Exercise! - Does C25K help you to lose weight?

Slim CB
10-15-2010, 04:10 PM

Its me again. I just started the C25K with the aim of losing weight and bringing some vitality to my work out routine as I regularly go the gym but am getting bored. But I have been doing some research and I see all over where people say that they have used the program and have not lost weight. Some say that they lose inches but no weight, some say that they have not lost weight/inches at all.

I really dont want to do this if I am not going to lose weight. I know that I will feel better emotionally from having achieved the goal of being able to run 3 miles but I still want to see the number on the scale going down!

I have a run scheduled this evening and would like to clear this up in my mind.

Can anyone help?

10-15-2010, 04:22 PM
I completed C25K this summer, and I am one of the ones who did not lose weight but did lose inches. I got incredibly toned and was obviously exchanging fat for muscle. I was getting smaller though not lighter. When I reached a point where running was "easy" and I was able to add other exercise to my routine, I started dropping pounds again.

I have a friend who is doing C25K. He's in W8 and has lost 21 pounds! Of course, he's a guy, and their metabolism is different, so maybe that doesn't count. ;)

I'm not sure what would cause one to not lose weight OR inches while doing C25K. It seems odd that you would see no effect whatsoever. :dunno:

10-15-2010, 04:27 PM
I think that depends on each individual, but as for my personal experience it took a while before the scale started moving downward. I did see a difference in how my clothes fit, but wasn't losing pounds too fast at all. Some weeks I would even gain weight. But I think that is from building muscle. And your muscles also retain water after a workout, something else to keep in mind. The first thing I DID notice, was that I felt thinner! I felt healthier and could really tell my body was changing quickly.

If you want to lose weight, the more muscle you have the more calories your body burns even at rest. It is most definitely working for me. But, like I said someone else's experience may be totally different.

10-15-2010, 04:29 PM
Well...I don't know anything about C25K, but I'm assuming it some sort of running program. If so, then it should definately burn lots of calories. Now...whether or not you will lose weight, gain or maintain depends upon your diet. Remember...exercise simply helps create a deficit, the biggest deficit should come from diet.

I've been running (my own program called 'watch your heartrate girl') for 4 weeks...and have lost 15 lbs. Of course my diet is calorie/fat/carb controlled (BistroMD), so this helps alot as well. I'm already seeing more definition in my legs and my entire body has basically strunk! I know from my past dieting experiences that I could not have achieved such quick results on the scale and in the mirror had it not been for running.

Another point to ponder...look at runnners....long time runners...observe their physical appearance, this will give you some idea of what you can expect down the road. Hope this helps a bit.

Happy running:)

10-15-2010, 04:55 PM
I lost three pounds during the program, but dropped a dress size.

And then I continued to lose more afterwards as my fitness level was so much higher and my metabolism had altered.

Don't knock exchanging fat for muscle. I would rather be 140 and toned than 140 and flabby.

Slim CB
10-15-2010, 05:08 PM
Don't knock exchanging fat for muscle. I would rather be 140 and toned than 140 and flabby.

That's so true....

10-15-2010, 05:10 PM
I am curios about this too. I have never been a runner but I was thinking about starting the prpogram (probably slower; stay on weeks longer if need be). Good luck!

10-15-2010, 06:08 PM
I'm in week 2 and I am not dropping pounds yet, but I do feel better. Much better...it's almost like the person I want to be comes out when I do the jogging parts. Good luck with your decision. :)

Slim CB
10-15-2010, 06:14 PM
I am going to do my run this evening and evaluate from there. Its something that I always wanted to do....be a runner.

I guess I am just anxious to lose the last 9 - 13 lbs that's why I am hesistating to continue as I just want to get to goal and focus on maintaining.

10-15-2010, 06:41 PM
...it's almost like the person I want to be comes out when I do the jogging parts.

That is so perfectly said! :D

10-15-2010, 06:46 PM
I loosely follow a running schedule similar to the C25k program, but I drag out each stage a bit longer because I am so heavy and my body needs more time to adjust to each increase in distance. I have seen it really help speed my weight loss, and it helped me break a plateau, but I am also counting my calories. You cannot expect to lose weight on any exercise program unless you are monitoring your caloric intake. Otherwise, your body will crave more calories to make up for what it's burning. Of course, this can still be great if your goal is only to tone up and lose flab.

10-15-2010, 08:51 PM
I'm not doing c25k but I have started getting back into running - I had been doing other aerobic tapes and haven't been seeing the results I've wanted to so I'm hitting the treadmill again. Earlier in my 20s I had great success loosing weight via running so I'm giving it a second shot. I think if you keep pushing your running limits and keep an eye out in your diet, you'll see a loss. good luck!

