The Secret To Running For Weight Loss

by Jeff on November 25, 2010

Did you know that if you’re running the wrong way, you can gain MORE weight instead? Knowing the ‘secret to running for weight loss’ will help you lose more weight while exercising less.

Conventional Running

The conventional way of running involves pacing yourself, keeping a steady speed and running for long durations. In theory, running this way will help you burn more calories and lead to weight loss. However, it doesn’t work this way in reality.

Doing conventional running for long durations will increase your appetite as well. Often times, you’ll get an appetite for something unhealthy or high in carbs. Taking in more calories will lead to weight gain, which is highly counter-productive.

The conventional way of running is also highly inefficient. It takes up more of your time and your body stops working to burn extra calories when you stop running.

There is another way of running that will help you lose more weight while running for shorter periods of time. It will also make your body continue to burn extra calories after you stop running. Another benefit of this type of running is that it will decrease your appetite.

The Secret

The secret to running for weight loss is called High Intensity Interval Training, HIIT for short. This method of running involves sprinting for short periods time with rest periods in-between.

When done correctly, it will promote higher HGH production in your body. HGH stands for Human Growth Hormone and this hormone is the fat burning hormone. HGH is also one of the hormones that helps keep you young.

Even after you finish your HIIT session, your body will continue to burn fat for the next 8 hours at the same rate. With the higher HGH production that it promotes and decrease of appetite, this makes a great combination for weight loss.

HIIT is also very flexible, you can apply this method to any other forms of cardio, from exercise bikes to at home exercises.

Here Is How You Do IT

I’m going to describe the original method, it’s called the Tabata Protocol (most simple method).

  1. Warm up for 3 minutes by doing some high knees, walking lunges, and a short jog. Don’t do static stretching, contrary to popular belief, it will only increase your chances of injury.
  2. For 20 seconds, go all out.
  3. Rest for the next 10 seconds.
  4. Steps 2 and 3 make up an interval. Repeat for 8 intervals.
  5. Cool down by jogging lightly for 2-3 minutes

8 intervals will only take 4 minutes to complete, repeat once for 8 minutes in total. For a video demonstration of how to do this, check out my article on Cardio Routines.

If you’re just starting, I recommend that you take it easy at first and build up to the full 8 minutes. With this method of training, you will be surprised at how fast your stamina improves.


As you know, intense exercises helps you lose weight. During intense exercise, your body goes into a state that burns fat for energy. But did you know that there is a way to get into this fat burning state without exercise? It’s called intermittent fasting.


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{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Raymond - ZenMyFitness November 25, 2010 at 8:32 pm

I love sprint intervals makes you feel alive .. but I’m still not convinced its the best for weight loss .. I’ve experimented with it all and I can get both ways.
My friend who I train with just got back from winning 4th at Reno Nevada, Natural body Building ..he is very ripped all he does is slowly jog every day for an hour … there are other athletes who do intervals they are ripped too I’m very undecided on the matter.


Jeff November 25, 2010 at 10:43 pm

You’re right Raymond, sprinting is not the best for weight loss. Having the right diet will account for over 80% of your weight loss results.

Bodybuilders like Mike Mentzer, Arnold Swartznager and powerlifters such as John Inzer and Oleksandr Kutcher were all ripped from doing no cardio at all.

But if you are trying to lose weight, interval training and having the right diet is the best way to go. All the studies point to this and from what I’ve seen personally, it also points to this. However, switching things up once in a while can be a nice change. The occasional swim, walk, cycling, etc…


Kelly-Fitness Overhaul December 4, 2010 at 1:58 am

I rarely run unless me and my wife (who is an avid runner) are going to do a 10K or something that that. We did one a few months ago and I ran about ten times in the two months leading up to it and finished strong. I guess I may of did even better if I ran regularly but I like to do HIIT like you suggest for my cardio.

I usually do kettlebell swings tabata style and feel that I get a much better cardio workout this way. Although I did a bodybuilding show way back in 1997 and was super ripped by doing slow, steady state cardio on a treadmill for an hour a day, four days a week. I would rather do tabatas for 4 or 8 minutes with a kettlebell versus an hour on the treadmill anyday!



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