A lot of runners are struggling with the weight. And it makes sense. Running burns calories, so you should be able to eat as many as you want and lose weight, right?
Unfortunately, this is not true. Many factors affect a runner’s struggle to lose weight, and they can all negatively impact your running if left unaddressed. If you’ve been running for a long time and have not lost any weight, your body is probably struggling with one or more factors. This post will provide 7 factors that I believe you should be aware of if you struggle to lose weight.
7 Factors Affect Runners Hard To Lose Weight And Solution
1. You’re taking in too many or not enough calories
Problem: Calories are the energy source that powers your running. You need to take in enough calories to fuel your runs, but if you’re taking in too many or too few, you will struggle to lose weight.
When you’re not running, you should be taking in about 1,200 calories each day.
If you consume roughly the same number of calories as people who don’t run but are still having problems losing weight, it may be a sign that you’re taking in too many calories. This can be due to consuming high-calorie foods such as energy bars, protein shakes, or supplements. Due to the fact that most runners follow pretty healthy diets, this is uncommon, and it’s more likely that they are just not burning off enough calories through their activities.
Solution: It’s a good idea to keep a food diary to see where you can cut around 100 calories and still feel full.
Tracking your energy levels is an easy way to monitor how much you’re struggling with weight loss and can also help you adjust your calorie intake accordingly.
If your energy levels are very low, even after eating enough calories, it could indicate that you’re consuming too many calories or they are not being burned through your daily activities.
2. You’re building muscle
Problem: When you’re working out, you’ll notice that you build muscle. It gets tougher to lose weight the more muscle you have. This is because muscle makes a lot of energy, which can be used to fuel your running even when you’re not running.
As a runner, if you are looking to lose weight and are building too much muscle, your body will have a tougher time burning fat if you gain weight because it will occupy more space in the calorie-burning calculation.
However, if you’re not putting on enough muscle, it will be nearly impossible to lose weight.
Solution: To avoid this, you must still train hard on your regular runs with large amounts of hills and high-intensity sessions.
Focusing on strength and speed training is a very important part of a runner’s training program and should not be disregarded while you are routinely running.
To avoid gaining too much muscle, you should include a mixture of weekly sessions that focus on strength and speed training with your regular running program.
3. You’re not burning as many calories as you think
Problem: Runners often think that they are burning a lot of calories, but the truth is that this isn’t always the case. This might be a significant issue for runners who are trying to lose weight because it means that even when they consume the same number of calories as others, they will still find it increasingly difficult to lose weight.
Solution: The easiest way to accurately monitor your calorie expenditure is using a GPS watch or heart rate monitor with a chest strap. These devices will keep track of your distance and time, and heart rate so that you can be sure these are the right numbers. If you’re using an iPhone, I would recommend downloading a running app with an inbuilt GPS feature.
To accurately measure your calorie expenditure, it’s important to have a good base level of fitness to work from so that you can be sure that any changes are due to the extra activity and not just because you’re eating more food.
Also, keep track of the food you eat each day and use an online tool like MyFitnessPal to determine how many calories you’ve burned.
Unfortunately, even if you note how many calories you’re burning each day and watch the numbers on the scale go down, you may not be losing weight because of something as simple as food labeling.
For example, if you’re eating a steak and pair of fries for lunch one day but only burn 400 calories for the day, this does not mean losing weight.
To lose weight, you must be taking in fewer calories than your body needs to maintain its current mass. So, if you’re eating 1,200 calories but only burning 400 calories daily, you’re still not losing weight.
Many people have different calorie needs based on age and gender, so it’s important to use an online calculator to calculate these numbers. You can get a good notion of the correct calorie intake for the weight loss program that you are running.
4. You’re not eating enough protein
Problem: Protein is essential for muscle building and has been shown to increase your body weight by as much as 3% if you eat too little. This is partly due to the water associated with protein, so you will notice a considerable increase in your weight even though it is mostly from additional water.
Solution: Although there are no hard and fast rules, I would recommend the following ranges of protein intake for runners who are trying to lose weight and build muscle at the same time:
Calories per kg BW Minimum Maximum 100 lbs or 45kg 1.2g 0.8g 110-125 lbs or 50-60kg 1g 0.8g 120-135 lbs or 55-65kg 0.96g 0.8g 132-145 lbs or 60-70kg 0.88g 0.6g 140-160 lbs or 65-80kg 0.8g 0.6g 160+ lbs or 80+ kgs 0.6g 0.4g
To calculate your minimum, maximum and ideal protein requirements, you’ll need to work out your weight in kilograms and divide this by 2.2 to get the number of grams per kilogram of bodyweight.
