Saturday, January 16, 2010

Losing weight with a running program

I received a question from a reader that is starting running program with the hope of losing a number of pounds that they picked up since their colleage days. He asked if I had any suggestions on how to lose as many punds in the shortest amount of time.

First, I want to say that it depends on a number of factors. I struggle myself with keeping weight off but am glad that I have this lifetime sport (which I love) to help me in maintaining a weight I find acceptable.

I say 'acceptable' because we all have different goals. Some want to just take off 5-10 pounds, some want to take off 50-100. As George Sheehan said, "All of us are an experiment of one." But I will impart what I believe is a truth that is true regardless of your goal. If you're running now, more running is not as effective as diet, and if you're starting from a base of non-running, running will work wonders for you.

Here's what I've found. I've been able to lose 2-3 pounds in a week by adding more running miles, but 4-6 pounds in a week by cutting back on the amount of calories that I eat.

But again, remember that I've been active in running for the past 25 years. If you are not a regular runner, you may think, 'If he's ben running for 25 years and can only lose 2-3 pounds per week, what's the use of me trying?' But imagine the advantage you have on me. If you start running now, combine diet with exercise, you will be losing twice what I can accomplish.

How many miles should you start with? That's the subject for tomorrow's blog.

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