Why Have I Stopped Losing Weight with Running?

Today I’d like to talk about a common problem people have when they use running to lose weight. You may have even experienced it yourself.

It’s when you reach a point where your weight loss really slows or comes to a grinding halt, and just as frustrating is that it’s difficult to understand why.

As long as your diet has remained consistent then the most likely causes of your weight loss hitting a plateau are either…

  1. Running the same distances
  2. Running at the same speeds
  3. Or doing too many easy runs

Here are several examples to highlight why these can stop you from losing weight…

Let’s say that you’ve been running for a while and can now run three miles in 30 minutes. You do this three times per week and have kept losing weight until recently where the weight just won’t shift.

What’s wrong? How come the running that worked before is no longer effective?

Well, as you become lighter and fitter you burn fewer calories for the same amount of running that you did in the past. So if you keep completing the same runs in the same manner then your weight loss will eventually plateau.

The number of calories that you burn will decrease and become equal to the number of calories you consume, and therefore your weight loss comes to a disappointing end.

For example, in your early running days you may have weighed 17 stone and burned 550 calories for a three mile run…

But now that you weigh 14 stone you only burn 400 calories for the same run.

The reason this happens is because the lighter you become the easier the run becomes due to carrying less weight. This results in fewer calories being burned.

In addition to this, the fitter you become the fewer calories you burn by doing a certain run.

For example, a 16 stone person running three miles in 30 minutes for the first time is likely to find it very difficult. However, a 16 stone person that has been running three miles in 30 minutes for several months will find it much easier…

And the easier you find the run the fewer calories you burn overall.

The two people weighing 16 stone would burn around the same calories during the run itself but the person who found the run the hardest will burn more calories after the run. This is because their body has to burn more calories to recover.

What can you do about all this? How can you keep losing weight?

An important part of using running to lose weight is to continually improve your running ability. By doing this you’re able to burn more and more calories as you lose weight rather than burning less calories and hitting a plateau.

Therefore, you need to burn more calories by running longer or faster, rather than sticking to the same runs that have worked in the past but are no longer effective.

As with anything in life people get into a routine and like to keep doing the same things. This doesn’t keep working when you’re trying to lose weight with running.

To get the best results you need to become a better runner by developing your running ability like you are shown in my running programs.

Don’t worry that your runs will become too hard or that you need to be a great runner to keep losing weight. Your body soon adapts to the increased difficulty of a run and the run becomes easier.

However, you then need to keep repeating the process. Your aim should be to keep pushing yourself and continuously improve your running.

Do this and you have a great chance to keep losing the weight!

Here’s something else to remember…

Improved running ability = Improved ability to burn calories = Easier to lose weight and keep on losing it!


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2 Responses to Why Have I Stopped Losing Weight with Running?

  1. Judy says:

    Awesome information! Thank You James!