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Why Haven’t You Lost Weight Despite Running for So Long?

Before we start discussing running to lose weight, I want to ask a question first: What exactly does it mean to be thin?

Most people are pursuing thinness on the surface, but they are actually pursuing beauty and the beauty that a better life brings. In modern society, food supplies are plentiful, so less fat generally means healthier and stronger bodies. Although the fashion industry has pursued pathological skinny beauty, a stronger, toned body is often defined as beauty in mainstream society. From this perspective, it is not accurate to measure whether you are thin simply by weight, so don’t be complacent because you are 1-2 kilograms lighter, and don’t question whether you should stick to your current way just because your weight has increased by 2 kilograms.

Don’t rely too much on body mass index. Body mass index (BMI) is a commonly used parameter to measure body fatness and health. Body mass index (BMI) = weight (kg) ÷ height^2 (m). However, BMI is greatly affected by race and individual lifestyle and exercise habits. For example, to European and American men, a BMI of 27 is nothing, but to an Asian man, it is overweight. An athlete who regularly works out may be very heavy and may have a BMI of over 25, but his fat content is not high, so he does not need to lose any special weight.

Body fat percentage, the weight of fat in the body is called body fat percentage. Body fat consists of subcutaneous fat and visceral fat. A reasonable body fat percentage can be considered “thin”. It is 12%-17% for men and 17%-21% for women. If you are serious about losing weight, buy a scale that measures body fat. Pay attention to your body fat changes every week and guide your diet and exercise.

What is the core of weight loss?

To put it simply, consumption is greater than intake, so diet is a key part . To put it simply, if the energy intake exceeds the amount consumed, the excess energy will be converted into fat and stored without being metabolized, which will cause us to gain weight. Therefore, it is necessary to break the original body metabolism pattern through exercise and dietary changes and gradually lose weight. A person weighing 75 kilograms consumes approximately 750-800 calories every 10 kilometers run, but due to exercise, the body’s metabolic rate and dietary intake will change to a certain extent. So it does not mean that running 10 roads for 10 days will reduce 1 kilogram. After establishing good exercise habits for 1-2 months, running 3-4 times a week while properly controlling your diet can lead to a decrease in body fat and weight.

People who want to lose weight and fat often hear terms like carbohydrates and GI, but do you really understand them?

Glycemic Index (GI) is used to measure the impact of food on raising blood sugar. The easier a food is to raise blood sugar, the higher the GI value. In layman’s terms, the easier it is to digest and absorb the food, the higher the GI value (porridge has a higher GI value than rice). Sugars, that is, carbohydrates, are foods that are more easily converted into glucose than fats and proteins, causing blood sugar to rise. Refined carbohydrates are processed and are easier to digest and absorb, so they have a higher GI. Be sure to avoid white rice, white steamed buns, white bread, white noodles and sweets in your daily diet.

If you’re not sure about the GI index of a particular carbohydrate, check it out online. Here are some common ones and some you might not expect.

High GI index carbohydrate foods:

  • Vegetables: potatoes, corn
  • High-sugar fruits: watermelon, pineapple, grapes (avoid all preserved fruits, such as dried mango)
  • All foods containing sugar and sweeteners (even if they are labeled as healthy): candies, carbonated drinks (Diet Cola is a lie!)
  • All foods containing finely processed flour, such as bread, noodles, pizza, cakes, biscuits, potato chips, cereals, etc.
  • Some foods that we think are healthy can also cause a large amount of insulin to be secreted, such as juice and large bananas (especially unripe bananas, you must not eat them)

Note: Juice, bananas, sugary sports drinks and energy gels can be safely supplemented during training and competition because the body’s insulin level will be at very low levels during exercise.

Medium and low GI carbohydrate foods:

  • High-fiber, shelly natural grains: brown rice, whole wheat
  • Low-sugar fruits: apples, peaches, pears, plums, apricots, grapefruit, cherries, berries, etc.
  • various beans
  • Various vegetables (carrots were previously considered to have a high index, but in fact they are not)
  • Vegetable juice: carrot juice, tomato juice
  • Honey

Therefore, the proportion of refined carbohydrates should be reduced in the daily diet, and high-fiber, multi-shell, low-processed starch should be used as the main food , and the intake of high-quality fat, high-quality protein and various vitamins should be increased. Be sure to eat more meat and vegetables ( Raw ones are better), fruits.

