The cornerstone of many a diet: calories. When it comes to losing weight with running calories do still count and you do need to keep an eye on them. Here’s why – failure to lose weight with running comes down to two things:
1) Overestimating calories required
2) Overestimating calories burned
Both of these mistakes can ultimately lead to failure as the runner eats too much, struggles to lose weight or loses some weight then reaches a plateau and then gives up.
Let’s take the first one – overestimating calories required. It’s widely published that the average daily calories requirements are 2500 for men and 2000 for women. But these are just averages. The do not take account of age, health history or activity level. So let’s say you’re a women and you use 2000 calories as your base requirement. If you’ve struggled to lose weight you’ve probably been eating too many calories to start with.
Of the two calorie mistakes the second is probably more common. You may see a workout online or in a magazine that states you’ll burn 300 calories by doing it but that takes no account of the individual’s age, metabolism or how hard they do the workout!!
As we have said already the way to lose weight is to consistently create a calorie deficit. You can achieve this by simply taking the average requirement for men (2500) and women (2000) and work from there.
You can avoid another weight loss mistake by trimming your calories by 300 per day. This should allow you to exercise effectively and lose weight and still feel full of energy. If you find the scales haven’t moved and you still have lots of energy you can shave a little more off your calorie intake.
The exception to this may be if you’re overeating by a considerable amount. For example if you’re an inactive female aged 37 and you’re consuming 3000 calories a day, deducting 300 calories from what you should be consuming (e.g. 1700) will make a big difference.
The trouble with using the averages for men and women is they are just that: averages. They don’t apply to YOU. What we can do though is get a better idea of what may be right for you buy calculating your calorie needs.
Your actual daily calorie requirement is known as your basal metabolic rate (BMR). The BMR is the minimum number of calories your body needs to keep going if you sat and did nothing all day. It takes account of height, weight and age and gender so it’s a better if not absolute guide.
Your BMR is then modified according to the level of activity you do each week to get an idea of what your daily calorie requirement is. Again, this is not an absolute figure but it is a useful starting point….calculate your daily calorie requirement!.
So now you have an estimate of your calorie requirement to maintain your current weight. Now deduct 300 from that figure and you’re ready to get started 🙂
Our aim is to get you to lose weight in a sustainable way. The best way to do this is to do it gradually by aiming for 1 to 2 pounds per week.
The other big calorie mistake as mentioned above is overestimating the calories burned during exercise. Without going to see a doctor or similar professional who has the means to test you individually it’s difficult to get an accurate figure. However, so that you can record your progress you can use this online calculator to determine the calories burned while running….calculate your calories burned!.