You may be clocking up the miles like they are going out fashion, but if your diet is letting you down chances are you still won't be seeing the physical results you crave. As the old adage goes: 'you can't outrun a bad diet!' so eat your way to the perfect beach body with our top nutrition tips.
Don't skip breakfast
Those who eat a hearty breakfast are leaner than those that don't. Fact. However, recent research also suggests that including protein boosts this effect. Try eggs, yogurt or lean meat to help fend off hunger until lunch. For more information, read our lowdown on protein for runners
Cut calories - in moderation!
If you are looking to trim down, you do need to eat fewer calories than you burn... but, less is definitely not more. Eating too few calories can sabotage your weight loss efforts by interfering with your metabolism, not to mention it's plain unhealthy. We recommend cutting calories by a healthy 500 and aiming to lose no more than 1-2 lbs per week. This ensures you lose fat rather than muscle. Click here to calculate your calories needs.
Protein is your friend; you may have heard that too much can be dangerous but unless you are eating mega amounts, this really isn't the case. Protein is crucial for those trying to lose fat as it helps you to feel full, supports healthy metabolism and maintains lean muscle mass. Make sure you include a source of protein with every meal or snack; try Greek yogurt, tuna, boiled eggs or nuts.
Don’t fear fat
Too much skimping on fat is actually bad for your weight loss efforts. Fat is crucial for survival; it supports normal hormone function, metabolism and immune health. It also helps you feel fuller for longer, preventing overeating. Try to get at least 30% of your calories from fat. Go for natural sources such as nuts, avocados and olive oil. Butter and cheese are fine, in moderation. For more reasons NOT to skip the fat, click here!
Be clever with your carbs
If you're an athlete in training, steer clear of low-carb/ no-carb diets. Runners need carbohydrate for your hard workouts and tempo runs. However, your decrease in calories should come primarily from a reduction in carbohydrate intake. By timing your carbohydrate intake you can reduce it without detriment to your workouts. Eat less carbs on your rest days and easier training days but ensure you include some in your pre and post exercise meals. Make sure the majority of your carb intake is from nutritious, wholesome foods and steer clear of refined sugar.
Lifting weights is an essential part of any runners' training plan, strengthening muscles and joints and helping to prevent injury. But it's a little known fact that strength training is also vital for fat loss because the more muscle you have, the higher your metabolic rate and so the faster you burn fat. Get heavy lifting now and you'll be feeling fabulous on the beach in time for summer!