Best Tips for Running for Weight Loss | Eat This Not That

best running tips for weight loss

Lossing Weight / April 27, 2022

Don't Cut Too Many Calories
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When it comes to weight loss, runners should think of calories in terms of energy. If you don't take in enough calories, you won't have the energy you need to fuel your workouts. This means that you'll likely end up burning fewer calories.

"If you're eating right for your sport, you can lose the excess weight in a healthy way without experiencing fatigue and poor workouts, " says Barbara Lewin, a registered dietitian, sports nutritionist and founder of "It's not about deprivation. If you're eating for energy, the weight will come off."

Eat Breakfast
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"Breakfast is literally 'breaking the fast, '" Lewin says. "You want to jumpstart your metabolism and start burning those calories; if you're really not hungry, you need to look at what you've been eating the night before."

Put simply, eating a good breakfast can set you up for optimal calorie burn and energy levels the rest of the day. Just make sure it's a balanced breakfast that includes carbohydrates to help fuel your workout. Oatmeal with nut butter and fruit or toast with an egg white are great options that include both carbs and protein.

Hit the Weights
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By including strength training in your workout routine, you burn extra calories and achieve that lean look. Not only will this help tone your muscles, it'll also bump up your metabolism so you keep burning long after leaving the gym.

"Getting to the gym three times a week just for 30 minutes to do a simple circuit routine is probably better and more efficient than adding in a longer run, " says Regina Hammond, a registered dietitian and USA Triathlon certified coach.

Time Your Meals
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It's important for athletes to time their nutrition in order to best fuel the muscles.

"If your workouts are in the morning, your dinner definitely shouldn't be your biggest meal, " Lewin says. "Make sure that you're getting adequate amounts of carbs prior to your workout and have a recovery snack that contains carbohydrates and a little protein, like fat-free chocolate milk or, if you're vegan, you can use almond milk, a banana and a scoop of plant protein with some ice in the blender."

Don't Overdo the Sports Nutritionals
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There's a time and a place for nutritionals, like gels and sports drinks.

"There's no reason to use them in most cases if your workout is less than an hour, " Lewin says.

While the electrolytes, sugar and other ingredients can play an important role when you're out for a long run or during a race, you're better off reaching for a piece of fruit and a glass of water before or after a shorter run.

Plan Ahead
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When you plan out your meals for the week, you're more likely to stay on the track of healthy eating.

"Planning and sticking to a routine tends to remove some of the chatter involved in making food decisions, " Hammond says. "It also removes the risk of eating impulse foods that almost always affect blood sugar levels and make us the victims of craving and grazing."

Don't Forget to Snack
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Depending on what time of day you run, it's important to keep your energy levels up. To do this, be sure to include some healthy snacks in your meal planning.