When it comes to shedding the extra pounds for good, running is the way to go. According to countless studies and my own experience, running burns more calories than most other training regimes out there. In fact running on a regular basis improves sex drive, wards off heart-related problems, boost overall health and fitness levels, and so on.
Nevertheless, achieving maximum weight loss results without properly addressing your eating habits can prove futile. The matter of fact is that good diet is the backbone of long term weight loss results. No amounts of running can make up for the extra calories, instead, make sure to strike a balance between the two components by doing the following.
Set a realistic goal
The fastest way to suffer from physical and mental burnout is by setting an unrealistic and off the charter goal. Many weight loss enthusiasts make the mistake of overestimating the exact numbers of calories burned on the running track and underestimating the calories consumed with every meal, thus leading to frustration and losing enthusiasm for the whole resolution.
As a result, if you’re looking to achieve the best results for the long haul, then your goals must safely guide you toward your destination. For that, set small goals and build gradually. Start with a 2-pound target per week and gradually build on that until you attain the desired bodyweight.
Eat frequently throughout the day
Weight loss is no excuse for starving yourself by skipping on meals. In fact, doing so can spell disaster on your training program and health status. If you’re a regular meal skipper, then expect low energy levels (thus mediocre performance on the running track), and a slow metabolism as your calorie burn rate will be slowed to a crawl due to the starvation mode response. This can only lead to more frustration, weight plateaus or even gains.
Instead, make sure to keep your body well fueled by eating 4-5 small meals, every three to four hours. Don’t eat to satisfy your hunger, eat for performance. The way you can go about that is to eat 2-3 hours before the running session and immediately afterwards. During these time-blocks, your body is more primed to use the calorie intake as energy (mainly glycogen) instead of storing it as fat on your body.
To make sure that you’re eating for performance, you need to plan your workouts sessions around your eating schedule. For instance, if you’re a morning runner, make sure to ingest something light for at least a half an hour before the workout (depending on your schedule), then make sure to replenish your energy tanks afterwards by consuming a healthy breakfast full with the good carbs, lean protein, fats, and of course, plenty of water.
Eat Carbs for energy
When running or doing other vigorous activities, the human body relies primarily on glycogen (carbs) as the main source of energy. Therefore, cutting out carbs from your diet is a sure way to run out of fuel on the running track. However, carbohydrates have a bad wrap in the weight loss circles. And that’s true. Nonetheless, as a runner, you need to ingest the right kind of carbohydrates for boosting your performance while at the same time, shedding the extra pounds for good.
The right kinds of carbohydrates are also known as the complex carbohydrates. This type of carbs takes longer to be processed by the body and will provide you with the constant energy for performance while running and exercising. In addition, complex carbs are full with valuable nutrients and fiber which are essential for optimal body functioning.
Here are some of the best sources of the good carbs:
- Vegetables. The more varied the colors, the better.
- Whole grains.
On the other hand, the bad kink, also known as simple carbohydrates are swiftly processed by the human body and jam-packed by basic sugars with little real value for your body, thus won’t keep you feeling full for long. In addition, simple carbs boost your blood sugar level and lead to more weight gain.
Go easy on:
- Fruits. Eat them in moderation as the high fructose content can spike your blood sugar levels and lead to overeating and binging.
- White bread.
- Processed and sugary foods
- Pastries and desserts