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Hi I'm Suzy, the host of Run Lift Mom!

Run Lift Mom is an audio podcast uplifting women and guiding mothers through their fitness journey. Episodes feature expert interviews in the topics of running, strength training, and motherhood.

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5 Reasons Why Running Won’t Make you Thinner

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Been pounding the pavement for months but still haven’t seen the results you want?

When it comes to running people have a ton of expectations. They figure that if they run a couple of miles every day, they can lose the excess weight and finally fit into those old jeans they grew out of during lockdown. 

While it’s true that running burns belly fat, it may not always give you the weight loss results that you want.

Here are five (5) reasons why running won’t make you thinner plus ways you can overcome them. 

Just water weight

Water weight takes time to fully evacuate the body, which is why some people might feel like they aren’t getting any thinner, even with the amount of exercise that they do.

This is because when you start exercising, the body stores more water to help repair the damages in your muscle fibers and deliver energy to working body parts.

Additionally, people who run tend to drink more water than normal to make sure they stay hydrated during their runs.

All these ounces of water add up to pounds when you step on the scale. 

The only solution to this issue is to stay patient with your progress. Weight loss isn’t some overnight miracle like what most businesses advertise. It’s a slow process that takes time and dedication to achieve.

Increased calorie intake

When you start to increase the amount of physical activity you do on a daily basis, it’s only natural for your body to ask for more food.

This is because intense exercises like running or simply jogging require a ton of energy to maintain. The more you run the more energy your body burns through, and the more energy your body burns through, the more you need to eat to replace that lost energy. 

While it may seem like a dead-end at this point, there is a way you can avoid gaining weight and still run for weight loss. 

Keeping a careful log of your consumption (i.e., the amount of food that comes in your body as well as the amount of energy a.k.a. calories that go out) is the first step to progress.

Tracking your consumption will help you stay within an acceptable window where you’re neither starving yourself nor robbing yourself of healthy physical activity. 

In other words, you’ll be able to continue your running routine without going overboard with the eating.

Too much consistency

Although it’s true that success requires consistency and dedication, too much consistency when it comes to running can rob you of a world of health benefits.

Running is an excellent aerobic exercise that helps develop muscular endurance; however, it does very little in terms of developing muscular mass. This is why mixing up your routine with strength training and other interval exercises can help you get the most out of your running habit.

You don’t have to strictly stick to running every day.

Adding a couple of weight lifting sessions, boxing sessions, or other forms of exercise can be a great way to break the monotony in your routines. Plus you get to work out other muscles in your body and help them reach their optimal levels of strength. 

Adapting to stress

The body has a unique ability to adapt to external stressors. Without you even realizing it, your body will have gotten used to the amount of exercise you do.

This leads to the dreaded weight loss plateau that many people experience when they’re trying to shed some extra pounds.

When your body is on a plateau, it essentially means it’s started burning fewer calories compared to when you first started running.

In these cases, people either retain their current weight or gain all the weight they’ve lost right back. To avoid this from happening, mix up your typical routine with one that includes other exercises. You can also try switching to a different exercise format. 

After all, not everyone will respond positively to running. There are plenty of other exercises that you can try e.g., swimming, cycling, yoga, boxing, pilates. 

Just muscle growth

We did say that running isn’t the best exercise to grow muscle mass; however, you can still build some muscles, especially in your legs.

This process replaces low-density fat in your body with high-density muscles, which may be the reason for your weight increase. In this case, you don’t have to worry about unhealthy repercussions. 

While it may look bad on the scale, it’s much healthier and may even help you raise the rate at which your body burns fat. 

Level Up Your Running Routine

Although running won’t automatically show you the results that you want, it’s still a great way to lose excess weight and build endurance.

If you want to start a running habit yourself, keep in mind the five reasons why running won’t make you thinner that we discussed today. This list will help you get a small inkling of what to expect from following a running routine.