How to Lose Weight and be a Better Runner

How to lose Weight and be a Better Runner

Your poor feet. They want to be fit and maybe do the cha-cha but instead got to deal with the pressure of extra weight because maybe you’re a bit  too heavy. They want to groove and move but are instead pushed down, slam, bang, into the hard ground. This is what they mean when talking about weight bearing activity. Got it.

Feet of a runner

Feet of a runner

Now if you try to  run in such a condition you might end up experiencing  plantar fasciitis, pain at the bottom of the feet. This will definitely make your running suck. So this post is about how to lose weight and be a better runner.

Ditch The Diet Pills

Pushing diet pills is not my style.  Yeah, I know there are many diet pills and supplements that claim to help you lose weight fast. The thing is that your body doesn’t much like this option. You have to appreciate  that inside you is a nice balance of chemicals that keep you functioning.

Diet pills have a nasty way of disrupting that balance. When you take diet pills, your body sends you a message saying you’re messing up my system. You experience  side effects and your hunger is suppressed. This is definitely not a healthy or beneficial thing.

tips on ditching the pills

Ditch the pills

Another thing, diet pills аrе artificially made, ѕо when уоu stop taking them your problems wіll come bасk. It іѕ far better tо kill the weight problem bу tackling them аt their source. Changing your  lifestyle, habits and preferences іѕ muсh more effective than taking diet pills іn order tо aid natural weight loss.

To Diet or Exercise

Okay, now that we have ditched the pills which is more effective in helping you lose weight, diet or exercise? Obviously, in the perfect world you would exercise regularly, develop a sensible and nutritious diet, get lots of sleep and drink lots of water. That would help effectively return your body to its ideal weight. But if you had to choose one or another, exercising or dieting, which is the most efficient and healthy way to lose weight?

It’s a Mind Thing

Sometimes your brain  just likes doing one thing more than the other.  A  study out of Ohio State University’s College of Public Health indicates that when you spend time on one action or habit, that often creates less time for another activity. You are focusing all your time and energy on exercise so your diet suffers, or vice versa.

In handful of studies published in Psychological Science. 1,200 participants in South Korea, China, France, Canada and the United States were asked what they believe the main factor is that keeps people overweight. Height, weight and other measurements were taken.

An Interesting Revelation

The shocking revelation was, people who believed fitness and exercise was a more important factor for weight loss than proper diet and nutrition actually had higher BMI numbers. They had more body fat. This is because your weight loss mentality impacts your food choices. If you believe exercise is more important than diet for losing weight, you don’t pay as much attention to what you are eating and how much you are eating.

And if you believe that proper diet and nutrition removes more weight than exercise, you are more inclined to pay attention to what you put into your body.

How Much Chocolate to Eat

Just to see if you’re putting it together, here’s a little quiz

Let’s say you were offered some of that chocolate above. If you believe  that staying active is a key to losing weight would you eat more or less than your diet-minded counterpart?

It turns out that you’d most likely eat more.

For instance, in one of the above referenced studies, the volunteers were offered unlimited chocolate. Time and again, those that believed staying active was the key to losing weight ate more than their diet-minded counterparts.

I wanted to explore this mental link between diet and weight  gain because I don’t see it mentioned  much  out there . Yes, I see a lot of  “believe you can do it…rah, rah, rah”, but not the clear explanation of exactly how exercise-minded and diet-minded  individual beliefs impacts  success when it comes to losing weight.

Taking Advantage of Your Weight

Here is some good news about weight bearing activity when it comes to walking. Since walking is indeed a weight-bearing activity it turns out that you’ll burn more calories than those who have less.

tips on running to lose weight

Running to lose weight

What is The Best Exercise?

Okay, we got the diet thing out of the way. Let’s talk about walking. It’s the best exercise to help you prepare for running. Now you can have happy feet. maybe not do the cha-cha, but you can skip the slam, bang, into the ground bit because walking is a low impact exercise.

Walking Can Help You Get To And Maintain A Healthy Weight

Walking particularly at a quick pace and doing it regularly can help you get to and then maintain a healthy weight. Yes, you still need to watch what you eat and aim for a healthy diet, but walking can be another tool to help you drop those extra pounds.

