running for weightloss

A 10 stone person will burn roughly 100 calories per mile when running

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As one of the most vigorous and accessible forms of cardiovascular exercise, running is an extremely efficient (and not overly horrendous) way to burn calories and lose weight.

A 10 stone person will burn roughly 100 calories per mile when running, and with the plethora of apps and bands on the market it's easier than ever to keep track of exactly how far you're going and what you're burning.

And while obvs we're all about improving our general fitness, feeling healthier and happier, we can't deny that losing a few kilos isn't exactly an unwelcome side effect. If you’re running for weight loss, note down our five tips to ensure you maximise fat burning with every stride.

1. You are what you eat

gingerbread man

If you’re running for weight loss, keep in mind that you’ll only shed weight if you’re burning more calories than you consume. Grabbing a  box of doughnuts on the way home from your run then, is not a good idea. Darn it.

You’ll only shed weight if you’re burning more calories than you consume

Studies have shown that people who lose weight gradually, with a calorie controlled diet, will be able to maintain their weight better by getting regular exercise. "Crash dieting without exercise often results in fast weight gain after the diet is stopped," according to Donald Hensrud, M.D the preventive medical specialist at the Mayo Clinic.

2. Follow a training plan

training schedule

Sticking to a training plan is a simple and effective way to stay motivated to run

Sticking to a training plan is a simple and effective way to stay motivated to run and carry on burning those calories. You’ll know specifically what you’re aiming for each day in terms of time and distance, and with each run building on the next it’ll be far more difficult to skip or postpone your workouts.

Following a schedule can also help you to avoid pesky running injuries by not over exerting your body too quickly.

3. Run often

runner

If losing weight is your goal, run three to four times per week

If you can’t be arsed to be all strict and follow a schedule than at least make sure that you keep some consistency with your running. You won't lose weight by running just once a week.

"Doing one 45-minute run or a couple of 20-minute runs a week won't burn enough calories to lose weight," says personal trainer Jenny Sugar. "In order to lose 1kg, you'll need to cut 1,000 calories each day, through a combination of diet and exercise. If losing weight is your goal, run three to four times per week and incorporate other forms of calorie-burning cardio and/or metabolism-boosting strength training on the other days."

 4. Keep challenging yourself

mud run

No resting on your laurels allowed when you’re running for weight loss, it’s important to keep challenging your fitness. Incorporating speed work or interval training (running at high speed for short intervals of time) into your routine can aid your weight loss efforts.

Speed work burns a great amount of calories in a short period of time.

“You'll always reap greater rewards by exercising at the more intense side of the spectrum," says HIIT expert James Driver. “Speed work burns a great amount of calories in a short period of time. You’ll also increase your muscle mass and improve your metabolism, causing you to burn more calories throughout the day."

Obstacle races are also a great way of adding variation to longer runs.

5. It’s a pretty damn good high – so embrace it 

runner's high

The key to losing weight when running is that you actually enjoy it. If you’re not really feeling it, then it’s highly unlikely you’ll keep up with your new regime.

Scientists have found links between moderate to intense exercise and morphine-like brain chemicals

Fortunately, studies support what most runners have experienced on just an anecdotal level – it can actually get you pretty high! Scientists have found links between moderate to intense exercise and morphine-like (yes MORPHINE-like) brain chemicals called endocannabinoids. So embrace the high, keep on running and the only side effect will be weight loss, no comedowns in sight.