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May 25, 2011 at 4:25 PMComments: 2 Faves: 0

Why Most Runners Don't Lose Weight

By Barnaby More Blogs by This Author

Stereotype: Runners are in-shape, skinny people.

Reality: Runners are people who run, but still face weight issues like everyone else!

As a long time Triathlete, 2x Ironman and many time marathoner I too have fallen into the trap of thinking that exercise = a free pass at the dessert bar!

Sure, running burns calories - but it also seems to give us unrealistic ideas about how much food we can eat.  Runners are funny. We tend to OVER estimate how many calories we burn and UNDER estimate how many calories we consume. Just by eating 100 extra calories a day you can expect to pack on 10 pounds in a year! So even though you’re burning some calories, you probably don’t need that high calorie protein bar or sports drink after a run.

Runner's Math: How Many Calories Will I Burn?

Let’s do some math:

I mile run = 100 calories burned.

...That’s it?! 


How Many Calories Should I Eat?

So. How many calories should you consume/day if you’re exercising/running moderately?

Take your weight and multiply it by 13.

180lbs x 13 = 2340 calories per day.

Where Should My Calories Come From?

Okay, but the secret lies in distributing your calories. Here’s what I aim for:

  • 50% Carbs. These can be fruits, vegetables, or grains.
  • 25% Protein. Meats - (The leaner the better!) Fish, eggs, or dairy (low fat/fat free).
  • 25% Healthy Fats. Nuts, avocados, olive and canola oil.

Eat most of your carbs close to the time you’re running – this is important because they provide fuel for your workout! Eating protiens and healthy fats during more sedentary times of the day will give you that “full” feeling so you’ll be less likely to eat.

Bottom Line?

Bottom line, running is a great way to get your heart pumping and your body toned. It’s also an excellent way to clear stress from your mind. BUT - it will never give you the green light to eat as you please. Bummer. :/

More from Barnaby Others Are Reading


  • agreed - that is a bummer. The whole premises of working out to me is "so I can eat what I want to" and not gain a lot of weight! Obviously, that was a stupid thought on my part. And this explains why weight loss is slow going!

  • Yes, our bodies are smart--when we burn the calories, usually hunger pangs go up to make up for those calories burned.

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