Does Running Help You Lose Weight? Know The Science Behind It!

Forget the crash diets and restrictive meal plans that leave you feeling hangry and defeated. Running offers a powerful, sustainable approach to weight loss that not only burns calories but also delivers a range of health benefits. It’s a fantastic way to transform your body, boost your energy levels, and improve your overall well-being.

This blog will be your one-stop guide to understanding the weight loss benefits of running. We’ll learn the science behind how running burns calories, explore different running styles, and provide tips to get you started, even if you’re a complete beginner. Let’s understand why is running good for weight loss in this blog.

How Does Running Help with Weight Loss? The Science Behind It!

Running is a fantastic tool for achieving your weight loss goals. Running for weight loss goes beyond just burning calories during your workout and offers a multi-pronged attack on unwanted pounds. Let’s explore the science behind how running helps you shed weight and keeps it off.

Read More: Best Indian Diet Plan Chart for Weight Loss

The Calorie-Torch:

Compared to many exercises, running boasts an impressive calorie-burning rate. This efficiency stems from the fact that running engages large muscle groups throughout your body, demanding significant energy expenditure. The faster you run, the more calories you burn per minute. For the ambitious runner, WebMD suggests that a high-intensity 30-minute run can scorch up to 671 calories (think a pace where you can hold a conversation, but singing would be out of the question).

The EPOC Advantage:

The benefits of running extend beyond your actual run time. Excess Post-exercise Oxygen Consumption (EPOC) is a metabolic afterburn effect. According to the Cleveland Clinic, during EPOC, your body continues to work overtime, leading to a 6% to 15% increase in overall calorie consumption to replenish the oxygen used during your run. This translates to additional calorie burning even after you’ve stopped running, maximizing your weight loss efforts.

Taming Hunger:

Running, particularly high-intensity sessions, can be a friend to your appetite. It can influence the hormones that regulate hunger. According to UTSOUTHWESTERN Medical centre, says that running may decrease ghrelin, the “hunger hormone,” leading to less frequent hunger pangs. On the flip side, it can also increase levels of peptide YY (PYY) and leptin, hormones that promote feelings of fullness. This hormonal shift can lead to you feeling less hungry and potentially consuming fewer calories overall, aiding your weight loss journey.

Targeting the Stubborn Fat:

Not all fat is created equal. Visceral fat, the fat stored around your organs, is linked to a higher risk of chronic diseases. The good news is that running is adept at specifically targeting this harmful belly fat. By reducing visceral fat, running contributes to a healthier weight loss and reduces your risk of health problems.

Other Health Benefits:

Running also has other health benefits along with weight loss such as:

  1. Strengthens your heart and lungs
  2. Improves bone density
  3. Boosts mood and reduces stress
  4. Increases energy levels
  5. Enhances sleep quality

Read More: Is Diabetes An Unexplained Reason For Weight Loss?

Types of Running for Weight Loss

Types of Running for Weight Loss

All running styles can be beneficial for weight loss, but they work in slightly different ways:

Base Runs:

  • Think of these as your steady-state runs done at a conversational pace.
  • They burn a good amount of calories during the run itself.
  • While not the most intense, they are a great way to build endurance, which allows you to run further and burn more calories overall in future workouts.

Long Runs:

  • These are extended versions of base runs, typically lasting over an hour.
  • They tap into your body’s fat stores for fuel after burning through readily available carbohydrates.
  • This makes them effective for burning a significant amount of calories, especially after that first hour.

Interval Training:

  • This involves alternating periods of high-intensity effort with periods of rest or low-intensity activity.
  • These bursts of intensity significantly elevate your heart rate and burn a lot of calories during the workout.
  • The afterburn effect (EPOC) is also particularly strong with interval training, meaning your body continues to burn calories at a higher rate even after you’ve finished.

Uphill Runs:

  • Running uphill adds a challenging element to your workout, forcing your muscles to work harder.
  • This translates to burning more calories per minute compared to running on flat terrain.
  • Uphill runs can also help build strength and power in your legs.

Recovery Runs:

  • These are easy-paced runs done after a harder workout or on rest days.
  • While they don’t burn a ton of calories themselves, they play a crucial role in muscle recovery, which is essential for continued progress and preventing injuries.

The best approach isn’t necessarily to stick to just one type of running. Consider incorporating a mix of these styles into your weekly routine to maximize your weight loss efforts and keep your workouts interesting.

Read More: Lose Your Weight to Reverse Diabetes

Getting Started with Running:

Here’s a breakdown of how to begin running for weight loss:

Ease In:

The key is to start slow and gradually increase intensity and duration. Don’t jump into long distances right away. Alternate walk/run intervals for the first week. This helps you build endurance without pushing your body too hard.

Follow a Plan:

Even if you’re a beginner, you can start reaping the weight loss benefits of running with a simple plan:

Sample Running Plan:

Week Running Interval Walking Interval Total Duration
1 30 seconds 1 minute 15-20 minutes
2 45 seconds 1 minute 15-20 minutes
3 Continuous 20-25 minutes
4 Continuous 30 minutes OR Add 1 day

This is a great starting point to structure your runs and gradually increase difficulty. There are also many couch-to-5k programs available online or through apps that can guide you through a beginner-friendly running journey.

Listen to Your Body:

It’s important to pay attention to your body. Don’t be afraid to walk during your runs if you get tired. It’s better to listen to your body and avoid injuries than push yourself too hard too soon.

Proper Gear:

Invest in a good pair of running shoes that fit well and provide proper support. Comfortable clothing that allows for movement is also important.

Find Motivation:

Running with a friend or joining a running group can boost motivation and keep you accountable. You can also try exploring new running routes to keep things interesting. Track your progress using a fitness app or journal to celebrate your milestones and stay motivated.

Remember, consistency is key. Stick to your plan, listen to your body, and gradually increase difficulty as you get stronger. There are many resources available online and in apps to help you get started with running. You can also consult a doctor or certified trainer for personalized advice.

Staying Motivated:

  • Find a running buddy or join a running group for support and accountability.
  • Explore new running routes to keep things interesting.
  • Track your progress and celebrate your milestones.
  • Invest in comfortable running shoes and gear.

Read More: 7 Best Foods That Burn Fat & Help You Lose Weight


Running is a powerful tool for weight loss and overall health. With a little planning and dedication, you can unlock the many benefits of running and achieve your fitness goals. So, whether you’re a seasoned runner or just starting out, get ready to lace up your shoes, torch some calories, and conquer your weight loss goals with the power of running!

FAQ’s (Frequently Asked Questions)

Is running beneficial for weight loss?

Absolutely! Running is a fantastic calorie burner. Compared to many exercises, you can burn a significant number of calories in a shorter time while running..

What is a good running regimen for weight loss?

The best running regimen for weight loss depends on your current fitness level. But remember, consistency is key! Gradually increase the intensity and duration of your runs as you get stronger.

Walking vs running for weight loss? What’s better?

Both walking and running are excellent for weight loss. Running burns more calories per minute, but brisk walking is still a fantastic way to burn calories and improve your cardiovascular health

How much running is good for weight loss?

Running for about 30 minutes at 10 km per hour is excellent for weight loss. It burns around 372 calories, which benefits anyone aiming to lose weight.

Last Updated on by Dr. Damanjit Duggal 


This site provides educational content; however, it is not a substitute for professional medical guidance. Readers should consult their healthcare professional for personalised guidance. We work hard to provide accurate and helpful information. Your well-being is important to us, and we value your feedback. To learn more, visit our editorial policy page for details on our content guidelines and the content creation process.

Leave a Reply


Doctor Led Clinically Proven Weight Loss Program

Book a Session