“Huh, I should really try to lose a few pounds,” says almost everyone at one point in their lifetime. Whether you need to or not, that thought has tainted our brains before. The easiest and most well-known way to start shedding some weight is lacing up your sneaks and heading outside to pound the pavement.
Although we are told that running is the best way to burn calories and running might seem like the “easiest” way to start seeing a difference on the scale, you might find this to be the total opposite. No need to sweat, though, because here are some reasons why running might not be helping you lose weight.
1. Your workout is most likely always the same
Most have heard the phrase “consistency is key” but, consistency is not always a good thing. Doing the same workout over and over again will not give you the results you are looking for. At first, running is difficult and painful, but slowly your workouts get easier and easier. And why’s this? Your body adapts to the workout, which means your body requires less energy to fuel those workouts. So really, you’re now burning less calories while doing the same amount of work. Learn how to burn more calories when running here.
2. Too much of a good thing can be bad
It’s plain and simple: you run too much. Instead of consistently pounding the pavement for hours on end, work smarter and harder for shorter periods of time, and make sure to take days off. Rest and recovery is crucial because it allows your body to refuel. And, surprisingly enough, the next time you workout, you will actually be able to perform much better because your muscles have had time to recover. This way you won’t get burned out as easily.
3. You’re not bringing the intensity
Now that doesn’t mean you have to start lifting weights like crazy or sprint every run. But it also doesn’t mean that you should keep going on longer and longer runs, or even longer and faster runs for that matter. Instead, mix up your workouts with a few longer, slower runs and several high intensity interval training (HIIT) workouts, as well as long stretch sessions.
Check out some awesome HIIT workout videos here, or some awesome yoga videos here. By mixing it up you are sure to see much more progress (and your body will definitely feel it). And remember, rest days are just as important as intensity, so listen to your body.
4. You aren’t trying other forms of cardio
You’re not expanding your regimen. It’s easy to get stuck doing the same thing, and your body becomes stagnant and hangs on to the weight you desperately want to lose. Instead of always going out for a jog to get your cardio, try a cycling class or even a dance cardio class. Anything that gets your heart rate up and makes you sweat will do the job.
5. Your diet is terrible
It’s true when people say “abs are made in the kitchen.” A healthy diet is everything. You can exercise all you want, but if you’re not eating right, you’re not going to see results you could see if you are eating clean. Many argue that eating healthy takes too much time, but it doesn’t have too. Try making your meals ahead with these 20 healthy make-ahead meals or creating delicious dishes with only a few ingredients.
Another problem is you could actually be eating too much to compensate. If you focus too much on calories burned, then you may quickly get overwhelmed, and this can sometimes result in overindulging because you killed the workout that morning. Instead of going for that Big Mac and tempting milkshake, gorge yourself in fresh fruit and some Greek yogurt or try a delicious smoothie. One of my favorites is this 3-ingredient watermelon recovery smoothie.
If you are determined to drop a few pounds of fat, all you gotta do is add variety to your workout, increase your intensity, allow your body to recover by giving yourself adequate rest, and make sure to eat well. These simple steps can help you shed the weight in no time.