When I was deep into the struggle of trying to find a way to lose weight I ran a lot. The funny thing is that I never looked that much better.
I would spend hours on the treadmill or run in the park. The result? A sore body and a massive urge to eat all carbs in sight.
I saw little change in my physique. I would then just give up a go deeper into a binge cycle. It took years to figure out how to incorporate running into an overall healthy lifestyle.
Here is what I learned how to make running work for me rather than against me.
Mix running with other forms of exercise.
If you enjoy running this can be a great way for you to have success in losing weight.
The benefits of running include:
- Weight loss
- Better cardiovascular health
- Improved mood
- An inexpensive way to exercise with friends.
- Having lower blood pressure.
The article from Harvard Medical School, Running for health: Even a little bit is good, but a little more is probably better, cites a study done for 15 years that focused on a group of 55,000 people aged 18–100.
The study found that those who ran about 50 minutes a week were less likely to die from cardiovascular disease than those who did not run at all.
While running is great, blending other forms of exercise will help you with muscle tone and prevent injury.
The risks of running too much include:
- Loss of testosterone that will impede muscle recovery.
- Lower immune function.
- An unnecessary strain on joints.
An article in the Telegraph, The hidden health risks of jogging talks about the “optimal dose” for running.
Dr. Martin Matsumara from the Cardiovascular Research Institute in Pennsylvania observed that there really is no optimal dose for running.
About 2.5 hours of moderate jogging per week shouldn’t be detrimental to you.
This will prevent joint erosion, falling testosterone, and having a weakened immune system.
Mix running with other activities like:
- Weight training
- Walks in nature
- HIIT (High-Intensity Interval Training)
Alleviate boredom and reduce unnecessary strain on your body and make running a healthy part of your exercise regime.
Create a whole foods diet that works for you.
Exercise alone won’t help you lose weight. Eating a diet of whole minimally processed foods is key to help you lose weight through running.
Heavily processed foods in the Standard American Diet (SAD) makes you gain weight and experience cravings due to lack of adequate nutrients.
This is partially the reason why I saw no result in my earlier efforts to lose weight through running. My diet was horrendous but I did not make the connection until years later.
When you go grocery shopping focus on purchasing items that have few ingredients that you understand.
Purchase whole foods like:
- Carrots, onions, kale, garlic
- Brown rice, sweet potato, quinoa
- Maple syrup and honey
These foods are easy to prepare and will give you the necessary energy to run and lose weight in the process.
A great way to maintain a healthy whole foods diet that you love is to go grocery shopping at the same day and time each week.
Batch prep time-consuming food and eat most meals made by you or someone you love.
This will help you maintain lost weight for good.
Focus on developing long-term healthy habits. Ignore the scale.
Losing weight is a byproduct of long-term healthy habits.
Personally, I found that if I focused on developing healthy habits like:
- Weekly grocery shopping
- A great mix of exercise
- Eating most meals at home
- Creating a good morning routine
My excess weight fell off and stayed off. I rarely weighed myself at the start of my weight loss journey and continue to do so.
Being attached to numbers on your scale creates more anxiety. Focus on your good exercise and eating habits and you will lose weight for good.
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