So how do you start running to lose weight?

When we choose running as a way to lose weight, you may have countless questions in your mind. How much should you run? How many times a week should you run? Do you want to buy a pair of running shoes? Do you want to sign up for a competition? Whether you are a newbie who has never run before, or someone who has not exercised regularly since leaving school, or someone who has interrupted exercise due to work and life and now wants to start exercising again. Focus your attention on the following three aspects in the early stages of running:

1. Assessment of one’s own status

Everyone’s previous exercise experience, busyness of work and life, and physical fitness vary greatly. Therefore there is no absolute standard. How many miles should everyone start running? How many times a week do you run? It should be evaluated through breathing during each run, fatigue, physical condition after running, and physical reaction the next day. The type of exercise also affects your running plan. When the training plan matches your body, it is easier to stick to it, sports injuries can be avoided, and it is easier to produce results.

2. Establish a running habit

For a weight-losser who is not experienced in exercise, do not rush to run longer distances and longer times. No matter if you insist on it for 1 week, 1 month or even 2 months, the weight loss effect will not be obvious. The plan should be set for half a year or longer. Start with an easier exercise intensity to allow your cardiopulmonary function and muscle joints to adapt to the rhythm and intensity of exercise.

By assessing your abilities and then categorizing them. The weakest can start the running plan by walking, the slightly stronger can start by running and walking, and those with better physical fitness can start by short-distance running and gradually increase the amount of running. Do not interrupt your running for more than 3 days, spend 6-8 weeks establishing a running habit, and strive to maintain uninterrupted running or brisk walking 2-3 times a week. Then set your goal to complete 5 kilometers. Ordinary people can achieve the goal of running 5 kilometers easily through 8-12 weeks of continuous exercise. Don’t let this goal happen too quickly, add a little more every week. If you don’t have a good exercise foundation, don’t set the distance to 5 kilometers or longer after 2 or 3 runs. Record your movements and pay attention to your body’s reactions. This stage seems to be a foundation that will affect some of the methods and habits of subsequent running training.

In the early stage, you can try to run at least 2 times a week. If time and energy allow, you can start from 3 times. After running for a long time, fatigue is a cumulative process. After the initial excitement period, the mind and body will enter the fatigue period. In the early stages of running, consciously establish a running habit. Even when you are tired or busy at work, take 20-30 minutes to go out for a walk. This exercise does not bring immediate weight loss, but it maintains the running habit and the body’s feeling of exercise. The next time you run, you won’t start over from the initial state.

3. Buy a pair of running shoes that suit you

When running, the weight of each landing is 2-3 times the body weight, and there are 120-140 impacts per minute. Don’t just wear a pair of casual sports shoes or sneakers and go out for a run. Whether it is to protect your joints or from the perspective of comfort, investing in a good pair of shoes that suits you is worthwhile.

Each brand has its own technical features, and different models also have different functions. There is no best running shoe, only the most suitable running shoe. Go to a sports brand store that has the conditions to test your foot shape and find the shoes that suit you. Visit a few stores and try them on. Your first pair of running shoes can be designed for protection rather than lightweight, and for comfort rather than speed. Don’t make a hasty decision and choose the most comfortable pair of shoes after trying 4 or 5 pairs of shoes that suit you rather than the so-called best value for money. Because running shoes are the most loyal and necessary partners in your running career.

But after we opened our legs and kept our mouths shut, we unexpectedly discovered “Hey! How did I lose so much weight!”. This has also caused many people to give up. Running to lose weight takes a long time and the results are slow. When you maintain the same running habits for a long time, the same distance, the same pace, the same route, you may find that running does not seem to have any effect. That’s because when the body adapts, the calories consumed per unit time will decrease, and the body will no longer burn fat at the original efficiency.

This is just like the problem mentioned by the question. We call it the bottleneck period. At this time, we need to adjust the exercise method and allocate exercise time to solve it. Here are some suggestions for you:

  • If you are willing to lose weight through running, adding some interval running training and some strength training in a constant running cycle will make your exercise time more colorful, and you will be surprised to find that your running status has improved. improved.
  • If you just find running boring and like the richness and fun of HIIT, you can choose to run first and then HIIT. The intensity will be determined according to your physical fitness.
  • If you don’t have enough running time but need to burn off energy that day, a set of HIIT is perfect.
  • If you have time in the morning, you can choose to run in the morning to promote metabolism, but it is not recommended to do a set of HIIT early in the morning. HIIT has higher demands on the body’s sugar reserves.

Who is HIIT mentioned many times here? Does it help us break through the bottleneck period of weight loss?

We are familiar with HIIT, which is high-intensity interval training, and its short-term fat-burning effect is naturally incredible. The reason is “excess postexercise oxygen consumption” (EPOC for short). In short, your body is still in a fat-burning state after high-intensity exercise.

But therein lies the crux. Intense consumption will inevitably bring about a strong need for energy replenishment. When you take in energy, your body will automatically store it to prepare for the next high-intensity consumption. Then you say: No, I won’t eat it if I can’t help it. The human body can be said to be the most intelligent automatic system. Once it begins to need to “endure hunger”, the basal metabolism will be lowered accordingly.

It is worth noting that HIIT is not suitable for early-stage exercisers . People who do not exercise much but want to exercise to lose weight generally have poor physical fitness and cardiopulmonary function. When doing HIIT, they will feel lazy when doing HIIT because they feel that the intensity is too high, and they will not achieve the effect. , or being too aggressive or having irregular movements leading to sports injuries, all of which are worth the loss.

In comparison, except for patients with leg injuries and heart disease, most people can adapt to running. The only difference is the speed. If you want to say that running hurts your knees, you don’t need to make a lot of excuses. Just say that the impact of some movements in HIIT on the knees is no less than that of running. Although the fat-burning effect of running is not as good as HIIT in a single session, the slimming effect of running is no less effective than HIIT in the long run.

So if you hit a weight loss bottleneck, you might as well try adding some moderate strength training first. Strength training can be carried out twice a week for half an hour each time. You can prioritize strengthening your legs and core, which can help you run better. The accelerated heartbeat caused by anaerobic training and the rapid flow of blood promote metabolism and burn fat more efficiently.


1. When running to lose weight, don’t rush it. Losing weight does not happen in a day or two, so it is unwise to blindly increase the amount of running at the beginning. If you cannot persist, it will be a minor problem, and in serious cases, it may lead to sports injuries.

2. We emphasize a low-GI diet. One major premise is to ensure adequate nutritional intake. Eating small meals more often is a good choice. You can choose various nuts, low-GI fruits, and boiled eggs as two meals. Snacks in a meal, including snacks, should be 5-6 meals a day.

3. If you are particularly heavy, please choose brisk walking or an elliptical machine first to prevent excessive pressure on your knees.

4. Excessive dieting will not do any good! Remember, any time you limit your body’s caloric intake for a day or two, whether through diet, exercise, or a combination, you’re bound to experience a certain decrease in metabolism. If you do this for a long time or drastically reduce your calorie intake all at once, the effect will be very obvious. This also explains why those who intend to lose weight through dieting end up eating back a little bit, or even eat more.

5. Pay attention to regular running rather than mileage. Maintain regular running, preferably 3-4 times a week, so that the body can always maintain the feeling and awareness of exercise. When you first start exercising, your body will store energy to cope with the additional consumption. As the body gradually adapts to the intensity of consumption, it will no longer store excessive energy. If you perform high-intensity exercise 1 or 2 times a week or even every month, your body will burn fat at that time, but then you will not exercise for a long period of time, and the energy reserves built up by your body may even lead to weight gain. And sudden high-intensity exercise will also greatly increase the risk of injury. Regular exercise and gradual fat burning allow the body to gradually adapt to the new state from the inside out. After 3 or 4 months of persistence, the whole person will feel completely new.

6. Sleep well and lose weight seriously. When your day and night are disrupted, your body is more likely to secrete extra ghrelin, which stimulates and increases your appetite, which may not only lead to weight gain, but also increase the risk of diabetes. And when you don’t get enough sleep, the hormones that produce satiety will decrease.