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> How much to run for weight loss – 10 pounds, 20 pounds, and more!

How much to run for weight loss – 10 pounds, 20 pounds, and more!

Publish date 17.10.2022

You can read it in 9 minut

How much to run for weight loss – 10 pounds, 20 pounds, and more!

The reason why someone started running can be very different – healthy living, changing one’s lifestyle, better figure, burning calories. As you can guess, probably most were concerned precisely with the latter – to burn calories and lose a few or even several pounds. 

However, “how much should I run to lose weight? 10 pounds, 20 pounds, or even more?” This is a question many beginner runners ask themselves. In this article, I’ll introduce you to running and weight loss, and maybe it will help you change your attitude toward this sport and burn fat a little – for the better, of course 😉 

Let’s start with a mathematical perspective on weight loss 

It is considered that during one hour of running one burn from 300 to 700 kcal. It all depends on the intensity of the workout. If you give your maximum effort to it, you will reach the upper limit of calorie burning. However, if you are having a worse day, and don’t have much energy, the pace is slower – then for sure, the number of calories you will burn during this workout will be lower. 

You also need to know that how many calories you burn is affected by your current body weight. 

But how so?

Surprised? Well, I might surprise you even more, when I tell you that the heavier you are, the more calories you burn. Why? Calories are nothing more than a mass of energy. This means that the more you weigh the more energy you need to move. Therefore, people who weigh more will lose more calories while running. 

If you know this, then it’s time to move on to more serious… but simple math.

Let’s start with the two most important figures: 

  • Let’s assume that you burn an average of 500 kcal per 1 hour of running.
  • 2 pounds of fat is about 7000-8000 kcal (in my mathematical equation I choose the upper limit). 

With these two data, I can simply calculate how much you need to run to burn 2 pounds of body fat: 

  • 8000/500 = 16. 

Yes, your eyes don’t play tricks with you. To lose 2 pounds of body fat you need to run for 16 hours continuously. Don’t think about a break for lunch or even a snack – because of this, you would have to run even more to burn the calories you ate. 

Now on to the question we already posed in the title of the article – how much to run for weight loss – 10 pounds, 20 pounds, and more. 

Here’s a quick calculation: 

  • 10 pounds – 80 hours.
  • 20 pounds – 160 hours. 

I’m sure seeing these numbers scared you slightly. You are probably wondering now: 

How many weeks does it take to burn that many calories? How many workouts do I need to do?

You must remember one thing. Running alone won’t do much, and it will certainly take you a long time to lose weight. What will help you? Read on!

What factors affect weight loss? 

  • Gender – yes, it’s true. Gender affects how fast you lose weight. Men burn more calories not only during exercise but also when they rest. All because men have more body mass and muscle mass than women. Therefore, a woman needs to exercise more and more intensively to burn as many calories as a man. 
  • Body mass – I have already mentioned this, however, here it should also be pointed out. As you already know – the more you weigh, the more calories you burn during a running session. 
  • Muscle mass – the more muscle you have, the more weight you will lose. Why? Muscles use a lot of energy – conclusion: they burn more calories. 
  • The intensity of training – I’ve already mentioned this as well. If your training is intense, say, – an hour-long workout – you will burn more calories. If you run at a slower pace and don’t have the energy then be prepared to burn fewer calories.
  • Age – it’s not just about metabolism but also about muscle mass, which starts to decline with age. This contributes to fewer calories burned. 
  • The same exercises – are you getting better and better with the same exercises? Are you doing more of them, but the weight is the same? Change the exercises. After a while, the body gets used to the workout and salivates fewer calories. 
How much should I run to lose weight

Sweating and running – debunking a myth

You probably hear a lot about how the more you sweat, the more calories you burn. This is not true. 

Of course, sweat indicates that you have exercised intensively, and thanks to that you can burn more calories. However, sweat alone does not contribute to fat burning. 

It happens that some runners dress warmer to sweat more. This won’t do anything. While I’m at it, it’s worth mentioning that proper and comfortable clothing is also very important when running. You should dress appropriately for the temperature and weather. 

The fat burning is exhaled – you don’t lose it with sweat. Sweat is just water, which you will definitely replenish right after or even during your workout to rehydrate.

How much to run to lose weight – 20 pounds and more

First, you need to consider whether you want to burn a large number of pounds then running is a good option. Of course, running is a good option for burning calories, but it also has its limitations. It all depends on your weight and BMI.

  • BMI – 19-25 – the average person – which means that running is a good form of weight loss. 
  • BMI – 25-30 – overweight person – opt for walking or slow jogging. Reject intense running and intervals. 
  • BMI over 30 – obese person – it is best to give up running and choose other forms of burning fat. You can choose walking, swimming or bicycling. Running can damage your knee joints.

If you want to run, but your current weight does not allow you to do so, choose an alternative. Once you get to the right weight, you can start your running adventure. Start with walks and then with short runs that are enjoyable. Only then can you increase the pace, intensity, and distance. 

