150516 Running and losing weight

Running and losing weight

The following is my answer to a question regarding the inability to lose weight even though this person was running an average of three miles per day.

Stay with your exercise programs and don’t use the fact that you are exercising to eat or drink more than necessary. Just because you are running 3 miles and lifting weights does not mean you can pig out at the Golden Corral or drink a large Starbucks as a reward. Instead, the reward is a healthier body free of excess body fat and more lean muscle mass.

You will not be able overcome poor eating with exercise. Think how long it will take to exercise off one doughnut, milkshake, or whatever else you may have a hankering for that may not be healthy or nutritious.

Start a written log of all you eat and drink. Keep at it for at least 3-4 four days and then look at what you are ingesting. There will be areas that are not that healthy, nutritious, or simply extra stuff that you could stop eating or drinking.

Weigh yourself every morning after getting up and after going to the bathroom in the same clothing.

Reset your ability to interpret the hunger signals and those that alert you to being fed enough without going overboard on the eating and drinking. Contrary to what your parents and other adults may have told you growing up, you do not have to or need to finish everything on your plate to help the starving children somewhere else in  the world.

Keep up with your water and if you feel like eating something start with an apple or a glass of water, wait for ten minutes and reexamine the need to eat or drink.

Some studies have shown a complete day of fasting tends to drive the weight down followed by moderate eating and drinking as before the fast began.

As for the calories, some have found that by adding a zero to the end of your current weight (142+0=1420) you arrive at a minimalist calorie figure divided up into 4-5 meals per day. This may be too severe but by keeping track of your weight and how you feel, it could work well for you.

You can safely lose 10% of your current body weight per week without tapping into your muscle stores. Therefore, in your case, at 142, you could be losing about 1.4 pounds per week. Of course, there is some point where this will stop working because there won’t be any more fat to cut. This is a ways down the road. When you get to around 134-136 simply stabilize and decide if this is a good weight for you without torturing yourself to maintain it. Once you find the way for you to lose weight, cutting for the contest will be a piece of the proverbial cake and can be accomplished within 2-3 weeks prior to the meet in March.

In my experience, the best thing that worked for me was to weigh daily, log, pay attention to what I was eating, use smaller plates, tune into my hunger and pre-satiation signals, and ask what the food or drink was doing to help me reach my goal of 200 pounds.

Start with these first and see where they take you. Stay with it for at least a month. By the end of the month, I suspect your weight will be into the mid 130’s.