Like many others, you may have turned to running for weight loss. If using a treadmill is how you’ve been trying to get in shape but haven’t seen any results, you may be wondering “Why is running on a treadmill not helping me to lose weight?”
I understand your frustration and want to ensure you that many people face the same problem. So, please allow me to explain why you may not see results or experience a weight loss plateau.
It’s important to note that running alone will not give you the results you are looking for. I’m sure that you are aware of the importance of diet and physical activity to lose fat, build muscle, and shape your body. If you want to look and feel your best, you will need to incorporate all these factors to finally achieve your body and fitness goals.
That is why I have researched the topic in-depth to clarify why running on a treadmill may not help you lose weight. To find out, read on.
Why Is Running on a Treadmill Not Helping Me to Lose Weight?
The ideal workout is comprised of a mix of cardiovascular and strength training. Muscle mass is essential for quick and efficient weight loss. Without building any, you will find it harder to achieve your body and fitness goals.
In addition, you need to approach running on a treadmill the right way. Instead of sticking to the same pace at all times, switch up your workouts and incorporate occasional sprints or uphill runs. Lastly, diet plays a key part in whether you will lose weight and how much of it.
1. You Aren’t Burning Many Calories
While treadmill workouts are a great form of exercise to improve your cardiovascular fitness, you should be aware that running won’t burn that many calories. For example, a 150-pound individual that runs 5mph for 30 minutes will only burn 272 calories. For most people, that’s not a lot and doesn’t even equate to one whole meal. Especially, considering that you will need at least a 3,500 calorie deficit to lose just one pound of weight.
It’s also important to note that heart rate monitors on treadmills are not accurate. They can give you a false sense of accomplishment, indicating more calories than you are actually losing. In addition, when running on a treadmill, it’s easy to lose pace and end up running slower than you think you are going.
2. You’re Building Muscle
Although running won’t make you bulky, it does result in slow muscle building, especially in your legs and lower body. Because muscle weighs more than fat, the scale might not show you any weight loss. You could even be gaining a few pounds.
The scale is not the only way to track your weight loss and fitness progress. Taking your measurements as well as progress photos every month can give you a clearer picture of how you are actually performing. Pay attention to how your clothes fit, whether you have more energy and better endurance. If your fitness level has increased, it’s a good sign that you are on the right path.
3. You Stick to the Same Treadmill Routine
Many people regularly run for weight loss on a treadmill but don’t vary their workouts. However, following the exact same treadmill routine may hinder your weight loss progress. If you always run at the same speed, your body will quickly get accustomed to that level of exertion. As a result, you will burn fewer calories and experience a weight loss plateau.
Instead of sticking to the same treadmill routine, try adjusting the incline to run up the hill. It’s a great way of pumping up your heart rate, burning more calories, and becoming a better runner. Simply incline your treadmill by one percent each time you run, and, over time, you will see an improvement in your running, stamina, and weight loss results.
You can also mix in occasional sprints and run in intervals at different speeds. Short bursts where you increase your level of exertion can boost your metabolism and help burn calories more quickly.
In addition, adding HIIT and strength training to your fitness routine can do wonders for your weight loss goals. Building more muscle will help speed up your metabolism and burn more fat. After all, the more muscles you have, the more calories you will burn. All this will help contribute to your weight loss goals and do your body good overall.
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4. You Consume Too Many or Too Few Calories
Conventional wisdom says that successful weight loss is the result of 80% diet and 20% workouts. That means that even the most stringent of workouts won’t make up for overeating. Losing weight largely relies on calories in and calories out. When you regularly work out, you may think it’s enough to help you lose weight. As a result, you don’t watch what you eat and continue to consume food, beverages, and alcohol that can stall your progress.
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While it’s true that your body requires adequate fuel to have the energy to run and recover afterward, you could be making the wrong food choices. After a workout, it’s common for people to want to reward themselves with their favorite foods. They may also be drinking more sports beverages in an attempt to replenish electrolytes after excessive sweating. However, many of these drinks contain too much sugar and aren’t very beneficial for you.
You can’t eat too much and lose calories
People who eat too much after workouts may think that the calories they burn while they run make up for the foods they consume. But doing that and not paying attention to how many calories you consume will halt your weight loss progress.
On the other hand, if you don’t consume enough calories, you can plateau as well. Although cutting calories will initially lead to weight loss, it can backfire by putting your body in starvation mode. That way, it holds onto your fat, instead of burning it.
To spare you all that frustration, start by taking inventory of how many calories you consume daily. A fitness app like Fitbit or MyFitnessPal can help you track your calorie consumption and give you ideas of what you can cut out. From there, work out how much you need to have the right amount of energy for your workouts, while still being in a calorie deficit to lose weight.
Final Thoughts: Why Is Running on a Treadmill Not Helping Me to Lose Weight
I hope you understand that while running on a treadmill can help you lose weight, it’s important that you vary your runs and take strength training and your diet into account as well.
As a rule of thumb, you should be switching up your treadmill workouts with HIIT and strength training by doing one or the other on alternating days.
Stick with a regular fitnes routines
However, the specific kinds of workouts you do are still up to you. To ensure you stick to a regular fitness routine, you will want to choose training methods that you enjoy. Otherwise, you may give up on doing them altogether.
In addition, change your eating habits slowly. Start by tracking your calories and assessing whether you can switch to healthier food options to decrease your overall calorie intake.
So, the bottom line is: if you are wondering “Why is running on a treadmill not helping me to lose weight?” remember that optimal weight loss is the result of regular cardiovascular together with strength training as well as a healthy diet followed over the long term.
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