How long did it take to see change in your body from running? (Overweight) (Read 483 times)


    Now, I know abs are made in the kitchen first. 70% diet to see a change. I eat clean and I'm coming into the running field from a different standpoint. I lift weights. I've been doing so for a while now, but I want to add in running on my non-lifting days. I'm a SLOW runner. I admit that. I am slow as hell, but I give it my best, even when I do walk now and then. I ran/walked 2.5 miles in half an hour and I'm proud of it. Sorry about the rant. Back on topic: How long does it take to see physical changes in the mirror with running while continuing to eat right/lift? From your personal experience (even if you don't lift weights). My work out regime would be: Mon/Wed/Fri: Lifting and Tue/Thur/Sat: Running. I would rest on Sunday.


    Thanks so much,


      Well a pound is about 3500 calories.

      A mile burns about 100 calories.

      If you run 2.5 miles a day 3 days a week that is 7.5 miles a week.

      So, all other things being equal,  it would take you about 4.6 weeks to lose a pound from running alone.

      However if you lift and eat right the whole workout regime will probably yield improvements faster than that.

      You would also see cardiovascular improvements and leg strength improvements, but since you said overweight in the title of the thread I focused on that.

      Vision without action is a day dream.

      Action without vision is a nightmare. 

        One more thing worth considering is that for most people you will also see results in the "mirror" before you see them on the "scale".   Just as I am sure is the case with lifting, when you start running, you are also building muscle mass in areas of your body that weren't as strong.   Thus, while you are burning in some areas you are buidling in others, so on the scale it takes a little while as the two tend to cancel each other out.  This is also why many runners "look very thin" yet their true body weight is highter than most would think - the weight is in the proper places, such as strong quads, hamstrings, calfs, glutes (ie, not the gut).  That is why most people go by the clothes test instead -  suddently your pants are getting loser, yet the scale may not even be showing much of a change.  I find that when people really stick with running, it is not until about 3-4 months in that the pounds suddenly start to really drop off on the scale.  Hope this helps.

        Latent Runner

          Weight loss chronology for me (a fat old(ish) man):


          2002 -- I was 45 years old and 185 pounds and following a move to New Hampshire, I discovered an old 19th century railroad line which had been coverted to a recreational dirt trail.  Within three months I was running 10 miles in 75-80 minutes, three times per week on the trail.


          2003 -- I slipped on the ice picking my kids up at day care, broke my right fibula, and partially severed the foot.  The surgeon who screwed me back together that night told me I'd never run again.  I spent over four months non-weight-bearing and another two in a "boot" while I learned how to walk again.


          2003-2009 -- Try as I might, running just wasn't working, knee, ankle, shin, hip and back issues all conspired to prove my surgeon was correct.


          2009 -- I got layed off and in my newly found "spare time", I found a new dirt rail trail to try running on (my original trail had been paved over), and wouldn't you know it, I was able to run (very sparingly at first) pain free.  The first month I ran 8 miles, the second was 18, the third was 50, and by the fourth month, I was logging over 100 miles.  In six months that followed I dropped from 250(ish) to a low of 205 pounds.


          2010 -- I got involved in a hellish project at work and started putting 80 hours per week with little if any running.  My weight started heading back up.


          2011 -- Just as the hellish project finished, I was forced to take on a second job due to the failure of my wife's business.  My weight continued heading north.


          2012 -- I worked out a deal in August to work from home for my second job and used what would have been my commute time to start running again.  Between August, when I was back up in the 250s, and the end of the year I dropped a good 35 pounds and lost a couple of belt notches.


          2013 -- Snow, lots and lots of snow, combined with cataract surgery, and I didn't even log 100 miles between January and early April.  My weight was back up in the 240s and my 40" belt was more than a bit tight on the largest notch.  Good news though, I resigned from my first job and freed up well over 50 hours per week of time (between work and commute hours); the plan was to get back into running as soon as the doctor said "Okay."


          2013 -- I got the doctor's clearance to start running again in early April; I managed 34 miles that month, 86 in May, 136 in June, and 218 in July.  My weight started dropping almost immediately as did my waist size; by mid June I was down in the 220s, by early July I was in the 210s, and as of last night I was at 204.  My belt?  I'm now on the smallest notch and it's almost too loose.


