The best way to lose weight through running

Q: What is the best way to lose weight through running?

A: While competitive athletes may not be using their training and running programs with the purpose to lose weight in mind, it is no secret that running vast amount of miles at high intensities are going to burn some serious calories. If you were to look at any of the top, or any runners who train regularly for that matter, you would see that for the most part they all run on the lean side. Running is perhaps the best cardio activity to burn the most calories per minute of exercise; it uses nearly every muscle in the body and as you are constantly working against gravity you are going to be using more energy than say if you were on a bike.

That being said, many people are tempted to sign up for a marathon because in training for one they believe they will best be able to lose weight.
While you probably will naturally be losing weight in doing this kind of training, logging more miles does in essence mean burning more calories, this is sometimes negated because in increasing your miles to an amount necessary for marathon training you will then be much hungrier. After all of those long runs your body will be depleted, you should refuel, but sometimes your level of hunger will in fact cause you to out eat the number of calories you expended. Serious marathon runners have been known to eat thousands of calories a day, they have to in order to sustain their work load, and their goal is not to lose weight at all. If they were to create a caloric deficit they wouldn't have the energy required to get in their next run.

That is why it is sometime difficult to lose weight by simply putting in tons and tons of miles for the sake of calorie burning alone; because you have to eat enough to have enough energy to log all of those miles. What some people then may have more success with is instead of thinking more, more, more, is to think about upping the intensity and quality of your runs.

This would include interval training which alone burns more calories in the same amount of time than a steady run because you are doing bouts of almost all out efforts. This kind of training also revs up your metabolism for hours afterwords and you will burn more calories throughout the rest of the day. What is interesting with high intensity workouts is while it does boost your metabolism, for whatever reason people aren't as likely to be as hungry after should they have done a long run instead. In fact it is far more common for people to lose their appetite after doing harder intervals. This doesn't mean that you should forgo eating after one such workout; quite the opposite as you should force yourself to eat a reasonable amount of something containing protein and complex carbohydrates in order to recover from the workout and come back stronger.

So if your main purpose for running is to lose weight, (although hopefully you have a true passion for it and your underlying motivation is for all of the overall health benefits regular exercise brings) you may want to rethink doing a marathon just for the sake of logging in all those miles. You could wind up losing the weight faster should you set your goals towards quality over quantity.

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