Runners Should Not Go on a Diet (What to Do Instead)

March 12, 2015
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For a runner, it is important to keep your diet simple, nutritious and balanced. Studies show that most runners are exceptional eaters. If you’re a runner, you’re surely searching for the best way to manage your weight without necessarily going on a diet.

Remember that when you starve yourself or eat in smaller quantities, you won’t be able to perform well. The reason behind is that your physique will not be capable of adequately repairing those torn muscles after the workout. Also, the consequences are not limited to feeling tired and sore.

If taken too far, decreasing your food intake during training will lead to more serious problems such as passing out or stress fractures during runs. You’re prone to these types of problems due to electrolyte imbalance.

The Best Solution

So, what’s the most excellent solution for this? Implement a weight loss program that would last for a short term and this should be implemented prior to starting your normal training cycle. During the dieting phase, you have to concentrate on weight loss. Remember that you’re running for cardio and not performance.

Even though there are lots of different diet methods, the following are considered by many health experts as the best strategies for runners especially during the weight loss cycle:

1. Nutrient-Dense Food

Nutrient-Dense Food-GymMembershipFeesThere are several food items that will help you manage hunger pangs after runs. Landmark studies found that nutrition-dense diets can lessen hunger and thus, serve as an effective tool for weight loss as well as improving one’s health. In other words, consuming a bowl of protein-packed quinoa will satisfy your appetite more than cheese fries.

It’s best to consume food items that are high in nutrients and low in calories. Consume grains, legumes, fruits and vegetables during the pre-season running diet. Healthy fats can likewise be great for satiety.

You know yourself more than anybody else. So, if you always feel famished after a workout, it is important that you effectively plan what you are going to consume before you even start running. This particular strategy will help you prevent any last-minute decision resulting from the so called “must eat” survival mechanism which will tell you to call for pizza. Having food that’s already cooked and waiting at the table is the best thing.

2. Don’t Drink Beverages that are High in Calorie Content

Water should be your preferred beverage for many reasons. For an athlete who’s trying to lose weight, a big perk is to go for drinks with zero calories. Although sports drinks may provide immediate relief before, during as well as after strenuous workouts, remember that these items contain too much sugar. Imagine the negative impact it may cause in the long run.

Choose water to hydrate yourself for easier runs. Various researches connected the consumption of beverages with higher calorie content with obesity. People who actually drank their calories did not feel as full unlike others who take calories from food. For dieters, the best thing is to drink water 90% of the time. Stick to unsweetened coffee, tea or other unsweetened drinks whenever you want to combine your fluid intake.

3. Protein in Every Meal

Protein in Every Meal-GymMembershipFeesProtein has to be included in every meal, particularly during breakfast. Research confirmed that consuming protein can increase one’s feeling of satiety. So, you’ll feel fuller for a longer period and you’ll also eat less. Make protein intake a priority. This will certainly help decrease cravings later during the day.

High protein intake is critical for runners. The body requires protein in order to build and repair muscle tissues right after a challenging workout. In addition, protein elements are important building blocks of skin, cartilage, muscle, bone and even blood. Since the body has to make hormones and enzymes, it is a must to take lots of protein.

The following are some of the most excellent sources of protein:

  • Seeds
  • Nuts
  • Legumes
  • Plant sources
  • Lean meat
  • Poultry
  • Wild fish

You could also mix up a smoothie that’s packed with protein power. This milkshake-like treat will increase the percentage of protein in your body. Most runners have to consume .5 to 1 gram protein on a daily basis. It’s for every pound of body weight, depending on the number of miles they jog or run.

Why don’t you visit Anytime Fitness (Fees, Reviews and Guest Pass) so you could have an idea on how to trim or maintain your weight while you’re running? You’ve got nothing to lose but everything to gain since you’ll have the best body shape without sacrificing the strength that you could gain from different food sources.

Dieting is quite risky for a runner. Avoiding an entire macronutrient or restricting calories is a mistake whenever you’re training hard. So make sure to abide by several eating rules when you’re running.

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