This may be a sensitive topic for some but one that should be addressed. There are more runners than ever before, yet the aggregate times in races have been steadily declining. This is partly because we as Americans are getting bigger. American are eating more processed foods and in greater quaintly then even before. For those that are looking to improve their time, it is important to examine how weight plays a part.
As an illustration on how much excess weight can impact performance,. Imagine if ten minutes before the start someone asked you to carry a 30 pound pack the entire distance. This would radically alter your race and add 20-40 mins on your time.
Some marathons programs promote their runners not to lose any weight during their program. They make the claim the food is needed to keep your energy levels up. They even encourage people to eat during the run. They neglect the fact the body actually has all the energy that is needed. The goal is to tap into that energy. Training for a marathon is a terrific opportunity to increase ones overall health and fitness. There is not any downside to shedding those few extra pounds while getting in shape. Let's face it. Some of us had those pounds precisely because we are not as in shape as we could be.
It is still best not to go on a major diet at the same time your are in full training. However, if you are truly eating properly with healthy foods then you will naturally drop unnecessary weight and settle on the weight that is right for you.
The diet industry is a large industry in the US. An industry which grows every year. Ironically the average American weight has been steadily climbing in the same time frame. This is simply because of the fact that people consume too many calories. For example, if one burns 2000 calories a day, yet consume 2500-3000 calories a day you will gain weight.
It is all straightforward math. By increase your activity level to 2500 calories a day and then eating 2000 calories, then you will lose weight over a period of time. Eating healthy is the simplest way to lose weight. This means three meals a day. Breakfast is the most important of these meals. There should be fruit in at least two of the meals.
For those where diets are a challenge there are a couple of tricks that work. One easy trick is to drink a large glass of water before the meal. It takes a bit of time for the stomach to register that it is full. So take your time eating. As a measure if you are done with the majority of your meal in ten minutes then you are eating way too fast. Slow down. Make sure to chew longer and to take breaks before bites. Running takes discipline. So does proper eating. If you are one of those that pretty, much finishes the meal in 10 mins, here is a way to help slow yourself down. Take one bit at a time. In between bits put the fork or spoon down and do not pickup the utensil until, you have thoroughly chewed your food. Practice serving smaller portion sizes. You may find out you didn't need all that food in the first place after you slowed your pace of eating down.
Try to avoid processed foods. Minimize or eliminate snacks before meals. Make sure your alcohol intake is sparse.
During training, runs avoid loading up on the energy drinks and energy bars. Drinking in moderation is OK, but keep in mind the point of the workout is to deplete your energy. With the exception of those prone to low-blood sugar, stay away from all energy supplements during a workout. Your body has more than enough reserves to get through the workout.