          Long story short, while the conventional wisdom says you'll see the results in the mirror before you do on the scale, I think that probably depends upon your underlying level of fitness.  Each of the three times I've started running since 2009 I've seen almost immediate results on the scale, however, the results in the mirror didn't really start becoming apparent for a couple of months.  Also, through it all I never changed the type or quantity of food I ate; I'm a foodie, I love good quality whole foods, and fairly large portions to boot.

          Fat old man PRs:

          • 1-mile (point to point, gravity assist): 5:50
          • 2-mile: 13:49
          • 5K (gravity assist last mile): 21:31
          • 5-Mile: 37:24
          • 10K (first 10K of my Half Marathon): 48:16
          • 10-Mile (first 10 miles of my Half Marathon): 1:17:40
          • Half Marathon: 1:42:13

            I started running ~ 1992 with the express purpose of losing some weight.  I did, in fact, lose weight (went from 180 to 167) and kept the weight off for maybe a couple years until it started creeping back up even though I was running the same mileage I had been running.  After several years of this (running but not really watching what I ate or drank) I was back to where I started, weight-wise even though I'd never stopped running!  Moral for me was run for health/fitness, eat/drink to lose weight.  In 2006 I decided to change my eating habits and I haven't looked back since.  I don't call it a diet because it is how I plan to eat (varied, healthy, including meats and desserts, smaller portions than I used to) forever.  I eat more like I do when I was a kid and fast food / packaged foods / soft drinks / juices etc were a rarity.  I'm happy with my weight and progression.  I'm in the middle of what's called a 'normal' BMI (22.0) and regardless of BMI I feel like I'm at a super-healthy and sustainable weight.  It's a long road, good luck and make it happen!  Here's my weight progression when I changed my diet (average of all weight readings over the year) and I have no idea why the report rendered the 2012 bar 'green':


            Honorary Old

              I lost 50 lbs in 2007 and got down to a size 6. I increased my running over the next year and went down to a size 4 even though my weight stayed the same. It really depends on the person though and the type of exercise you do. HIIT and ST will change your body composition a lot faster than running long distances will.

              2 Mile: 17: 11   5k PR: 27:45    5 Mile: 44:11    10K: 59:01    Half: 2:15:59     Marathon: 5:50:07



              CT JEFF

                Kassiebby1124 - Not sure how long you have been working on your diet, or your running. But I also got into running largely to become less large. (punny arent I?) The first 3 months of getting "good" milage in, (75-100miles per month) I was a little frustrated by the slow weight loss. I read an article that straightened me out. Basically, just because you are sweating more and working out more doesnt mean you deserve to eat more. I was noting 2000 cal burned on some runs and late at night Id think, "ice cream before bed! Its okay, I burned 3x that today". -


                I started at 255, got down to 225. Did a brief  4-day fast trial. Hit 215, then rebounded to 220. I tend to lose for a couple months, then give my body about a month to find its new normal. I have been here for about 2-3 months, so Im overdue to start watching my foods again. I'm shooting for 210 by end of this year.

                RUN SAFE.     Barefoot 1st: 6/9/13. PR: 5k=22:50 10k=47:46 HM 1:51. FM 4:28 Oct 2015 joined RUN 169!


                Camp Muir

                  running is a long term commitment to a different lifestyle.  I think it doesn't work great as a weight loss specific activity but rather does that over the long term.  Part of this is just that a running lifestyle helps you make healthier choices.


                  Don't try a "running" diet.  Instead become interested in the sport and becoming better.  Slowly work for the long term.  Results will take years not months though with dedication you will start to see some results in a few months.


                    Since this has turned into a more general discussion of running for weight loss, here's my take:


                    Whether running (or exercise more generally) will work well for weight loss for you will depend on why you are overweight in the first place.  A lot of people eat too much or eat foods that are too high in calories and need to fix those issues before they will really be able to maintain the weight they want.  This is probably true for most overweight people and this is why fixing food issues is the most common advice you'll see.


