Running and Weight Loss

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Good Evening!

I am so glad it's Thursday! Although this week has flown by at lightning speed, it has been a little chaotic at the same time.

Many people begin a running program in the hopes of shedding a few extra pounds, which it can definitely help you do. However, many people think that now that they are "running," they should be able to eat anything they want. You know what I'm talking about, we all have those runner friends who can eat anything and everything they want and they still have an 18 pack and stick legs. I know I can't possibly be alone in this scenario right?? Right??

Unfortunately, this is simply not the case for all of us. When you think about it, most of us run between 3-6 miles most days. On average we burn approximately 100 calories per mile. So if you do a three mile run, you burned approximately 300 calories. After our run, we fix a breakfast consisting of a whole wheat bagel with peanut butter, a banana and a huge glass of milk. This is how runners eat right? We just busted our butts for three miles, we deserve to use four tbs of peanut butter on our bagel! Although, I definitely think we "deserve" all of that peanut butter, our bodies don't necessarily agree. That breakfast could cost you anywhere between 500 and 700 calories. Yikes, that is almost twice the amount we just burned off running. So how can we successfully lose weight without feeling like we are starving all of the time?


Here are Nutritionist Nancy Clark's Top 10 Rules of Weight Loss for Runners!
  1. To lose 10 pounds of body fat a year, you only need to cut 100 calories per day. Cutting way too many calories per day will zap your energy level and increase your hunger, making you more susceptible to raiding the vending machine at 3pm in the afternoon! (For more ideas on easy ways to cut extra calories see the article below.)
  2. Don't skip breakfast. You should aim to eat within two hours of waking up.
  3. Eat more breakfast than you think you should. Trade in some of your dinner calories for more calories at breakfast. If you decided to do this at breakfast, you have to be sure and follow through by actually having a smaller dinner. No empty promises allowed here!
  4. Don't allow yourself to get ravenous. Eat at least every four hours, and split a meal in half to make sure you properly fuel up pre- and post run. For example, eat part of your breakfast before your morning run (a banana), and the rest of your breakfast afterward (oatmeal). I also love to do this with my lunch. I will eat my sandwich around 1:00pm and then finish my fruit and nuts around 2:30pm so that I stay full throughout the afternoon.
  5. Eat at least three kinds of food each meal from these four categories: breads, cereals, and grains; fruits and vegetables; low-fat diary and soy; and lean meats, fish and nuts.
  6. Aim for a gradual reduction in body fat. You're more likely to put the weight back on (and maybe even more) if you drop weight too quickly.
  7. Watch those liquid calories, they can add up very quickly. Minimize the amount of sodas, juices, store-bought smoothies, sports drinks, coffee drinks, and alcohol you consume.
  8. Eat closer to the earth, enjoying fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Minimize the amount of processed foods you eat; they tend to offer less fiber and are less satiating. According to Bob, from the Biggest Loser, anything you buy should expire in two weeks. If it lasts longer than two weeks, it is probably full of additives and preservatives. Now don't go throwing out all of your pasta or anything, but it is something to think about. How good can a frozen pizza really be for you if i can't live in your freezer for two years?
  9. If you can't resist fast food, ask for nutritional information before you make your choices (or check their website before you head out). Avoid any menu items with the words "fried," "crispy," and "special sauce," which are guaranteed to derail your diet!
  10. Remember that the calories in the energy bars, sports drinks, and gels you consume during a run add up, even though you're running. You should consume these only on long runs and only as needed.

If you keep these 10 rules in mind during your training, you are sure to reach all of your running and weight loss goals! Good luck and keep on running!

Food for thought:
If you are currently training for a race, how is it going?
Do you ever feel hungrier when you are running regularly?

Yours truly,

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1 Comment »

One Response to “Running and Weight Loss”

  1. this is SO TRUE. which is exactly why i can run 25kms a week and not lose an ounce. i just eat whatever i ran off.(doh!) actually, i find i'm more conscious of my diet when i'm not exercising. i'm not as hungry, and even more so, i know i don't "deserve" that extra treat.


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