I listened to a great podcast recently by coach Jenny Hadfield, where she interviewed marathoner, triathlete & dietician, Pam Nisevich-Bede. After the first of the year, many of us tend to focus on weight loss. Here is a brief overview of the points I found to be interesting…
Q: Share a few tips on how to lose weight while running?
A: (paraphrased) Pam states that many runners find they don’t lose weight during “training” due to a variety of factors…
- Sometimes during training, you are so hungry! You run 5 miles, burn 500 calories and decide you have earned that pizza!
- Most runners & active performance athletes are not getting enough protein. You need a little under a gram per pound (of body weight). If you are eating too many carbs to “fuel” and not burning them, your body is storing them as fat. Eat more protein and less carbohydrates.
- Eat more fiber from sources such as dark leafy green veggies, apple with peel & whole grains.
- Many don’t stay hydrated enough. They finish a run/cardio workout, think they are hungry, but it is more likely hydration. Urine should be a light lemonade color. If its clear, likely too much fluid. If its apple juice-like, not enough fluids.
Q: If a runner’s number one goal is to lose weight (not race), how can they do this?
- If you’re trying to lose weight (and not perform) use a workout in the AM on empty. She referred to this as ‘training low’ where you are fasting and mobilizing some fat stores; burning your fat stores instead of the carbohydrates or glycogen. She states, “I can almost guarantee you have enough energy and stores on board to get you through a three mile run.”
- Research shows you should fast for at least four hours prior to a run in order to burn that stored fat. So if you can’t get your run in first thing in the AM, fast for at least 4 hours prior to your lunch or dinner time run to get the same result.
- “Coffee is your friend! Plenty of health benefits. Let’s not drink the whole pot, but caffeine is definitely your friend.” Gives you a little boost of energy.
- If you really want to ‘train low’ and focus on weight loss, limit carbs at dinner the night before your run as well. You will feel it during your run, but it will help you achieve your weight loss goal. For example, eat protein and veggie, limit carbs. Maybe even allow yourself a small piece of cheese if you are extra hungry.
- Your workout will feel more taxing. Take it at a moderate pace. Three easy miles will still get you 300 calories. Again, coffee is your friend. Wake up, have some coffee, get in three miles.
Q: What are the downsides of grazing all day?
- “The Four Hour Rule.” We have to give ourselves a break from constant grazing to keep calorie count down. Try for a four hour break between food. Save 100 calories here, there, it adds up. Allow yourself to feel “hungry” and wait four hours.
Q: How do we determine the correct amount of calories? 1,200 vs 1,500?
- Number of calories needed are determined by height, weight, age, gender, activity level, BMI and more. If you are feeling weak during workouts (other than training low) then you are likely not getting enough calories for your fitness level.
- Portions are often too big! Stop eating off the dinner plate and start eating off a salad plate.
- Plate = 1/2 veggies, 1/4 protein, 1/4 starch (unless training low, then skip the starch)
- Stop drinking all your calories (smoothies, juices, etc)
- Protein shake after workout for recovery and weight loss (her personal favorite is kale or spinach, banana, protein, skim or almond milk)
Do you have any tips for using running to aid in weight loss? Let us know if you agree or disagree with any of these points… and happy running!