another running based on 2 X 10 minutes with 2 minutes of resting in-between runs
  • Saturday is a recovery day
  • Sunday repeats the 10-minutes running with 2-minutes resting 2 times



Week 4

During the 4th week, runners might already feel tired. This is why this week has balanced efforts as it combines running intervals leading to a final 12-minute uninterrupted running session.

  • Monday is a rest day
  • Tuesday is when runners go for 5 minutes before resting for 23 minutes (this is repeated 4 times)
  • Wednesday is a recovery day
  • On Thursday, the run is based on 10-minutes intervals with 1 minute of rest repeated 3 times
  • Friday and Saturday are off days
  • Sunday has runners running for 12 minutes with 3-minutes resting intervals repeated 2 times
  • Similar plans can be found on the MapMyRunapp which works MyFitnessPal to offer personalized running tips.



Tricks to lose weight fast



According to guidelines by Harvard Medical School, recommends settings small and manageable goals for weight loss. Self-monitoring, a support network, proper nutrition, and sufficient sleep are recommended among the tricks.



A list of useful running apps


Running apps can be part of a running for weight loss plan. As in the guidelines, monitoring effort is important. Here’s a list of free apps to use for this purpose.



Nike+ Run Club

Those looking to lose weight can consider this popular running app for its GPS tracking function. It also offers audio-guided runs for extra motivation.




This app has a community aspect, similar to the Nike+ Run Club app. It allows runners to discover new routes and share new routes as well.




Edomondo is not running-specific as it also includes walking tips. It can be seen more as a personal trainer in weight loss help..



Sleep trackers

Sleep is a crucial part of losing weight. Since running is also demanding on the body, its crucial to get enough sleep. Fitness trackers often include sleep tracking. But tracking sleep may also be supported by specific smartphone apps directly.




The Keto diet and the Paleo diet have been associated with weight loss. But those asking about how to lose weight with running need to ensure they offer plenty of attention to hydration as well. According to the Harvard School of Public Health, a healthy plate is made of vegetables, fruits, healthy proteins, and whole grains.



▶ Also Read: Motivate Yourself for Weight Loss with These Sensible Tips



Running for weight loss is one of the best methods of getting in shape. Studies show that it’s even better than walking for weight loss. However, to keep the new weight loss results, runners need to keep on running.


Weight loss that works based on running needs to be followed by continuous running as seen in this study.



▶ Take advantage of our Nutiro Ultimate Guide on How to Meal Plan that gives you the flexibility to enjoy other meal planning options such as keto, paleo, vegan, gluten-free, etc.

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About the author

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