By Darren Croft


It’s that time of year again for resolutions to be made, won and lost. The hardest battles are tend to be the most inconvenient. For example, joining a gym involves a bit of paperwork, your induction and trying to fit in the traveling to and from into your already busy day.


Running, on the other hand, involves putting on your shoes and heading out the door. Okay, potentially, you might want to wear some running gear too, but you get the picture. There’s a lot to be said for the spontaneity of saying “I’m going now” and getting it done.

Personally, I like to run early in the morning. Partly because it’s more convenient, but also as it stops me trying to think up excuses to put it off until tomorrow for the remainder of the day.

For those looking to use running as a method of weight loss, you’ve come to the right place. Running will help. In fact, if you just want to get moving, walking will also do the same job.

A 2019 study confirmed the long-held theory that whether you run or walk a mile, you’ll burn roughly 100 calories. The beauty of running, however, is that in the time it takes you to walk a mile, you would potentially run at least two miles and double your calorie burn.


1-  Set a time goal

When you go for your first run over a reasonable distance (e.g. one mile or more), time yourself.  Write down the time you took and pin it up somewhere in your house as a constant reminder. This time will be classed as your PB (Personal Best). Set yourself a time period of a few weeks, then try to beat that time. This incentive will hopefully have a two-fold effect.

Firstly, it should encourage you to run more, in order to get fitter and beat your PB next time around. It should also have the knock-on effect, that you will start to look at other ways in which you could help to improve your running time.  At the forefront should be healthy eating. Eating the right food, and in particular, not eating the wrong food (see THE ELITE RUNNER’S DIET). Making the right choices will start to come naturally; before you think about when you’re going to eat, you’ll start to ask yourself- “Wait, is this good for me?”


2- Run before breakfast

A JCEM study  has shown that running when hungry (fasted running), can double the amount of calories burned. Better still, this works best for shorter and slower runs (preferably under an hour). This little known fact should help to accelerate you towards your weight loss goal in record time.


3- Drink plenty of water

Whilst you will naturally feel hungry after a run, particularly on an empty stomach, ensure that you make the right nutritional choices so as to not consume the same amount (or more) calories than you’ve burned off! A good trick is to take a decent drink of water right after your run. This helps to fill your stomach and should stave off any ideas about going straight in for a fry-up. Staying adequately hydrated will also help to ensure your metabolism is firing on all cylinders.

Keep the calorie balance right and, you’ll find running is one of the most effective ways to shift weight for the long-term.




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