Sweat and handwork is closely associated with weight loss, specially running. It’s a common misconception that getting up and moving is the key to a drop on the scale. But what if I told you, even though cardio is a valuable tool, you don’t have to follow this idea. So we are gonna answer the question, is running best for weight loss.
Running can be inefficient for weight loss
The amount of time and energy that needs to be put into cardio for a significant weight loss makes it a inefficient activity.
It’s easy to see the whole idea as simple as a morning jog everyday. You can actually see people following similar routines quite often, especially around the holidays.
But its not as easy as it seems, which is why you also see a lot of these same people quit every year before significant weight loss is even attained.
All sorts of time and effort can be put into running for example, everyday, maybe half an hour at a time. Slotting that into your schedule requires commitment, effort and a whole lot of discipline if you plan to keep at it for a long period of time.
This can all be taxing on both your mind and body.
According to a calorie calculator from runnerspace.com, a 160 pound person burns approximately 120 calories in 1 mile run at a nice calm 10:00 minute mile pace.
If you can only muster the energy to run that 1 mile, it would take approximately 29 days to burn 3500 calories, about a pound loss.
If you don’t run everyday, the process will take even longer.
This sums up a recipe for failure and disappointment if your main purpose for cardio is weight loss.
Speaking of taking a long time, you’re patience will be tested.
Aside from the excruciating amount of time it will take to visibly see results, you will be using a big chunk of your day to continue this routine.
The 10 minutes per mile might not seem like much, but you also need to get dressed, warm-up, cool down, shower and maybe even travel to your desired cardio location.
Instead of the few minutes you might have thought this would take, hours can be eaten out of your schedule.
If you like running , that’s great! But is running good for weight loss? If you only want to use it lose weight, you have other great options for your time.
If you’re aim is to drop the scale, your diet should most likely be your primary goal. It is much easier to create a calorie deficit by adopting healthy eating habits.
What sounds easier, running a mile or eating 120 calories less each day, about the same amount in foods such as a candy bar, a can of soda or half of a small serving of McDonald’s French fries.
Walking is great for weight loss but can be even slower.
It doesn’t take much effort to cut that small amount of food out of your diet.
If you really wanted to step it up a notch however, you could aim for a 500 calorie deficit and lose 1 pound every week!
That is roughly 4 times as fast as the cardio burn we talked about.
If you don’t know where to start, use a online diet calorie calculator for a great starting point.
If the thought of eating less gives you visions of hunger and tiny meals, don’t worry because your food options can help kill those issues.
You don’t need to 100% cut out your favorite foods from your diet.
But if you decide to make healthier foods a majority of your daily consumption, you will get a better bang for your buck.
For example, cutting out a cup of juice can save you maybe around 100 calories depending on what you are drinking.
You know what else can fit in that empty space? A wide variety of fruits that will not only keep you fuller but also gives you a longer lasting boost in energy.
Consider adding high protein options as well such as chicken or fish because protein takes a significantly higher amount of energy and time to digest.
Here is an experiment, add just 1 cup of chopped chicken breast to your daily diet for a single week.
Be aware of how much you eat and how hungry you really are during that time.
Healthy meal choices makes it a lot easier to cut calories and lose weight before you even step foot on a track or in a gym.
Try meal prepping to keep you on track!
Is running best for weight loss? No, but you should keep doing cardio.
Cardio shouldn’t be your main tool for weight loss. That doesn’t mean that it has zero benefits. Consider keeping cardio in your weekly routine because of the other improvements it can make on your quality of life.
Did you know that the leading cause of death is heart disease?
Cardio can help improve the health of your heart if done on a regular basis. This doesn’t just mean everyday, it could be even just one to two times per week.
According to eehealth.org , cardio helps improve the following functions;
- lower blood pressure
- improved blood flow
- lower cholesterol
- reduce chance of heart arrhythmia
If you want to live a longer and healthier life, cardio can help aid that goal.
Another thing that i can do for your is to improve your quality of sleep.
In a study by Sleep Med, a group of individuals with sleep issues were give a randomized exercise schedule for 6 months.
Once the allotted time was over, researchers studied the data and found the following results;
- decrease in sleep onset
- increase in sleep efficiency and quality
- improved feeling of rest
These improvements were seen regardless of the time of day exercise was performed, morning versus late afternoon.
Finally, even though cardio might not be the best thing to fully focus your weight loss effort on, it can help significantly boost your progress as a additional tool in your arsenal.
Those few extra hundred calories burned off each week might not make a big immediate impact in the short term, but over time it can give you a huge boost in your overall journey.
If you used diet to lose weight at 4 pounds a month, you could lose 24 pounds in half a year!
If you also continued to go for a jog 3 times a week and lost around 350 calories doing so, that’s 8400 calories in the same 6 months. 2.5 extra pounds loss.
It might not seem like much, but it makes a big difference.
The added health benefits also will keep you feeling better during your journey so you will be less likely to quit from the mental tax that weight loss can sometimes have.
So is running best for weight loss?
Running should not be your main focus during a weight drop goal. It has many benefits but don’t fall for the common misconception that i will magically turn you fit by itself.