‘Does running make you fat?’

Posted on October 12, 2011


 Source: Andy Newson / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Yesterday, I read an article – Does running make you fat?

No, running doesn’t make you fat.  The main point of the article is that exercising alone will likely not cause weight loss.  Many people use exercise as an excuse to indulge in unhealthy food or beverages because they feel like they’ve “earned” it.  Usually, they end up eating more calories than they just burned.  Also, some people move less throughout the day if they have already exercised or are planning on exercising later.

The article is long but interesting, and you should read it if you want to know more.

Here are some quotes that sum up the article:

  • “It can take an hour to burn off 400 or 500 calories, and just two minutes to eat that,” says [Laura] Clark, [a registered dietician with the British Dietetic Association].
  • It is important not to downplay the benefits of exercise. The part it plays in weight loss has been overstated, but it has a crucial role in most aspects of our physical health, in fighting disease and in moderating mental health.
  • Running and weight loss: the dos and don’ts 

* Eat an hour-and-a-half before a run and have a healthy snack [see below] available for afterwards. 

* Mix up the intensity of your run. Running for 30 minutes with bursts of sprinting is better for fat burning, lean-muscle building and fitness than a 45-minute trudge.

* Exercise followed by a treat is better for overall health than not exercising. But be aware of the calories burnt. Running for 40 minutes does not buy you two doughnuts.

* Avoid [sports] drinks if you’re exercising for less than 60 minutes. You don’t need them because the carb reserve in muscles and the liver sustains us for an hour. Re-hydrate with water instead.

Source: Does running make you fat? – by: Sophie Morris

Like the article says, you should eat a healthy snack after exercising.  Try to include a mix of carbohydrates and protein.  My favorite thing to have after I exercise is a smoothie.  It tastes great, and it’s really good for me – full of fruit, yogurt, and spinach (yes, I said spinach). I use frozen fruit, so it’s really refreshing when I get home from my walk.

It’s not that pretty, but it’s tasty – and I promise you don’t notice the spinach.  It’s also really easy to make, and it’s a lot better for you to make your own smoothie. Most smoothie places use a large amount of sugar and not as much fruit. 

If you don’t have a blender, buy one. They’re really easy to get and aren’t expensive.  My last smoothie blender recently died (it was with me for 8 wonderful years…), so I just got this new one from Wal-Mart for less than $20.

My smoothie photos are by no means beauties, but look at my pretty orchid in the background (haha, I take pictures in my bedroom because it has the best lighting).

Fruit Smoothie 

Note: for testing the recipe I used these measurements. In general, I usually just guess how much goes in because my smoothie differs daily.  See estimated recipe below for my daily recipe.

2 servings

½-¾ cup fat-free plain yogurt

cup fat-free flavored yogurt (try to avoid one with a lot of added sugar)

1-2 cups loosely packed baby spinach

1 to 1½ cups water, orange juice, or fat-free milk

1 ½ cups strawberries, frozen (or a mix of strawberries, pineapple, mangoes, and peaches)

½ cup blueberries, frozen

⅓ banana, frozen

Add everything into the blender in the order listed, starting with the yogurt.  Blend together until mixture is completely combined.  Stir and make sure there are no remaining fruit pieces.  Serve immediately and enjoy!

Estimated recipe:

4 large spoonfuls of plain yogurt

2-3 large spoonfuls of flavored yogurt

2 large handful of spinach

1½ cups water

about 12-14 frozen strawberries or 1½ cups mixed fruit

two handfuls of frozen blueberries

⅓ banana, frozen

Follow directions above. Enjoy!

I usually drink the entire thing.  It makes a little over 32 ounces, so it’s pretty big.

The main thing for you to remember is that living well includes both a healthy diet and regular exercise.  Exercise cannot make up for unhealthy eating habits. Try to exercise for at least 150 minutes per week, and don’t use your workout as an excuse to move less throughout the day or for eating unhealthy. After you exercise, reward yourself with a healthy yet tasty snack.