Why Running Isn't Helping You Lose Weight! / by PJ Monson

 People are turning over a new leaf!  Fall weather brings with it new fitness goals.  When beginning any new fitness routine, the results will show (almost immediately). Outdoor running becomes more popular for those of us not willing to exercise in the hot summer heat.  However, what starts as a fun new fitness habit soon turns into a "runners trap" when people stop seeing the results of their efforts on the scale. Here might be some reasons why...

You Aren't Burning As Many Calories As You Think! Running is one of the best ways to burn calories, but the average person only burns around 100 calories per mile. Say you run about three miles at a standard 10-minute mile pace, you are actually only burning around 300 calories. The post-workout latte from Starbucks, alone, will neutralize that calorie deficit. To lose a pound a week, we must have a deficit of 500 calories per day. Combine your calorie deficit with a diet in nutrient-rich food to keep the scale number going down.

Stay Out Of Your Rut By Changing It Up!  One of the great things about running is the added stress relief it can bring. You find your favorite trail, pick your favorite songs, forget the world, and just run. It is mindless and it is peaceful. This is only a problem if your goal is weight loss. Your body eventually gets use to any repetitive stressor and so will burn less energy when performing the same activity. Make sure you take the time to add in variety to your weekly runs so that you are consistently challenging your body. This can be with speed intervals, hill runs, or faster distance runs. Check out our MyFitMojo Workout Board on Pinterest for interval run ideas.

Where's The Muscle? One of my favorite things to tell my clients is a strong core makes for better running but running does not make a stronger core. When at rest, a muscle burns more calories than fat. Muscle is also denser than fat so takes up less space on the body. Both of these facts reap huge benefits when it comes to maintaing a healthy weight and smaller waistline. The most muscle gained when running is only in the lower body. This means that a couple days a week you need to put away the running shoes and pick up the weights. Incorporating weight training will not only give you a smaller waistline, but also help you become a better runner. (Keep in mind that your actual weight may stay the same or even slightly increase if you start building lean muscle. This is actually a positive sign that you are building a faster metabolism, thus making it easier to stay in shape!)

Take advantage of this beautiful season by getting outside and getting active. The turning fall leaves create a beautiful canvas for fitness. 


PJ (MFM Fitness Coach)