Many people take up running to aid weight loss. As any runner will know, it is essential to fuel your body before a run to maximise your performance. However, many people will often avoid fuelling their body for fear of piling on the pound when they are trying to lose them.
As a professional personal trainer, I encourage people to always eat and drink before a run, because it can actually aid weight loss, instead of adding to it. Think about it; by giving your body the fuel it needs to perform an exercise, the longer you can enjoy a run, meaning the more weight you will lose as a result. Here’s how to maximise your running performance whilst losing weight…
The Length of Your Run
Eat for the length of your run. For example, if you ate a meal a few hours before a run, the chances are you don’t need to eat anything else, especially if you are heading out on a 20 to 30-minute run. Anything longer than that and it might be best to grab a piece of fruit.
If, however, you are absolutely starving, you must eat if you want to boost your performance. A great way to identify how many calories you need to consume is to wear a fitness tracker, which will tell you how many calories you burn each run. So, if it takes you 50 minutes to burn 500 calories – you probably wouldn’t want to eat a meal that was equivalent to that amount.
Skip the Sports Drinks
Sports drinks can provide the fuel you need to boost your performance, as they repair the water and electrolytes lost in sweat. However, sports drinks are often jam-packed full of sugar and calories, which means they can actually prevent weight loss if you are running for less than 60 minutes.
The Recovery Meal
After a run, ensure you eat a meal that’s half carbs and half protein, which should act as a main meal of the day. This will ensure your body has enough fuel for the next day’s run, as part of a running routine, so you can continue to burn calories.
Opt for Wholegrains
Instead of choosing white grains that offer little fibre and nutrients, opt for wholegrains, which make for a perfect pre-run meal. Why? Because they’re high in both fibre and protein and can make you feel fuller during your run.