Thursday, August 6, 2009

Running For Weight Loss - Reality in Calorie Value

While running is one of the most effective activities for burning calories, it is for this very reason that those who picked up the sport had “Weight Loss” as their primary reason for its goal.

However, to attain the result of “Weight Loss” in running it is best to understand the different “numbers”, data, formula, conditions that will in the end spell out success. Otherwise, it would just be another futile exercise to reduce weight.

Before anything else, please take note of the following facts;

A persons daily calorie need to “maintain” present weight = weight (x) 13

Calorie burned in running 1km = 62.2 or 100 calories for 1 mile.

Calorie burned sitting doing normal actions = 160 calories / hour

Gross Energy Cost = total calorie burned running point A to point B

Net Energy Cost = GEC (-) Calorie burned on idle state in time GEC was attained

1 pound (lb) in body weight = 3500 calories

Energy Expenditure = Net Energy Cost

Energy Conservation = If the Energy Expenditure attained in your running leaves you so exhausted that you spend the rest of your day on the coach watching movies rather than cleaning the house or working in the garden, you may end up burning fewer calories throughout the day than if you did a slightly shorter run but still had the energy to take the kids to the park or do your normal daily walk.

Energy Compensation = better known as eating more calories after a workout/run than what you burned off during the run.

Ideal composition of your calorie intake = 50% carbohydrates 25% protein 25% fat.

Sample – Mr. A weight is 150lbs has a daily calorie intake of 2300 and runs 10km in 1.5 hrs 3 times a week and has no other exercise on the remainder 4 days of the week will he attain weight loss in this scenario?

Calorie intake = 2300
Calorie need = 150lbs (x) 13 = 1950
Monthly excess in calorie intake = 2300(-)1950 (x) 30 = 10,500 calories
Calorie burned in running/ month = 62.2 (x) 10 (x) 13times/month = 8086 calories
Net Energy Cost = 8086 (-) (13times x 1.5 hrs x 160 calories) = 4966 calories
Weight gain/loss = 10500 kcal (-) 4966kcal / 3500 = 1.58lbs GAIN

Although Mr. A does 130km per month he does not lose weight because his daily intake exceed his calorie needs daily he has two options to take ;

Option 1 = Lessen his intake to match his calorie needs and all others the same and the result will be he is going to lose 1.42 lbs in a month.

Option 2 = reduce daily calorie intake of 2000 ,runs 20 times of 10km a month and the result will be a weight loss of 1.75lbs in a month.

Accordingly, it best to remember to WATCH OUT for our daily calorie intake. One piece of Hersey Kiss is 25 calories and will take you an equivalent of 0.4 km to run in order to burn. But, if you do not eat that one kiss and still run then the equation is all in the minus side of weight loss.

Try to make your own scenario and/target weight loss by playing around with your calorie intake and the mileage you want to put into your run. Just remember to balance your calorie intake as defined and NEVER be on the state of Energy Conservation and Energy Compensation.


  1. Thanks for posting this Sir Amado! It's always nice to know the science behind the weight loss paradigm that we all try to follow :) Some people tend to run a lot but eat a lot as well, undermining the benefits of the whole thing :) Good to keep this in perspective.


  2. Dear Luis - the marriage between food and running just cannot be separated should your goal be weight loss or even performance for that matter.