10-16-2010, 12:57 AM
I just started c25k on the treadmill and noticed that the treadmill only logged me as having burned 100 calories or so. So, I think many of the people here and around the Internet are right: this isn't a weight loss thing and you have to incorporate other cardio and watch your diet to keep losing weight.

Personally, I don't have a problem with that and I think working out with a goal in mind (ie: finish the program) is very motivating. Sometimes regular cardio at the gym can feel like a hamster spinning in a wheel. And like others.. I would rather be toned and smaller and maybe not necessarily weigh substantially less.


10-16-2010, 05:21 AM
Certainly in the frst few weeks, you aren't running a very long way, so the calories burned are fewer - it's more about building fitness and stamina.

But as you run farther you will burn more. At my weight, I burn about 100 calories per mile run. So by the end, if you can run the full three miles, you wil be burning 300 calories in the run, not counting the warm up walk.

At 600 calories per hour on average (running 6 mph), running is one of the best exercises for calorie burning.

10-16-2010, 02:55 PM
I'm starting week 3 of C25k, only on the treadmill so far since it's still very hot outside here. I was very surprised to see how low the number of "calories burned" was on the treadmill compared to the elliptical I usually do (at pretty high resistance).

I mean, I know the calorie estimates on those machines can be far from accurate, but given the same weight and heart rate to calculate from, clearly the treadmill thinks I am burning less than the elliptical machine does. And on the elliptical I'm at my so called 85% heart rate most of the time while on the running program I'm not really hitting it yet.

10-17-2010, 02:58 AM
The elliptical burns more than the treadmill because of the arm motion. My heart rate leaps higher faster on the elliptical than it does running.

10-17-2010, 05:26 PM
im on week 5 and just now starting to lose weight. But i had been on a 3 month platau before i started AND Ive lost and inch and a half from my bust, and hips and 2 inches from my midsection. I also feel much better and stronger. and feel things firming up. Ive lost 3 lbs this week so hopefully this continues. I was all upset i wasnt losing but i started to focus more on the measuring tape and less on the scale and it helped.

10-17-2010, 05:59 PM
I did it last year and didn't lose any weight or inches. The shape of my upper legs changed though. I swear my thighs got bigger, but the area from my inner knee up thinned out. Basically, they got tighter/toned.

You might want to take a picture of yourself in shorts before you start. On the running forum I went to during C25K, there was a guy who posted before and after pics. He only lost something like 4 lbs, but his legs looked entirely different.

I went on from C25K to work up to running about 5 miles at a time...still didn't lose any weight from running. I think it was because it made me beyond hungry. It seemed like no matter what I ate, I was hungry a few hours later. When I first started C25K, I was trying to stick to 1500 calories and I really couldn't. Now, without running, I stick to 1500 quite easily. I might try to add a few runs back in soon and see how I do.

10-18-2010, 12:33 AM
Never a runner before here. I did my own version of C25K. All the weight I have lost (see ticker) has been through running. I started in March of this year. I am glad I am losing that weight, only wish it was faster. However, my legs are looking awesome! And love to challenge myself and improve my time every time I run.

Slim CB
10-18-2010, 10:42 AM
Thanks for all of your advice! I did my run on Friday (just Week 1, Day 2) and it wa a bit tough cuz I guess my heart was not in it. I even started getting upset with my I-pod :)

But I pushed through and completed it and I felt great afterwards. That being said...I am going to continue and see where the C25K path leads me :)

10-18-2010, 10:49 AM
I did C25k a couple of years ago and went from a size 12-14 to a size 6 in about 3 - 4 months (35-40lb loss). The initial part of that time was the actual C25k program and then after I completed it, I would run a 5k as my workout probably 4-5 times per week. I was also doing some weight lifting 2-3 times/week, but nothing major...just trying to get in some toning.

Before starting C25k, I had done the elliptical for about 2 months without the scale budging one bit, which was what made me want to give running a shot. After 2 months on the elliptical I was able to stay on for quite a while at a high resistance and incline, but could only run about a 1/2 mile on the treadmill and even then I felt like I was going to die! I think they just worked totally different muscles. I didn't lose any weight (or inches that I noticed) on the elliptical, whereas running made the inches melt off, but everyone's different!