                    However, I do think exercise alone can work for a certain subset of people who eat decent but are extremely sedentary in their normal day-to-day lives.  This is my situation.  I have an extremely sedentary job.  I really very literally sit at a desk and read and write all day, every day.  No meetings, no travel, no going down the hall to talk to friends or colleagues, nada.  If I don't make an effort to move, the only movement I get is to walk down the hall to the bathroom, which is maybe 50 feet at most.  I also drive to work and park in the basement of my building, so no exercise there.  So the only movement/exercise I get at all is what I seek out.  Given this situation, if I'm not running I get somewhat overweight even though I actually eat fairly well.  I suspect if I don't seek out exercise, I'd have to eat 1600-1800 calories a day to maintain a good weight, which is very hard to do in the U.S. at least. When I tried to do the pure diet thing during an injury, I was just miserable and hungry all of the time.  With running, I can eat a more normal 2000-2200 or so.  Given today's white-collar working realities, I know I'm not the only person with this kind of completely sedentary day-to-day and for those people exercise can be really helpful in a weight control plan.  It's also just necessary to stay healthy, regardless of weight.

                      I have made lifestyle adjustments many times.  If it's a lifestyle adjustment that affects my weight, I normally see no change for 2, sometimes 3, months.  Then the weight starts to change.


                      If you continue to move toward a healthy lifestyle, your weight will move toward a healthy weight.  Patience, grasshopper.


                        I started seeing results in about 6 months. I started running in August 2012, to lose weight. I was 256lbs, I love food but I don't eat terribly. My problem was a complete lack of exercise after getting pregnant, and over two pregnancies I got to 276lbs.You should get faster results with changing your eating habits too.


                        My diet stayed the same, and today I stand at 205lbs. I've barely ran in the past three weeks due to sick kids, then getting sick myself. I didn't gain any weight. My weight loss is not consistent, but seems cyclical. Example with past weekly weigh-ins: 223 223 222 218 218 217 218 213.


                        The biggest changes in my body are my legs. I have much more defined muscles in my thighs. I've started doing kettlebell exercises in the past few months, and I'm slowly adding other weights as I buy them.

                          I suppose I have some very similar stories to everyone else. Several years ago my daughter got involved in martial arts. I used to be an instructor, so I started training with her, and quickly found myself back in class, training and teaching. Before starting, I was noticing that I was gaining about 10 pounds per year. Since training in martial arts, (several years), my weight leveled out and hadn't changed. My body did become far more toned and muscular, but there was still some areas that didn't dissapear, (love handles). This year, I began running in March, and I have started eating better. I have lost 25 pounds and now my wife jokes about my "four pack". It isn't a six pack yet, but I am getting closer. For me, I didn't start seeing serious changes in the mirror until recently as my milage has continued to grow.


                            It took me 10 months to drop 85lbs, a lil quicker than most people.  Weight loss is more about what you eat than how much you exercise.  Eating "clean" is good, but you have to track your calories if you want to lose weight.  You can easily gain weight eating too much healthy food.


                            My running blog

                            Goals | sub-18 5k | sub-3 marathon

                            delicate flower

                              I lost 50 pounds in six months when I started running.  It took a week until the scale started showing it, two weeks until my pants started to get looser, and a couple of months until I noticed in the mirror.  I was also very strict with my diet.  I was hungry a lot but I didn't care.  I just wanted to lose the weight.  I went from 202 to 152 and have held steady now for two years.



                                I started working out generally in order to get healthy, and in 2009 lost the bulk of my weight (about 40-50lbs depending on what my SW was) on a predominantly running workout. It took about 9 months, and also involved making better food choices.


                                I agree with the poster above who said that running is a lifestyle choice, not a diet strategy. Run because it makes you feel bad; as a weight loss strategy, it's probably one of the least efficient things you could do. While adding running to your rest days will probably help with weight loss, this is vs. sitting on your butt for those days and there are things you could do that would be equally as good or better (depending on your particular training goals and likes/dislikes). Run for better heart health, or because you enjoy running; if you primarily want to lose weight, focus on nutrition and strength training, both of which tend to be more efficient for weight loss than cardio activities.