Elite runners may be able to get away with packing the carbohydrates before their big races, and sure, that's a great way to feel like you've fueled up before you set out on your morning run. However, this diet only works for elite runners, especially if one of the reasons you are trying to run is to lose some weight. Here are some tips for maintaining a diet conducive to losing weight as you sprint around your neighborhoods and local parks.
Everyone needs a certain amount of calories to maintain their current weight and health. If you want to lose weight, you drop a few calories (distributed over all the food groups, naturally). Your first step, then, is to determine your calorie count needs. How many calories do you need to obtain the energy necessary to run, while not going over all so as to avoid weight gain? A good formula is to take your current weight and multiply it by 13; that is the number of calories you need in order to maintain your weight. Drop that number according to how much you'd like to lose, and you have the total you can "spend" on your diet.
Next, use the food pyramid to distribute those calories in a healthy manner. Each of the main food groups -- grains, fruits, vegetables, meats, dairy products, and fats -- should be represented proportionally in your distribution.
Now you can choose quality carbohydrates to fill up the grain and some of the vegetable niches. These will be the bulk of your energy, so be sure to choose carbs that are full of nutrition -- not empty ones like white bread and tortillas. Some examples of quality carbohydrates: bananas, apples, berries, celery, bell pepper, lettuce, and asparagus. Carbohydrates you should watch out for: pasta, rice, corn, beans, popped corn, and oatmeal. These will give you energy, but "cost" a lot of calories per serving.
Choose quality proteins, as well, especially if your body naturally draws its energy from protein-high foods. You'll want to choose lean meats and dairy products, because high fat content is much harder to work off. Some examples of quality proteins: chicken breast, turkey breast, canned tuna, egg whites, Canadian bacon, low-fat hot dogs, fat-free cottage cheese, and low-fat cheese of all types.
You also have to know when to eat, because if you eat at the wrong times, it's just as devastating as eating the wrong amounts. Eat most of your carbohydrates around your running times, and your proteins and fats while you are resting. Spreading out your eating is also good -- consistent mealtimes plus snacks in between.
You, too, can eat well, stay healthy, and do it all on a tight budget! We've got tips here for you at GarageSaleCow.com, along with lots more money-saving tips (mostly related to garage sales, of course). Come see us today!