These 5 elements helped me lose weight by running

It is great to read and hear about the quick race times, the countless victories etc. but what really inspires me is when people come up with their transformation stories and how running changed their lives. Most people take up running to achieve their weight loss goals and to help you with it today I am to share with you the 5 key elements that helped me lose weight by running.

I varied my pace

Want to burn more calories? Then run faster. Your body learns to adapt to the change in heart rate, BP, breathing etc. and thus varying your pace constantly challenges your body thus in turn burning more calories.

I love trail running. The quiet, calm and up and down variations is exactly what I need. You can also switch to tempo runs, HIIT, track workouts or fartlek runs. Learn more about running workouts in the video below.

 

I ate less junk

I am not telling you to give up what you love or starve yourself if you read carefully I said less rather than get rid of. Eating what you love once in a while will not do you any harm.

You neither have to throw out every junk food today. Small tweaks to your diet will help your body adjust and control your cravings. For example whenever I crave for sugar rather than cake or cookies I opt for fruits. They are sweet yet healthy.

I added more exercises

Like you know your body adapts to your daily routine and for optimum weight loss it is important you keep challenging it and just varying pace won’t always be enough this is why along with my running I added other fun activities such as swimming, volleyball and even a couple of leg exercises such as lunges, squats, push -ups etc. to my routine.

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I listened to myself

Your trainer, coach etc. do not know your body like you do and it is about time you paid attention to it. Understand how your body reacts to your new diet and make changes if necessary. Keep note of what works and what doesn’t.

The same goes for your training routine. If you experience pain in your muscles or joints take a day of if needed. Rest, give it time to recover.

I started using weights

Weights, one of the most ignored elements in a runners training routine but here is why you shouldn’t make that mistake. Weight movements such as the barbell squat, leg press etc. develop your knees, ankles, hips thus helping you run longer and faster.

Add intervals of weight training to your running to avoid hitting a plateau.  It will also improve fat burning, keep away injuries and make running more fun.

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These 5 food add-ons will help you run better

Did you know a supermarket often holds more than 50,000 items and yet you look no further than the 15-20 items you need which is good but are those healthy choices? Items that will help you run better, fuel you up well, increase stamina, cook easily etc. If not I am going to tell you about 5 things that must be there in your shopping cart next time. These are the perfect diet add-ons for all types of runners.

Eggs

For proteins I always choose eggs. Egg protein has amino acid which helps muscles recover better after a long, fast run. Vitamin K in eggs protects bones while choline is known to improve memory and lutein, important for clear vision.

Omega 3 eggs help deal better with cholesterol and heart diseases. Whether boiled, scrambled or poached, egg is equally healthy in all forms. It can also be added to soups, sandwiches, rolls etc.

 

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Whole wheat foods

Switching to whole wheat breads, pastas, cereals etc. is probably the best health decision you can take irrespective of whether you run or not. Whole wheat products are rich sources of fiber and proteins.

They make the ideal breakfast foods. Combining them with eggs, nuts or yogurt will provide you the perfect kickass breakfast you need for the long day ahead.

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Almonds

Eating almonds 5 times a week will provide you enough vitamin E. It is also one of the few great antioxidants readily available and is also known to reduce cholesterol, lower risk of heart problems and gamma-tocopherol found in this nut fights cancer.

Almonds can be added to salads, pasta or your morning cereal to add some crunch. Almond spreads are equally effective. Store the nuts in jars away from sunlight or simply freeze them.

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Sweet Potatoes

For vitamin A the best source is sweet potato. It is a strong antioxidant too and also contains Vitamin C, potassium, iron, and the rare minerals such as manganese and copper. Lack of manganese and copper negatively impacts your running as they it directly affects body functioning.

Sweet potatoes taste best either boiled or baked. Add some chilies, cheese, toppings to it or just throw them into your soup. They are also ideal for fries and wedges. Avoid refrigerating them.sweet potato

 

Oranges

Love fruits? Don’t forget to pick oranges next time. For trail runners oranges are the ideal food as it lowers muscles soreness. They are great antioxidants and sources of vitamin C.  It contains hesperidin which also reduces cholesterol and high blood pressure.

