Is running helping you lose weight?
Running can be one of the most effective exercises when it comes to upping your cardio efforts and shedding excess weight. However, new runners trying to lose the pounds can find themselves baffled when they don’t see their efforts reflected in the number on the scales. Is this you? Are you pounding the pavements but not reaping the rewards? Read on to figure out the possible reasons for your frustrations.
1. You’re eating too much “to compensate”
Running demands a lot of energy, granted. But that doesn’t mean an extra coffee or biscuit, or larger meal portions, won’t touch the sides. While running can increase your appetite, it’s still important to be vigilant about what you’re eating if your aim is to lose weight. Instead of reaching for an abundance of heavy foods that are likely to up your blood sugar levels and make you bloated, fill up with foods that will really feed your body and give it all the nutrients it requires to be replenished. I’m talking whole-wheat carbohydrates, plenty of fruits and vegetables, and lots and lots of water.
2. You need to switch up your routine
Persistently-paced cardio, while of course good for you, can also encourage your body to fall into a routine. Once it becomes used to the upper level of energy you allow it to exert, it can hit a wall and you can stop seeing tangible results. The best way to overcome this hurdle is to switch up your workouts. Try interval training, hill sprints, longer runs. Push your body out of its comfort zone. Encourage it to pay you back in dividends.
3. You are losing fat, but also building muscle
The number on the scale might not be shifting, but that doesn’t mean your body isn’t changing. While it’s not entirely true that “muscle weighs more than fat” (a pound of fat is the same as a pound of muscle, after all), muscle is denser than fat. What this means for you is that your body will be shifting fat and your muscles will be getting leaner. Noticing your shape changing? Your clothes not fitting quite as comfortably as they used to? These are still signs that all the running you’re doing is paying off. Keep at it.