You might have heard the myth, that running is the easiest and cheapest way to do sport, yes? Well, then you surely have heard all the myths concerning running and weight loss too? Like, you should always be running long distances at a very slow pace or that you should actually run shorter and faster distances.
Are you curious about your health? Do you want to maintain your fitness?
Or you are considering to lose weight?
Well, then you are at the right place!
Here are 9 tips or strategies to find your pace and start your journey to achieving your A goal!
#1 – Tell me what you eat…
Your weight loss starts in your fridge!
Weight loss is about 70% nutrition and 30% sport. Now, there are plenty of tips you can read on the Internet, like eating fewer calories than you actually burn, but I will be honest with you: if you don’t fuel your body correctly, you will injure yourself.
And guess what?
If you injure yourself, you might not be able to pursue your goal.
So please, if you want to start running for weight loss, try to consider healthy eating habits.
Paleo, vegan, vegetarian, raw, low-carb… There is no one perfect way to fuel your body.
The only thing that should matter is to find the right fit between your needs and healthy habits.
(i.e. picture: that’s how my breakfast look like for now)
#2 – Regularity is key
Building a consistency in your running over time is important.
Running once a week or from time to time won’t help you to 1) lose weight and 2) improve your fitness.
If you are planning to lose some extra pounds or just maintain your actual weight then you should seriously keep one keyword in mind: regularity. It’s better to run and exercises 3 to 4 times a week instead of one intense weekly workout.
I know it can be difficult sometimes to workout every day or a few times a week on a regular basis. But it’s possible. If you want some advice about how to keep yourself motivated toward the journey that lies upon you, read this great article written by Ivanna just a few days ago. It’s worth it!
#3 – Quality over Quantity
It might happen, that you don’t run enough to enhance your fitness or your weight loss. But running too much can also have a negative impact on your A goal.
I would suggest you run 3 to 4 times a week. Be careful to increase your weekly mileage or time on your feet slowly and gradually. You don’t want any injuries here. If you run too much, you might increase the stress put on your body, and we all know that stress has a direct impact on our hormones – especially women. And hormones have an impact on…
YES! Your weight.
So be balanced. Don’t do too much too fast, but gradually more and more slowly.
#4 – Diversify your training
Here, I would like to break one myth about running and weight loss.
Running alone won’t help you to achieve your goal. Running and healthy eating habits may help you. But if you want to 1) weight loss and 2) improve your fitness without injuries, you might add some other exercises such as yoga, core training, weight training or cross-training such as biking or swimming to your fitness routines.
Concerning your running, you might want to add some speed training. Shorter and faster such as intervals, or also longer runs. If you are always running the same loop, at the same pace, your body is not challenged anymore.
And when that happens, well, then your body ain’t change.
#5 – Early birds vs. night owls
In my last article enhancing the reasons why I consider running in the morning instead of the evening, I talked about productivity and how aware you arrive at work once your workout is done.
Some studies also point out, that people who work out in the morning tend to lose weight faster than the one training in the evening.
Running before breakfast will force your body to use the resource in stores. Also, running in the morning enhance your metabolism by increasing your fat-burn. Another reason is… After your workout, your body is still burning calories even if you do “nothing”.
But don’t forget: if your workout last more than 30 minutes, eat a little pre-workout snack like a banana or dates.
#6 – Don’t be too hard on yourself
I don’t know how many times I have beaten myself up because I was failing at following my vegan diet, or because I missed a training.
For me, it was for my performance at running, but it’s the same for weight loss.
Your worst enemy is not the scale. Actually it’s the person you see when you look in the mirror. If you beat yourself up every time you step out the diet or training plan you are gaining on negative thoughts and entering a negative circle.
I don’t know how many time I heard that from my lovely mummy or from my friends:
It’s OKAY to LET GO at some point.
So what is the strategy to keep yourself up? First, set yourself realistic, achievable goals. Let’s be honest, losing 14 pounds in one week is far from being realistic!
Also, having one cheat day during the weekend helps you to accept these little moments of distractions. Find the strategy that work best!
But please. Don’t set yourself up for failure with negative thoughts.
Sometimes life gets in the way. It’s OK to have cheat days. It’s OK if you have to miss one training.
Let me tell you one secret: at first, you’re going to find it difficult to stick to a diet or/and training plan. But it becomes a habit. You actually might love running and eat more healthy.
Open your mind and embrace the journey…without beating yourself up!
#7 – Acceptance & Love
I think I am not too off when I say that it all starts in your head.
You can start all the diet programs you want, do all the exercises listed on the Internet or given by a coach…
The thing is, if you are not at peace with oneself, your journey is going to be very difficult.
Yes, you may face failure.
A weight loss might help you to accept who you are. Everyone has its story, every one has its complex – yes also thin persons have difficulties to accept their body – but start to accept and love yourself the way you are. Because your personality is what matters. In the inside, you are the same person with 10 pounds less on your hips. Don’t identify yourself with your weight because I tell you what…
You are more than just your weight!
So give it a shot!
Look in the mirror and start seeing beyond all the negative things you are spotting for the last years or months.
#8 – Think positive!
This goes hand in hand with #7.
I believe that the brain plays an important role in our everyday lives. And it might have the main role in your weight loss. Being positive will be your secret weapon during this journey. No matter how long you train or how healthy you eat. If you’re not ready to roll with the punches and continue your hard work with a smile, you will have difficulties to reach your A-Goal. You will have some moment asking why you’re not losing weight despite all your efforts. You will have moments where you’ll be questioning the why and how.
Keep your goal in mind! Be ready to embrace and accept the steps back along the way.
This is life!
And it will only makes you stronger!
#9 – Be patient!
As I said before, losing weight is a journey.
And as for every journey, you should take your time.
Patience is the key.
Now I know it’s a bit easy to say, especially when one knows that patience is not my quality #1. But because it’s not my best quality, I know I can tell how important it is for you to take your time. Embrace the moments as they come. Don’t give up if you don’t see results right away.
Give it your best.
Just remember: don’t quit!
You won’t lose 10 lbs in one week because you decide to go for a run. Nor will your run a 10K right away if you start running for weight loss. You will have to take baby steps. Don’t believe in programs promising awesome weekly weight loss.
You HAVE TO be patient.