Overweight running – what to pay attention to? 

If you want to run and you are overweight then you need to start slowly and carefully. What does that mean? Marching, trotting, and walking. Don’t impose a big pace. Train slowly but regularly. Then you will see the results of your workouts. 

For you to run well, it is also important to have the right footwear – that is, footwear that is not only comfortable but also has a high level of cushioning. Speaking of cushioning, it’s a good idea to choose unpaved running paths – that way you won’t put a lot of strain on your knees and joints. 

However, remember that if you start to feel pain in your knees or joints go to a physiotherapist. The doctor will tell you what is causing the pain – whether it is weight, inappropriate running, or some other factor. 

Burning calories during running vs diet

If you want to burn fat it is important not only “how much to run for weight loss” but also “what to eat to lose weight” – that is, diet. 

You already know for sure that running alone will not do anything. What you eat during the day is also important. Treat running as some kind of supplement to your diet. It will serve to work out a caloric deficit and improve your health. 

Is it necessary to count calories to lose weight? 

Not necessarily, but it would be better to count them so that you know exactly how much you have consumed and if you have any caloric deficit during the day. It is best to prepare a menu in advance and know exactly what to prepare and eat. 

Once again, I remind you that running alone, without a proper diet will not do anything. Of course, without a diet with running alone, you may not gain weight, but your weight will be the same. Nothing will change. If you’re running, you probably want to lose a few pounds. 

Proper diet + running = perfect combination for burning calories. 

Healthy eating to lose weight + running

Doesn’t want to count calories – what to do about it? 

Many people don’t want to count calories – they don’t want to or they just don’t have the time. It is possible to lose weight this way, too, but you need to introduce some rules into your life and probably change some of your eating habits. 

  • limit snacks – nuts, cookies, chips 
  • say no to frying – prepare your food by steaming, stewing, or boiling.
  • give up sweet drinks – choose water, tea, and healthy juices. 
  • choose healthy sweeteners instead of sugar.
  • information about satiety reaches the brain only after 20 minutes – eat slowly.
  • introduce healthier substitutes – for example, white bread – wholemeal bread, mayonnaise – natural yogurt.

It is also important in the diet to eat regularly. Keep running and stick to your designated diet. Without it, you certainly won’t lose as much or as fast as you’d like. As you can see for yourself, you just need to cut down on certain foods or change them to other, healthier ones to lose some pounds. You don’t have to count exactly all the calories you ate to lose weight. 

How much should I run to lose weight when I stick to a diet?

“Ok, so if I stick to my diet, then how much should I run to lose weight?”

Let’s start with the fact that you are a beginner runner. 

  • A beginner runner who follows a diet should run about 30-40 minutes every 2 days. The important thing is not to overdo it and to have time to recover. This much is enough at the beginning to see the results and slowly work towards your goal of a slim figure and shedding pounds. 

It may also be that at the very beginning you will not be able to run for 30 minutes. Then the running workout may be as short as 10 minutes. Not everyone is immediately in shape to run for a long time. Remember that with each workout your fitness and form will get better and better. 

After a while, you can increase the distance, pace, and intensity of your runs. However, remember not to rush it. Build good form and fitness. If you rush, you may get discouraged, will be very tired, and may even get injured. 

How much to run to lose weight quickly?

Oh yes, this is probably the most frequently asked question. 

“I want to lose weight, but fast. How to do it? Help!”

Right away I have to sadden you. There is no such thing as losing weight fast. Of course, you can do it, but then it certainly will not be a satisfying, healthy, or effective transformation. 

You have to reach a certain result with hard work, persistence, and patience. You won’t lose many pounds overnight. If you start imposing intense workouts and exhausting diets you will only get into trouble. What are the “troubles”?

  • overloaded muscles, 
  • greater risk of injury,
  • lack of energy, 
  • lower performance,
  • poor concentration, 
  • deterioration of mood. 

If you don’t follow the basics it can end badly. Run less – as much as you can – and enjoy your transformation. When it comes to burning calories, there are no shortcuts. You can achieve everything with hard but responsible work. It’s better to run slower than to run faster and get an injury or other problems. 

So how much is “healthy weight loss?”

Doctors say that it is healthy to lose 1-2 pounds per week. Which gives around 4-9 pounds in a month. 

Running – what effects will you also notice?

You need to remember that running is not only about burning calories and having an ideal figure. See also other benefits of running, such as: 

  • more energy, 
  • stress reduction, 
  • the disappearance of cellulite, 
  • lowering the risk of diabetes or problems with high blood pressure and cholesterol. 

Quick Summary

Let’s get it all together – “How much to run for weight loss?”

There is no specific answer. It all depends on you and your body. Run enough to make each workout enjoyable for you. However, you must remember to take breaks and have time to recover – without this you can get injured. 

What’s more, if you want to lose weight you must also remember to have a proper diet. Without this, your weight will remain the same and you will become frustrated. 

So what do you need to achieve your dream weight? A proper diet and running (or other physical activity). 

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