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How Fast Does Jogging Make You Lose Weight?

author image Andrea Cespedes
Andrea Cespedes is a professionally trained chef who has focused studies in nutrition. With more than 20 years of experience in the fitness industry, she coaches cycling and running and teaches Pilates and yoga. She is an American Council on Exercise-certified personal trainer, RYT-200 and has degrees from Princeton and Columbia University.
How Fast Does Jogging Make You Lose Weight?
Weight loss results happen with dietary and exercise interventions. Photo Credit Khosrork/iStock/Getty Images

All the hype surrounding exercise suggests it just melts away the pounds. But you know what they say about the hype — don't believe it.

Exercise without changes in your diet doesn't often result in much weight loss, research shows. Combine jogging with dietary changes, though, and you can expect better results. A study published in Obesity in 2012 showed that diet with exercise improved body weight and fat levels notably in one year.

Read More: Top 10 Weight Loss Exercises

The Research

Exercise alone is unlikely to result in significant amounts of weight loss, reports a review of research published in Progress in Cardiovascular Disease in 2014. Weight loss from exercise only occurs when you do a high volume of aerobic activity.

Studies sampled in this research showed 8 percent weight loss in men after 12 weeks of daily sessions that burned 700 calories each and a 6.8 percent weight loss in women after 14 weeks of 500 calories burned in every daily exercise session.

These results occurred without dietary changes. However, more moderate levels of exercise, such as jogging for up to 150 minutes per week, did not yield a change in body fat if no changes in diet were made.

Why Jogging Isn't Quick for Weight Loss

The problem with relying on jogging for weight loss is that it just doesn't generate the energy deficit necessary for rapid loss. To lose a pound of fat, you must eat 3,500 calories fewer than you burn.

Jogging still offers health benefits apart from weight loss.
Jogging still offers health benefits apart from weight loss. Photo Credit alexandr_1958/iStock/Getty Images

A 30-minute jog burns about 265 calories for a 185 pound person. If you were able to fit this in every day, seven days per week, you'd have to wait about 2 weeks to lose one pound. If you eat any calories more than you eat now to maintain your weight, you'll lose even less.

Up your jog time to closer to 75 minutes per day, every day, and you could lose notable weight without dietary changes. But, that's a lot of jogging and could lead to injury and burn out.

Slip up and add just 200 to 300 calories per day, or more, and your weight won't budge — or you may gain a few pounds — despite jogging regularly. A full-size candy bar, a 12-ounce mocha or an extra slice of pizza can easily negate calories burned in your jog.

How to Yield Quick Weight Loss

Jogging can be an aid in quick weight loss, as much as 1 to 2 pounds per week, but it can't be your only strategy. Reduce your calorie intake by 250 to 500 calories and add 30 to 60 minutes of jogging and you'll create a 500- to 1,000-calorie deficit per day. After seven days, you've lost 1 to 2 pounds.

To reduce calories, trim portion sizes, choose lower-calorie options — such a broth-based instead of cream-based soups — and skip fatty, fried foods and sugary sweets.

Choose healthy, lower-calorie foods for weight loss.
Choose healthy, lower-calorie foods for weight loss. Photo Credit Wavebreakmedia Ltd/Wavebreak Media/Getty Images

Remember, jogging isn't your only exercise option, either. Mixing it up will keep your workouts fresh and reduce the wear and tear on your body. Jog three to four times per week, but also consider swimming, biking and aerobic dance to burn calories.

Resistance training, using weight machines, dumbbells or resistance bands, will further expedite your weight loss. You'll improve function and build muscle, thus increasing your overall daily metabolic calorie burn, with at least 20 minutes of total-body strength-training twice per week.

Read More: 20 Fat-Loss Secrets

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