5 Reasons Why Running Is Not Helping You Lose Weight
The joke is on you.
You decided it was high time you got your stuff together. You had gained about 5 pounds since having your little monster, bless him, and you have run out of excuses over the last 5 years.
You even went as far as to solicit a running program from your best mate, determined to do it right from the beginning.
But after 120 odd days, the scale has not budged. In fact, it often tells you that you are heavier.
I’m here to tell you that this is not uncommon, so give yourself a break.
Here is why you may be gaining weight or at worst, stagnating, even though you are putting the miles in.
About 55% of your body is made up of water, and water is stored as a means of protecting the body, against dehydration, as well as muscle repair fluid. When you start a training regime, no matter how low key, your body begins a method of security. So, its stands to reason that you may need to get rid of some excess water before the fat will go. That may be the hardest part, because your body needs to adjust and believe that it can survive without that much water. In fact, the odd thing is you need to drink more water in order to get rid of excess water in your body. This way, your body realizes you are not going to deprive it of the life-giving liquid.
Aim for 8 glasses a day, or a simple remedy is to break it down like this:
- A glass on waking
- A glass before a shower/bath
- A glass after a shower/bath
- A glass before a meal
- A glass before exercise
- A glass after exercise
- A glass after a meal
- A glass before bedtime
It has been said over and over again, and some are starting to think that it’s just a big cop out. But, it is, in fact, quite true. Muscle is heavier than fat. The significant difference between muscle and fat, besides its weight, is that muscle has a much leaner consistency. So, while the scale may not have moved, or in fact is showing a heavier you, you may be building muscle.
The best test is your clothing. If you find you can buckle that belt a little tighter or if you jeans are sitting snug but comfy around your butt and thighs or that shirt isn’t pulling so much over your chest, then those are good signs.
Run Slower Forest!
Another myth that needs busting: Running faster isn’t going to help you lose weight. Quite the contrary. You need to keep your heart rate in a 65% of your maximum zone. What this means in reality is that you need to understand what your maximum heart rate is first. Pushing your body and then measuring your heart rate will give you this result.
A simple exercise would be to measure out a mile, then take your heart rate before you start. How do you take your heart rate? Just find your pulse, either in your neck or on your wrist. Time 10 seconds and count the beats. Run your mile at the fastest pace you can manage. (Remember to warm up first though.) Then, once done, take your heart rate immediately, the same way you took the resting heart rate before. Multiply the beats you counted by 6. This will be your maximum heart rate. Work out 65% of that and there is your fat burning zone.
It becomes easier when you wear a heart rate monitor, but you can take your heart rate at any time during a run. A general fat burning pace would be a pace whereby you can still talk comfortably whilst running. There are also many apps to help you work this out.
The reason you take your heart rate before the run is to gauge how fit you are getting. The lower your resting heart rate, the fitter you are becoming. In order to be even more accurate, take your resting heart before you even get out of bed in the morning.
Partaking in more exercise will, in turn, mean you will want to eat more. And, that isn’t a bad thing, because you need to fuel your body, or you won’t be able to improve. However, there is a fine line between fueling and stuffing. And, most just don’t get it.
What you eat will determine your weight loss even more so than how much you run.
Its 80% diet and 20% exercise.
This means that you should be paying 80% more attention to what, how much and when you eat, and less on exercise. But, in addition, it really means expending 20% of your energy on weight loss through exercise, and 80% of weight loss through how you eat. It doesn’t come easy, but with a little planning, focus and repeating, you will find it is the only way to live.
Cross Training Trivia
Consider adding a cross training activity. Mixing in cycling, swimming or even walking not only help your muscles recover, but can build strength too.
When it comes to weight loss, the benefits of cross training are phenomenal. It gives the body a little shock, whereby the fat can be targeted in a different manner.
What works for one person doesn’t necessarily work for another. It will be a bit of a trial and error, but once you find your happy place, you will be soaring high, and watching those pounds fall off.