My running week this week looks like this…
As you can see I have been running a lot lately and it’s hard not to get in the mind set that I can eat whatever I want because of that. Yes, I am getting stronger from my runs, but it would be a nice benefit to shed a few extra pounds. I am not one for diets. I really believe more in a lifestyle change if you want to loose weight. That just works better for me. It’s longer lasting than some fad diet (everyone has something that works for them though- so do what works for you) As I was reading this months Runners World, I was pleasantly surprised with an article about the golden rules of weight loss for a runner. They were simple rules that you can add to your day that you can carry with you for years to come to maintain a healthy lifestyle.
Rule 1: Take really good notes.
Write down what you eat for a week. Not just what you eat but what time, where and why? You may start to notice where your downfalls are. This can help you adjust your eating habits. Maybe you need to have a snack in the afternoon so you don’t overeat before or during dinner? Writing it all down can help you figure that out.
Rule 2: Measure what you Eat
Our portion sizes are usually way off. I know I measure with my eyes a lot and if I am hungry watch out. By measuring an appropriate serving size it helps train us to know the correct amount we should be eating.
Rule 3: Beef up your Protein.
Every day, runners need at least half a gram of protein per pound of weight. So if you weight 150lbs you need 75 grams of protein. Yikes! Thats something to be careful of. Protein helps you stay fuller longer, build stronger muscles and preserves lean body mass. Good snacks with protein are greek yogurt, cottage cheese, soy nuts, whole grain toast with peanut butter, Protein shakes or a cup of edamame.
Rule 4: Add color to every meal
Pack your diet with fruits and vegetables!! They’re low-calorie and loaded with vitamins and minerals your body needs.
Rule 5: Stop Grazing!
Divide your calories up over 3 meals and 1 or 2 snacks. Going at least 3 hours without eating. The goal is to eat when hungry, not starving. This reduces the risk of overeating.
Rule 6: Always have a plan.
Plan out your weekly meals. Make a list and go to the grocery store and get those foods. If you are left with out a plan you run the risk of eating something you weren’t planning on or filling your cart with junk. Stock up on quick and healthy staples, such as tomato sauce and whole wheat pasta for nights you are busy.
Rule 7: Slow Down
Don’t eat so fast! I am a super fast eater, especially now with Rowan. They say it takes 15 mins for your stomach to know it’s full. If you are a faster eater you will have stuffed your face before you ever realize you ate too much.
Rule 8: Do not rush Weight Loss
It takes time to learn how to eat properly and how to apply that to your daily life. Quick-fix or fad diets, like those that rely too much on one ingredient or exclude nutrients (like fat or carbs) are destined to fail because they’re just that- a quick fix. You want habits that are sustainable for years not a few days. Remember, you are a work in progress as an eater and an athlete. Make your food taste good. Healthy eating doesn’t mean boring eating. Get creative with textures, spices and flavors. Variety is key.
*Golden rules taken from Runners World.
I admire you for being able to run! It is something I wanted to do for some time now but I just have this notion in my head that I hate running! 🙂 Today I douns a little closeby park and I might go for a testrun tomorrow… inspired by YOU! 😀
Good tips! I’m also an avid runner and I do use it as an excuse to eat whatever I want pretty much (as long as I’m not gaining – I’m happy) so I honestly don’t follow many of these rules – However I do agree with planning weekly meals out ahead of time. Not only does it keep you on track with food, it also makes cooking dinner/preparing lunch during the week so easy – You already have everything in your kitchen that you need! Sounds like you’re doing great with the training Jen – I have to bump up my long run mileage soon to prep for the half marathon in May (plus I’m running with my Dad this weekend – And he’s going to kick my butt!) 😛
I’ve seen those rules a lot and yes they are good rules to follow, I was a runner in my 20’s loved it with my heart but then after I had my baby I quit and turned to the gym instead. Recently I hurt my knees lifting weights and I kind of miss running, but the thing I found out in my own experience is that I lost more fat (inches) doing muscle work than cardio, I definitely got more definition doing weights so I think it’s good to run but for me it’s best to do a combination of both muscle and cardio. =)
amazing! i am a runner too. i did that whole ‘planned runs’ thing for a while, and was doing the long runs on sunday and building the length of my runs until i stopped at 11 miles. i honestly found the best way for me is to do 3 mi runs about 5 times a week (bc they are enjoyable if you run on pretty days in pretty places) and to mix in weight training. the weights really help tone me up! good luck with everything 🙂
Congrats on finding what seems like such a great balance. Those tips are very helpful, and it’s always helpful to be reminded of those things that in theory seem so easy, but are sometimes forgotten about in the hustle and bustle of life. You’re such an inspiration!
