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.