Is Jogging Good For Losing Weight? (The SHOCKING Truth)

I actually Googled “Is Jogging Good For Losing Weight?” and among the first 10 search results I only found two articles that agreed with my opinion.A woman jogging in woodland listening to music via headphones

I should say what follows is merely MY OPINION, but what you will learn from this article may truly shock you.

With that said, all the articles you will find on the internet about whether jogging/running is good for weight loss are based on opinion.

Some may be written by so-called “experts”, whereas others are just from personal experience.

I don’t class myself as an “expert” or a leader in my field, but I am someone who is now entering their fourth decade of exercising.

I have been fat, I’ve been skinny, I’ve had an aesthetically pleasing body (think strong, muscular and athletic), I’ve suffered injuries, and I’ve used just about every form of exercise that you can think of.

In addition, I’ve devoured just about every article, book, and magazine on health and fitness over the years, so I believe I’m worthy of providing my opinion.

So, without further ado – Is Jogging Good For Losing Weight?

What Made Me Write About Jogging and Weight Loss?

I think my main reason for writing this article, as we slowly but surely come out of lockdown due to Covid-19 (in London), is the number of people I have seen out jogging over the past 5-6 months.

Firstly, I will say I applaud many of these people who seem to be exercising regularly for perhaps even the first time in their life.

We were told by our current Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, at the beginning of lockdown that we were allowed to leave the house for exercise, once a day.

As someone who regularly uses my local park for exercise it was interesting to note the swarms of people flocking to the green pastures a stone’s throw from my home.

I typically enjoy an outdoor workout at least a couple of times a week, although the nearest I ever get to jogging will be a few sprints, or a short run as a warm up.

I’m far more at ease performing bodyweight exercises, and often bring some equipment along with me (jump rope, kettlebell, sandbag, medicine ball, etc. Yes, unfortunately I am “that weirdo” you often see in the park).

What was even more impressive to me was as the days, weeks, and eventually months wore on, many of the people I saw had kept up with their new-found jogging habit, and started to look far healthier (and thinner) from when I had first clapped eyes on them.

I must admit I was seriously impressed by not only the dedication, but also the transformations I saw.

So, just from my observations over the last few months, surely jogging must be good for losing weight, right?

Why Jogging May Be Good For Weight Loss (Initially)

Okay, it’s important for me to say that if you are new to exercise that jogging (or any form of exercise for that matter) will help you lose weight.A woman pulling her jeans forward implying she has lost weight

In its most simplest form, let’s say that for many years you ate the exact same foods every single day, as well as having the same activity levels. However, this has left you being overweight.

If you continued doing everything exactly the same, but decided to add one mile of jogging every day, you would be expending (burning) more calories on a daily basis.

Depending on your current weight, that one extra mile a day may be burning 100-200 calories a day, so 700-1400 calories a week, and 3,000-6,000 calories a month.

This for many people this could equate to 1lb or 2lb a week in weight loss.

Hold your horses, oh if only it was that easy.

The reason it was important for me to mention that “if you are new to exercise” is because after a month of jogging one mile a day you are no longer a newbie.

Let’s say for me, if I continued eating the same, but stopped my usual exercise routine, and simply jogged one mile a day, or even two, I would gradually start putting on weight.

The reason being that the calories I am consuming through my current diet and nutrition would leave me at a calorie surplus, due to me lowering my activity levels (basically a one or two mile jog is a lot less than what I currently do exercise-wise).

So, as you can see, it’s all relative.

Why Jogging May Not Work For Weight Loss

Okay, admittedly I have gone to an extreme by comparing my own activity levels to someone who is completely new to exercise, but there are still occasions where your new jogging habit may not be having the desired effect on your weight.

Firstly, as I’ve mentioned, the body adapts to the new form of exercise, so eventually you will have to make your workouts harder.

A term I use quite often on my website is “progressive overload”.

This is most commonly used in the gym or in the weights room. In order to get stronger or more muscular you will need to continue adding weight to the bar.

Once again, because your body has adapted to the weights you are currently pushing.

The easiest and most common method of progressive overload when it comes to jogging is to run further distances.

So, you may start out your first month running a mile a day, but then you push this to 2 miles the following month, and then you increase the distance again month after month.

The main problem as I see it with this type of progressive overload is that we’ll all become marathon runners within a year or two.

Have you really got time to be running 3-4 hours every morning?

Plus, let’s not even talk about the potential injuries that may crop up over the course of time.

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No, for most of us, we stick to a set number of miles a day or a week (depending on how often you want to go running) and we never waiver from this amount.

This is typically why you will see regular joggers who don’t appear to be in great shape.

They can easily run 5 miles, but their body has adapted to this distance, and so they are no longer reaping the benefits of weight loss.

