If you are like a large part of the part of the population today you are interested in losing weight. Whether it be 5 or 50 pounds running is an excellent way to do that. As one of the most vigorous exercises out there, running is an extremely efficient way to burn calories and drop pounds. A 150-pound person will burn approximately 200 calories running at 8 km per hour for 20 minutes. If you hope to lose weight by running, keep in mind that you’ll only shed pounds if you burn more calories than you consume. That is why it is essential that you combine your running with a healthy diet. Although runners do have specific nutritional needs over and above the average population the fundamentals are still the same. Here are they are:
1) Consume 60-65% of your calories from carbs. Running is an energy intense exercise. Carbs are our energy food. If you try to restrict your carbs and run you will be doomed to failure. Consume high quality whole grain carbs, healthy fruits and legumes and get fueled up for a powerful run that will burn off those healthy calories and more!
2) Consume 15-20% of your calories from lean protein. Or about 0.5 to 0.75 grams of protein per pound of body weight (that is about 75 grams for a 150 pound woman). Reach for a combination of animal and vegetarian proteins such as legumes, cold water fish, nuts, seeds, eggs, chicken and tofu.
3) Consume 15 – 20% of your calories from good fat. Stick to foods low in saturated fats and cholesterol. Foods such as nuts, oils, and cold-water fish provide essential fats called omega-3s, which are vital for good health and can help prevent certain diseases. Most experts recommend getting about 3,000 mg of omega-3 fat a day which are excellent to reduce inflammation and assist in heart health!
Also, frequency is key. You probably won’t see results if you are running only once per week. If you are a beginner start with 2 x 20 minute runs. Work your way up to 4 days per week and then increase your duration to 40 minutes or more.
Need some snack ideas that fit the above profile? Read my previous article called Eating on the "Run". Need some meal ideas? Wait for next weeks article entitled "A Meal in the Life of a Runner".
Christine is a yoga instructor, personal trainer and nutritionist who specializes in weight loss and womens health at Four Forty Fitness for Women in Burlington, Ontario. Check out the website at www.fourfortyfitness.ca