If you’re having trouble getting in shape or losing weight and are having problems with your eating habits, it may be worth checking with a sports nutritionist to see if you want to change anything about your diet for it to work more effectively for a runner trying to lose weight.
5. Your metabolism is going slow
Problem: If you’re having trouble losing weight and find that even when you’re eating less and exercising more, it’s not enough, then there is a good chance that your metabolism is slowing down.
Unfortunately, the exact reasons for this are still unknown, but it’s likely to have something to do with the amount of food you eat or how your body handles it.
Solution: If you’ve tried the above steps and still aren’t losing weight, it might be wise to consult your doctor to determine if your body is producing enough hormones to keep your metabolism going strong. It’s also worth checking that you’re not deficient in any of the following vitamins and minerals because some of these may be responsible for making it harder to lose weight:
Protein: With regards to this particular vitamin, its levels in the body are often low in people trying to lose weight. And because protein is necessary for building muscle, you must ensure you’re getting enough of this vitamin in your diet.
Cellular growth: If you’re not getting enough calcium in your diet, it could be holding back the cellular regeneration process, which could be slowing down your body’s ability to lose fat.
Hormonal regulation: Although I’ve mentioned some of the hormones already in this article, there are others as well, including leptin and ghrelin, which can control the hunger response in your body. If you’re not getting enough of these hormones in your diet, then you could be experiencing a slowing down of your metabolism.
Note: Taking certain supplements on top of the above-mentioned vitamins and minerals may help increase how much energy your body has to use during a workout, but this will only work if it’s fully balanced with the other nutrients.
6. You’ve lost portion control, eating too much to compensate
Problem: Although you might be exercising more, you’re still not losing weight. And a lack of portion control is often to blame.
This issue can be a big one because it can make you eat so much that you’re not even losing weight, and no matter how much you try to resist the temptation, you just can’t stop yourself from eating the entire bag or box of chocolate or a whole block of cheese.
Solution: One of the most important rules for weight loss is to make things as simple as possible and stick to a diet that consists of whole foods. Processed and packaged foods are often full of fat and sugar, so if you don’t need these in the first place, it makes sense to stay away from them.
If you’re trying to lose weight and have a hard time resisting chocolate or foods containing large amounts of sugar, then it might be a good idea to try out something like XS chocolate, made with green coffee bean extract. This works by turning off the hunger response in your brain and helping you achieve losing weight while keeping your favorite foods.
Although not all foods will work for this, individual ingredients from different meals or dinners are worth trying to see which ones make the biggest difference to your body.
Besides that, eating too much junk food also affects weight loss.
For example, if you’re a fan of microwave meals and one serving of lasagna contains 500 calories and 33 grams of fat, then it’s not difficult to work out that eating two servings will be enough to make you gain weight in the first place.
So, if you’re trying to lose weight and this is still not working, it might be a good idea to try cutting down your food intake. Even if you have a lot of cravings for junk food, it’s worth making an effort to drop some of these foods from your daily diet as there are much healthier alternatives that will help you achieve results in the long term.
7. Intensity Matters
Problem: Exercise intensity is known to be a big factor in weight loss. A higher-intensity workout will burn more calories both during and after, and it will also help build more muscle mass.
That said, a lower-intensity workout can still be effective for weight loss, but it does take more time for your body to transform fat into energy. And this means that you’ll have to spend several hours at the gym every week to get similar results as someone exercising at an intense level.
To make sure you’re working out at the proper intensity, you should be able to carry out your workout for 30 minutes without stopping. If it takes more than 10 minutes for this to happen, then you’ll need to work harder. And if it still doesn’t work after that long, then it’s time to ask yourself if you’ve gotten the right type of exercise yet.
Solution: The most important thing determining how hard your workout is simply how much energy you have in your body and the number of calories you need. And this is where the intensity can come in.
If you do enough weight training and cardio, then it’s likely that you’ll have the energy to spare, which means that you don’t necessarily need to go for a high-intensity workout to get results.
It doesn’t take too much exercise to get the proper level of fitness required if you’re doing it right first of all, but even if you’re working out at relatively low levels, it’s still important to stick to your workouts and make them properly intense.