Additionally, we tend to overcompensate in terms of how many calories we think we’ve burned through jogging, as well as how many we think we can get away with eating.

I can’t be the only person to say, “I could eat a horse” after a bout of exercise, and the vast majority of us will often overeat afterwards.

A 5-mile run will typically burn 500-600 calories for the average person, but the 1,200-calorie burger, chips (fries to my American friends), and large soft drink will not equate.

You are eating more calories than you have burned – you’re going to put on weight.

And I know many of us make bad food choices if we’ve been exercising – the old, “I can eat what I want because I’ve been exercising”. Unfortunately, once again, it just doesn’t work like that.

Am I Saying That Jogging is Bad For You?

I most certainly am not saying that jogging or running is bad for you and it definitely has its place.A plastic medical heart on top of a text book

Running offers various benefits, such as it boosts your mood and improves sleep quality.

Running has also been proven to improve your overall heart health.

The Journal of the American College of Cardiology published an article in August 2014, which references probably the longest and largest ever study on running and the effects on the heart.

The study ran (no pun intended) for a total of 15 years and was conducted on 55,137 people aged between 18-100 (yes, there was a 100-year old runner in the study, how do you feel now? LOL), with the average age being 44.

Some of the most interesting results include:

  • Runners had a 30% lower risk of death from any cause.
  • When compared to non-runners it was found that people who jogged had a 45% lower risk of death from heart disease (this was measured during the 15-year study).
  • Runners typically had a 3-year higher life expectancy than non-runners.

With that said, there is still much debate about whether “too much” running is bad for the heart – I guess we’re talking about people who run at marathon-level throughout their entire life.

Basically, there is a wealth of great benefits to running.

Case-in-point, pretty much all professional athletes, irrespective of their sports, the armed forces, and a whole host of other fitness-based careers involve running on a daily basis.

However, I will add that all of these people are actually “running” as opposed to the slow-plodding steps we associate with jogging.

Additionally, for all these professional athletes running incorporates just a fraction of their training.

Yes, they require the cardiovascular benefits (strong heart, endurance, etc.) that running provides, but much of their training is based around other forms of exercise.

Let’s take a boxer for example – most professional boxers (depending on weight) will typically get up first thing in the morning (or in the middle of the night apparently if you’re Floyd Mayweather) and run for 5-8 miles.

However, the vast majority of their day is spent on footwork, shadow boxing, sparring, core work, bodyweight exercises, some weights in the gym, and for additional cardio and footwork training, lots of skipping.

I can guarantee that if you performed just 30 minutes a day of these types of exercises instead of jogging, not only would you lose weight, but you’d actually look a lot better as well.

Potentially The Greatest Olympic Athlete EVER Proves My Point

I know it may sound as though I’m bashing jogging as a way to lose weight, but I simply think there are far better ways to achieve weight loss, but above all a slim, toned, and attractive looking body.

A prime example of this is if you compare the body of the most famous joggers/runners, i.e. marathon runners to that of the awesome Olympic champion, and all-round great guy, Usain Bolt.

I mean no disrespect, but most marathon runners and even long-distance (10k, etc.) Olympic runners look skinny, gaunt, and as though they could do with a good meal.

I know if you’re overweight this may sound like heaven, but it’s not a particularly healthy look.

You look at Usain Bolt, you see a muscular, fit and extremely athletic looking man, who looks as though he could perform just about any physical feat.

I can guarantee that his training regime involved lots of explosive power and strength workouts – so, sprints, plyometrics, heavy weight lifting, as well performing Olympic lifts. Not a lot of jogging going on here to produce the body of a world-class athlete.

The problem as I see it is without any form of strength training you are lowering your body’s basal metabolic rate (this is the energy your body burns while you are at rest), which means that you are likely to lose body fat, but more importantly you are also likely to lose muscle mass.

So, you may in fact be “losing weight”, but over time you will be required to expend more energy just to maintain your weight.

Basically, muscle automatically burns calories, so the more muscle mass you have the more calories you burn.

People often associate the word “muscle” with someone who is massive, probably unable to walk or move their arms properly because they have so much bulk.

Hey, if that appeals to you then who am I to judge, go for it.

But in truth, using strength/resistance training and building “muscles” is anything but this.

From a woman’s perspective, compare the body of a female marathon runner to that of Maria Sharapova.

I will reiterate, if you not only want to lose weight, but you actually want to look good physically, you will require some form of resistance training. Plus, it’s also important to note that when I mention “resistance training” this doesn’t merely imply using weights.

Oh no, you can lose weight and get the body you’ve always craved from the comfort of your own home.

Maria Sharapova Workout Routine

Usain Bolt – Fastest Man On Earth

Can You Lose Weight in Just 21 Minutes A Day?

I’ve recently reviewed the Bodyweight Burn program.

