Now that you understand the basis of calorie requirements we can talk about giving your body the best possible nutrition so that you can exercise effectively AND torch fat! Here’s the good news….You’ll eat real food :0
Say goodbye to the misery of overly restrictive diets and boring tasteless foods. The great thing about running for weight loss is you’ll do it by eating properly. Yes, that even includes lean meat if you wish and even a tiny bit of fat. So let’s get down to business…
If you go out food shopping feeling overwhelmed by the choices available and feeling completely unsure of what you need to lose weight and exercise effectively, that’s completely ok! In this section you’re going to get a complete shopping list of everything you need to lose weight, gain lean muscle mass and get unstoppable energy.
Wholegrain pasta & bread
So why does choosing wholegrain really matter? Wholegrain foods are less processed. Essentially your white pasta and breads have been processed. In their wholegrain form they contain more of their natural goodness. They also tend to contain more fiber so this will aid digestion.
Choose the wholegrain versions of your usual pasta and switch to wholegrain breads. You can also add whole wheat crackers for snacks and try a whole wheat breakfast cereal.
Fruit & Vegetables
The typical diet is lacking in fruit and vegetables. This can put you at a disadvantage regardless of weather you’re trying to lose weight. Fruits & veggies are a source of essential vitamins and minerals.
They’re also a low-calorie source of carbohydrate which will help to fuel your running and they’re high in fiber so will stop you feeling hungry.
Add tomatoes, carrots, peppers, spinach and other greens to your shop. Try adding fruits such as bananas, apples or grapes to eat as healthy snacks.
Lean protein is an excellent addition to your diet even if you want to lose weight. Lean protein will give you the nutrients you need to build and repair those running muscles AND here’s a secret not many people know….lean protein will fill you up and stop you feeling hungry!.
Add lean protein in the form of chicken, lean meant and fish and try cooking these by grilling instead of frying.
Nuts & Seeds
Nuts and seeds are a good source of vitamins, minerals, protein and healthy fats. Yes, some nuts can be relatively high in fats but they can be consumed in moderation. Add nuts and seeds to your diet as they make a great snack.
You’re allowed to eat fat! For a long time fat has been made out to be the bad guy and dieters have been brainwashed into thinking they’re not allowed any fat at all. The simple truth is fat is required for good health. Fats are used to make our cell membranes to form a water proof barrier and transport fat-soluble vitamins. The added bonus is that like protein, fat helps to keep you feeling full for longer.
Add healthy fats like good quality olive oil and flaxseed oil to your shop as well as foods such as avocado.
If you’re a vegetarian, try these alternatives to meat, poultry and fish for your essential protein intake.
1) Beans & lentils: also known as ‘pulses’ these are an excellent source of lean protein. They can also be a great source of carbohydrate and fiber. Lentils are extremely versatile and can be used to thicken soups and stews. Lentils make for a tasty vegetarian curry.
2) Soya mince: made from soya flour this is a versatile food product. It can be purchased in dried chunks and re-hydrated in stock to give it a meaty flavor. It can be used to make meet-free burgers & chilli. One to try!
3) Tempeh: also a soy bean product, tempeh is less processed than soya mince. Like other soy-based products it absorbs the flavor it’s cooked in. Try adding it to a spicy vegetable stir-fry.
4) Tofu: another soy derived product, tofu is made from soy milk curds and then pressed into a block. It’s low in fat and rich in protein so it makes a great meat substitute.
Eating For Energy & Weight Loss
You’ll often see articles referring to a certain amount of carbohydrate, protein and fat. These food groups are sometimes referred to as ‘macro-nutrients’. Try to aim for the following ratio of each. Remember this is a guide only.
To eat for weight loss and effective exercise try to make carbohydrate intake account for around 55% of your calorie intake. Carbohydrates come from starchy foods such as bread, pasta, oats and potatoes. They are also found in nuts, fruit and vegetables. The complex carbohydrates found in starchy foods can supply a steady release of energy over a few hours.
As we’ve discussed already fat is allowed – it’s an important macro-nutrient and help to keep you feeling full. Try to keep you fat intake to around 25% of your daily calorie intake. Sources of fat include oily fish such as salmon, nuts, lean red meet and avocados.
Protein is extremely important in muscle maintenance and repair and help you feel full. Calories from protein should account for around 30% of your calorie intake. Get your protein from lean meat, poultry, fish, meat alternatives such as soy mince, beans and lentils and eggs.