Can Running Help You Lose Weight?

Can Running Help You Lose Weight

I am sure a few of you out there are wondering can running help you lose weight? I hate to break this to you but the answer is yes and no. Running alone cannot help you lose weight, there are other factors that you must consider as well. Read on below to find out why.

I Ran Today, I Deserve A Good Meal, Right?

For those of you who ran a hard run for the day, you thought that you should reward yourself with some junk food. That is the worst thing you could have done because you will be washing all your efforts down the drain. By eating all the junk food filled with calories, you are basically replenishing your body back with all the calories that you ran so hard just to get rid of. You ask can running help you lose weight, yes it does, but it doesn’t make sense to eat back all the ‘weight’ that you just lost during the day. Eating right is crucial to complementing your run, make you don’t eat more calories than you burnt.

Simply Running Will Help Me to Lose Calories?

Everybody is unique, the same goes for your body. Therefore, just running with no aim is not going to help you lose weight. My advice will be to track your runs with a running app to calculate a number of calories you burnt. Personally, I use Runkeeper to track my runs. Runkeeper is able to tell you how much calories you burnt based on your pace, duration and distance. Did you know that a cheeseburger is around 300 calories, and there are days whereby I don’t even burn more than 200 calories despite running more than 2km (see pic below). Scary but true, this is why we should track our runs to have a better understanding of how hard are we running. 2016-09-05 15-24-00

I Run Once a Week, How Come I Don’t See Any Results?

The frequency of your runs is equally important as well. Running once or twice a week will definitely not help you lose weight because a number of calories burnt is insufficient. You need to increase the frequency of your runs to 3 to 4 times a week to even see any results. Nobody said losing weight is easy and you need to put in the efforts if you want to cut the flab.

Get Your Priorities Right

Running alone will not help you lose weight miraculously overnight, it is a long term plan and a lifelong exercise. There are so many other factors in play such as diet and sleep. Running does help burn more calories than any other exercises but do not give up if you find yourself not losing more weight than expected. This is because running gives you many other benefits. Do you feel healthier, less restless, more energetic than before you started running? These should be the main reasons why you are running and why you should continue to pursue running as a lifelong hobby.


Do you agree with my points? Leave your comments and feedback below.


Cheers and Start Running Today


37 Comment

  1. Thanks for the insight on running. This has definately helped me in my perspective and educated my how to improve my results.

    1. Will says: Reply

      Hi Tom

      Thanks for the comment, I hope you found what you were looking for in this article.

  2. Wing says: Reply

    Running in itself is a great exercise, but I think it’s only one part of the equation in weight loss (exercise that is). Instead, I personally like to focus on the other benefits of running like getting my legs stronger and enhancing my cardio. The weight loss should come as a result if we’re doing it regularly along with a good lifestyle and diet.

    1. Will says: Reply

      Hi Wing

      That is a great analysis and I totally agree with you!

      Running comes with a number of benefits and we should not dismiss it just because weight loss does not come in the short term. Instead, we should focus on the various benefits from running regularly as well.

  3. Wil says: Reply

    Haha I’ve never been too much of a fan of running. As a bigger guy, running always sucked big time. I like the fact that it can be relaxing when along the shorelines of a beach, but other than that it’s always a pain. I will say though, about 2 months ago I ran the fastest 1-mile time I’ve ever ran: 6 minutes, 30 seconds. When in high-school it literally took me like 12 minutes or more to run one mile. Now at 28 I’m pretty fast. I’ve trained a lot to work off about 125 pounds in about a year with kickboxing.

    1. Will says: Reply

      Hi Wil

      Wow, that’s a pretty inspiring story, loving it. Who says that bigger guys can’t run, you totally proved those doubters out there wrong.

      125 pounds in a year is a lot man, you are really crushing it. Keep up the good work!

  4. Jim says: Reply

    That’s funny that you should use the saying, I ran today, I deserve a good meal. I know someone who thinks exactly that way. It’s weird how people want to sabotage themselves. I used to do a fast walk for exercise, and it does indeed help burn calories and lose weight. I would walk various distances. Sometimes 5K, sometimes 10 K, sometimes in between. I’d can testify to anyone the good benefits. I was using the exercise to not only lose weight, but to lower my cholesterol. And it works for that too. Love you site, Jim.