This is a bodyweight training system that incorporates 3 different methods of training, which can help you lose weight, burn fat, and achieve a firm, toned, and athletic body.The Bodyweight Burn Program

Above all (most of) the workouts can be completed in just 21 minutes a day.

The Bodyweight Burn program uses what is known as cardioflow, afterburners, and metabolic-muscle sessions.

The cardioflow section uses bodyweight exercises to replace traditional cardio such as jogging, which is not only better on your knee joints, but far more fun and helps you to burn fat and lose weight.

The afterburners are performed towards the end of your workout and are aimed at producing the EPOC effect – Excess Post-Exercise Oxygen Consumption.

This is where the magic happens. The EPOC effect is when your metabolism is high and your body continues to burn fat well AFTER you have finished exercising, typically for 24-72 hours afterwards.

When you’re jogging any weight loss benefits will only happen whilst you’re running, the second you stop you cease reaping the benefits.

Afterburners provide you with fat-burning qualities for days after you’ve stopped exercising.

Finally, the metabolic-muscle sessions are aimed at helping you attain lean muscle, which as we now know is essential is burning more calories.

Furthermore, these types of workouts will increase your insulin sensitivity, so you can occasionally (I said occasionally) enjoy your favourite tasty, carb treats without putting on weight.

Imagine being able to eat a pizza, or a burger, or some fries, or some ice-cream every-now-and-then without having to worry about gaining weight.

You can read my full review of the Bodyweight Burn program here.

Is Jogging Good For Losing Weight? – The Verdict

I think you already know where I’m going with this, but let’s have a final recap.

Yes, jogging can help you to lose weight if you are new to jogging, or exercise itself.

It stands to reason that if you go from no activity to actually being active you’re going to burn more calories, hence you’ll lose weight.

However, the human body is a wonderful thing in so many ways, one of which is that it very quickly adapts to exercise.

This in turn means to reap the weight loss benefits (or simply to maintain your new weight) you will have to do more and more jogging, which will eventually mean that you start to lose muscle as well (do you want to look like an undernourished marathon runner or Usain Bolt or Maria Sharapova?)

Jogging does of course have its good side in terms of cardiovascular health, mood and sleep benefits, but in reality if you want to lose weight, burn fat, and actually look good then there are other (better) ways of doing it.

As I’ve mentioned the Bodyweight Burn Program works on a set of principles that will help you achieve all of this.

Thank you for reading.

14 thoughts on “Is Jogging Good For Losing Weight? (The SHOCKING Truth)”

  1. Very interesting! I had definitely never heard of anyone making a claim like this one. However, your supporting arguments make your case compelling. I would love to lose some weight, but absolutely detest jogging and running. This makes me feel a little better that I’m not wrong in preferring to engage in other, more varied exercises.

    • Hi Jade,

      Thanks for your comments.

      I think it’s important to say that jogging does have its place, in terms of cardiovascular health and even weight loss, but I just don’t think it’s as great as many people want to make out.

      As I’ve mentioned, anyone new to exercise will definitely lose weight when they first start jogging, but there are certainly better ways to lose weight, get fit, burn fat, and get a great looking body.

      Additonally, various exercise techniques are also much kinder on the joints than running will ever be.


  2. I finally understand why my running obsessed sister in law is so chunky yet always trying to loose weight, I don’t mean to that in a unkind way but I am always so impressed with how fit she is, much fitter than me, she runs most days but her weight doesn’t really change even though she is always trying different diets but I kind of get it now after reading this, in order to loose weight she would need to keep increasing the distance of her runs.
    I guess she will have better cardiovascular health though.
    Another great read Partha, I always learn something from your articles.

    • Hi Amy,

      Always lovely to hear from you.

      And there it is, the problem as I see it with jogging – as I’ve mentioned, the body will adapt to the pavement pounding that you do (this is true of any exercise actually), and without progressing further you’re body won’t be reaping the same calorie burning benefits as when you first started jogging.

      You can of course always run faster, which many cross-country runners aim to do, but for most of us who are just jogging for fitness, we believe the only way to make the exercise harder is by running longer distances.

      However, as I’ve discussed, the longer forms of exercise can also have a detrimental effect on muscle (which we now know is essential to having that lean, great looking body), the joints, etc.

      Unfortunately, even worse is that many people stick to jogging the same distance all the time, and can’t understand it when they start to put on weight. Their answer most of the time is to starve themselves, and this just isn’t very healthy at all.

      Thanks again for the kind comments Amy.


