Running and weight loss


Running can be done anywhere. Near home, near your workplace, on holidays, in forests, on roads... even indoors on treadmills. It is indisputably one of the easiest sports to do. The benefits and advantages of running are numerous and have a variety of applications. These include weight loss - indeed, running can be a very effective way to achieve this goal.

Energy intake vs energy expenditure

In order to lose weight, the objective is to use more energy than what is supplied through food. Intake < expenditure.

What are energy intakes?

Our bodies need energy (i.e., calories) to function. The quantity of calories your body needs depends on your: age, weight, height, gender, physical activity, digestion, etc. Thus we know that daily intakes range from 1800 to 2200kcal per day for women, and from 2400 to 2600kcal per day for men. These numbers should be adjusted in case of intense physical activity.

This caloric intake occurs through food. In our bodies, the food we eat is broken down into nutrients: proteins, lipids and carbohydrates, and micronutrients: vitamins, minerals and trace elements. They are what the body uses to ensure its proper function, but only the proteins, lipids and carbohydrates provide calories.

  • 1g of protein = 4kcal
  • 1 g of lipid = 9 kcal
  • 1 g of carbohydrate = 4 kcal

What are energy expenditures?

Every day, we use a certain quantity of energy, including basal metabolism, daily expenditure and digestion.

  • Basal metabolism is the amount of energy required to maintain functions vital to the body: brain, heart, lungs, muscle tone and thermogenesis (heat production). It represents 50% to 70% of our daily calorie expenditure.
  • Daily expenditure refers to calories burned for movements necessary for daily activities, physical exercise, etc. It accounts for 20% to 40% of daily calorie expenditure.
  • Digestion processes are responsible for 8% to 10% of daily calorie expenditure.

7 tips to lose weight

1 – Never skip a meal

You will not lose more weight or quicker because you skip a meal. On the contrary, you will get hungry faster and frustration will only make it harder to resist high calorie foods.

2 – Take the time to eat

The satiety signal only appears after 20 minutes. This is the time you need for your body to receive the signal for satisfaction sent by the brain. Take at least 30 minutes for each meal. Many studies have demonstrated the association between meal duration and obesity risk.

3 – Take several meals a day

If you are exercising, it is better to take 3 meals per day and a snack rather than 3 big meals. Through regular energy intake (approximately every 4 hours), you stifle the urge to indulge on anything at hand.

4 –  Opt for vegetables

Vegetables are rich in water and fibre, they are easily digested, and they help the body to eliminate waste.

5 – Do not forget starchy foods

Starchy foods are the reference for energy intake. They must be included to any meal or snack, in controlled quantities.

6 – Run several times a week

A 6km running session performed in 45 minutes accounts for approx. 400kcal expenditure (for a 65kg woman). Among other things, running helps increase energy expenditure and tone the body.

7 – Be patient

Magazines are crammed with super-fast diets. Do not give in to the temptation of fast weight loss, as it is doomed to failure on the long term with a weight regain that is usually even higher that what was lost. Too bad, right? Effective weight loss should always be progressive. It is considered that the weight loss should not exceed 2kg per month to be effective in the long term

Marie Fauchille
Dietician | Nutritionist
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More and more of us are making the most of our lunch breaks to do some sport. The goals vary: keep fit, lose weight, work out to improve performance, etc. Break times are valuable but still you should not sacrifice eating lunch because you have run out of time. Here are three key points to stick to so that you can do your sport under the best possible conditions and not suffer because tiredness has hit you in the afternoon...