New to running, need some help and advice.

Hi All,

I'm new to running have only completed Week 1 Day 2 so far of the C25K app, I wanted to start running to increase my overall fitness and to loose weight. I am currently 2 stone overweight and really want to get rid of it ASAP. I have been using myfitness pal to log down what I am eating per day and to work out how many calories I should be eating in order to loose weight. I must point out that I am not and never have dieted, so when I put in my food intake yesterday I was surprised to get a warning about my body going into starvation mode. I set the up up with my height and current weight plus my target weight, the app said I should target 1,620 calories a day. After putting in my food and exercise for the day I told the app to end the day, I had a total of 888 calories left over.  Would being this far below the target that the app states hinder my attempts to loose weight? 

I also wanted to ask if you think a 2 stone loss would be achieveable through running?

I have bought a yoga ball to try and do some core exercises on my rest days so that I can strengthen my core and hopefully loose the fat that currently hides my abs anyway.

If you have any advice with reguards to the C25K app or general advice for running I'd appreciate it.

I already have running trainers and got them from a running shop that did analyse my gait for me.




  • That does sound way too low to be sustainable.

    How many calories did you actually eat yesterday?

    And yes 2 stones can easily come from running - BUT you need to control the calories in. You burn about 100 calories a mile - so its far easier to scoff 1000 calories than it is run 10 miles to burn it off. Even for experienced runners.
  • Hi Cougie,

    Thanks for your response. In total I ate 904 Calories yesterday but burned 172 on my run meaning in total I had a net of 732 Calories with 888 left to eat to make the target of 1,620 calories a day. I am only on week 1 of the Couch to 5k Pogram and am running 1.5 miles atm with a mix of 60 seconds run 90 seconds walk, I'm not sure if that is a good distance or not but I am really more focused on getting fit and staying fit.




  • That does sound too little. I've used MFP over the last 6 weeks to lose about 12 lbs. I'm eating a lot more than 904 calories !

    If you take it too low your body will go into starvation mode I believe.

    Sensible and steady is the way. Shortcuts will mean you put the weight back on very quickly.

    You cant spot reduce fat - so although the exercise is good - it wont help specifically with showing your abs.

    The App seems really good - I'd trust what it tells you.
  • Hi Cougie,

    Thanks, I will have to start working on eating more calories ..

  • I lost a lot of weight last year through dieting (and a little exercise). I haven't put a pound back on this year because I'm running but also because I'm still eating sensibly. The key is to work out what is sustainable for you and aim for that as a "normal" level. Then chip it back slightly to diet nice and gently.

    And definitely eat more than you did the other day. On my very well behaved days I was still eating 1500 calories. A nice peanut butter sarnie after a run will give you a few hundred calorie top up if you need it!

    And good on you for starting and working on it. It's a long road but if you want it it's yours.

  • Thanks Nicky,

    It seems from what you and Cougie have both said I have been under eating for quite some time. I really started to notice my weight issues when I visited a friend in America and literally ate fast food for the majority of the 3 weeks I was there, I came home from America to find I had lost 5lbs but have since put that and more back on, since getting home and eating how I normally would. 

    I always thought I was over eating, I guess that isn't the case. I'm enjoying the running so will be keeping up with that, I just have to sort out the calorie intake.



  • I'd be quite careful - are you sure you've counted all of your intake? Fizzy drinks and the like? If you've been habitually undereating for a long time I'd be surprised that you have any surplus weight. Starvation forces the body to hold on to stuff but it isn't magic. Have you had any symptoms like extreme lethargy, depression, over sleeping?

    Would you mind sharing your height and weight?

  • Yeah I don't really drink fizzy drinks, the odd one here and there but I tend to drink a lot of water. We have changed our diet a little since my dad was diagnosed as Diabetic, we cut out the majority of chocolate, we don't eat any crisps at all and rarely buy fizzy drinks. I am partial to cake though. I'm going to keep checking the log over the next week and see if its a recurring habit that I am under eating calorie wise. 

    I am 5ft 3" and weigh 12st 12lbs  so Yeah I really need to loose the weight, I did have a phase where I was really sleepy all the time, but I have managed to curb the over sleeping by making myself get up and do stuff, and since I started running I want to be up and active. 

    The Dr's have never really asked about my food intake but are constantly complaining about me being overweight, and I'm sure they think I'm eating alot.

  • Emma - 1600 cal per day is probably about right. You probably haven't been under eating as you would be unlikely to be overweight fit you only ate 800 cal per for a while. Starvation mode means your body hangs onto fat and starts to use muscle for fuel. It isn't a good idea. I think you need to look closely at what you eat and weigh absolutely everything for a while. You are most likely to be underestimating how much you eat. I would be starving if I only ate that. Even the size of a bit chicken can make a huge difference too in take.

    at the moment I wouldn't  worry too much about how much you burn through exercise just try to follow the programme and stick to 1600 cals. The weight should come off steadily. That's how I did it.

  • Hi Fiona,

    Thanks for your reply, yesterday I was nearer to the 1,620 calorie intake so I just think that Thursday may have been an off day, although again yesterday I didn't cut down on what I ate at all. I had my 3 main meals with no snacks at all. 

    I wouldn't be surprised if I miscounted something as I have a learning difficulty called Dyscalculia, it affects my ability to work with numbers, so counting calories, telling the time, counting my change etc is all stuff I find incredibly difficult, which is why I don't like diets far to many numbers, weights and measurements to try and remember.

  • My Fitness Pal definitely works better if you 'eat back' your exercise calories, as long as you have recorded them reasonably accurately in the first place. I use a heart rate monitor that has my weight/height input, so I think it's pretty accurate. Also, you need to make sure that you weigh food, don't guess it. The difference between what you think a healthy portion of something like pasta is, and what you're really consuming (in my case at least) can be startling.

    My weight loss stalled last year for a while, coinciding with the time that I started running. When I started using MFP to track my food, it became apparent that I wasn't eating enough to fuel my runs. A small tweak in the diet (eat a bit more, but keep it healthy) and the weight started coming off again. Now 5 1/2 stone down. So yes, you can lose weight through running image.


  • Thanks all, I seem to have my calories sorted now, although weighing all my food because I am number blind, weighing everything is very difficult for me I can't count very well and so reading numbers is also difficult. I am happy to report that the last 2 weeks I have managed to loose 1lb a week without weighing or measuring anything or changing my diet at all. I'm going to see how things go over the next few weeks but I have managed to hurt my knee, I'm thinking my hips aren't strong enough so am going to do some exercises to strengthen them whilst my knee heals up. I am able to hold my own weight on my knee and its improving with anti inflammatories, rest & ice. There is no swelling or brusing so I'm thinking it may have been a warning sign for me.

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