I have great news for you. Running is one of the best ways to lose weight, as running burns the most calories from any other cardio exercise. You may be looking to shed a couple pounds, maybe 5,15, or even more.
You’ve taken a good first step to start looking for ways to get rid of those unwanted pounds. Here we’ll take a look at the best way to lose weight from running and from things that go along with your running training.
Before you want to get somewhere, you have to know the route you’re going to take in order to get to your destination. So, setting goals is essential to help you be successful in what it is you want to achieve.
Know the number of pounds you want to lose and set a date by when you want to reach that goal.
I go more into detail on how to set goals in my “How to Run For Beginners: Running 101” post.
It’s A Marathon, Not a Sprint
Losing weight takes time. Sure, there’s plenty of those diets out there that sell you the promise of losing weight, and fast (in the short-term), but it’s also very likely you’ll just gain it all back and maybe more in the long-term.
If you want lasting results for the long-run then it’s going to be crucial to take things one step at a time, one bite at a time. I’m sure you heard this before: “How do you eat an elephant?” One bite at a time. That goes for most things in life too. Short-cuts might get you fast results, but it’s very diffiult to maintain, not making it worth while in the long run.
You want to lose weight, but the real achievement is actually keeping it off in the long-haul.
Slow and steady tortoise wins the race between the hare.
Challenge Your Intensity Level
They’ll come a time when what you’re doing won’t really be such a challenge anymore. Your body will get used to the same routine, not feeling like a challenge at all. That’s when it’s time to step it up a notch and increase the intensity level in your training, which are quick and intense bursts of the energy level.
This is why it may seem easier in the beginning to lose weight, because going from no exercise to exercise is an instant intenisty to the body.
However, as you run or exercise more, you also improve your ability level. This is when it’s time to increase the intensity level to continue to lose weight, which could be those last extra pounds you’re trying to lose, that can be the hardest to get rid of.
Your metabolic rate will also increase, thus helping you to burn more fat. The best part about it is you can even continue to burn fat even after your workout has finished, at rest.
Have A Healthy Balance LIFESTYLE Diet
Running is great, but also watching what you put into your body is just as important to fuel it right for running and just life in general.
Eating a healthy balanced LIFESTYLE diet is essential to losing weight.
You want to put the right kind of fuel in your body if you want it to run well. There’s people who put the best quality things into their cars to ensure they have a smooth, well running, long-lasting car. So, how much more should we be doing those things for our own bodies?
And notice I said, “LIFESTYE diet.” Eating right is a lifestyle, which is proven to be more effective and working in the long-term, rather than taking on those short-term fad diets, that may get the results you want, and fast, but can you really keep all the weight off in the long-run? Many times, the weight just comes back.
Keep your food intake as natural as possible, with a superfood, whole foods, plant-based diet, giving you everything your body needs: carb, protein, fats, vitamins, minerals and fibers, increasing energy levels. Also, the richer in color, the more it’s packed with nutrients.
Not all carbs are created equally! The kind of carbs you want to be feeding your body are healthy whole carbs from this kind of diet, not refined carbs that are processed so much all the nutrients is sucked out of it, eating dead food, like breads and pastas, that only make it easier to gain weight.
Nuts, seeds, and grains are excellent to incorporate in there for your healthy fats, protein, vitamins, and minerals. Nuts and seeds help to regulate body weight because the fats they have aren’t completely absorbed.
It also helps to regulate food intake, helping you feel more full, and is an excellent source to burn energy. They make for a healhy snack and gives you a boost if you need to get a workout in.
Nuts that aid in losing weight are almonds, walnuts, cashews, Brazil nuts, and pastachios. Keep your consumption at a moderate level. Too much of it could cause weight gain.
Drink Lots of Water
There are many benefits to drinking water, like speeding up your metabolism, getting rid of nasty waste and toxins, and a decrease in appetite.
