Is 30 minutes of running per day enough to help me lose weight?

We discuss if running 30 minutes per day is enough to help promote weight loss.

Running is great for weight loss, especially when done consistently. While running itself is excellent for losing weight, you’ll want to pair this with further health habits such as a diet, hydration, and good quality sleep.

One of the best things about running is the little equipment you need to start. Unlike sports such as cycling and swimming where you need a bike or a pool, all you need is a pair of running shoes. This makes it ideal for those looking to lose weight without investing in expensive equipment.


The key to losing weight is ultimately consistency. Staying consistent with these components will produce the best results. However, setting reasonable and achievable goals is equally as important. For example, let’s say you plan to run 60 minutes per day, every day. Chances are, you’ll miss a few days, probably get injured and eventually fall out of this routine.

To maintain consistency, to produce the results you want, you must set reasonable and achievable goals for yourself. Instead, you may plan to run 30 minutes per day, five days per week. Setting reasonable and achievable goals will allow you to develop a habit and routine. This is arguably the most important factor when looking to lose weight.

How many calories will I burn by running for 30 minutes?

There are many factors which will determine how many calories you can burn by running for 30 minutes. These include body composition, weight, running terrain, and the speed in which you are running.

To provide an example, Healthline report that a 120-pound person will burn an estimated 11.4 calories per minute while running. If this person were to run at a 10-minute per mile pace, then they would burn 114 calories in 10 minutes. This same individual would, therefore, burn a total of 342 calories per 30 minutes of running.

Caloric Deficit

In order to shed the pounds, you’re going to want to do a lot of running. The key to losing weight is to enter a caloric deficit. A caloric deficit is a shortage of calories consumed to calories required to maintain the same weight.

A caloric deficit can be achieved either by eating fewer calories or by exercising to burn those excess calories. For example, a male who eats 3,000 calories per day and is looking to lose weight may start by cutting their daily caloric intake down to 2,500 calories. Reducing your calorie intake paired with exercise is the best way to lose weight quickly.

30 minutes is the perfect number

Jennifer Warner from WebMD discusses why shorter workouts may be more beneficial. Warner mentions that those who exercise for 60-minutes per day may feel inclined to eat more food in order to compensate for their longer workout and therefore lose less weight.

Secondly, researchers suggest that those who only exercise for a total of 30 minutes have more energy left for the rest of the day. This prevents individuals from engaging in sedentary behaviour, leaving them more energy to do more active activities such as walking.

Finally, it was concluded that those who exercised 30 minutes per day lost two pounds more bodyweight than those who exercised 60 minutes per day.

30 minutes per day, 5 days a week

If you’re wanting to cut those pounds, you’re going to want to run a minimum of five days per week to see real results. We recommend dedicating two days per week for rest. This will prevent injury and allow your body adequate time to recover from each of your runs.

Second, running in 30-minute chunks is much easier to run faster. Including sprint intervals or faster running into your runs will allow you to burn more calories. We recommend including a faster pace into one or two of your runs per week.

Lastly, weight-loss isn’t the only benefit you receive from running 30 minutes per day. You will receive many health benefits such as improved heart health, reduced blood pressure, improved mental health, and a stronger immune system.

Don’t dive in the deep end

While 30 minutes of running per day is great for promoting weight loss, it’s essential to build up to running a minimum of five days per week instead of jumping into it. Starting to run five days per week with no prior experience will most likely lead to injury. This will slow down your progress and stop you from reaching your goals.

We suggest beginning to run two days per week and slowly building this up over a period of weeks. This will reduce your risk of injury and keep you motivated to achieve your weight loss/health goals.

To conclude

Running for 30 minutes per day, five days per week is plenty if you’re looking to lose weight. It is essential to remain consistent with exercise, nutrition, sleep, and hydration if you want to see real progress.

In summary, running 30 minutes per day will definitely help you lose weight granted your diet is in check and you’re dedicated to your goals.

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