    1. Will says: Reply

      Hi Jim
      Haha, i know right? That’s because I felt the same way after every run, takes some mental power to stop myself from a big meal every time.
      That’s the attitude i’m talking about, keep up the runs!

      1. Jim says: Reply

        I think maybe we should look at it in exactly the opposite way. Instead of saying; Now that I’ve done some exercise, I can afford to eat a big meal; what we need to say is: Now that I’ve ate a big meal, I better go out and exercise to burn off the calories. If we sit down and eat 500 calories, how long do think we would have to exercise to burn those calories off? A long time right? If we can all just realize that, and if we would have a “rule” that every time I eat, I have to go and burn those calories, maybe we wouldn’t eat so much. What do you think? Could we ever get that philosophy to catch on?

        1. Will says: Reply

          Hi Jim

          Wow, that is another way of looking at it. Good reverse psychology over there. it’s always a good idea to think of all the extra running you have to do when you eat something unhealthy.

  5. Cole says: Reply

    Great article! It has given me a little more knowledge that I didn’t posses before reading this. My question for you is, is there any information you can provide on running with previous back injury? I broke my back years ago in a car accident and to this day I cannot run without major pain. It is getting better over the years but there are so many different opinions out there about how to overcome this situation, I don’t know where to start. Thanks!!

    1. Will says: Reply

      Hi Cole

      Thank you for reading my site, I appreciate that it has given you some form of knowledge.
      As for your question, I am afraid I cannot provide you an answer because I am not a professional when it comes to running related to health care.
      Perhaps you can seek a professional opinion because running is really the most easy exercise to get into.
      It is great news that you are getting better over the years as well, please keep it up!

  6. Arthur Siew says: Reply

    It really depends on what type of running you talking about a short sprint is more anaerobic vs a long distance aerobic marathorn. I am more focus on building muscles for legs, so I prefer a short explosive sprint.

    1. Will says: Reply

      Hi Arthur

      That’s good to hear, and I didn’t know that about the short sprint vs long distance benefits.
      I believe I am more of a long distance runner because I like the feeling of in the zone when I am running for 20 mins and more, will definitely try the short sprints in the near future.
      Looks like I learnt something new today. Thanks!

  7. TBonki says: Reply

    An interesting read, thank you!
    Wow, I assumed running to burn more calories than that, I won’t be eating a burger any time soon! It just shows how dedicated you have to be to see progress, I better get my running shoes on.
    I’m more of a long distance runner than a sprinter – I feel like I don’t make any progress in sprinting no matter how much effort I put into it, but my time in long distance consistently improbes, which is encouraging.
    I enjoy the exercise, but it takes quite a lot of time.

    Thanks again for the information,
    – TBonki

    1. Will says: Reply

      Hi TBonki

      Thank you so much for reading my post. Yes I wish to develop more as a long distance runner in the long run as well (no pun intended), I thought long distance running gives me more time to grow and develop my mental ability more. Let’s work hard together!

  8. Arief says: Reply

    Hi Will!

    I always preach that you have to make sure your INPUT and OUTPUT.
    If you want to lose weight, you need to make your Output bigger than your Input.

    Like you said, it doesn’t make sense if you eat a lot after a heavy workout because of the heavy workout.

    I’m glad we are on the same page here.

    1. Will says: Reply

      Yes! I used to always make the same mistake of eating more calories than what I have ran, it just defeats the purpose of me wanting to keep healthy. Good to know that we are thinking the same thing!

  9. sofia says: Reply

    I agree with your points. However, I am not a running fanatic. I think with any exercise where you are trying to lose weight, you can’t eat a bunch of junk food afterwards. It defeats the purpose and cancels out what you are working towards.

    Diet, exercise and sleep does play a major role in weight loss. When we don’t sleep enough, it throws off the body and makes you feel hungry because of low energy. This then gets you to eat to try to increase the energy.


    1. Will says: Reply

      Hi Sofia

      Thank you for agreeing with me. Yes you are absolutely right, diet, exercise and sleep play a major loss in weight loss. Each one is important in its own way.

  10. Hey Will,

    I like the idea of running being part of an overall plan. That’s what I do. I run a couple times a week, or to warm up or finish up after other exercises. But I also mix in skipping, body weight routines and other things as well so that my body doesn’t fall into the same patterns.

