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Home arrow Fitness arrow Running arrow Running 30 Minutes a Day for Faster Weight Loss

Running 30 Minutes a Day for Faster Weight Loss

Written by Isabel Mayfield
Fact checked by Rosmy Barrios, MD
Last update: March 17, 2023
5 min read 1458 Views 0 Comments
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running 30 minutes a day

Running is a great exercise if you want to burn calories. It is practical, reliable, and sure to contribute to your health and wellness goals. Aside from being an excellent way to stay fit, running has many other benefits like relieving stress and improving brain function.

Moreover, running 30 minutes a day for faster weight loss is a strategy used by many people. According to research, running ranks as one of the top sports activities to burn calories.

Let’s review what the experts have to say about it, shall we?

Why Is It Worth It to Be Running 30 Minutes a Day?

Researchers say that running just 10 minutes a day is enough to extend life by several years. And it’s incredible to note, given that we are only referring to low-intensity running here.

Running at an average speed of 5mph will get you about a mile in 12 minutes. In that time alone, studies say a 125-pound human burns about 240 calories, a 155-pounder burns 288, and a 185-pounder burns 336. And that is in just 12 minutes.

Now, the average jogger runs at speeds between 4 and 6mph. So, if you, an average runner, run 30 minutes a day, you are sure to burn between 720 and 840 calories a day. That’s a significant contribution to your daily weight loss goal.

Oh, and you run up to 2.5 miles too.

What Should I Eat Before a 30-Minute Run?

Since you want to lose weight, we will only talk about foods that will help you have the energy to start, maintain, and end the run successfully. But when you start running, you want it to feel just right – not stuffed or starved. So, ensure you eat light before a run.


The ideal thing to eat before a run is something that is easy to digest and provides instant energy. Foods high in carbohydrates are a good option because carbs quickly break down into glucose in the body. Glucose is the body’s chief source of energy during a run.

What you want is something that will give you a quick kick to start your run. You also want to eat something that won’t present any inconvenience for 30 minutes. Carbohydrates are great just before heading out if you eat only a little bit.

Eating too many carbs before a run to lose weight is counterproductive. Excess carbs add excess calories to your body. If not burned up through activity during the day, they add weight to your body the next.

But, if you take only a tiny amount of carbohydrates before your run, the glucose derived from it will quickly burn up during the run. Then the momentum you built up from running pushes your body to deplete internal fuel sources for energy, namely fat.

So, taking a minimal amount of carbohydrates before your run is best for losing weight. See the carbs as a booster, not the energy source. The excess fat in your body is the primary energy source.

Foods like bananas, muffins, pretzels, crackers, boiled or steamed rice, whole-wheat bread, and oatmeal are rich in easy-to-burn carbs. Energy bars and gels are good too. Mango juice, berry juice, and other fruit drinks go a long way.

But remember – small amounts.


According to research, the go-to food class for weight loss is protein. Why? Because the digestion of proteins burns calories, instead of gaining weight from protein it turns fat into muscle mass. Proteins take a while to digest, staying longer in the stomach. This keeps you feeling full, reducing your desire to eat more.

Proteins repair tissues injured or strained during exercise, so eating them is a significant plus for your body. They also contain calories to provide your body with energy. But proteins release calories much slower than carbs, which is good for getting into the latter paces of a 30-minute run.

Proteins contribute a lot to muscle development which is essential to weight loss. Eating protein is necessary for developing strength and stamina.

After eating protein foods, wait for 2 to 4 hours before going on your run. You want to let digestion kick in properly before running so you don’t throw up during your run.

Eat beans, eggs, poultry, fish, lean meats, low-fat dairy products, and whole grains for protein. Remember to eat light so that you don’t feel heavy before your run.

Stay hydrated

Water is integral to losing weight and staying fit. You need a few glasses of water before a run. But sit 5 to 10 minutes after drinking before stepping out.

Drinking water makes you feel full and refreshed before a run. It also ensures that nutrients in your body get around easier as you run. For example, certain water-soluble fats in your body turn into much-needed energy as you run. The result of this is less weight after the exercise.

Water reduces overall pH levels encouraging your body to work harder with less pain and strain on your muscles. It also ensures that excess calories are transported to working muscles to be burned up.

Drink lots of water with protein and carbohydrate meals between meals and during the run.

Benefits of Running 30 Minutes a Day

Here are a few reasons why you should grab your sneakers and go for a 30-minute run right away: 

Burns calories

Calories added up mean fat. Fat added up means weight. And weight added up means health problems of all sorts. But regularity will make all that go away before you know it.

Earlier, we mentioned how running impacts weight loss by burning calories. It does so by firing up your metabolism, so you lose calories during and even after the run. Now, that’s amazing.

Mood boost

Have you heard of “runner’s high”? It’s a desirable condition caused by an elevated heart rate, a release of hormones, and endorphins into the bloodstream. It results in a deep, relaxing state of euphoria during and after the run.

When you experience this, you feel less pain, anxiety, or stress. It’s why people fall into the healthy addiction of running. Running helps clear the head and allows thoughts to flow freely.

So, running makes you happier and calmer overall. 

Higher energy levels

Running increases the use of nutrients and calories in the body resulting in the development and strengthening of muscles. This means that the energy you have daily gets amplified.

Aside from that, running improves brain activity and cognitive performance by leaps and bounds. How? Running results in an increased heart rate which means higher blood flow throughout the body.

So, more blood gets to the brain, increasing the oxygen supply to brain cells. The result is that brain cells have more energy to work than on days with no running. This improves cognitive functions making you more intelligent, more confident, and more resilient under pressure.

In other words, running “supercharges” your brain. 

How to Start Running 30 Minutes a Day

It’s pretty straightforward. Once you’ve decided you want to run 30 minutes a day to lose weight, it then depends on your weekly schedule.

But what if you could have an assistant, a coach, or a motivator to get you out there putting in the miles? Just what you needed, right?

For beginner runners, we would suggest using running apps. Smartphone applications can help to boost your motivation and also it might help to make running into a fun activity.

A Word From Our Coach

So, what are the take-homes here? First, running just 30 minutes a day will not only make you lose weight but will also boost your lifespan.

We focus on foods that encourage your body to burn more calories on your run and boost recovery afterward. Your goal is to lose weight while staying healthy.

If you want to start running by yourself, figure out your free time per week. Pick two days a week to run 30 minutes per day for a start. You may want to spread them apart to give you time to recover and develop strength.

But it’s always beneficial using an app when it comes to running to burn fat and more calories.


It’s important to know what works for you when you set out on any exercise. So, start small, but always aim high. Running for 30 minutes a day or almost 3 miles a day can make a huge impact on your health.

Written by Isabel Mayfield
Isabel Mayfield is a certified yoga instructor with over 10 years of experience in the fitness industry. She is passionate about self-improvement and loves to help people improve their sense of self-worth through education and support in meeting their fitness goals.
The article was fact checked by Rosmy Barrios, MD
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Written by Isabel Mayfield
Fact checked by Rosmy Barrios, MD
Last update: March 17, 2023
5 min read 1458 Views 0 Comments

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