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Does Jogging Cause Weight Gain?

By Tammy Dray ; Updated July 18, 2017

Exercise will affect your body in a number of ways. Aerobic exercise such as jogging is often the preferred choice for people trying to lose weight because it burns a large number of calories. However, you have to consider other factors in addition to your jogging routine. If you're trying to lose weight by jogging and the scale isn't budging, you might need to change some of your tactics.

Calories Burned

Jogging burns a significant number of calories. According to Harvard University, a 155-pound person can burn 298 calories running at 5 mph for 30 minutes. In order to lose 1 pound of body fat, you will need to burn a total of 3,500 calories. This means, in theory, a loss of 1 pound for every 6 one-hour jogging workouts. If you keep up with the workouts, you should be losing weight, not gaining.

Calories Consumed

Intense exercise such as jogging can enhance your appetite and cause you to eat more. This could be an explanation as to why some people don’t lose weight easily despite exercising hard: They may be eating more calories without even realizing it. A 2009 study by the Queensland University of Technology in Australia, reported by Reuters, showed that people who exercise are hungrier at mealtime. The key to losing weight is to keep track of your food intake and make sure you’re not eating more than before you started your jogging regimen. If you keep your food intake under control, you should be losing weight, not gaining.

Muscle Building

If you jog regularly, your leg muscles will start developing and toning. According to nutritional scientist Ed Blonz on The San Diego Union-Tribune website, muscle is denser than fat, so as you gain muscle, your weight may go up even if your shape doesn’t change. If you take the same amount of fat and muscle and weigh both, muscle will be heavier because it is denser. This is not a bad thing, so don't worry too much if you see a small change, especially if it comes accompanied with better muscle definition in your legs.

Benefits of Jogging

Jogging on a regular basis will help jump-start your metabolism, burn fat and strengthen your leg muscles. All these things together should help you lose weight, not gain it. Jogging can also improve your sleeping patterns. Lack of sleep can make you feel tired and you might overeat as a result, according to sleep expert Dr. Michael J. Breus in a Huffington Post article.

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