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Can Running 4 Times a Week Help Me Lose Weight Fast?

author image Michael Winchell
Michael Winchell has been writing fitness-related articles since 1993. He has a Master of Science in exercise science from University of Central Florida and has been certified by USATF Level II. Winchell is also an accomplished theater actor Off-Broadway in New York.
Can Running 4 Times a Week Help Me Lose Weight Fast?
Running four days per week can help you lose weight, but not without other healthy lifestyle decisions. Photo Credit: Viktor Čáp/iStock/Getty Images

There are no quick ways to lose weight. Any weight-loss program needs to be approached with a commitment to long-term lifestyle changes. A healthy weight-loss goal of one to two pounds per week is recommended. A successful weight-loss program is a combination of exercise and making good nutritional decisions. More calories are burned running than nearly any other form of exercise. A net loss of 3,500 calories is required to lose one pound of fat. Combining four days per week of running, reducing calorie intake, healthy food options and a devotion to a long-term healthy lifestyle will lead to success in your quest to lose weight.

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Calories Burned Running

Tracking the number of calories burned while running can be done with the use of an online calculator.
Tracking the number of calories burned while running can be done with the use of an online calculator. Photo Credit: Creatas/Creatas/Getty Images

The two factors that determine how many calories you burn while running are your weight and distance you run. Tracking the number of calories burned while running can be done with the use of an online calculator like the one at Exercise Prescription. A 130-pound woman running for five miles per day at 10 minutes per mile will burn 520 calories. Running four times per week for that woman will result in a net loss of 2,080 calories per week. To lose five pounds, it would take about two months if no other changes to exercise or diet take place.

Maximizing Calories Burned

Running Photo Credit: Maridav/iStock/Getty Images

Running only four days per week can still be a very good way to burn enough calories to result in weight loss. The distance you run on those four days is the determining factor as opposed to the number of minutes you are running. The faster pace you can run and the longer you can run, the more calories you will burn. It is difficult for the average person to run eight to 10 miles per day. If you can get to that level of fitness, you will burn, depending on your weight, upwards of 1,000 calories per day. A four-day per week running program at that distance would result in over one pound of weight loss per week.

Nutritional Changes

Healthy Diet
Healthy Diet Photo Credit: Digital Vision./Digital Vision/Getty Images

Exercise alone, even running, is not enough to hit a healthy target weight loss of two pounds per week. A commitment to a healthy diet, combined with exercise, is needed to generate a net loss of 3,500 to 7,000 calories per week. Eliminating unhealthy choices in your diet such as fried foods and foods high in fat content can eliminate 500 calories per day. Start your morning with a healthy breakfast to stimulate your metabolism -- eliminating late-night snacks is also helpful. Small, healthy snacks of fruits or vegetables throughout the day will help curb your appetite and reduce the urge to overeat.

Commitment To Holistic Lifestyle

Proper Sleep
Proper Sleep Photo Credit: Thinkstock Images/Stockbyte/Getty Images

Recent studies reported in the "New York Times" have suggested that getting seven to eight hours of sleep is ideal as it relates to weight gain. Proper sleep, a running program four days per week, a healthy breakfast and eliminating fried and fatty foods are the key to weight loss. A healthy weight loss of two pounds per week can be accomplished by integrating these important factors while running four times a week.

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