The Slacker’s Guide to Losing Weight Running

Posted: May 8, 2011 in Slacker's Guide Series, Weight Loss
Tags: , ,

Stop thinking about needing to run and just go. Save some mental effort.

Though it sounds strange, running is actually an ideal sport for slackers. Why? Because running burns more calories than any other cardio activity so you don’t have to do it for as long as other exercises.

Let’s say you want to burn enough calories to lose 10 lbs. It takes about 3,500 calories to equal one pound, so you’ll need to burn 35,000 calories to lose 10 lbs. A 155-lb. person burns about 350 calories by running for 30 minutes at a 10-minute mile pace. The same person would burn about 150 calories walking at a speed of 3 miles per hour for 30 minutes or 300 calories during half an hour of cycling at a speed of 11 miles per hour. So, it would take this person about 100 runs, 233 walks and 117 bike rides to lose 10 lbs. If you’re slacker, the path of least resistance is running because you don’t have to do it as much.

As any slacker worth his salt knows, the less you have to work, the better. So if you want to lose weight, here’s how to make running work for you, so you can spend the vast majority of your time doing other, more fun things…or better yet, nothing at all.

  • Run regularly. To burn calories, you need to exercise regularly. There are no short cuts to losing weight, but at least choosing the exercise that burns the most calories can help you keep your workouts short and sweet.
  • Run faster. The higher your running intensity, the more calories you will burn. Try doing intervals, fartleks or tempo runs to speed up your running pace and accelerate your weight loss plan.
  • Stop pigging out. Just because you’re exercising more (or, who are we kidding, at all) now doesn’t mean you can pig out and cancel out all your hard work. You would have to exercise more to burn junk food, fast food and other calorie-packed foods with no nutrients, so save yourself the trouble and eat healthy stuff that is included in an actual food group. 
  • Run farther. Increasing your run times will help you burn more calories to lose weight faster. Add a few minutes to your runs each week and you won’t even notice the extra work.
  • Take a break. As all slackers know, doing nothing can be therapeutic. So follow the do-nothing lead and take at least one day off from running a week so you don’t get burned out or injured from overtraining. Just remember to get crackin’ again when your workout week begins.
  1. Janie Petti says:

    I wa not aware! I am a terrible runner, what about an elipticle for 30 minutes?

    • Marnie says:

      That’s a good question! The elliptical machine burns a lot of calories too and also works your arms. According to’s calories burned calculator, the elliptical machine actually burns more calories than slow running. So keep up the good work;)

  2. butterflyexperience says:

    I have started running a few months ago in order to lose weight after having 2 children in 2 years and so far have lost 9lbs by running 3 times a week for 20 – 25 mins at pace 8 km.

    Your stats are interesting as I wasn’t sure what else I needed to be doing to increase weight loss, so will now increase time to 30 mins and try to go 4-5 times a week.

    Great site by the way!

    • Marnie says:

      Congrats on your weight loss, that is great! And yes, adding more time and frequency to your workouts will help you lose more weight as well as continue to improve your fitness level. Good luck and keep me posted!

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