I totally agree with you when it comes to losing/maintaining weight. You have to make lifestyle changes. That is how I plan to lose weight when I finally give birth in May. In the meantime, I’m just making sure I gain weight at the doctor recommended rate.
I’m training for my 4th half marathon now (I also have two full marathon’s under my belt as well) and couldn’t agree with you more on how it takes a lifestyle change to really make a difference in your weight over just dieting. My first marathon (in 2007) I barely lost any weight because I ate whatever I wanted whenever I wanted. Over the years I’ve gone vegan and really overhauled all my habits and have trimmed about 30 pounds from where I was when I first started, and the weight has stayed off. Congrats to you in your training and thanks for the tips from Runner’s World!
Thanks for these tips Jen! I’m saving this to my desktop so I can reference it in the future.
I have been working towards a healthy lifestyle change, and today is my official first day. It was great to read this post to kick-start my motivation. I have already made my meal plan for the week, and am off to do some healthy grocery shopping 🙂 Next is – getting back into running…. dun dun duuuuuuun!
I just recovered from having my baby and we are starting to run and eat healthy. Writing down my food intake was the best thing I had to keep track and make adjustments.
Love the tips. I always try to eat a little something when I start to feel those hunger pains, because I know that if I wait, I will devour waaaaaay more than I need to, and then I feel ill.
You’ve inspired me with your running adventure. I’ve been tracking it and it seems like you’re right on track. I’ve been really NOT into working out lately and even going to yoga seems like a hassle. (I LOVE YOGA) Maybe your adventure will kick my butt into gear.
Thanks my dear for the tips!
Thanks for being an inspiration. I need to listen to some of these rules more for sure, though modified as a college student on a meal plan with limited options. I don’t run much (so low stamina) but I go to the gym on a regular basis now and use the elliptical, trainer, step climber, and a few other machines as well as a couple laps for cardio so these tips definitely apply! 😀
I really like your list of rules! I trained for a marathon last summer and ran it in Sept.. I gained weight during all that running because I had the mindset that since I was running I could whatever my heart (or mind and tummy) desired! It was so discouraging! I think I need to write your tips down!
Thanks for sharing! I’m starting to run and stuff my face after great workouts which I need to stop doing ASAP! I’m also a super, super fast eater to the point where people have pointed it out and I get soooo full after eating. Great tips/reminder on healthy eating!
Man, I can’t wait to start running again. Every time you blog about your runs I get all antsy. I ran two miles four to five times a week two years ago. Then I moved to Manhattan and didn’t feel comfortable running there, so I hit the gym instead and ran on a treadmill. Treadmills are sooooo boring…
I just moved to Toronto, Canada, and I can’t wait to start running again outside. This city is so beautiful and it’ll be such a treat.
I agree with you on the life style change thing. It’s the only way to lose weight and to keep it off. Diets don’t give you long term results, that’s just a fact. What’s also important is to chew your food well. After all, our stomachs don’t have teeth!
Thank you for sharing this Jen! I’m finding it incredibly hard to lose weight now that I’m older, not like 25 is old just saying. I’ve been keeping track of my food intake for 10 days and it’s helping me stay on track. If I want a treat like a beer or something at the end of the night I calculate how many calories I’ve had to see if I “deserve” it or not. I hope it’s helping! Of course I’ve only gained weight from all the muscle I’m building. Grrr =P