Is jogging bad for you

Why jogging is not a good way to lose weight

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In this text you will find out why you cannot permanently lose weight by jogging and what helps instead.


There was a time when I ran a lot. She started my big diet five years ago and didn't end until last year. At first it was difficult to get anywhere with my 150 kilograms. I could barely run for more than five minutes at a time, and very slowly. Accordingly, it was not much fun for me. I hated it. With time it got a little easier. Then I have something Less hated.

The more weight I lost, the more often I went jogging. After three months, I tortured myself through my first company run over five kilometers. Later I was able to run ten kilometers and after a year I ran my first half marathon. A few more should follow this.

At first I ran to lose weight. I later ran to keep my weight off. I thought jogging was efficient because there was hardly any other sport that burned so much energy. Maybe that's true too. Jogging burns comparatively a lot and I can hold out for a long time. With a little training, I can easily run for an hour or two.

That's exactly what I did. When I got to a certain level, an hour of jogging was my minimum. While I was losing weight, I always tried to keep the difference between energy consumption and energy consumption as large as possible. I ate little and walked a lot. The pounds fell off. Whether it was running or starving or both - I don't know. It worked.

Many diets will work up to this point. For me, losing weight by jogging - regardless of diet - nothing more than some kind of diet. It works temporarily as long as I force myself to do it with willpower. With every kilometer I run, I increase my energy consumption and reach an energy deficit for that day. A few grams of fat will definitely be lost in the process.

But as with any diet, there are two problems with losing weight by jogging:

1. It takes great willpower. Most people never or rarely bring this up. I did it exactly twice in my life. There were 10 years in between.

2. It doesn't last long. Losing weight is one thing, but finding a healthy balance afterwards is quite another. 95 percent of all diets end in the yo-yo effect. That's 19 out of 20 diets! Losing weight with willpower alone is almost a guarantee of being as fat or fat afterwards as before. That's why I needed two attempts. After my first big willpower diet 15 years ago (including jogging), I put everything back on. And then another 30 kilograms more.

This time it almost happened again. Jogging couldn't help me maintain my weight. Nor is it good for shedding the two or three pounds that so many people want to shed. That's the first reason I jog less today.

1. Jogging is not a strategy for staying slim

I ran and ran and ran. I ran up to five times a week. It wasn't the exception, it was the rule. I didn't even start walking under ten kilometers. It wasn't worth it. I wanted to run away from the yo-yo effect.

Still, I gained weight again. My weight increased very slowly. In three years I put on 13 kilograms. All in all, that's a lot, but only 300 grams per month. The kilos slowly came back. I couldn't control my weight - even though I ran so much. In my head I kept calculating how many calories I should have consumed and how many I should have burned. In theory it worked. In practice, however, not. Today I know that counting calories is nonsense.

The idea that I could keep my energy balance by jogging is based on the assumption that I just need to burn as much energy as I take in. If I follow this one rule, I will stay slim. Everyone believes in this mindset, but it hardly works for anyone.

We pretend we all have power over our energy balance. Our body controls its own energy balance. With our diets, jogging, reduced calorie products, nutritional supplements, and all the nonsense we do about losing weight or maintaining our weight, we are only manipulating our body with what it does by itself. At best, we are successful in the short term and only with the use of willpower. In the long term, dieting or increased energy consumption through exercise does not change our weight. Instead, it is the quality of our diet that counts!

Jogging increases energy consumption, but ..

If we increase our energy consumption by jogging, we also increase ours Energy requirements. This is the amount of energy the body needs to keep functioning properly. To an increased need got to the body react. A fact that we like to forget.

1. Short term response
An increased energy requirement of the body is noticeable through hunger. As a result, those who do more sport also eat more. I know this effect only too well. I'm hungry after jogging. Especially after I've run for an hour or two. Since jogging depletes my carbohydrate stores, I have a particular craving for foods that contain carbohydrates: bread, pasta, candy, or other processed foods that are of poor quality.