10-18-2010, 12:01 PM
I'm currently on Week 7 of the C25K programme and have been losing weight throughout that time, but because I have also been reducing my calories, I can't tell you how much of that weight loss is due to C25K and how much is due to the calorie deficit. I suspect that C25K in itself hasn't played a huge part in reducing the number on the scale, but I'm pretty sure I look a lot fitter and healthier due to C25K improving my physical fitness. One of the reasons I chose to do C25K is because when I lose weight, I want to look and feel physically fit - I think that'll make the most of my weight loss, and it seems a shame to just stop at being "slim" when I've put in all of the effort to lose weight in the first place. I think if I just lost weight, I would still be quite unfit and probably quite flabby. Even though I've only been running for 7 weeks, I feel my legs look much better, and my complexion/skin looks and feels brighter. I'd definitely recommend it! That and the pleasure of being able to think, wow, I ran for 25 minutes this morning without stopping... for me, that's an entirely different but also great form of satisfaction that goes beyond the number on the scale :)

10-18-2010, 12:28 PM

10-18-2010, 02:18 PM
Another vote for giving it a try. Looking at the big picture, even if you don't lose too much initially, as you get stronger and can run more you certainly will burn a lot of calories. And you definitely build muscle as well!

10-18-2010, 05:50 PM
I sort of took the scenic route learning to run. I can't quiet run for a full 5k without stopping... yet. For me, running isn't about burning calories. It is about feeling good about myself. After running, I feel good and I want to continue to feel good, so it makes chosing healthy foods easier. It also helps level out my moods... if I am not in a mood - it is easier to eat healthy (and not go for the fattening comfort foods).

10-19-2010, 02:11 AM
Another vote for giving it a try. Looking at the big picture, even if you don't lose too much initially, as you get stronger and can run more you certainly will burn a lot of calories. And you definitely build muscle as well!

Exactly. Especially the first few weeks, you really aren't burning many calories. You are, however, building muscle which will up your resting metabolism to help you burn more calories and you are building your endurance which will, eventually, make it so that 3 or 4 days a week you can go out and run 3 miles which burns lots of calories! :)

I just did week 2 day 1 and thought I was gonna die. LOL If that podcast guy had been standing next to me, I think I could have found the strength to punch him. :lol: At least I get tomorrow off though. :)

10-19-2010, 06:01 PM
You guys are all so inspiring!! I've started the C25K program three times now, but raarely make it past week 1! Now that it's getting cooler outside, I'm definitely going to try again!

LOL when the podcast guy is like "Great job! Just one more run!" i want to kill him, so I totally know how you feel, Jennie!

10-19-2010, 10:33 PM
Do it do it do it. Your progress will be slow and steady but in my case my legs went from "whatever" to TOTALLY RIPPED. I'm talking if I flex and slap my thighs, nothing jiggles at all. The shape has changed and it's definitely taken the edge off the fluffiness of my love handle area (sadly the tummy remains). Up until the disappearing point my butt got more and more toned too. Definitely worth it for that alone, but consider that exercise especially running can become highly addictive. You'll watch yourself improve by leaps and bounds and want to push to see how much better you can get.

10-29-2010, 01:57 AM
The elliptical burns more than the treadmill because of the arm motion. My heart rate leaps higher faster on the elliptical than it does running.

I used to do 20 or 30 mins on the treadmill, and then get on the epiliptical just because I lost more calories when combining the two.

I just noticed this thread, Slim CB:) ! Thanks for letting me know.

I did this program last year, but I built up on my own between walking for two minutes and then jogging for one minute. I eventually decreased my intervals to where I was jogging more. I was training for a 5km at the time. I have a good friend who completed this program and he lost 30 pounds. I believe it to be a great program for beginners.

I haven't jogged in eight months or so and have been speed walking over the last few months. I'm at the point where I want to start jogging because I don't feel my heart rate elevating that high when I walk. I can't wait to begin this program again and see the weight peel off. Combining a healthy diet and exercise is the best way to see results. Last year I was eating a lot, and still lost some weight (which was surprising).

Great to see that others are doing this program and seeing results. I remember how agonizing it was for me to build up to any steady jogging. Jogging is not easy for those that are not used to it. I almost killed myself when starting out :o. I'm curious to see how I will fair getting back into running and perhaps it won't take me that long to build up to what I was doing almost a year ago. I'll see how it goes. Starting the program in three days.

10-29-2010, 04:09 PM
You can lose weight while running if you keep your calorie intake down below what your are burning daily.

I joined a running club a few years back because I had stalled weight wise. I didn't lose any weight because after our runs everyone would meet for breakfast and right after a run I'd be really hungry and no self control. If I had gone home, took a shower, drank a big glass of water. I probably would have done better. Even on my own runs, I some how tricked myself into thinking "I worked so hard running, I deserve this treat"

So for me, running didn't help me lose any weight but that was because I didn't keep track of my calories. On the plus side I didn't gain any either, even with all my treats.

But on the plus side, I felt wonderful when I was running. It was like a natural high. My emotions were a whole lot more stabil, I had tons of energy. I only stopped because my knees where bothering me. My PT told me I had muscle imbalance and one side of my legs were stonger then the other and gave me exercises to fix it. I did the exercises but never got back into running. Maybe I should. I felt so much better when I was running.

Sarah in MD