There are so many diets out there, probably too many and that’s often why we fail time after time. Of course, we can’t just blame it on this. There are a number of contributing factors. Mostly it is a mental thing. If you really want something bad enough then you should be able to do everything to get to that place, but it’s not always that easy.
However, as a runner, weight loss is a little easier since you are burning more calories than the average person. It is also one of the sports which burns the most calories, depending how hard and for how long you are working. If you are out for a 5 Km race you will definitely feel that extra weight. Imagine carrying a backpack that weighed a couple of kilograms. Well, that is what you are doing right now. This is definitely one way to lose weight fast, without much effort.
Burn More Calories
It’s just logical that if you are burning more calories then you are taking in then you will lose weight. Everyday we see commercials telling us to buy a secret new shake or some type of machine where you don’t have to do any exercise and you are guaranteed to lose weight.
The fact is that calories count at the end of the day and the best way to control this is to control how many you consume compared to how many you burn. You will lose a pound of body weight for every 3,500 calories that you burn. The heavier you are, the more you will burn.
Don’t forget about the mental approach
If your run is getting tough, just remind yourself at how many calories you are burning off. If you want to burn this off faster then you may want to give your running plan a little bit of a boost.
Run for a longer period or do more hills, but don’t overdo it because you may just end up at square one. At the beginning we are always really eager, but once we get into it that enthusiasm gives way and it’s not always easy to keep up with that initial burst. So maintaining a slow, steady approach is probably the best way to go.
This is not a diet
This is not a diet, but you still have to remember that when you get home you won’t be eating burgers and fries for dinner and a slab of chocolate while you watch your DVD just before you go to bed. Be sensible about it otherwise you are not going to achieve anything.
If you are used to eating fast food for breakfast, lunch and supper, then that is something that you have to tone down on. You will probably maintain your weight if you eat and drink like crazy.
The Training Plan
It is important to devise your own running plan to lose weight, based on the time available during the day as well as how fast you want to go. You may want to lose the pounds quickly, but it is also important that you don't push yourself too much. It is a good idea to get help from someone who has experience with this, because if you go out to fast and get injured, you will be back at square one.
Mileage – this needs to be increased slowly. You can be the judge of what kind of pace you want to increase your plan to, but be realistic because only you will know what you are used to. You should know this from preparing for a race, otherwise start slow.
Building up gradually is a lot better than burning out. When it comes to numbers, 1 mile is equal to 100 calories so if you run a couple of these then you will burning up a couple of fat cells within no time. That being said, it also depends on where you run and what kind of terrain because say for example you are strolling downhill and then all of a sudden you come around the corner and have a mountain of a hill to climb.
So this is the rough estimate. The rule of thumb is not to increase more than 10% per week. If you do more than this then you are going to be more prone to injuries so stick to this formula.
Intensity – Adding hills to your training plan is only going to speed up the calorie loss. It will also give you some variation which without that can be a little boring. You can also vary the speed and do intervals. Say you are going to do a sprint or two and then slow down.
Build up slowly
With a 10% increase in mileage over a 12-week period along with intensity runs on 2 of your weekly runs you will be able to lose up to 5 pounds with a sensible eating plan.You can also include interval sprint training into your program, which will not only help with your weight, but also with the way you run. You can also join up with a running program to lose weight, formatted in a certain way. It is also nice to run with other people who have the same goal in mind as yourself.
Please make sure you have warmed up for a few minutes before you start with this because injuries can crop up if you suddenly start to go for it. Just for the record, if you are running on a 10 percent incline then you are doubling the amount of calories that you burn. Not to say this is easy!
Here are a Few Guidelines to Help any Runner Lose Weight and Get up to Speed
Eating healthy breakfasts
This is a rule that everyone knows about, but not everyone complies with. How many times have you heard someone ask you “ Have you eaten breakfast today?”, after you tell them you are not feeling too well.
The fact is, who really feels like eating directly after they have woken up from dreamland. Splitting your meal up with a banana in the morning and having the rest of your breakfast, such as a bowl of cereal in the mid- morning is a good idea. In between a run or cycle can help burn off extra calories.
Smoothies are fantastic in the morning. They are nutritous and they will give you energy throughout the day. There are so many different ingredients that you can add in here, and they are easy to make. My favorite is a cup of coconut milk, mixed with a banana, a handful of strawberries, along with some spinach.
Eat small meals every 4 hours
By splitting up your meals and eating smaller portions every 4 hours there is less likelihood of gaining extra pounds and of ever being hungry. This is also one of the best ways how you can increase your metabolism.
Eat from all the major food groups
Don’t just eat pasta and bread. Concentrate on your fruits and veggies and don’t forget your proteins. Eating Low-GI foods will give you a greater source of energy. Rather choose this option than munching on a couple of energy bars during your exercise routine. Energy bars are loaded with sugar. When counting calories it’s important that you stick to right sort of calories. Try to stay away from fats. For example, grill a steak instead of having take away fried fish and chips.
photo credit: flickr.com/photos/lachshand/3311113056
No sodas, coffee, gum, alcohol
Stay off the carbonated drinks. Even diet sodas are not good for you. Some of them act as stimulants in the body and slow down your metabolism at a rapid rate. This also goes for caffeine and some artificial sweeteners. Check the labels before you buy anything. You don't have to be super strict, but you if you are serious about this you can't spend every night in the pub. Opt for red wine instead of white.
Everybody is a winner!