There are many myths around weight loss and fat loss out there, and to achieve your goals, you need to know the cold hard facts. Weight loss is just one of many benefits of running, but there is more to it than that. Exercise actively helps burn fat, but what effect does running have? And how do you have to run to really trigger weight loss?
The short story is – running uses up energy. And in order to lose weight, you must use more calories than you consume. Freeletics Running contains workouts which burn even more than regular distance running. And if you choose „lose weight”as your Coach goal, you will be running an optimal mixture of these workouts to optimize the effect and maximize the amount of calories burned, hence boosting weight loss. So running regularly will help tip your energy balance in the right direction, and Freeletics Running will keep it there.
Distance Running and aerobic training
Running aerobically will, among many other positive effects, train your fat metabolism. As a rule of thumb, if you can hold a brief conversation while running, it is aerobic training. But why is it important? Aerobic running means enough oxygen to be transported to the muscles. That allows aerobic energy generation and will increase the absolutely number of calories burned by the body, because you can run longer. Usually, the body will metabolize more carbohydrates than fat during exercise. Because of aerobic training the body learns to use its energy supply systems more effectively. Furthermore, the body can transport more oxygen and is able to generate more energy through fat, because this needs more oxygen than generating energy through carbohydrates. This is ideal, because without the carbohydrates, the body cannot burn fat. As more carbohydrates are left in the tank through this process, more intensive training can be completed before the body starts to slow down, such as more speed over a longer distance. Overall, this means that long and fast runs (aerobic running) will help to boost weight loss.
Do I need Interval Training to lose weight?
Comfortable distance runs are one way to lose weight, but it will take more time to do so like this. For fast and effective weight loss, more intensive runs are the way to go. Interval training burns more calories due to the high intensity and the afterburn effect is much stronger, due to the more complex regeneration process after training. As the body’s metabolism becomes optimized through training, it is able to use fat as energy and leave carbohydrates intact even during interval training, which would normally not be the case. But it is the general calorie burn – not fat burn – which is important for weight loss during interval training, because the fat metabolism isn’t relevant for such short intervals. But if the training lasts for over 90 seconds and then lasts longer and longer, the body will begin switch to generating energy aerobically again. And because the carbohydrates are left intact, longer and more intensive training intervals are possible.
Eating after Running
Nutrition plays a huge role in weight loss. But this doesn’t mean simply eating less. After your training, it is essential to eat the right things so that your body can regenerate properly – especially as it needs different nutrients when you become active. If you don’t eat after your run, you risk injury, a decline in performance and your body cannot regenerate effectively. After your training, you should be eating something rich in protein and with a few carbohydrates to ensure you will lose weight in a healthy way.
In general, one to two long slow runs a week are not as effective for weight loss as several short, intensive trainings, because the metabolism and afterburn effect work for longer after the latter. And only regular training will lead to real and long-lasting results. The time it takes to achieve your goals will depend on your starting weight – but in all cases patience and consistency are the key, along with the right nutrition. It is always better to lose weight slowly and healthily for it to stay off and to avoid injury.