Is jogging a good way to lose weight?

I’ve read in some places that jogging burns lots of carbs rather than fat, is this true? I’m a little sketchy on what carbs are as opposed to fat. Aren’t carbs converted into fat if not used, and if so wouldn’t jogging prevent me from putting on more fat? As well can one burn more fat running in the morning rather than evening? And is 15 - 20 minutes a day 5 days a week good enough to begin losing weight (I’m watching what I’m eating as well)

You probably would be be better running a bit longer (say 30 - 40 minutes) and fewer times a week, if necessary. And keep your heart rate in the aerobic mode so your muscles are not simply using up blood sugar for energy. You can tell if you’re in aerobic mode if you can still talk while you’re running (ie, not breathing so heavily that you can’t say a word).

I jog for 30 minutes every day. While it certainly helps, I don’t think jogging is the primary reason I’ve been able to maintain a healthy body weight. It’s been my experience that diet is the most significant factor in weight control, not exercise.

So why do I jog? To improve my cardiovascular health.

As with anything else, it depends. If you’re talking about 30 minutes 3-5 times a week, that’s almost useless for weight loss. If you’re talking about training for a 10K or a half marathon, you’re on to something.

The reason why your body uses carbs as its primary fuel during exercise is because they’re readily available. Whatever energy source you use has to be released from storage, and carbs come out a lot easier than fats.

I support my junk food habit by brute force running. Anywhere from 25-35mi/week, some days 4mi, an occasional 16mi or so long run. Keeps me quite slim – I’m convinced that my running is the only thing holding back the tide of fat that is my horrible diet :cool:.

Another thing to keep in mind: when you exercise you will want to eat better, and the weight loss will come from eating better. So while jogging will not have much of a direct impact on weight reduction, it likely will have a indirect impact.

There are comparable but less damaging exercises to your ankles and knees, like rowing or swimming.

In my experience, it’s far easier to not eat the calories than to burn them.

How’s bike riding?

Theoretically that’s true. Practically, the overwhelming majority of people I know who tried that, didn’t lose weight. They did finish the 10k, half-marathon, marathon, felt better, probably were in better cardiovascular state, etc. But your body wants to replace the calories you burn training, and unless you watch what you eat very closely, negligible to no weightloss.

I know you didn’t ask about bike riding, but I feel compelled to relate my own exercise regime.

I spend a lot of time away from home and so can only exercise properly 3-4 times a week.

I have been riding a mountain bike around the place for the last 8 months or so. In that time I started doing 17km rides with the occasional longer one (either 25km or 33km). As I progressed and became fitter I’d do more longer rides and fewer short ones till now when I do the long ride exclusively. Now I work on doing it faster rather than going further because I live in a small town and riding any further would involve revisiting some parts of my current route on the one ride, I find this to be an unexciting prospect.

At the moment my ride takes me a bit over an hour at an average speed of between 27-28km/hour.

Aside from replacing some dairy products with lower fat substitutes (e.g., full cream milk for low fat/high calcium milk) and eating more fish (on doctors orders to help with my cholesterol), I have not made a conscious effort to change my eating habits.

I am 175cm tall (approx 5’10"); now weigh 86kg, a loss of 14kg; have had my cholesterol levels drop from significantly high to within the normal range; and feel and look a whole lot better.

I must say that the most important reason that I have been able to keep my exercise up is that I really enjoy doing it. I enjoy the sensation of speed. I enjoy pretending to be Valentino Rossi on a Yamaha M1 MotoGP bike going through a particular downhill S-bend :D. So I find it very easy to motivate myself to go for a ride.

I think that whatever fitness routine you get into has to be realistic and overall, enjoyable.

When your body needs energy, it can generally get it from one of three “tanks” you have in your body: available carbs, fat stores, or glycogen stores. However, for weight loss it’s not really important which fuel source is being used. You should be more concerned about how many calories you are using for your activity.

In general, carbs are used for low level activity and fat stores for moderate activity. Any unused carbs will be converted into fat. If you use all your carbs, you have prevented them from being converted into fat. In addition, your body will go to the fat stores if there are no available carbs.

Depending on your weight, you use about 120 calories per mile running (speed doesn’t really affect that). Walking is about 100 calories per mile. How many miles are you going? Jogging can be a great way to lose weight, but it depends on how many miles you can run, not on how many minutes you can do it.

It may be better for you to walk for an hour (4 miles x 100 calories = 400 calories) versus running for 20 minutes (2 miles x 120 calories =240 calories). After you are comfortable walking for an hour, start doing a light jog for an hour. Or do a few minutes of jogging and then a few minutes of walking. Eventually you will be able to jog faster and faster and get more and more miles covered in that hour.

And stay away from those powerbars and energy drinks. They are counterproductive for weight loss. They replace the calories used during exercise, thus diminishing the calorie loss.

