Trust me, weight loss is one of the reasons I picked up running (and triathlon) all those years ago. But after some research and adopting the ChiRunning philosophy, my outlook has changed.
I even had a great conversation this weekend with some friends while I was in Toronto to teach a workshop about this very subject.
Yes you burn calories while you run, or do any other activity for that matter. But as humans, we overestimate the calories we burn and underestimate the calories we consume. A very bad combination!
What happens when you come home from your long run? You devour everything in your sight, probably consuming close to if not more than the calories you just spent hours burning. It’s not your fault, it’s the way we’re built since we didn’t always have food this readily available.
Recent studies show us weight loss is heavily influenced by nutrition more than exercise level. The good thing though is that long distance exercise makes you realize that food is fuel.
The bad thing is that a new research shows that unfortunately, outside of regularly scheduled exercise sessions, active people sit just as much as their couch-potato peers.
Also experience shows us that most runners get hurt every year. It sucks but it happens for most runners so if your weight loss plan is heavily dependent on running for the burning of calories, you’re fighting a losing battle.
The more I read, the more my reasons to run change, but that’s a post for another day!
Don’t get me wrong, running is awesome and I recommend it for everyone. And there are some great stories of folks picking up running and losing a ton of weight. If you look closer though, it’s not just the running that will be the main culprit. It is a great motivator though.
I just don’t want to get into the business of selling dreams. Run to run and see the magical changes occur…
P.S. Run Fat Boy Run is a great movie if you want some motivation or some laughs!