When you first decide that you want to start exercising, one of the first steps is choosing the type of exercise you want to do. It is generally best to include different types of exercise in your workout routine to help prevent overuse injuries and to strengthen all of your muscles as well as your cardiovascular system.
One of the best beginner-friendly forms of exercise to consider adding to your workout routine is jogging.
Even if you have been walking or working out consistently with other types of exercise, jogging can be a great way to start your journey toward becoming a runner.
But, is jogging good for weight loss? How do you get started jogging to lose weight?
In this article, we will discuss how to jog to lose weight, provide tips for jogging for weight loss, and share a jogging for weight loss challenge for beginners we have created to kick off your weight loss jogging training plan.
We will discuss:
- Is Jogging Good for Weight Loss?
- How to Jog for Weight Loss
- How Many Calories Do You Burn Jogging?
- 2 Tips for Jogging for Weight Loss
- 14-Day Jogging for Weight Loss Challenge
Let’s get started!
Is Jogging Good for Weight Loss?
Among the many well-known physical and mental health benefits of exercise, many people are motivated to start or stick with their exercise routine to lose weight.
So, can you lose weight by jogging? Is jogging good for weight loss?
The answer to both of these questions is a resounding yes. You can absolutely use jogging for weight loss because, like all forms of physical activity, jogging burns calories.
While there are some other factors that contribute to weight loss, weight loss primarily boils down to creating a caloric deficit or burning more calories than you are consuming.
You can generate a caloric deficit by eating less (which decreases caloric intake), being more physically active (which increases energy expenditure), or a combination of both.
You will lose one pound of stored body fat for every 3,500 calories you burn above your needs.
To quantify this in terms of a week, if you want to lose one pound per week, you need to burn 500 calories more per day than you eat, and if you want to lose two pounds per week, you will need to create a daily caloric deficit of 1,000 calories.
Any type of exercise you do—whether jogging or otherwise—will factor into how many calories you burn per day, but deliberate workouts like jogging are not the only component of your total daily energy expenditure (TDEE).
The other components contributing to the number of calories you burn per day include your basal metabolic rate (BMR), the calories you burn in activities of daily living above resting conditions, and the calories expended to digest and metabolize the food you eat.
Jogging can help you lose weight if you’re using it to create a caloric deficit in your diet.
For example, imagine that you are consuming 2,000 calories per day and maintaining your weight without exercising. Then, you decide to start jogging, and you burn 500 calories per day in your jogging workouts. If you don’t change your diet, you will start to lose about one pound per week from your jogging workouts.
However, even if you burn 500 calories per day jogging, if you are eating 2,500 calories a day or more, you will not lose weight since you will be in an energy balance or even caloric surplus (depending on your total caloric intake).
How to Jog for Weight Loss
Jogging can certainly play a helpful role in losing weight, but jogging for weight loss tends to be most effective when combined with controlling your caloric intake.
Not only does exercise like jogging burn calories, which can help you lose weight, but studies suggest that exercise, such as jogging, may help control appetite. However, it’s also important to bear in mind that jogging, or other forms of exercise, can potentially increase your appetite.
For example, one study found that up to 75% of exercisers increase their food intake after their workout and shift their food choices to more immediately-gratifying options like high-glycemic carbohydrates (sweets, refined carbohydrates, and processed foods).
Therefore, some people actually gain weight after starting jogging because they are constantly hungry and always reaching for more food.
If your goal is jogging for weight loss, try to stay well-hydrated so that you don’t conflate thirst and hunger, and make nutritionally-dense food choices.
Your diet should consist primarily of whole, unprocessed foods that are healthy and filling—such as vegetables, fruits, legumes, low-fat dairy, and lean proteins.
Unlike processed foods and simple carbohydrates, these natural foods will help keep you nourished and satiated for more hours without packing in a ton of empty calories.
How Many Calories Do You Burn Jogging?
The number of calories you burn in any workout depends on numerous factors, including the type of exercise (jogging vs walking, cycling, lifting weights, etc.) you’re doing, your body weight and composition, and the duration and intensity of your workout.
Harvard Health Publishing reports that jogging for 30 minutes at 5 mph (12 min/mile pace or 8 kph) burns 240 calories for a 125-pound person, 288 calories for a 155-pound person, and 336 calories for a 185-pound person.
Running for 30 minutes at 6 mph (10 min/mile pace) burns 295 calories for a 125-pound person, 360 calories for a 155-pound person, and 420 calories for a 185-pound person.
Wearing a heart rate monitor with a GPS watch that can tell you how far you’ve run can give you the most accurate estimate of the calories you burn jogging.
Ultimately, the more you weigh and the longer and faster you jog, the more calories you will burn.
2 Tips for Jogging for Weight Loss
#1: Get the Right Gear
Even if you’re just jogging super slowly and don’t yet have the confidence to really consider yourself to be a “runner,” if you are doing any sort of jogging or jogging/walking workouts, you are a runner.
As such, you need a proper pair of running shoes and comfortable clothing.
Many joggers who are overweight feel uncomfortable or self-conscious wearing super short running shorts and often feel more comfortable running in compression shorts or wearing compression shorts under looser athletic shorts or pants.
Compression shorts come in various lengths, from very short booty shorts to knee-length or even capri pants.
Even running tights can essentially be considered compression shorts that extend the length of your entire leg.
One of the benefits of running in compression shorts is that the longer styles help prevent chafing between the thighs, often dubbed “chub rub“ (though your legs don’t have to be “chubby“ to suffer from this painful affliction!).
#2: Don’t Neglect Your Diet
Losing fat is a matter of burning more calories than you are consuming, which is referred to as a “caloric deficit.“
Therefore, weight loss can be achieved by being more active, eating less, or both.
If you’re jogging to lose weight, you can accelerate your weight loss results by controlling your diet.
Of course, you can focus on one of the two arms of weight loss—diet or exercise—instead of taking on both simultaneously.
However, most health experts recommend that the most effective strategy for healthy weight loss and long-term weight loss maintenance is to generate a modest caloric deficit through both a calorie-controlled diet and increasing caloric expenditure through physical activity.
14-Day Jogging for Weight Loss Challenge
Here’s a 14-day jogging weight loss challenge for beginners.
Don’t worry about your pace! Just try to establish a consistent habit of moving every day.
Even if the challenge says to jog without stopping, it’s ok if you need to walk; just keep moving!
|Walk/Jog for 10 minutes, taking walking breaks as needed||Walk/Jog for 10 minutes, taking walking breaks as needed||Rest||Walk/Jog for 15 minutes, taking walking breaks as needed||Walk/Jog for 15 minutes, taking walking breaks as needed||Walk for 15 minutes||Walk/Jog for 20 minutes, taking walking breaks as needed|
|Jog for 5 minutes without stopping, walk for 2 minutes, jog for 5 minutes without stopping, walk for 2 minutes||Walk for 30 minutes||Jog for 10 minutes without stopping||Rest||Jog for 15 minutes without stopping||Walk for 30 minutes||Jog for 20 minutes without stopping|
Remember: Take it one day at a time. Walk when you need to. Your weight loss and jogging journeys aren’t a race. You’re in it for life.
If you would like to take a step back and begin by walking, we also have a 30-Day Walking Challenge for Beginners for you to take on.