Running Questions - Answers
How many calories should I burn to lose 1 pound?
Avatar Robert Bill
20 January 2018

I’ve been working out for months now and I don’t think I’m even losing a little bit. Do you know how many calories I should burn to lose 1 pound?

Answer :
Elizabeth Carlson
16 January 2018

Unfortunately, there is no easy way to answer this simply because there is no "one size fits all" for burning calories and losing weight. Everybody is different and every body is different. There are a number of factors to consider when figuring out how efficiently (or inefficiently) your body burns calories. The two big factors to consider are the scientific facts that remain true across the board and your individual metabolism.

The facts are simple: there are 3500 calories in a pound. So technically, to lose a pound through calorie deficit, you need to burn 3500 calories more than you take in. If you think about that in a more realistic approach, you can break it down to having a goal to lose one pound a week. To do so, aim to get a deficit of 500 calories a day. After 7 days of that, you'll be in a 3500 calorie deficit and, if you're playing a numbers game, then technically you've lost a pound.

However, we are thankfully so much more than just a numbers game. Our metabolisms are amazing things, and they also vary greatly between individuals based on things like age, gender, and genetics. "Faster metabolisms" generally burn more calories in order to just sustain life (not even considering how many calories you need to replace what you lose through exercise).

If you want to lose weight, running is a great way to burn excess calories. But you also HAVE to focus on your diet. You absolutely need a clean, healthy diet if you want to lose weight. Running will help boost that metabolism, but it won't make up for thousands of calories consumed through junk food. Think about it: running four miles is a feat in and of itself! It's not easy to be a distance runner. It's hard work! But running four miles actually only burns about 400-500 calories. If you come back and refuel with a bagel breakfast sandwich, you've just easily replaced all the calories you just burned - and then some. If there's one thing to remember, it's this: "You can't outrun a bad diet!"

Sources:
https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/how-many-calories-per-day
https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/weight-loss/in-depth/calories/art-20048065

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