A Beginner's Guide to Running When Overweight: ‎ Fitness & Nutrition Tips

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How to lose weight and maintain with healthy diet and mindset!


Beginner's guide to running when overweight


Running is a popular and practiced sport all over the world. It‎'‎s a great way to improve your Fitness, boost weight loss, and build running endurance.


Nearly 60 million people took part in running, jogging, and trail running in the previous year in US. Walking for Fitness engrossed more than 110 million people in the previous year in the United States.


Running with healthy eating also provides many health benefits other than weight loss, including mood improvement, heart health, and overall Fitness.


It would be best to consider a few things to reduce your risk of injury and get the most out of your workout. 


Below we have listed the most important fitness and nutrition tips for running when overweight.

7 Fitness Tips for Running When Overweight

Getting starting running could be a bit more challenging if you are overweight.


Research shows that just 30-minutes of running when overweight can have substantial health benefits in the short and long term.

1. Consult Your Doctor

This is a crucial step for anyone new to running, but especially if you are overweight. Share your running plan and goals with your doctor and let them assess your plan or any potential health concerns.

2. Start Slowly

If you are a beginner runner, your muscles, joints, and tendons will be challenged in new, unfamiliar ways. The heavier you are, the greater the pressure on your body. Therefore, it is essential to start slowly and be patient with yourself to avoid any sign of overtraining.

  • It's healthiest to start building stamina by walking first.
  • Start with 15-minutes and increase the amount for the first 2-3 weeks.
  • You should gradually increase to a combination of running and walking.
  • Extend the time you feel comfortable.
  • Do not forget to stretch after your running or walking.

3. Focus on Low to Medium Intensity Runs

When starting your fitness workout, focus on easy runs. A slower pace lessens the loading forces and thus stresses your muscles, tendons, and joints.


  • If you can talk while running, you are in the correct range.
  • If you are running to lose weight, these simple, easy runs are an effective way to reach your goal as it speeds up your metabolism.
  • Running on a smooth surface helps you walk at a more relaxed and steady pace.
  • Keep your steps short and avoid straining your legs.

4. Start With Comfortable Gear

The right running shoes are essential for your comfort and safety.

Proper clothing is essential, too; choose a breathable material so that you will feel comfortable while running.

5. Do Not Overdo It: Increase Gradually

While running when overweight, you should gradually increase your workout intensity.

  • Give your body time to get used to exercising.
  • When you feel comfortable, you can gradually increase the range.
  • The ideal running time for building a solid base is approx. 30 minutes three times a week.
  • At this point, you can introduce slower and faster stretches to your run.

Important: Listen to your body and give yourself enough time for recovery after a run.

6. Build Muscles With Strength Training

Incorporate strength training to your workout schedule to start strengthening your muscles from the beginning.

For Example:

  • Weightlifting 2-3 times a week
  • Exercises: lunges, squats, low planks, side planks, superman, airplanes, mountain climbers.
  • Create a circle training routine with 3 rounds, 5 exercises, and 30 seconds per exercise.

7. Nutrition Guide for Running When Overweight 

Proper nutrition is critical to ensure that your workout is successful and your body has the energy reserves it needs. 

Here is a running nutrition guide on what to eat before/during/after a run.


Before Starting Your Run


  • Don't start running on an empty stomach or when you are hungry.
  • Eat a small snack 30-60 minutes before the run to refresh yourself.
  • Avoid eating high-fiber foods just before running (like legumes and whole grains).
  • Drink a glass of water before running.

During Your Run


  • If you feel thirsty while running, keep a bottle of water with you.
  • Listen to your body. If you often feel dizzy, contact your doctor.

After Your Run


  • Eat a snack within an hour after running (primarily carbohydrates and proteins) to recharge your glycogen stores and support recovery.
  • It is recommended to eat a larger meal only if you run for more than an hour.

How to avoid overeating after running:

  • Eat regular, balanced meals (protein, adequate fiber, healthy fats)
  • Don't skip meals to cut down on calories
  • Drink a lot of water

How to Stay Motivated – Motivation for any Run

Follow these tips to stay motivated for running when overweight:

  1. Change your running track or add different types of runs such as intervals or hill repeats.
  2. Running with a buddy who challenges you can keep you accountable.
  3. Participating in marathons or other competitions can give you extra motivation to run and stay focused.

Common Running Questions and Mistakes 

Consider some of these questions that overweight runners often ask and common myths that can create confusion.


Can Running Help You Lose Belly Fat?


Running or walking: During exercise, calories are burned, and body fat percentage is reduced. Therefore, exercise not only helps you reduce belly fat but also removes fat from other body areas. Running and walking are among the best fat-burning exercises.


Should I Eat After Every Run?


After exercise, your body will rebuild its glycogen stores while repairing and replenishing those muscle proteins. Eating the proper nutrients shortly after a workout can speed up this process. Carbohydrate and protein intake after exercise is essential.


Why I'm Not Losing Weight?


It depends on the foods you eat, and hormones can also significantly impact how much water your body retains (especially in women). In addition, it is possible to gain muscle while losing fat at the same time. This is especially common if you have recently started exercising.


Should I Fast To Lose Weight?


Fasting for 10 to 16 hours allows the body to convert its fat storage into energy, thereby releasing ketones into the bloodstream. This would boost weight loss for overweight runners.


Can I Get Results After doing Fewer Runs?


Consistency is the key to any successful weight loss program. Consider combining running with other activities, such as biking, hiking, or rowing.


What Time of Day You Should Run or Does it Matter?

If you want to maintain your performance level, you can run at any time of the day as you like. The best running time for you depends on when you feel most motivated. Schedule your run at a time when you know you will complete them.

Beginner's Guide to Running When Overweight - Takeaway

Whether you want to improve your health, lose weight, or both, running when overweight is absolutely attainable. 


The most important thing is to be patient with yourself, buy comfortable gear and eat a healthy, well-balanced diet.

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