Study Suggests the More You Run, the More You Can Eat Without Gaining Weight
As an avid runner, this statement caught my eye – and initially, it really ANNOYED me. At first glance, it glamorizes running, making it seem like you can eat Hostess cupcakes all day and not have to worry about weight gain as long as you run – if only it were so easy. I can tell you first hand, running 2 miles at a 10:00 mile pace 5 days a week while indulging in pizza, burgers, and French fries at mealtimes is NOT going to keep you from gaining weight (just ask my college self).
However, as I continued reading the article, it began making sense. I am a huge advocate of running as a form of cardio. I can preach to the masses about what it did for me and accomplishing my weight loss goals. But running alone is not going to be the key to weight change – it’s always going to be about caloric balance. And even unrelated to weight, eating an unhealthy amount of food not only affects your gut, but it can lead to problems such as diabetes and atherosclerosis (hardening of arteries).
So if you place a heavy emphasis on “the more you run” part of the headline, then it becomes more accurate. I just wanted to share a few highlights from the article with you that I found really interesting:
- Research from the American College of Sports Medicine suggests that people who run at least 5 miles a day maintain their slim waistline and low BMI no matter what they eat. For a 155lb person running at a 10:00 mile pace for 6 miles, that is 704 calories burned - that's a lot of calories to replenish!
- By categorizing 106,736 runners by the average distance they run every day, the data revealed runners reduced the effects that diet had on BMI and waist circumference:
- 1 mile: by 32%
- 2-3 miles: by 44%
- 3-4 miles: by 59%
- 5+ miles: by 65%
Bottom-line: Caloric balance is going to play a HUGE role in weight change - in order to lose weight, calories in have to be less than calories out. This article also highlights that vigorous exercise significantly increases the body's ability to oxidize fat.
So if you're looking for a good form of cardio to jump-start your weight loss, it might be in your best interest to take up running!