If I can withstand this hunger, I'll be back on a diet - a state that I cannot and will not endure permanently. It is therefore not suitable for maintaining my weight in the long term. As a result, I eat more than if I hadn't been running and make up for the increased need.

But suppose I keep up with hunger every time and enjoy the fact that I have run an energy deficit: Then everything will only get worse.

2. Long term response
If I do not supply my body with the energy it wants, then it uses my reserves. But that's not the fat. First of all, it feeds on the musclesthat I don't really need because they use up too much energy. He taps into the fat pad later. In the event that the bad times last longer.

Less muscle mass means lower energy requirements in the long term. For this reason, the energy requirement decreases with every diet. This has long been known, and yet most people try dieting. Me too. Due to the diet and jogging, my energy requirements were no longer as high as they could have been.

During my diet it still worked because by willpower alone I ate so little and did so much sportthat my body could not reduce its energy requirements any further. So I still had an energy deficit that I could only maintain with force.

At some point my diet was over, but my energy requirements were long gone by then. The fact that I kept running and tried not to compensate for the additional consumption with food was not conducive to this. So the body had no reason to increase the basal metabolic rate again.

I had oneshort term higher energy consumption with along term lower energy consumption paid.

Conclusion: The body immediately wants to have the energy that I use up through exercise back in the form of food. If I give in to hunger, I haven't run into a calorie deficit. But I don't give in the body restores a new balance in the long termso that he doesn't have to lose fat even though I jog.

Jogging is therefore not good for maintaining my weight or just shedding the famous two or three kilos. I experienced that firsthand. Jogging and counting calories are two ways I've tried in vain to lose weight or keep my weight off. You can find eight more here.

You can find out what works for me further down in the article, after I've given you the second reason why I jog less today and this also has to do with muscles.

2. Jogging doesn't really make you fit

Fit is not always fit. Jogging makes me fit so that I can walk straight for an hour without much effort. But nothing more. As soon as there is just a little uphill, I am instantly exhausted.

I only felt the difference between fit and fit a few weeks ago. It is anything but a scientific comparison, but for me personally characteristic: When I was in Cape Town a year ago, I felt fit. At that time I went running every other day, even when I was out and about in South Africa. In the course of my trip, I climbed the landmark of Cape Town, Table Mountain. I took it sporty and walked the route as fast as I could. It took me 59 minutes for that. A very good time as it takes most hikers an average of two hours.

Exactly a year later I am back in Cape Town and tackled Table Mountain again. However, this time I wasn't in running training. I've reduced the frequency significantly for a long time and in the last six weeks before the hike I wasn't jogging at all due to a foot injury. Instead, I have been focusing on strength and endurance training over the past few months, I invest far less time in than jogging. I climbed Table Mountain in 47 minutes. 12 minutes faster than a year ago when I was in full running training.

That alone doesn't have to mean a lot. But the theory explains my experience with Table Mountain: while jogging the body becomes more and more efficient after just a few runs, since the stress remains largely identical. Over time, he perfects precisely this movement and needs less and less energy for it. Because he breaks down all muscles that he does not need for this movement as a source of energy. Even muscles that are used while running, but are not used to the limit, are broken down. Running training makes us fit for running, but nothing more.

You already notice the difference when you switch between forest path and treadmill. I almost always run outside and can cover ten kilometers at a leisurely pace without great effort. But when I switch to the treadmill for once, it's like a different world, because the movement is slightly different from running in the forest and the muscles are used differently. It is the other way around: If you only train on the treadmill, you will not be able to run just as easily on a forest path.

It's not that jogging no positive effects on our fitness. But it's inefficient. You invest a lot of time for a comparatively small effect. In addition, you also put a lot of strain on the bodyso that he becomes prone to injury. Jogging is considered a high-impact / low-intensity sport. This means: The stress on the bones and joints is high (high impact), but the intensity on our muscles is low.

