5 Tips to Keep You Running toward Weight Loss
Are you a runner hoping to lose weight this summer? Check out these tips to get you started and keep you going! Running can be as relaxing or intense as you make it, depending on your exercise goals. Along with running, hydration is important especially in the summer months. Eating a balanced diet and timing meals and snacks with runs are vital for muscle recovery.
Below are 5 tips that have helped runners with weight loss
1. Keep a Food Journal or Logging in a Meal Tracker app
- Runners that are most successful with shedding those last few pounds track the food they eat. This works because it raises awareness of what, how much, and how often you are eating. For some runners, it has even helped them tune into hunger cues and mindless eating habits.
2. Drink Water
- Sports drinks are only necessary for moderate to intense exercise lasting longer than one hour.
- Choose water when thirsty and be sure to drink throughout the day to stay hydrated.
- Save the calories for food: Sports drinks or sugar-sweetened beverages add calories but do not leave you feeling full and satisfied the way food does.
3. Timing is Key
- It is important to fuel with whole foods every 3-4 hours. Common runner foods include energy gels and processed snacks, but for weight loss it is important to eat whole foods instead. The best recovery options are sources of carbohydrate and protein like whole fruit smoothies, fruit and peanut butter or Greek yogurt.
- Cutting back on portion sizes is important for the remainder of the day, away from intense exercise activities. An increase in exercise may have you feeling hungrier than before, so it can be easy to eat more calories without realizing it. Remember to be mindful of this and track your intake in a food journal.
4. Limit Use of the Scale
- Measure waist circumference and pay attention to how cloths are fitting
- The number on the scale may be one of the last things to change, but don’t get discouraged. As a person continues running and strengthening muscle, the muscle helps burn more calories. Since muscle is more dense than fat, the number on the scale will not reflect the weight change of muscle gains verses fat lost.
- It is recommended to step on the scale once per week, and consistently at the same time of day. The best time is in the morning after going to the bathroom and before eating breakfast.
5. Change it up
- Have you hit a plateau? It is time to make a change! Mix in a different variety of fruit and vegetables each week. This gives your body a variety of vitamins and minerals. Make it a goal to try a new vegetable once a week.
- After weight loss, the body adapts and burns less calories, therefore needing less calories to maintain body weight.
Take one or two tips and start practicing them today! Once you master these tips, pick up another until all five tips are mastered. Which tip has made the biggest difference for you?