How much should I be running to lose weight? If you’re looking to shed those extra pounds, you’ve probably wondered this question many times. The short answer is: it depends. More about this later, but first, here are four key points to keep in mind:
1. Weight loss isn’t a race.
The first and most important key to keeping in mind if you want to lose weight is that weight loss isn’t a race. Even people who are fairly lean and fit could use some help in losing those last few pounds. If you feel like you’re having trouble maintaining what little weight you have, even a slight decrease can make a significant difference. Don’t stress about how much weight you have to lose or how many calories you have to cut out—instead, focus on making the right food choices and getting enough sleep. The pounds will follow, and you’ll feel better both physically and mentally when you reach your goal weight.
2. The type of exercise you need depends on where you are.
The second key to keeping in mind if you want to lose weight is that the type of exercise you need depends on where you are. If you’re in a warmer climate, you’ll want to be doing more outdoor activities to stay cool. If you’re in a colder climate, you’ll need to add more indoor activities to your routine. The point is that you have to fit in what you’re capable of, and what you’re capable of varies by location. If you travel a lot for work, make sure you bring your workout gear with you. Once you get there, you can decide which gym or outdoors activity you enjoy doing most.
3. Consume fewer calories than you burn.
The third key to keeping in mind if you want to lose weight is that you should consume fewer calories than you burn. It’s easy to calculate how many calories you need daily if you want to lose weight—just multiply your daily calorie intake by 10 to get your daily expenditure. So, if you eat 2500 calories a day and you burn 2000 calories a day, you’ll need to eat about 500 calories less to lose weight. Consuming fewer calories than you burn means that your body will gradually become less efficient at maintaining a healthy weight. That efficiency decrease, however, will mean that you have to work that little bit harder to maintain your current weight—so it’s still not a race, but it is a struggle. Your body will thank you for this lifestyle change, and you’ll start to see the benefits sooner than you think.
4. Make gradual changes.
The fourth and final key to keeping in mind if you want to lose weight is that you should make gradual changes. In order to lose weight successfully, you have to be committed to the process and determined to make the changes that you know you should make. If you try to make large changes all at once, you’ll likely lose momentum—and that’s what will cause you to fall off the wagon sooner or later. Instead, make small changes every few weeks or every month, and you’ll find that you’re more committed to the process and have a better chance of succeeding. Make changes that are sustainable—for example, if you want to cut back on the amount of soda you drink, make that your goal, but don’t make that your only goal—instead, work toward it slowly, cutting out soda once a month or every other month, until you reach the point where it’s no longer necessary to have it in your daily diet. Your body and mind will thank you for this approach, and you’ll be more likely to stay committed to the changes you’re making.
Now that you’re committed to the process, how much should you be running to lose weight? That depends on you, your body type, and what’s available to you. If you want to lose weight, but don’t know where to start, lose a few pounds first and then work your way up. Don’t worry about what anyone else is doing or not doing—you know what’s best for you. You just need to trust your body and what it needs to maintain a healthy weight and get the most out of your workouts. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different routines and diets until you find what works best for you. You’ll find that the right amount of running you do depends on where you are, but you can never go wrong with less is more. Just make sure you don’t overdo it and hurt yourself. And remember: weight loss isn’t a race, so you’re not obligated to lose a certain amount of weight—you just need to lose enough for you, which is a completely different beast. Good luck out there!