So you can still achieve your goals

If jogging does not get us really fit, nor does it help us to stay slim: How can we achieve these goals? The first answer was given by Steve Kamb from NerdFitness when I attended a workshop with him last year. He said, nutrition accounts for 95 percent of success. Today I know that he was right. I can train as I want, but if I eat an unhealthy diet, all of that is of no use. I cannot compensate for nutritional sins with exercise.If I try, it's no more than an alibi.

After changing my diet, I was able to reduce my weight without going hungry and have kept it since then. I found a diet that I am happy with and believe I will be able to pull off with over the long term. The details are going too far now, but you can read up on the matter in these articles:

If you want to know exactly, I recommend our book Esst Echtes Essen !, which you can buy at amazon and in stationary bookshops.

Next up you should Say goodbye to the idea that exercise can burn off a lot of energy. That doesn't work and it affects every sport. Jogging is just the most prominent scapegoat here. If you run for 30 minutes, you will burn additionally about 250 calories. If you run two runs a week, that's 500 calories. This is nothing! Even if you run significantly longer, you still burn little energy and over time it becomes even less as the body covers the distance more and more efficiently. You will only be rewarded with more hunger afterwards.

You shouldn't care how much energy you have while of sport burns up. What matters is what you burn at restbecause most of the day you lie down, sit or do light activities. There is the lever and you can do it with sport.

This works best with exercise, that puts a lot of strain on our muscles (high intensity), but our bones and joints only slightly (low impact). I solve this through bodyweight training, which I do every two days for 20 minutes. I also do that when traveling. At home, I prefer to attend boot camps because it's more fun and the intensity is even higher.

Weight training is the easiest solution, but there is another way. Any sport with a high resistance is suitable. The higher the resistance, the better. You can even do that with cardio. Instead of pedaling on the exercise bike for 30 minutes, you can set the maximum resistance and give it your all for two minutes. With this you achieve the greater effect - because it is not about while of sport to burn energy, but afterwards. 30 minutes of kicking does almost nothing for your muscles, Two minutes of intensive training, however, is enough.

The same goes for running. There, too, you can increase the resistance by either running uphill or at fast intervals. Sprints stimulate your muscle growth. That's why the best sprinters are real muscle packs, while the best long-distance runners are thin and wiry.

At high intensity you increase the capacity of your muscles to burn energythat would otherwise end up in the fat cells.

With intensive sport you not only train your strength, but also your endurance. In the brief moment of great exertion, your muscles are supported by the entire body in order to master the challenge. Your heart and lungs are also challenged. Therefore, you will find that you will become out of breath even during strength exercises if you do different exercises in quick succession.

In this way you can train your strength and endurance with comparatively little expenditure of time and get really fit. Not only are the workouts short: you don't even need a lot of them. The more intensely you use your muscles, the longer breaks you can plan afterwards, during which the muscles grow and further training would not show any additional effect.

Why I still go running

With a healthy diet and bodyweight training, I now have my weight under control and am fitter than ever. Nevertheless, I still go jogging every now and then. However, no longer with the aim of losing weight or compensating for my nutritional sins. I know that won't work.

In this article, Jasmin describes why the often sought-after fat burning while jogging does not matter, what is really important when losing weight and which sports strategy we pursue today.

I just run because sometimes I enjoy it or to compensate for a lack of exercise. On a few days I move very little due to the circumstances and can barely get out of my apartment. Then I like to lace up my running shoes in the evening and take another lap through the forest. Usually, however, I also try to move around in everyday life. You can find relevant tips in our book Everyday Movable. For my body, jogging is a supplement to the rest of the exercise program and it is good for my soul to run through nature.


You can lose weight without jogging! You can find 11 more good news for everyone who wants to lose weight in our free eBook “A pound of motivation, please!”.

Further reading on this article (Affiliate links, which means we get a commission if you click them and order products.):

Photos: woman jogging, young lady jogging and male runner from Shutterstock

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