Jogging burns a significant number of calories, making it an ideal exercise for weight loss. Although you may start seeing a positive change on the scale as early as week one of a jogging program, your weight-loss progress will depend on several factors. How often you jog, the duration of your workouts and your diet all play a role in your potential for weight loss, as well as the immediacy of weight-loss results.
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While a jogging program can help you improve your health, your weight and your fitness, you need to respect your current fitness level in order to reach your goals injury free. A strong start may be a walking program or a combination of jogging and walking workouts, depending on your current level of activity. The American Council on Exercise recommends that novice runners start with brisk walking and gradually incorporate 30- to 60-second jogging intervals during the third week of workouts. Gradually decrease your walking intervals while increasing the frequency and duration of your jogging intervals. Check with your doctor before starting a jogging program if you have heart problems or orthopedic issues.
Factors in Losing Weight
Weight loss results when you establish a calorie deficit. It takes a deficit of 3,500 calories to lose 1 pound of body weight. The calories you burn jogging can help you achieve a negative energy balance as long as the total number of calories you expend is higher than the number you consume. If you consistently take in more calories than you burn, even a commitment to jogging on a regular basis won't produce weight loss.
What to Expect
If you're maintaining your weight with your current eating habits or if you adjust your caloric intake to maintenance level, a jogging program may produce gradual weight loss. The number of calories you burn jogging depends on your weight, as well as the duration and intensity of your workout. For example, a 140-pound person burns roughly 11 calories per minute of jogging at 6 mph, while a 180-pound person burns around 14 calories per minute. Based on these body weights, 120 minutes of jogging spread out over the course of a week burns 1,329 and 1,680 calories, respectively. At this rate, you could expect to lose 1.5 to 2 pounds per month.
Creating a Calorie Deficit
If you create a calorie deficit your first week on a jogging program, you may see a slight change in your body weight by the end of the week. Increase the intensity of your workout by picking up the pace and jogging up hills, which burns additional calories. Weigh in once a week on the same day to more accurately gauge your progress. Follow a healthy, low-calorie eating plan to drop your daily calorie intake between 300 and 500 calories below maintenance level to see a more substantial weekly weight loss.