Running for weight loss is such an ideal way to lose a few pounds!
It's a vigorous intensity exercise that helps you get a major calorie burn not only while you are running but for hours after you finish!
Sometimes though, you hit a weight loss plateau and you can't seem to push past it.
You had been working SO hard, it was going so well, you were achieving your goals!
But then, suddenly you are stuck in a rut and not able to push past a certain point.
And you can't figure out why.
There are many different things you can to push past and burn off extra weight.
On this page, I want to share 3 running for weight loss solutions for you to try if you are becoming discouraged and find yourself stuck in a rut or if you are experiencing a weight loss plateau.
Let’s dive right in!
Sometimes your body just needs things changed up for a bit...a sort of shock to the system.
If you aren't constantly challenging your body you can't expect to see change or progress.
It's fine to perform the same exercises over and over again if your goal is merely to maintain your fitness level or weight.
However if your goal is to actually lose weight or increase your endurance to say, run a marathon, then you must keep on pushing yourself harder and harder until you actually reach your goal.
Your body learns how to adapt to new rigors that you place on it until it becomes its "new normal".
It learns how to move more efficiently and conserve more energy after you do something over and over again.
When this happens you have to push through to the next level.
You might not want to change up too much too soon though or you won't be able to pinpoint what actually was the thing that helped you to see change.
As a runner, with the goal of running for weight loss, add in a different style of running workout such as:
Start with one extra quality workout for about 4 weeks then up it to 2 quality workouts each week for another 4 weeks.
Many runners will go out for a run, come home and over-reward themselves.
Realistically, you probably burn about 120 calories per mile.
If you go out on a 4 mile run that equates to about 480 calories burned which is about the average caloric content in one piece of chocolate cake with frosting!
So you need to be conscious and aware that it is so much easier to eat too much than it is to exercise it off.
Therefore, only allow yourself treats on certain days of the week and the rest of the time concentrate on only eating foods that will help fuel you and fill you.
A tip on treating yourself:
Don't have cheat DAYS. Focus instead on treat MEALS. It's easy to over-indulge on treats all day if you allow yourself a treat day.
However, if you are focusing on treat meals you are setting yourself up for success by eating more nutritious meals for the remainder of the day!
What about counting calories?
I don't necessarily encourage calorie counting but it can be extremely beneficial to you to see:
What about tracking your food intake?
Tracking what you eat can really make a difference when you are looking at what might be sabotaging your weight loss goals.
What about intermittent fasting?
Intermittent fasting and exercise is a hot topic right now just make sure you know all the details if you are considering intermittent fasting to help you lose weight.
Pick one day this week where you eat as you normally do and count your calories.
This will really help you to see just how much of something you can actually eat (or shouldn't eat!) and hone in on good portion sizes.
During the upcoming days, you could make a point to watch what you eat, plan for your treat meals (2-3 per week) and then write down every single thing that you eat!
If you find yourself in a plateau, choose one thing that is a regular staple of your diet and eliminate it for several days.
During this time period, I actually recommend weighing yourself every day. Doing so will give you a deeper insight into what and how your body is responding to.
Don't fall into the pitfall of taking the scale too seriously though. Use it as a guide!
I highly encourage cross training especially for endurance runners who are constantly pounding out the miles.
It really helps to:
Ideally you want to choose an activity that you like to do (here's an idea list).
However, if your focus is to lose weight I can't recommend strength training enough!
The stronger those muscles are the more calories you will burn!
You will turn that fat into muscle faster and you will get that slimmed and toned look you are going for.
I know a lot of women are afraid that they will bulk up but that simply won't be the case.
Endurance weight lifting (which is lifting smaller size weights but doing more repetitions) will help you to build long, lean muscles without the bulk.
If you are going for size and "bulkiness" then you want to lift heavier weights but do less repetitions but honestly a lot of it comes down to eating the right nutrition to build huge muscles!
Something to note:
If you are building muscle you may find that you weigh the same but look slimmer.
That's because a pound of muscle is much more compact than a pound of fat.
So again, don't be too hung up by the number on the scale.
I recommend taking "before" and "after" pictures!
You will SEE the change and progress you have made! They are so fun to go back and look at!
Include a strength workout 2x a week to get all the benefits for weight loss.
If you haven't already, take a "before" picture.
Where to get great strength workouts?
YouTube is a wonderful resource to find some great strength workouts that you can do at home with minimal equipment!
My favorite YouTube channels to find great strength workouts are:
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