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6 Common Mistakes to Avoid with Weight Loss Strategy

Running is a great form of exercise for weight loss. However, many people make mistakes that sabotage their weight loss efforts.

6 Common Mistakes to Avoid When Using Running as a Weight Loss Strategy

Avoid these 6 common mistakes when using running as your primary weight loss strategy.

1. Not Changing Your Diet

Simply adding running without adjusting your diet often leads to disappointment. To lose weight, you need to burn more calories than you consume. Run for 30-60 minutes per day but continue eating large portions or high-calorie foods and you may see little benefit. Closely monitor your calorie intake, aim for a modest calorie deficit to lose 1-2 pounds per week, and prioritize whole, unprocessed foods such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean protein, and healthy fats. Support your increased activity level with proper fuel.

Some runners take supplements like protein or branched-chain amino acid (BCAA) powders to support muscle growth, performance, and recovery. Supplements like thermogenic fat burning pills can make a big difference if you are trying to achieve your weight loss target faster.

2. Pushing Too Hard Too Fast

When you are excited about a new running program, it’s easy to overdo it by running too far, too fast, too soon. This leads to burnout, injury, and giving up. Slowly increase your running time and distance by no more than 10 percent each week. Modify workouts in response to pain or extreme fatigue. Build gradually so your body can adapt. Consider a beginner “Couch to 5K” program rather than simply running as far as you can every workout. These structured programs build endurance progressively.

3. Not Strength Training

Cardio burns calories, but strength training builds metabolism-boosting muscle. Without strength training, running eats away at muscle as well as fat. Pair running with 2-3 days per week of total-body strength training. Lift weights, use resistance bands, or do bodyweight exercises like pushups and lunges. Preserve and build muscle while losing fat. Focus on major muscle groups like legs, back, chest, shoulders, and core for best results.

4. Expecting Fat Spot Reduction

You cannot control where you lose fat, despite claims that certain running workouts blast belly, hip, or thigh fat. Your body loses fat evenly all over in response to calorie deficit. While belly fat reduces health risks, remind yourself that the number on a scale and how clothing fits matter more than specific area slimming. Add planks, crunches and other core moves to enhance abdominal tone as you get leaner.

5. Neglecting Rest and Recovery

Rest days are as important as running days when trying to lose weight. Fat burning occurs during recovery. After intense sessions, take at least 1-2 days off per week from running to allow muscle repair and prevent overtraining. Sleep 7-9 hours nightly. Schedule easy, slow jogs when you are feeling fatigued. Proper rest facilitates weight loss. Prioritize active recovery like walking, gentle yoga or light cycling on some rest days.

6. Overestimating Calorie Burn

Running burns substantial calories, but wrist devices and running apps tend to overestimate calorie expenditure, sometimes by up to 50 percent. This leads runners to overeat. Get an accurate baseline by using an online calculator that accounts for your weight, pace/distance, and elapsed time. Eat back no more than 30-50% of estimated calories burned through running for steady weight loss.

Running is a simple yet challenging exercise that torches calories and unwanted fat – as long as you avoid these common mistakes. Adjust your diet, train sensibly, lift weights, take rest days, and monitor your calorie deficit. Making running work for weight loss takes patience and persistence, but the results make it worthwhile. Stay positive through plateaus and setbacks by focusing on your health and feelings of accomplishment.

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