Running is one of the most straightforward exercises you can engage in and is incredibly popular as well.
Statistics has it that in the United States alone, over 60 million individuals have run at least once within a year.
Running also has many health benefits and one of the easiest types of exercise for losing weight.
All you need to do to start running is to get hold of a pair of running shoes. Then get onto a trail in your neighborhood or run to the park in the corner.
Anyone who has managed to run a mile knows that running is not that simple. This is especially so if you’re running for weight loss. Running to lose weight is a tricky business.
This is because there are many mistakes you can make when running for weight loss. These mistakes will make your efforts at shedding weight via running counterproductive.
Therefore, according to seasoned pros, here are 12 mistakes to avoid when running for weight loss:
Mistakes to Avoid When Running for Weight Loss
1. Skimping on Fat
Make no mistake about it – your body needs fat so it can absorb essential nutrients like vitamins A D E, and K.
Did you know that fats take the longest to digest? As a result, they help keep hunger at bay by slowing digestion.
Also, fats help your body sense hunger hormones (leptin and ghrelin). An extremely low-fat or no-fat diet will keep these hormones unbalanced, which can lead to overeating.
Healthy fats should make up about 20-30% of your daily calorie intake. But limit the consumption of saturated and trans fats. Eat more poly and monounsaturated fats obtained from avocados, olive oil, fish, and seeds.
2. Running Only
Most runners who intend to lose weight via this exercise do not incorporate other forms of training or workouts. But this is a wrong move that may leave your legs feeling sore at all times. You don’t want to experience this.
You need to combine running with other types of exercise for faster weight loss and variety.
Therefore, incorporate other forms of exercises into your running schedule such as the fat blaster sequence.
3. Rewarding Yourself after Runs
The average male runner burns up to 124 calories per mile while females burn about 105 calories per mile. This implies that 3-miles net you between 315-calorie and 372-calorie deficit.
As you can see, eating a cookie can add back all the calories you burned during the run.
Realize that most exercises don’t burn many calories. So stop rewarding yourself with food after runs. Just drink water and stick to your regular meal schedule.
4. Mid-run Refueling
Many runners are addicted to what is known as “mid-run refueling,” which is a bad habit. This is because you are piling on even more calories than you need.
You should not depend too much on gels, energy bars, shakes, and drinks whenever you run.
Experts say that calories obtained from mid-run fuels add up quickly because they are dense. They don’t even do much to quell the hunger.
You can beat this habit by going for short runs, especially if it is shorter than 60 minutes. Take only water, but skip the gels as well as sports drinks. For longer runs, take 30-60 grams of carbs, i.e., one or two energy gels per hour.
5. Running on An Empty Stomach
Never hit the road without breakfast; muscles use up glycogen in the muscles first if you run without breakfast. Now, when the stored carbs have been used up, your body begins to burn fat. But at this time, your energy plummets drastically, forcing you to slow down.
You end up burning fewer calories thus defeating the idea of running without proper fueling.
You can avoid this by taking a 100-200-calorie snack at least one hour before you run. Drink water for hydration along with carbs and some protein.
6. Taking in Too Many Calories
Do you know you can consume as many calories from a cup as you can from your plate? Americans consume up to 100 calories a day – on average – from alcohol, according to a 2012 report. Sweetened beverages like soda, tea, coffee, and juice add even more.
You can avoid this by taking calorie-free options like seltzer, water, and unsweetened tea. You can also opt for wine and light beer. Frozen drinks are sugar-laden, so avoid them as well.
7. Expecting quick results
Reality shows and drinks endorsed by celebrities give this unrealistic notion that you can lose weight – FAST.
You can’t change everything at once, especially when it comes to losing weight. So, don’t abandon your weight loss plan yet.
Make small changes – like eating a healthy breakfast every day, walking more steps every day.
Eat an apple instead of your favorite chips. With time, you will notice your waistline becoming smaller and smaller.
8. Following Trends Blindly
Always find out why a trend is, well, trending. For instance, minimalist running shoes are the “in” thing these days. But not everyone needs a pair of minimalist shoes to run. You can get yourself injured severely.
9. Staying Inactive after Running
Another common mistake that runners make is not moving after the workout. Just because you completed a long run does not mean you should lie on the couch all day.
Staying inactive may lead to lower body stiffness, making simple activities like climbing stairs feel like severe torture.
It is essential to ensure the blood keeps flowing post workout. You can do so via the gentle stretching of your legs or by walking around the house.
You can also foam roll within the hours after you have completed a long run. You will be pleasantly surprised at how well you will recover!
10. Overeating Before Going for a Run
Overindulging before a run is one of the worst mistakes you can make. Not only does it lower your performance but it can also cause nausea and cramping.
As I mentioned earlier, a small snack is enough to fuel your runs. Avoid eating a heavy meal 2 hours before your run.
11. Forgetting to Take Rests
Training too much without taking enough rest can zap you of strength for several months.
Not only will you be exhausted, but your stoke level for running may be severely affected as well. Rest at least twice a week.
Running is a great exercise for weight loss. And you can make it more rewarding by combining it with short home workouts.
However, don’t just do any home workout. Do progressive workouts that target all muscle groups like the ones in the fat blaster sequence.