  3. That was a really interesting read. I too, am going on quite a few years of working out. I’d say this is my 22nd year of training, and I’ve definitely found that mixing things up works well. I’ve always been told and read myself, that lifting heavy will continue the burn well after the workout. So will interval training, but not as much. So if I ever do run (which is rare, due to a low back injury), I will sprint, rather than running at the same speed for an extended period of time.
    Since Covid, I have not returned to the gyms here (I’m in NY). But instead I’ve been doing workouts at home that I really enjoy.
    Thanks for the info, and I’m with you – I’ll leave the running to the marathon runners! 🙂

    • Hi Shanna,

      Lovely to hear from you and always nice to meet a like-minded soul.

      Well done for the many years of training, you obviously know what a great difference it makes to both the mind and body.

      Yes, I totally agree about lifting weights, although it is something that many people avoid, mainly from fear of the unknown.

      However, as you say, it does create the EPOC effect, whereby you are still burning fat many, many hours after you’ve finished your workout.

      As you say interval training works on the same principles, and I guess sprints are an advanced version of interval training.

      I’ve found that you can produce the exact same results from using pure bodyweight moves too, but ones that really tax you physically and get that heart-rate pumping.

      I will admit I have done my fair share of jogging/running over the years, but much like yourself I’m happy to leave it to the marathon runners nowadays.

      Hope you get out to the gym safely soon.


  4. Hi,
    This is a well explained article here on jogging.

    Yes, jogging does help in weight loss but the door have to regulate and consistent to see good results.

    Also, I think the bodyweight burn program is a nice program that anyone look forward to burning fat and loss weight should give a try.

    • Hi Albright,

      Thanks for your comments.

      Yes, as I say, I certainly think that jogging has its place in losing weight, but the results (in terms of weight loss) may be short-lived.

      If you are simply looking to improve your cardiovasular health and be active on a regular basis then I see nothing wrong with jogging.

      However, for weight loss there are far better options, not to mention the potential injuries that may crop up with long-term, long-distance jogging/running.


  5. Oh, I am so happy I found this article! I never ever liked jogging through my life. I’m not quite a through and through fitness person, but I can do my share of exercise. Jogging never was a part of that.
    I have, however a friend who swears by it, and now, that we are not that young, nor that slender any more, she keeps pressing me to join her in a more than an hour jogging, all in the name of “getting back to shape”. I don’t have the heart to tell her she is pretty out of shape, despite jogging every morning.
    Now I have grounds to stay away from it. Thank you!

    • Hi Kerryanne,

      Great to hear from you.

      Yes, I must admit I’m not a fan of jogging either.

      Don’t get me wrong, I’ve done my fair share over my life, and even got into a regular routine in my younger days, but I never quite felt “at home” with jogging in comparison to other forms of exercise.

      If you enjoy the exercise you are doing then continue and I definitely wouldn’t recommend doing “an hour or more” of jogging if it’s not something you’re used to.

      Unfortunately, we can all get a little out of shape as we get older, but there’s not always a need for vast amounts of exercise. Just slightly upping your current activity levels, and paying more attention to your calorie intake is typically more than enough to drop a few pounds in a healthy way.


  6. Does this program focus on building all of your muscle groups? I have read that build muscles enables you to burn fats even after the workout. What diet do they recommend in the program? Do they go over warm up and stretching techniques? Thanks for the info. I never did like jogging by the way and wonder why people jog next to busy roads with all the carbon monoxide in the air.

    • Hi Brian,

      Thanks for your comments and indeed your questions.

      I guess you are talking about the Bodyweight Burn Program here.

      The program focuses on helping you achieve a lean, athletic, and toned body from head to toe, by following three forms of exercise. These exercise formats are aimed at burning fat, raising the metabolism and fat burning qualities for hours AFTER you have finished exercising, and also building lean muscle.

      By focusing on exercise in this manner you produce the EPOC effect, which indeed burns far for many hours after you have finished working out.

      You will be guided through from start to finish, which will include warming up and cooling down.

      The program is solely based on the exercise component of achieving this type of body, however, following your purchase Adam will also offer you a number of other program that are closely related and can actually complement the main program, and this includes a guide to diet and nutrition.

      You can read my full Bodyweight Burn Review here.


  7. Hi Partha ,thank you for this wonderful article .Honestly ,i completely agree with you on this.My cousin is been jogging 4 times a week, for at least 2 monts now, to lose weight .At the beginning ,i really saw that he was losing weight but as we speak,i looks like he is stuck at the same place .I think this article is going to help him .I am going to share this with him ,ithink he needs to increase the distance .Thank you very much for this nice article .

    • Hi JK,

      Thanks for your comments.

      Yes, unfortunately this is the case for most people, not just with jogging, but often with exercise in general.

      As I’ve mentioned the body typically adapts to any physical activity fairly quickly, so in order to keep making improvements, whether that’s losing weight, burning fat, building muscle and strength, or even just getting fitter, then you have to work the body more.

      There are hard ways to achieve this and then there are smart ways to achieve this.



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