When watching what you’re eating, I find it helpful to look at food in terms of how many miles it would take to work it off. For example:

Can of Coke = 1.5 miles
Candy bar = 2 miles
Donut = 3 miles
Apple = 1 miles
2 cups of carrots = 1 mile

Just divide the calories by 100 or 120 get how many miles it would take to work it off.

As somebody who ran almost daily for more than 20 years (when my knee gave out), ran 10 marathons and hundreds of shorter races, I can assure you that lots of running will keep your weight down.

Any exercise should be combined with proper diet to be effective, but a heavy load of running (up to 80 miles per week) let me wolf down a lot of food without gaining.

If you doubt the effect of lots of running, go to the start of any marathon and take a look at the runners. They all look like people just released from a concentration camp. :slight_smile: All are cadaverous and no chubbies among them.

As others have noted, there is a difference in exercising for weight control and for cardiovascular conditioning, and you should read some books on running and/or Runners World or similar magazines for more info on proper training.

Most important is to start slowly. Almost all people who give up on an exercise program try to do too much too quickly. Proper shoes are also important. Also important is to find an exercise program you really enjoy. Doing something that is not fun turns into a chore and you will give up. If you enjoy getting out and jogging, wonderful. If it seems boring or uninteresting, try biking, swimming, rowing, climbing mountains, tennis or other sports.

As much as I love running long distance, I must admit that it is hard on your joints and may eventually cause injury, while biking, rowing or swimming are less destructive.

For most people it is also more enjoyable to partake with somebody else, especially running which can get lonely after several miles. I enjoyed running solo or with people, but that is up to the individual. Going with others also spurs you to not give up too quickly.

Start at a very slow pace and short distances. Maybe a mile for several weeks, then increase distance slowly, going only every other day. As you build strength and a fitness base, you can go daily if you enjoy it, but then alternate easy and hard days (speed) or long and shorter runs. If you get the marathon bug, you will have to really put in a lot of training, with one long (20 miles or more) run a week.

Above all, whatever exercise you decide on, it should be fun! If it is not, it becomes work, so find some other exercise.

I love doing things outdoors, but many people find it more comfortable to be with others in an exercise center where you get constant encouragement and feedback.

Good luck!

Running has to be tough to beat from a weight loss perspective, compared to other aerobic activities. Cycling and rowing can be great for weight loss, and personally I’d rather do both than go for a run, but at the end of the day you’re exercising whilst sitting on your arse. You’re supporting your own body weight whilst running, and that has to make a big difference.

What about weight training? I’ve heard a little bit of resistance exercises like curling, benching, etc…, will do much more for your weight loss than aerobic exercise. Is this right? It seems like whenever Hollywood stars need to lose a lot of weight fast for a role, the trainers put them through a weight training and diet routing.

This probably varies for people. My experience has been exactly the opposite. When I run regularly (At least an hour per workout, 3-4 times a week), I am in much better shape, even if I continue to eat pizza and beer all the time. Changing just the diet and leaving out the exercise doesn’t work for me.

Obviously, doing both is better.

I think I can offer a tremendous amount of value to this thread simply by saying that, aside from the all-important diet, physical activity (resistance weight training and cardio - high and low intensity) is the only way to improve the composition of your body. And, the diet must match the type of person and activity correctly.

“Weight loss” is not the issue here for the average joe, is it? Maybe for the obese though…

Ultra: All those studies done at George Washington were done in regards to “weight loss”, not body composition, correct?

Bottom line is that better body composition (with other health variables taken into account) is the goal of almost everyone. I consider “weight loss” to be a useless term and it scares me that all these studies were done with weight loss being the goal. (Sorry, I like my bones the weight that they are!) Don’t people understand that when you just start eating less without being active, your body eats itself, including the good parts? This is especially true for the 30+ crowd…

At least some of the studies that went into that article were based on body composition rather than weight. Given that the standard aerobic protocol is unlikely to induce significant muscle growth, I’m thinking that we can infer results about body composition in this case if weight loss is all we have to work with.

I’ve written a few posts in other threads about weight loss, since I recently went through a research period when I wanted to get my fat butt back into some kind of decent shape. A distillation of various different sources of information indicates that if you do both weight training and aerobics you’ll lose fat faster than doing either type of exercise by itself. An added bonus if you lift weights is that you won’t look cadaverous. Some long-distance runners–sometimes even the concentration camp victim looking ones–actually have a higher body fat percentage than a bodybuilder.

If you want to run, then run, but I would suggest doing a couple of weight lifting sessions per week along with the running.

I am confused by this thread. Hopefully some other readers would be, and so I won’t be alone.

Is running good for anything? In basic terms, what good does running to? Let say I am a plain average joe, slightly overweight, pauchy stomach and just want to get into shape. Would running help? or shall just try something else?

Hijack - I read that there was a book which actually claimed that running is bad for your health and causes you to die young. Truth or myth?

Thanks in advance!