If you love running for the sake of running, great. That’s awesome, and you’ll probably be a healthier and happier human for it. But if you’re picking up running because your friend lost 30 pounds as soon as he started jogging in the mornings and you’re trying to lose the same, please stop.
In this episode of What’s Good, Greatist founder Derek Flanzraich explains the ways running for weight loss can be physically and mentally damaging to you—as well as some other effective strategies you can try if you want to lose weight.
- Exercise isn’t the best way to lose weight. Isolated aerobic exercise and weight loss: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. Thorogood A, Mottillo S, Shimony A. The American journal of medicine, 2011, Sep.;124(8):1555-7162.
Schwingshackl L, Dias S, Hoffmann G. Impact of long-term lifestyle programmes on weight loss and cardiovascular risk factors in overweight/obese participants: a systematic review and network meta-analysis. Systematic Reviews. 2014;3:130. doi:10.1186/2046-4053-3-130.
Wilks DC, Sharp SJ, Ekelund U, et al. Objectively Measured Physical Activity and Fat Mass in Children: A Bias-Adjusted Meta-Analysis of Prospective Studies. Gravenor M, ed. PLoS ONE. 2011;6(2):e17205. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0017205.
- People overestimate how many calories are burned during exercise. Normal weight men and women overestimate exercise energy expenditure. Willbond SM, Laviolette MA, Duval K. The Journal of sports medicine and physical fitness, 2011, May.;50(4):0022-4707.
Low fat loss response after medium-term supervised exercise in obese is associated with exercise-induced increase in food reward. Finlayson G, Caudwell P, Gibbons C. Journal of obesity, 2010, Sep.;2011():2090-0716.
- Weight training and interval training are more effective weight-loss strategies. EPOC Comparison Between Isocaloric Bouts of Steady-State Aerobic, Intermittent Aerobic, and Resistance Training. Greer BK, Sirithienthad P, Moffatt RJ. Research quarterly for exercise and sport, 2015, Feb.;86(2):2168-3824.
Acute effects of exercise on energy intake and feeding behaviour. Imbeault P, Saint-Pierre S, Alméras N. The British journal of nutrition, 1997, Jun.;77(4):0007-1145.
- Seventy-nine percent of runners are injured at least once per year. Lun V, Meeuwisse W, Stergiou P, Stefanyshyn D. Relation between running injury and static lower limb alignment in recreational runners. British Journal of Sports Medicine. 2004;38(5):576-580. doi:10.1136/bjsm.2003.005488.
Derek Flanzraich is Greatist’s founder and CEO. What’s Good is his take on the news, trends, and issues worth talking about in health and wellness. Sign up and get his column (plus puppy GIFs and other funsies) delivered every Sunday.
Running for Weight Loss: Why It Doesn’t Work