Running burns calories, so you should lose weight, right? You may have started running months ago, only to find that when it comes to stepping on the scale, there is little improvement to show. So, what’s the deal? We are here to explain a few reasons why you may not be getting the results you expect.
With burning tons of calories comes feeling famished because, of course, your body just used up all of its fuel. You might think that because you just worked so hard that you may deserve some junk food. In reality, by doing this, you are counteracting everything you just worked for. By choosing junk food as your reward for running, you are overdoing it on the calorie front, not nourishing your body, and you’ll be hungry again in an hour (which means more calories).
Now, a post-run snack is absolutely essential, but you have to do it right. Make sure it’s packed with protein and filling carbs, not sugar. Also, it should not exceed 150 calories. If you choose to exercise before a meal, indulge in a sensibly portioned plate of veggies, a lean protein, and grains. If you still find yourself extremely famished after, then consider fueling yourself prerun as well.
You Might Not Be Running Enough
Doing one 30-minute run or even two 45 minute runs a week is not enough. This does not burn enough calories to see results. The strategy to losing one pound a week is to cut 500 calories every day through a combination of diet and exercise. Try running three or four times a week as well as incorporating interval training or other forms of calorie burning cardio. You could also try boosting your metabolism with weight training on some days as well.
Too Much of a Set Routine
When you’re first starting out with creating a regular running schedule, you may find a loop you like and stick with it to make running a habit. The problem is that if you continually do the same running path, your muscles will quickly adapt to the workout. This will lead to a weight loss plateau. To make sure that this doesn’t happen, mix up your running workouts with speed intervals, hills, long runs, and short runs. You can also try running on different surfaces such as sand or paths. This keeps your muscles guessing and continuously strengthening.
You’re Not Burning as Much as You Think
With running comes extreme fatigue and a whole lot of sweat. However, just because you’re sweating buckets doesn’t mean you burned 500 calories. A 150-pound woman will burn 495 calories by running for 45 minutes at a 10-minute-per-mile pace. If you’re not meeting this time and speed, then you’re not burning that many calories. You can try adding a HIIT workout to the end of your run to burn a little extra, or just run that extra mile.
Don’t be Mislead By the Scale
Muscle tissue is denser than fat tissue, so it takes up less space. So when you find that your weight is not decreasing or even increasing, even though you work out regularly, remember that muscle weighs more than fat. Look at your body measurements. Your bra size, waist circumference, booty shape and more will all be changing as you continue to run.
Don’t get discouraged. You are starting to make a difference for yourself. Just push a little extra and you will find yourself feeling amazing and healthier!