Running to Lose Weight/Detroit Marathon Closing In
This is a two-part blog, gang, so hang with me . . . : )
Recently some scientific study came out that said that exercise does not lead to weight loss. Yeah, yeah. I’m PRETTY SURE that MOST scientific studies and their results have other scientific studies that contradict their findings. However, it did get me thinking about the common problem of people starting to run and they don’t lose weight – some even gain it!
What in the world?!?
It’s a fact. I’ve written about this before, the problem is people GREATLY overestimate the number of calories they burn exercising and GREATLY underestimate how many calories are in the “serving” of fries they just ate (or whatever). So, if you are considering starting to run to lose weight, how do you make it happen?
My recommendation is DON’T start off by running. Instead spend three or four weeks journaling everything you eat (assuming you’re at least eating at a level that’s allowing you to maintain your weight, but not gain any additional weight). I mean, if after three/four weeks you’ve put on a pound or two, you need to adjust what you’re eating. However, let’s say you’re about the same weight.
If you do the journaling, the battle is already halfway over! : ) Now you can start running AND continue to journal for at least another month. . . , BUT consult your non-running eating journal regularly . . . if you REGULARLY had a sandwich, carrots, and a Diet Coke for lunch before you began to run . . . keep it the same (though I would recommend switching to water : )! If you REGULARLY enjoyed a small bowl of ice cream 4 times a week after supper, KEEP it a small bowl of ice cream (not a large bowl) 4 times a week . . . maybe consider dropping it 2 or 3 times a week. The idea being to hold yourself accountable and keep yourself from falsely rewarding yourself for exercise. IF your goal is to lose weight or run faster or have better endurance or to keep your knees healthy into your later years then simply follow this guideline. As you see progress, look for ways to eat healthier, but NOT increase portion sizes. : )
And please, please, please — limit your consumption of pop/soda and “coffee” that more resembles candy. Soda and “Candy Coffee” calories are empty calories . . . addicted? Well, back off slowly – if you regularly drink a 20 oz. soda or coffee three times a day, then start leaving some left in the container or cup and throwing it away. Then move to a smaller size and work on slowly reducing how much you drink out of that. The calories you save will be dramatic over time, but you’re still getting your “fix,” but you’re making progress! : )
OKAY, Detroit is coming up on Sunday, Oct. 15. Fall weather is hopefully here for good now and that means, if you haven’t registered for the Detroit Marathon by now, it’s going to cost you more. : ) But it also means, you probably weren’t planning on running the marathon anyway . . .
But here’s something to consider . . . even if you have NO plans on running the Detroit Marathon or any of its other races, go out and watch – even cheer a little. Why? Well, I want to encourage you to imagine what it would be like to be out there . . . the excitement of the pre-race, the start with thousands of other runners who all have the same goal of crossing that finish line, the way your training allows you to run “seemingly” effortlessly for miles and miles, the cheers from the crowds, the satisfaction of crossing that finish line . . . you know, it may be you start with the 5K, but every distance is a milestone and an accomplishment. Anyway, if you’ve either never run or feel like you may have “lost the love” for running, just go to a race – perhaps even volunteer at it — and you’ll see what I mean!
For those RUNNING one of the events on October 15, you should be tapering by the time you read this (cutting your miles back). If I can give you one piece of advice for performing well, it’s to eat “normally” during race week (no new foods/foods you haven’t eaten before a long run), avoid strenuous activity during the week (keep runs easy and free, and don’t go planting shrubs or picking rocks or helping someone move this week – you don’t want sore or pulled/strained muscles!) and COMMIT to getting good sleep all week long . . . nothing, except an emergency, can be an excuse there. If you want your body in peak physical condition, good sleep is required. : )
Well, the best to you who are running Detroit. For the rest, if you can attend, please do so and capture (or recapture) the love! And if you’re looking to lose weight, try the journaling method to keep yourself honest, aware, and dropping pounds. : )
Have an awesome run today!
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