It’s said that you should drink half and ouce to an ounce per pound of body weight. So, if you’re 120 pounds, you should be drinking 60 oz. – 120 oz. of water a day. However, people who are active need to drink more than the average person to rehydrate.
The science behind drinking water is it speeds up your metabolism in your body by using energy to heat up the water to help regulate body temperature.
Water also doesn’t have any calories, so you’re decreasing the amount of sugar intake into your body that converts into fat.
It also helps flush you out, detoxing the body. You could throw in things like lemon, cucumber, fruit, mint, etc and make yourself a little elixir energizer.
Another thing to incorporate into your eating habits is to drink about 17 oz. (.5 liters) of water before and after your meal, Drinking before helps you feel fuller and prevents overeating. Drinking after will also continue to help you feel fuller and allow your food to digest more properly.
Eat More Protein
Our brain decides when we should eat food and how much of it. Foods high in protein increases the amount of satiety (appetite-reducing) hormones being released and reduces the level of hunger horomones. In other words, eating protein versus a bunch of unnutritional carbs and fat will help you to get full faster, thus reducing your food intake.
There’s all sorts of different foods or food groups you can draw from for your daily protein. For those of you who prefer a more plant-based approach, here are foods that are rich in protein (all of which can be used to make healthy, nutritious, and delicious recipes):
- Peanut butter (in moderation)
- Soybeans (Edamame beans, tofu, soy milk – get organic soybean products if possible)
- Avocados (also filled with healthy fat)
- Chia seeds (drop these in your drinks and make chia seed puddings. It expanding in your stomach and reducing cravings)
- Wheat berries
- Wild rice
- Oatmeal (uncooked)
- Buckwheat (uncooked)
Not to mention, a good source of protein is needed to help replenish your body afer physical activity and for building/maintaining those necessary muscles you need for running and exercise, which brings me to my next point…
If you are running, you should be doing some kind of strength training to strengthen, build, and maintain muscles.
Strength training is essentially resistant training, so it doesn’t mean lifting weights is the only way to build muscle. Any kind of resistance, isolating the muscle or muscle group will build muscle.
Muscle weighs more than fat, but did you ever stop to think that muscle burns more calories than fat, even at rest? Yes, you read it right, at rest. You can still burn more calories resting with muscle.
Get Regular Sleep
Regulating your sleep is also important with weight loss. The horomones that regular hunger and appetite are more normal when you get the recommenced 7-9 hours of sleep per night.
Studies have show that lack of sleep causes higher cravings for energy-dense high-carb foods. When your brain is sleepy, it can crave all those junk food, while it being difficult to have the self-control to just say NO!
Speaking of junk food, these days there’s so much fast and processed food, that if you eat it, it just leaves you craving for more because many of the things put in the foods have addictive properties, making it harder to break the habit. Food for thought, literally.
Eyes On the Prize
Top athletes use the strategy of visualization to achieve their performance goals. You can use it for losing weight too. Imagine yourself at the ideal weight you want to be. As a person thinks, so shall he/she be. This will help you to keep working forward and towards your weight goal.
Another visual is buying yourself and really nice outfit that you want be able to eventually fit into and wear out in the town. Hang it up somewhere you will easily see it everyday.
When you finally reach that day where you can take it off the hanger and put it on, this is your reward to yourself, proving to yourself that YOU CAN DO IT, despite any odds you had to face.
It’s like crossing the finish line of a marathon. It’s super long and super hard, but when you cross that finish line it’s like being on cloud 9, making it all worth it!
Wrapping It Up
It really comes down to having this combination of healthy LIFESTYLE choices, making it consistent, with the proper diet and fueling, regular exercise, and sleep coming together. If you do this, you’re on your way to the results you want, and most importantly, keeping it off for good!
Thank you for taking the time to read this post. What are some of your experiences after implementing any of these things covered? As always, feel free to leave a comment and ask questions. You can also leave an email at firstname.lastname@example.org if that works for you better.