If you’re hitting the gym every day and not getting anywhere, you should try switching things around and find out why it’s not working. It could be that you need to exercise harder, or it could be something completely different.
You can also try out different exercises and see what works for you, but it’s important to ensure that you’re exercising the right way first.
The Advantages of Running
The advantages of running are numerous and diverse and are often overlooked by many people because of the common misconception that running is a very boring activity.
However, this is often not the case, particularly if you run along scenic routes where you might see picturesque views on your way. Below are a few of the key benefits of running:
1. Weight loss and toning
By far, the most major benefit to personally is weight loss – running does burn fat when you’re doing it regularly; there are no two ways about that. It aids in keeping a healthy weight and prevents you from gaining fat.
2. Fitness level and endurance
Running helps improve stamina and lung capacity, which improves with time. Besides that, running is quite a low-impact form of exercise and doesn’t stress your joints.
Running can be an effective treatment for joint pains and injuries, particularly if you choose to do cardio exercises simultaneously.
3. Makes you feel better
Running is a great method for improving mental health and keeping your mind young. So many people are unhappy when they first start running, but after a while, they start to notice a change in their mood – a slight lift in spirits, improved sleep, and a general sense of well-being is the result.
4. Lower stress levels
The physical benefits of running are obvious, and the stress relief is just as clear.
Running increases your flexibility and makes it easier to fall without hurting yourself.
5. It’s cheap
You can start running quite cheaply, a decent pair of trainers and some trousers will do fine. You can then add new accessories as you go along if you like.
Benefits of Losing Weight
The benefits of losing weight are varied and are often overlooked by many people because of the common misconception that being thinner is a big deal. However, this is often not the case, particularly if your goal is to look good in the short term. Regardless of your long-term goals, there are still several immediate health advantages to losing weight:
1. Better appearance
Most people who lose weight do so primarily to look better – for example if you’re overweight and your clothing doesn’t fit properly, or perhaps you need a new wardrobe because of your larger size. Losing weight will be a good way to get yourself looking better. Although it may seem shallow, there are many benefits to this – for example, if you have more self-confidence, you might find it easier to make friends and get out there in the world.
2. Better physical health
Being thinner helps prevent several serious illnesses, including all types of cancer. Many other serious diseases can be prevented by losing weight, such as type 2 diabetes, low blood pressure, and high cholesterol.
3. Better mental health
It’s no coincidence that most people who lose weight also feel slightly better about their appearance and put on a ‘nicer’ air about themselves. This also makes it easier to make friends and even find a partner – losing weight will make you feel better about yourself.
4. Lower risks of heart problems
When you lose weight, your blood pressure and cholesterol levels go down, which can help improve the condition of your heart while reducing the risk of future ailments such as heart attacks.
5. Improved athletic performance
We tone up when we lose weight because everything improves – your cardiovascular health and lung capacity improve, your knees and ankles will be more durable, and it makes you more flexible.
How do runners lose weight fast?
If you’re interested in learning how to lose weight quickly, you will need to work out. However, exercise is not the only method of weight loss because there are many other more effective ways. For example, many different weight loss supplements can be used in conjunction with exercise, which is a good way to supplement your workout routine with something new. There are also various methods for reducing calories, and many people find that they lose weight this way.
Can running too much prevent weight loss?
Running can cause you to lose weight, but it can also prevent losing fat. If you run too much, you’re exercising at a higher intensity than your body can, and it will avoid losing weight to protect itself.
This means that if you do too many endurance activities like running or cycling, then your body will tap more into your fat stores instead of burning the calories that are coming in from food. Running is great for reducing body fat, but you need to do it properly and not hurt yourself.
Why are some runners still fat?
If you’re a runner and want to lose weight but find that it’s not happening, there are several logical explanations for this. The obvious one is that you’re eating too much, which is understandable if your body needs more calories to perform well while exercising. However, there may also be a problem with your exercise regimen, and you might want to try something new if you find that things aren’t getting any better.
Why am I putting on weight while running?
If you’re a runner and you put on weight while running, you may be running too much. Some people who do endurance activities put on weight because they expect their bodies to function differently. The body needs food to function, so if you’re training too hard with less food, Instead of using your fat, it will be compelled to use its energy reserves. If so, you ought to take it easy for a bit before getting back to your regular schedule after a few days.