Posted by: ZP | 2010/03/31

Exercise, fitness &  weight loss

I have always had a probelm with picking up weight in winter as I only play summer sports. However, I have started afresh &  am now trying to run for at least 30 mins every week morning before (breakfast, work,etc). Currently, I only manage about 2km''s before I become exhausted... but i guess we all have to start somewhere.

My aim is to lose weight, as well as to build my fitness level and although I have only recently started find that I have some great days &  then some really poor days. My question is more regarding what foods I should eat/avoid &  when I should eat it (in relation to my " training"  program). For example is it wise not to eat before I run & /or for 30mins thereafter?


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Our expert says:
Expert ImageDietDoc

Dear ZP
The fact that you have started running for 5 mornings a week is excellent. Don't try to be a Comrades runner just yet! Gradually increase how fast and far you run as you get fitter - give your body a chance to adapt. If you run before breakfast your body has very little fuel (glycogen) available to sustain your effort, so it is a good idea to have a high carbohydrate snack before you start running (fruit or breakfast cereal, or toast with jam or an energy bar). Then when you have finished you can eat a second breakfast which can contain low-fat yoghurt plus a boiled egg on low-GI bread or some more cereal. The most important nutrient to sustain exercise and provide fuel for your muscles is carbohydrate. Carbs are not fattening (16 kJ per gram) if eaten without masses of added fat (37 kJ per gram) such as butter, margarine, salad dressing or mayonnaise, cream, etc. You can also experiment with energy drinks like Energade, Powerade, etc to see which one suits you best, to provide carbs, and energy when you start running further and faster. You can try eating an energy-reduced, low-fat, high-fibre diet (click on 'Diet' at the top of this page, 'Weight loss', ‘Balanced diet’ and then on 'Slimming Diet' for a copy of such a diet) to promote weightloss during the rest of the day.
Enjoy the running

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