So you’ve been running for a while but you’ve hit a plateau with your weight loss. What do you do now? Well, don’t stop running. It is one of the best and most efficient ways for burning fat.
Beginners will experience weight management within the first few weeks. Weight management is important especially if you’re goal-oriented with running. You will run slower with unnecessary weight.
Getting to your ideal weight, though, can be a struggle for most people even with a good running program and losing 10 pounds may feel like it’s taking too long. The best ways to see results is by changing your diet a little bit and making sure that your running is adhering to the “afterburn” principles.
The One-Stop Solution: Diet
It’s a pain to change your entire diet to lose just a little bit of weight. Ask any Latina. It’s hard, tedious and can’t be sustained in the long term. Instead, you have to take it easy and make one change at a time which can dramatically help you lose weight.
One way to alter your diet is by getting rid of the “bad” carbohydrates from your body. The reason for this is because carbs are fuel and if you don’t use all of them, then your body stores them as fat. Your body also retains more water when you eat more carbs. Fancy that!
Reduce the carbs with processed sugar like sweets, muffins and bread. This can help you lose weight in less than a week. Focus on carbs like quinoa, sweet potatoes and wild rice. Black beans also have fiber, carbs and protein. These carbohydrates will also ensure that you’re getting enough energy for your workouts.
The Afterburn Principles of Exercise
It doesn’t matter if you’re a runner or a swimmer, there are three principles of exercise afterburn. They are duration, frequency and intensity.
Duration is the length of your individual workouts. The caloric afterburn (how many calories you burnafter your workout) partly depends on doing a long workout. If all of your runs are only 20 to 30 minutes, you’re not getting the full afterburn effect. Extend the duration of your longest run of the week by 1 to 2 miles.
Frequency is the number of times you run per week. Only doing two to three runs per week is great for overall health, but you’ll notice significantly better weight control benefits if you increase the number of runs you do to five or six per week. Start gradually and only increase the number of runs when you’re comfortable at your current mileage.
Intensity is the difficulty or speed of your runs. While you certainly shouldn’t do all of your runs fast, you should be completing one challenging workout every week that makes you go faster than your easy pace. Start with a relatively simple fartlek workout, alternating one minute fast with two minutes easy for a total of 10 minutes fast. You can progress to more challenging tempo runs or interval workouts once you’re ready for them.
These exercise principles all increase your metabolic rate—or the rate at which your body burns calories. When you combine all three of them with a less carb-dependent diet, you’ll see dramatic weight-loss results.
Less is not always better, so make sure you reach an ideal weight that promotes your overall health.