Remember that old saying, “dress for success”? Well, when it comes to running and weight loss, it couldn’t be more accurate.
“How many layers should I put on? I don’t want to be cold! Should I wear a jacket, or will that be too much?!”
You’ve probably played this guessing game before, and you know how miserable life can be if you guess wrong. Like when you layer up in all of your warmest clothes and hit the pavement on a chilly winter morning – “I’ve got this!” you think, hitting the perfect stride at the first rays of sunshine.
Minutes later, you’re choking on your scarf and drowning in a pool of your own sweat.
What You Wear Has a Dramatic Impact on Your Results
So, which is worse: heading out for a run and totally overheating, or completely freezing your ass off?
The truth is – both situations suck, but both are entirely avoidable.
Clothing might seem like a second thought, but it does have a huge impact on your run, and ultimately – your weight loss results.
Less Time Guessing, More Time Running, More Fat Burned
Figuring out what to wear for a run can be a headache. But with a little help, you’ll soon be darting around effortlessly like a sleek gazelle, no matter the weather. So, let’s dig in.
Running in 60°F+
It may not be boiling hot outside, but it’s definitely warm enough for you to overheat quickly.
If it’s a sunny-day run, go for a tank top or a short-sleeved shirt with shorts. But if it’s cloudy and windy, you’ll want to slip into a long-sleeved shirt or Capri tights – just don’t wear both, or you’ll be drenched.
One more BUT…
Do yourself a HUGE favor and ditch 100% cotton. It soaks up moisture like a sponge and will be twice its original size (and weight) once you get your sweat on.
Instead, look for technical fabrics that wick sweat away from your body and help you pile on the miles – that’s when those stubborn pounds will start dropping. And hey, show some love for your skin – don’t forget the sunscreen.
|Important! Ever heard that wearing more layers in the heat will help you lose weight faster? Don’t believe the hype – you won’t actually burn more fat. That’s just water weight, and you’ll gain it back the second you rehydrate. Plus, you’ll put yourself at risk of heat strokes.|
We talked about this with running coach Rory Thomas from Joggo.
“The key to losing weight when you run isn’t some quick-fix hack,” he says. “Regular training that builds up strength, endurance, and fitness is your way to successful weight loss. It’s about building healthy habits that actually help you achieve sustainable results quickly.”
Running in 50°F
Ah, the perfect running weather!
When the temperature hovers in the 50s, go for running shorts or tights (your choice!) and wear a sweat-wicking long-sleeve shirt.
Look for tights that fit well and have comfortable seams. It helps avoid chafing (that unwanted runner’s tattoo) and keeps you focused on your run rather than pulling up your tights every few seconds.
If your hands or ears get cold easily, you can keep them toasty with a pair of gloves or a thermal headband.
Running in 40°F
It’s getting cooler now, so it’s time to start layering up – but don’t go too crazy!
Pairing your running tights with a long-sleeve top will do just fine. If it’s a little windier, you might want a thin mid-layer, liner gloves, and ear covers (or simply a hat) to keep yourself warm.
|Important! Transitioning from warm-weather runs to cooler temperatures isn’t as easy as 1-2-3. What you wear goes a long way, but it’s critical to let your body acclimate to new temperatures. That means warming up and cooling down properly, hitting the right stride and pace, and learning proper breathing techniques.|
“Running in the cold puts extra strain on the body, and knowing how to prepare it properly is critical for your overall weight loss journey,” Rory explains.
“Google is full of ‘expert’ advice, but experimenting will do more harm than good. Getting yourself a professionally-designed running plan will not only help you lose weight faster but will also cost much less than treating injuries from easily avoidable mistakes.”
Running in 30°F and below
When the weather turns cold, you might be tempted to cuddle up on the couch, turn on the TV, and hibernate until spring. But running in winter does come with extra benefits – fat-burning benefits, that is.
Of course, cold weather running isn’t all calorie burning. It’s also… cold. So dressing properly to achieve the best results is critical.
Try full-length tights with a long-sleeved top, a lightly insulated jacket (or a vest), fleece or wool headband, and thick gloves. A neck warmer might also help. It’s a long list, but with the right gear, you won’t feel overburdened. Just running happy and dropping pounds along the way!
Remember, while you want layers to keep you warm, you also want to have the freedom to move and – let’s be real here – sweat. That’s where the “no cotton” rule is extremely important. It will leave you sweat-soaked and freezing, and you’ll end up sick on the couch.
Also, make sure you’re lit up like a Christmas tree – safety always comes first.
|Important! While you can definitely double up the calorie burn in winter, run for too long and you risk compromising your immune system. Your body needs time to adapt to new stressors, and smart progression is key to losing weight safely.|
“If done right, running in winter can transform white fat (i.e., belly and thigh fat) into brown fat, which burns calories to generate heat. If you activate brown fat, it can burn up to 300 calories a day,” says running coach Rory Thomas.
“But there’s no one-size-fits-all approach. For maximum results, you need to follow a custom running program based on your fitness level and overall health history.”
Harness the power of running to boost weight loss results dramatically
Running is one of the best ways to lose weight, but it’s not as simple as lacing up your sneakers, throwing on a shirt, and hitting the pavement.
While proper gear helps a great deal, running requires the right preparation – and what’s right for others might not be right for you.
The good news is, running doesn’t have to be based on trial and error. You can use a personalized running plan like Joggo that will help you build and maintain a long-term running routine and lose weight easily – in the rain, shine, or snow.
It comes with a comprehensive program covering everything from training and meal preparation to progress tracking and guidance for outstanding results.
Here are some people who tried Joggo and achieved amazing results: