Summer, the season of shorts and crop tops may be over, but there are still plenty of reasons to look after your physique. Whether you’re contemplating some autumn PBs, or simply want to look and feel your best, there’s no time like the present to shed a little weight.
Unfortunately, losing weight and keeping it off doesn’t come easy. But as a runner, you do have an advantage. Studies of obesity have shown that people who have a sense of well-being through physical activity, are better able to eat a healthy diet. Which is half the weight-loss battle.
The other half, of course, is keeping the pounds off. Here again, runners have an advantage, because exercise is the most important factor in keeping weight off.
So don’t wait another minute: you already have the weapons you need to win the battle of the bulge. To ensure ultimate victory, you can see all 29 here. Otherwise, enjoy these 10 as a preview - and if you want to subscribe, you can save save 30% right here.
Run Off The Pounds
Add 15 minutes:
Run 15 minutes more this week than your typical week. Then add another 15 minutes in each of the next three weeks. This means that in one short month you’ll be running an hour more per week than you were. Maintain this new running routine for the next two months, and we guarantee you’ll lose weight.
Speed works: Dietician and exercise physiologist Scott Fisher recommends speedwork on a track to help slim down. Alternate fast laps and slow laps. “The high-intensity running increases the body’s natural production of human growth hormone, which promotes fat-burning and leanness,” he says.
Run early: Twice a week, get up before breakfast for your morning run. At that time you’re in a ‘fasting’ state, as you haven’t yet replaced the carbohydrates burned during the night. If you run in this state, your body will call on a higher percentage of fat calories than usual.
Join a running club: You’ll run more when you’ve made a club commitment and found some training partners. This will help you melt off the pounds. The support of your running-club friends will also encourage you to reach your goal weight. Feelings such as stress, depression, loneliness and anger can lead to overeating. Running partners and a support system can boost your spirits, which will help you stick to your programme.
Reserve a run: To make sure you continue your work-outs when travelling, book a room at a hotel that has treadmills and other fitness equipment. An early morning run or cross-training session will energise you on even the most stressful days.
Exercise Your Options
Studies have shown that small extra movements can burn an additional 200 calories a day. That’s 20 pounds a year. You burn additional calories with any sort of movement, even fidgeting. So park your car further from the shops, take the stairs instead of the lift, or do some gardening. Nutrition specialist Ann Grandjean says, “I have a long phone cord in my office, which allows me to pace while I talk during the day.”
Hit the weights: When you build your strength through weight training, you add new muscle that elevates your metabolism and burns calories even when you’re not using that muscle. Studies have shown that increased muscle mass can boost your daily calorie burn by as much as 15 per cent. That translates to burning an extra 300 calories a day for the average woman.
Simplicity rules: Commitments such as weight training don’t require an elaborate programme at a health club or lots of high-tech equipment. Simple, light dumbbells can be employed in a 10-minute routine at home. Work on the biceps and triceps, and also do squats for your quads. Combined with press-ups, crunches and regular running, this is great low-cost, high-value training.
Make the crossover: Varied cross-training sessions – including cycling, rowing, stair climbing, swimming and pool running – can keep you motivated and training consistently. This will help you achieve your weight-loss goals. The mixture of activities enables you to become fitter and burn more calories without pounding your legs.
Plan Your Meals
Make breakfast an imperative:
Don’t sabotage your diet by restricting food intake during the day, especially in the morning. Your body expects calories during the day. If you eat too little for breakfast and lunch, you’ll over-stimulate your appetite later and you’ll crave calories (often from fat) that night.