Fruit salad is the best way to consume oranges. You can also squeeze the juice or use the zest to make sauces which goes really well with chicken or duck.  Hesperidin also helps with baking. Choose hard and heavy oranges and store in fridge to maintain freshness.

 

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My running resolutions for a better 2016

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Well the New Year’s begun and I am sure like every year this year too you are ready with a list of resolutions. I know I have but this year rather than having out of the box resolutions that I would have no track of 4-5 months on I have decided to focus them on my running and making 2016 a better and faster year.

So here is what I decided to do this year. Get your pens, pencils and notebooks out and start noting yours too.

To smile and be friendly

I live away from home and at times it tends to get lonely and having people around who love and understand me is the best feeling and none can do it better than my running buddies. So how do you make friends?

It’s no big secret. A simple smile while running or a friendly hello is enough. Respecting your competitors can tighten bonds and help you build a community of like-minded people.

To get my family running (just like the image below)

This one is probably the most difficult one as none of them have the slightest of interest in running but running has other health benefits too like it lowers risk of heart problems, tackles high BP etc. and not everybody has to prep for a race always.

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With the right encouragement anybody can be a runner. It is not about how fast or how long you run as long as you do it you are a runner.

To read more

Training and diet aside there is more to running than that. To get better you need to be focused and continue learning and nothing helps with learning better than reading. So this year I am going to spend my free hours reading about running and you should too.

I love the old traditional books so I am sticking to that. You can look for e-books. Note what inspires you and when things get tough revisit your journal.

To try something new

Well this year I want to do things differently so I have decided I am going to explore new routes. A new route every month will keep me motivated, make it more fun and give me a fresh challenge. For that you can also change your routine or switch to trails rather than roads etc. This is also a great way to end a rut.

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To not ignore the crash and burns

We all remember our first wins, our best laps, etc. but do you ever keep note of the bad times, the day you fell, got injured or came last? Noting your bumps and bruises and struggles will give your story a realistic view and keep you inspired.

Apart from that I am going to ease my dietary restrictions, get new shoes, socks, new gears etc. or in short start afresh.

5 Things I have learnt about running that nobody tells

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Simply put I love running and after 7 years of actively participating in short races, marathons etc. my love for running remains the same the only difference being I am a lot more experienced and wiser now and today I am going to share with you some things I learnt with time, stuff nobody will tell but which will help you become a better and accomplished runner especially if you are beginner.

Work hard but don’t forget to rest

Yes I work hard, extremely hard but in midst of that I lay equal emphasis on my recovery as well and so should you. All runners should preferably sleep for 8-10 hours at night and an hour in the afternoon after your training.

Spend time with your family and friends; take a holiday every now and then. You need to rest both physically and mentally to keep off injuries.

Eat more but eat well

 

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A good diet has always been an important part of my training routine and it does not always mean reducing your consumption or stopping foods you love. A few add-ons and a couple of changes is all you need.

Know how much you run and eat accordingly but always eat fresh and switch to whole foods. This will help you fuel up and at the same time prevent extra weight gain.

Explore other sources of refueling

We all know how our mental state affects our body. Your will, inner strength etc. too help improve your race times. Proper mental conditioning is not as tough as you might think. I have learnt that small things such as a smile or exploring new places are enough to lift spirits.

Be around people that make you happy, keep you motivated and let not your happiness be dominated by only your success. Find happiness in even the smallest of victories and achievements.

Ignore haters, find people that support you

Is your life full of relatives or friends telling you your making a big mistake and running isn’t the sort of thing for you? This is often the reason most beginners quit but my advice would be to ignore such people.

There are a whole lot of good things waiting for you and you are not alone either. Get in touch with running groups, participate in or at least visit marathons or other races to meet more like minded people.

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Always have goals

You maybe 23 now and might have 10s or 100s of goals but in some years you will be 40-45 and that is no reason to not have any goals. As you may have heard age is just a number. Always have goals and always strive to improve, break records etc.

Keep up your fitness levels and when it gets tough and trust me it does, dig deep and keep moving forward. It is easier to quite but more rewarding not too.