Running Off The Pounds

Congratulations on making the decision to become part of a wonderful community who all share the same goal to improve their health by embracing the challenge of running. No matter what your running level, this activity is an excellent addition to implement in your weight loss plan. Running is a great way to lose weight, but there are many other components that are essential to reach your ideal weight, and the ability to maintain it. Eating greens, fruits, lean protein, and avoiding processed or sugar packed foods contributes to dropping a few pounds. But most importantly, consuming fewer calories than your body burns during a day will keep you on track for your ideal weight loss.

A good place to start is to calculate your basal metabolic rate, BMR, which determines the amount of calories the body naturally burns when an individual does not exert any energy. For example, the BMR for a 25 year old female, height 5’6’’, and weight 140, is about 1,450 calories. Therefore, getting dressed in the morning, taking the stairs instead of the elevator, and engaging in your daily cardiovascular exercise are all activities that contribute for increasing the body’s ability to burn more calories. The 25-year-old female’s weight is within the healthy range for her height and age; therefore, she most likely consumes more than 1,450 calories and probably the number is closer to 1,800 calories in a day to maintain her weight. And now the big question, how many more calories can you add onto your BMR caloric amount and still lose weight? The simple answer, as previously stated, is to eat fewer calories than your body burns, so your body can begin eliminating unwanted fat that the body is currently storing.

There are many great online sources to calculate how many calories an individual consumes and burns in a day, but a simple way to avoid over-eating is to only eat when you are hungry and stop eating when you are full. However, those two methods can be very difficult to embrace when you are encouraged to consume energy gels or protein bars during or after your workouts. If you are exercising less than 2 hours, than your body probably only needs water and some sort of low sugar sports drink to replace some electrolytes. Anything more will just add on the calories, which unfortunately counteracts the whole purpose of exercising. So the next time you are about to purchase “energy” products save your self some money, and unwanted calories, by filling up a bottle of water instead.
Dr. Andrew Schneider
Dr. Andrew Schneider is a podiatrist and foot surgeon at Tanglewood Foot Specialists in Houston, TX.