    I have a number of friends who love running and they get a lot of social and emotional benefits from it as well. However I do see some who only run and, to me, they may be thin but don’t look healthy. For me, a mix helps me feel my best, but to each their own. I just encourage anyone to exercise however they can!

    Be well,


    1. Will says: Reply

      Hi Kevin

      The skipping and body weight routines sound great, I am looking to add in some after I get used to my running schedules. Do you have any routines to recommend for me on alternate days where I don’t run?

  11. jettaranda says: Reply

    I love running as its an exercise I can do outside and think about my day at the same time.

    The only thing about running is I get hungry very fast, that’s probably due to the calorie burn which happens rapidly. I know the days I do resistance training the hunger isn’t too bad.

    One thing I do before a run is have a large tablespoon of coconut oil so the calories deficit doesn’t’ get too low.

    1. Will says: Reply

      Thanks for dropping by my site. Yes, I love running as it clears my mind as well.

  12. Kevin says: Reply

    Nice info on running. I’ve done more walking than running and a couple of years ago, I walked 4 miles 3 to 4 times a week. When I got a job out of the area, I had stopped. I would like to start again. It’s just a matter of finding the time. Looks like you are really into running here. Good luck with it!

    1. Will says: Reply

      Hi Kevin

      Yes, walking is very beneficial for your body as well. Looking forward to you start walking again. Thanks for dropping by!

  13. Cathy says: Reply

    Hey Will, I can tell you for sure that running didn’t help me lose a lot of weight during the course of 1 year. That’s because I was only able to commit once a week and I would load myself with a lot of carbs by lunch. I did get a bit fitter around the waist and more muscular at the thighs, but that was it.

    Unfortunately, I had to stop running due to some knee problems and I am currently on therapy (and indirectly putting on some unwanted weights). If everything goes well, I might be able to start running again 2 years from now.

    1. Will says: Reply

      Hi Cathy

      Sorry to hear about your situation, I hope you recover quickly. Actually, walking is also a very good form of exercise as well. Very few people walk because they thought it is not as effective as running but consistent walking weekly is also very beneficial for your health as well. Furthermore, walking for these 2 years can ease you back into running more easily once you are able to run.

  14. Chris says: Reply

    Running was actually the fastest way to lose weight I’ve ever come across – I had dramatic results within about 6 weeks and I’ve stayed trim ever since!
    I will say that I should of learned more about footwear and injuries – I was road running so the impact was pretty severe…and my shoes were not correct.
    Great article – running will always be my first choice for losing wieght!

    1. Will says: Reply

      Wow Chris, that is awesome to hear about you losing weight though running. I’m sure that’s very inspiring to lots of people. Yes, injuries are the worst for a runner.

  15. Nick says: Reply

    I really like your suggestion to track your runs and the amount of calories burned. I once heard a saying that “what gets measure, gets managed.”

    If you’re checking out how often you run and also for how long, then you are able to use that information to create a running plan and get better at it.

    You mentioned that it’s necessary to run 3-4 times each week. How much time would you say is good for a run?


    1. Will says: Reply

      Hi Nick

      Thank you for writing in. How much time you run is not really that important but I highly suggest that you put in at least 20-30 mins for a beginner. This can help condition you for longer runs in future.

  16. Adrian says: Reply

    For me, I have found that it’s diet and exercise that has helped me to lose weight as I run three times a week which helps to keep me fit and burn off quite a few calories as well.

    It really is a matter of consuming less calories than you burn off and you will lose weight but you have to do it in a slow and sustainable manner.

    This isn’t the only reason I run as I run for the many health benefits and well-being that it gives me and the best thing is that it’s part of my lifestyle and I keep doing this for the long term.

  17. NemiraB says: Reply

    Hello here. You write here in your article about sensitive topic for many people: weight loss.
    I read in one book that it is a lot easier to maintain the same weight compare with conditions when we want to lose weight.
    Fat is stubborn organ and wants to survive at any cost.
    Scientists found out that people must put more effort to lose weight if they gained before. It means that they need run longer miles eating less calories.
    I think that it is sad news but it is a reality. One thing which is good news that the loss of weight is possible and doable.
    Happy running, Nemira.

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