The 10 Nutrition Rules of Weight Loss

WebMD Feature from "Runner's World" Magazine

By Nancy Clark

Nutritionist Nancy Clark shares ten tips every runner should know if they want to lose some weight.

1. To lose 10 pounds of body fat a year, you need to eat 100 calories less per day. Cutting too many calories from your daily intake will sap your energy level and increase your hunger, making you more susceptible to splurging on high-calorie foods.

2. Don't skip breakfast. Eat within two hours of waking.

3. In fact, eat more breakfast than you think you should. Trade in some of your dinner calories for more calories at breakfast.

4. Don't allow yourself to get hungry. Eat at least every four hours, and split a meal in half to make sure you properly fuel up pre- and postrun. For example, eat part of your breakfast before your morning run (a banana) and the rest of your breakfast afterward (a bagel with peanut butter).

5. Eat at least three kinds of food each meal from these four categories: breads, cereals, and grains; fruits and vegetables; low-fat dairy and soy; and lean meats, fish, and nuts. Breads, cereals, and grains should be the foundation of each meal, with protein as an accompaniment.

6. Shoot for a gradual loss of body fat. You're more likely to put the weight back on (and more) if you drop weight too quickly.

7. Liquid calories add up fast and can lead to weight gain. Minimize the amount of sodas, juices, store-bought smoothies, sports drinks, coffee drinks, and alcohol you consume.

8. Eat closer to the earth, enjoying fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Minimize the amount of processed foods you eat; they tend to offer less fiber and are less satiating.

9. If you can't resist fast food, ask for nutritional information before you make your choices (or check in advance via restaurant Web sites). Avoid any menu items with the words "fried," "crispy," and "special sauce," which are guaranteed to be high calorie.

10. Remember that the calories in the energy bars, sports drinks, and gels you consume during a run add up, even though you're running. Consume them only as needed.

Originally published on March 1, 2008

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