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How Long Does It Take to Lose 20 Pounds By Running?

author image Candice Hughes
Candice Hughes has been writing for more than 6 years. She is currently a contributor to a website about raw food, fitness and diet. Her areas of expertise are women’s health and nutrition. Hughes received her Bachelor of Arts degree in English with a minor in psychology from Indiana University in 2010.
How Long Does It Take to Lose 20 Pounds By Running?
You can run to lose 20 pounds quickly. Photo Credit: ViktorCap/iStock/Getty Images

With the increased health risks of diabetes, cardiovascular disease, cancer, arthritis, gallstones, infertility, sleep problems, asthma and cataracts that accompany overweight and obesity, losing weight is a high priority for many people. Running is a popular and efficient way to lose weight and improve your health. Check with your doctor before beginning any new exercise or weight-loss program; he will be able to help you tailor a workout routine appropriate for your physical condition.

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Calories Burned Running

Running burns high amounts of calories.
Running burns high amounts of calories. Photo Credit: matthewennisphotography/iStock/Getty Images

To lose 1 pound, you must burn 3,500 calories more than you consume. How many calories you burn each day will determine how long it takes for you to lose 20 pounds. If you weigh 150 pounds, running at a speed of 8 miles per hour burns 919 calories each hour; if you weigh 200 pounds, expect to burn 1,225 calories each hour of running. If you burn 500 calories each day running, you will lose 20 pounds in 20 weeks. If you burn 1,000 calories running, you will lose 20 pounds in 10 weeks. If you want to lose the weight quickly, combine a running routine with a healthy, low-calorie diet.

Healthy Weight Loss

Try not to lose more than two pounds per week.
Try not to lose more than two pounds per week. Photo Credit: Bine Å edivy/iStock/Getty Images

Losing weight quickly is a goal for many, but losing weight too quickly can lead to poor health. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggest losing only 1 to 2 pounds per week, which means that losing 20 pounds can take 20 weeks or more. To stay healthy and lose weight quickly, aim to burn enough calories through running and maintaining a health diet to lose 2 pounds per week, or 1,000 calories per day.

Interval Training

Add intervals to your running routine to lose weight even quicker.
Add intervals to your running routine to lose weight even quicker. Photo Credit: Ivonne Wierink-vanWetten/iStock/Getty Images

You can lose 20 pounds quicker by adding intervals to your run. Intervals, or alternating your speed between short bursts of vigorous exercise and longer stretches of moderate activity, can increase the number of calories you burn each workout and decreasing the amount of time it takes to lose 20 pounds. Jog for two minutes at 6 miles per hour, then increase your speed to 8 miles per hour for 30 seconds or a minute, depending on your physical condition.

Running for Beginners

Start out slow so you do not injure yourself.
Start out slow so you do not injure yourself. Photo Credit: Maridav/iStock/Getty Images

When you first start running, do not run too fast or for too long or you will increase your risk for injury. Instead, run for only 20 minutes each day and only three to five times per week. Gradually increase the duration and frequency. If you need to, slow down and walk until you feel ready to run again. Invest in a high-quality pair of running shoes that complement your stride and to increase the efficiency of your run.

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