The nice thing about walking when you’re overweight, as I said, is that you burn a lot of calories, even on short and slow walks, simply because you’re carrying so much weight around with you. As you start to lose the weight, your overall strength and endurance increases, allowing you to walk longer, further, and faster. You can also use a pedometer to help track your walking.

The Star- Spangled Banner Test

If you can get someone to walk with you, then you might try having a conversation to see if your pace is okay.

tips on setting your pace

Setting your pace

If you’re so short of breath that you can’t keep up a conversation, you should slow down. Your body is saying I’m not ready yet. However, if you can sing the Star-spangled Banner you’re going too slow. Pick up the pace.

Let NetFlix Help

You can even walk in place at home in front of your TV. Here’s a simple little idea to get you moving more. As you’re sitting on the couch at night watching TV, get up during commercial breaks and march in place until your favorite TV show comes back on.

If you’re using a service like Netflix, make yourself walk in place for 10 minutes in between episodes. Or turn on the TV and challenge yourself to march in place during the entire show. Time will fly while you’re having fun watching TV and moving.

Conclusion

A Bit Info on Your Hormones

If you’re reading this post you most likely  know the usual chitchat about cutting back on fatty, saturated and fast foods. You probably  also know the tip about drinking lots of water, which is often times all your body requires  when you think you are  hungry.

Here is something that you may not know. Runners have shown  after exercises to have significantly higher blood levels of a hormone called peptide YY, which has been shown to suppress appetite. Walkers usually do not have increased peptide YY levels.

So to eat less, you will need to run. But that’s okay. You now have an approach that will help you do just that. It all starts with a good walk.

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I like to hear from the readers so please leave me a comment below to let me know if this post helped you or if you have any questions.

6 Comments

  1. yancey

    This is a a great article. My fiance struggled with her weight, especially after having our first child. She struggled trying to figure out the best way to lose weight. Of course the internet is full of false information and bad advice, but she finally created a diet plan and fast walked resulting in the loss of 100 pounds in less than year. Very Valuable information here and this is going to benefit many people.

    • Thabo Nkomo

      Hi Yancey,

      Thank you so much for the kind words. I’m glad that you found the article useful. Many people think that they can only lose weight by running. However, as you fiancé has demonstrated, fast walking is a safe and effective alternative. I congratulate your fiancé on her accomplishment, and I wish both of you many years of happiness. Feel free to contact me should you have any questions concerning the topic of walking or running.

  2. Charlie Keating, III

    I think it is great that you are highlighting the importance of diet. I know many people and even many recreational athletes that just eat whatever because they feel they are in good enough shape, so their diet does not matter. I also see many people who walk and attempt to exercise but still eat whatever. My mother struggled with her weight and health for a while but then she cut out gluten, lowered her carbs and ate mostly raw and clean foods. She lost nearly 80 lbs. in only a few months. Over a year later, it has remained off and now has incorporated healthy eating as a lifestyle, including healthy whole grains in limited amounts; albeit still no gluten. She says it’s 90% in the kitchen. I hope more people find your article and read about the mentality involved in our health.

    • Hi Charlie,

      Your mom is right. When it comes to staying healthy, it is 90% in the kitchen. I have always found it odd that people will train hard and then risk undoing their gains by eating a lot of junk food. I did in fact write this post as a friendly warning for those athletes, especially the recreational athletes, that being in good shape is not a free pass to load your body with junk food. It may not look like it, but all that junk food is breaking you down inside.

  3. Nemira

    Hello here for informative article regarding healthy activities. I guess that it is not easy to lose weight when people have gained plenty of pounds.

    However it is doable. Patience, perseverance plays important role.

    I guess that when people are obese they are better walking when compare with running. Joints can suffer from weight when running. What do you think?

    All the best, be healthy and wealthy, Nemira.

    • Thabo Nkomo

      Hi Nemira,

      As always, it’s great to hear from you. Yes, when people are obese it’s better for them to start with walking first rather than running. Walking, as you said, puts less pressure on your joints. In fact, walking is often suggested as the perfect way for heavy people to transition into running. Speed walking has shown to have real measurable benefits as one increases his or her workout.

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