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Just running for weight loss Is it enough - Blog banner image
UFIT Singapore30 Apr 20244 min read

Just running for weight loss: Is it enough?

You may want to think again if you’re considering just running to shed your extra kilograms. Before you lace up your running shoes and hit the track, let’s take a closer look at why running alone might not be the best way for you to lose weight.

Why running is good for weight loss

Jogging or running has long been heralded as one of the best ways to lose weight and improve cardiovascular health, and for good reason–it’s highly accessible, requires little to no equipment, and can be done practically anywhere.

Why? Well, as with any type of exercise, your body requires more energy while out for a run. To meet that demand, your heart pumps faster and harder to send oxygen to your muscles to break down more glycogen (essentially stored carbohydrates) and fat for fuel. How can that lead to weight loss? 1 gram of carbohydrate contains 4 calories of energy and 1 gram of fat contains 9 calories – hence the calorie burn.

A 30-minute run can burn anywhere from 200–500 calories, depending on your speed, weight, and distance achieved.

How to maximise running for weight loss

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While running is a good option for weight loss, it’s crucial to view it as just one component of a comprehensive approach to losing those extra kilograms. Here are some other components to consider:

Embrace running diversity

Consider incorporating different types of running, such as Low-Intensity Steady State (LISS) and High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT), to optimise fat burn and minimise the impact on joint health.


LISS running involves maintaining a steady and lower pace for an extended period. This type of running primarily targets fat, making it an efficient way to burn calories over longer durations while being kinder on your joints.

A popular indoor option for LISS is the 12-3-30 workout, which involves walking on a treadmill set at an incline of 12, at a speed of 3 mph (4.8 kmph), for 30 minutes.


HIIT involves alternating between bursts of high-intensity running and periods of recovery. Due to the intensity of interval training, it’s typically done in lower volumes compared to long-distance runs. While it’s more powerful and explosive than LISS running, which offers benefits such as increased calorie burn (relative to time spent) and improved anaerobic fitness, HIIT running can be tough on the joints. However, if programmed as part of a diverse running routine, this type of running can be an effective tool for weight loss.

Add strength training to your routine

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Strength training is not only a crucial addition to any weight-loss journey, but it also offers several benefits that can enhance your running.

Strength training stimulates muscle growth and metabolism, leading to the development of lean muscle. Unlike fat tissue, muscle is metabolically active, meaning it burns calories even at rest. By increasing your muscle mass, you can elevate your resting metabolic rate, resulting in more efficient calorie burning throughout the day, not just when you’re running.

Strength training also targets specific muscle groups, improving their strength, endurance, and functionality. This can translate to better performance and efficiency during running sessions, which will reduce fatigue and help prevent injuries.

Aim to incorporate a variety of exercises targeting all major muscle groups at least twice weekly. Incorporate both symmetrical and asymmetrical exercises and prioritise progressive overload to ensure you’re adequately challenged as you become stronger to stimulate growth.

Make sure you are fuelling properly

While exercise is an essential tool for weight loss, the importance of nutrition cannot be overstated. A healthy, balanced diet that supports both weight loss and the energy requirements of regular running and strength training is essential if you want to achieve the best results.

How we can help you

Running. Strength training. Nutrition. That’s a lot to consider and we understand that it can seem daunting at first.

If you need help arranging things into a structured weight-loss routine, our Ignition Program is designed to address all aspects of your journey. Our experienced trainers and nutritionists will work with you to create a personalised plan tailored to your goals and ability level. With our support, you can achieve sustainable weight loss that will improve your quality of life and overall well-being.

In summary

While running is a fantastic addition to a weight-loss journey, don’t rely on it as the sole solution. By combining running with proper nutrition and strength training, you will maximise your results and more quickly and effectively achieve your goals.

Remember that your weight loss and fitness journey is unique, what works for one person may not work for another. So, you must stay consistent, remain patient, and celebrate wins as you progress. If you’re ready to take the next step, contact us to learn more about how we can help your journey to a healthier and happier you.


UFIT Singapore

We are a team of experienced coaches and clinicians who provide an integrated health and fitness community for people striving to achieve their goals.