This article was originally published here.
1. Why Run?

Most runners take to the trail in order to slim down and feel good, both mentally and physically. Running is linked to a balanced diet. The ongoing exercise which running entails will help you to effectively trim off excess weight no matter your level. However, that's not the whole story. Running plays a big role in staying at a healthy weight, since excess weight decreases the pleasure that comes with running. Running is a highly motivating way to balance your diet without feeling like you are taking on an impossible task.

People who run regularly are looking for the best way to keep their bodies working smoothly in order to achieve their goals (regardless of what these may be).
2. Calculating Your Healthy Weight

In order to precisely calculate your body mass and healthy body weight, it is important to calculate your body mass index. By calculating your BMI, you will get concrete information about your body fat and muscle mass which takes into consideration your gender, age, height and weight. In fact, it is often difficult for us to understand how important our excess weight is. By calculating the relationship between your height and weight, you will have a very clear idea about your body fat and the health risks of being overweight.

To calculate your body mass index (BMI), divide your weight by the square of your height (in metres).

Example: You weight 72 kilos and are 168 cm tall

72 / (1.68 X 1.68) =

72 / 2,8224 = 25.5 (body mass index)

After you do this calculation, compare your BMI with the following ranges:• Below 16.5: malnutrition.

• From 16.5 to 18.5: underweight.

• From 18.5 to 25: normal.

• Over 25: overweight.

Your body mass index will help you locate the fatty deposits in your body. When determining if you are overweight, healthcare professionals also use a measurement called WHR (waist-hip ratio). This measurement allows you to know exactly where fatty deposits are in your body.
3. How Can Running Help Me Lose Weight?

To decrease your body fat, it is crucial to run several times per week (at least 2-3 times or more) by following an interval training programme. Interval training consists of short, intense running sessions. Short bursts of interval training help burn fat at a rate nine times higher than in longer training sessions (compared to both longer training times and longer distances).
4. Sweating A Lot Helps You Lose Weight

Unfortunately, this isn't true. Running for several hours and sweating profusely each morning is pointless. Sweating will not make you lose weight. In fact, sweat is 99% water, and when you drink water to rehydrate, you completely make up for the water you have sweated off. It is essential to run regularly and follow a personal, gradual training programme in order to progressively decrease your body fat.

Warning: Drink enough liquids before, during and after exercise. The water you drink will not change your starting weight. If your body is low on liquid, you risk serious health problems due to dehydration. 

Novice runners often struggle to alternate between recovery and running. By following a programme which is tailored to your needs (slow and gradually increasing in intensity), you will be able to more effectively increase your endurance.

5. Basic Guidelines For Losing Weight Or Staying At A Healthy Weight:

- Exercise regularly: for your body to utilise fats, plan to run two to three times per week for several weeks. Run short to medium distances at a high intensity.

- Moderate the levels of physical activity you do: always consider your physical abilities in order to get your body used to exercise. If you get tired when you are running, intersperse periods of walking in your workout. Example: 10 minutes of intense running / 10 minutes of walking. Gradually increase the amount you run and reduce the amount you walk. This is the key to success!

- Stretch before and after each session: to make effective progress and avoid cramps and muscle pain, set aside enough time to stretch before and after each training session.

- Eat a balanced diet that is low in fat: to avoid snacking, eat at a regularly scheduled time, emphasise fruits and vegetables in your diet, reduce fats and drink water or energy drinks before, during and after exercise

- Eat food items that naturally burn fat (guarana, bitter orange, green coffee, etc.) in order to burn through fat more quickly when you exercise.

Want to trim off a few pounds? Get started by running!