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Are you running to lose weight? Fiona Bugler picks three of the top diets that will help you shift the pounds.
Key features: The Alkaline diet promotes eating foods that help to make the blood more alkaline. When your blood is acidic it’s believed to ‘clog’ the system and increases weight gain by creating an environment of ill health. The blood has a normal pH level of 7.35 to 7.45, and the theory is that our diet should reflect this level. Too much acid disrupts the balance of essential minerals such as potassium, magnesium and calcium. It’s essentially a ‘green’ diet and promoted by prominent people like famous US motivational speaker, Anthony Robbins.
Why it’s good for runners: Athletes are prone to a build up of acid, and therefore, will benefit from more alkaline foods. The diet promotes, healthy, fresh, organic food – which is ideal for anyone pushing their body to the limits. Wheatgrass also forms the basis of many of the green drinks in this plan, famously drunk by Paula Radcliffe, wheatgrass contains chlorophyll which contains more light energy than any other element and is packed with health benefits, one of its many qualities are that it’s an anti-inflammatory.
LOW GI DIET
Key Features: The Gylcemic Index rates food from one to 100 as to how quickly they are absorbed and how they affect your sugar levels. Low GI foods included complex carbohydrates that provide a slow release of energy leaving you feeling fuller for longer. The food plans offer a healthy and balanced variety of proteins, carbohydrates and fats, plus vegetables and low GI fruits.
Why it’s good for runners: When we train our blood sugar levels can fluctuate, so keeping blood sugar stable makes sense, a typical runner’s breakfast before race always includes slow release carbohydrates (for example porridge) for exactly this reason. However, as runners we can indulge in quick release high GI sugary snacks and nutrition during and after racing for a quick release of energy (jelly beans or energy drinks). Overall, this diet is one that medical professionals approve of, providing a good balance of carbohydrates, lean meat and fish and fresh fruit and vegetables. There are numerous books and GI plans available, check out Living The GI Diet, by Rick Gallop. Click here for some Low GI breakfast options.
Key Features: Personal trainer and nutritionist, Stephen Duncan MSc from Balanced Fitness Ltd says: “I use Metabolic Typing to determine the right fuel and the right fuel mix for each individual. Metabolic Typing is not the same as the typical ‘one-size-fits-all’ diet.
“Metabolic Typing identifies the foods that are right for the combination of how you function right now and your genetic background,” he explains. “In some people, their ideal fuel mixture will be higher carbohydrates, more vegetables and for others their diet may be higher protein and fats, more meat and fish and for others they could be a 50-50 balance of the two.”
Why it’s good for runners: Runners need sustained energy and eating the wrong foods will lead to periods of low energy and in turn eating too much food which can also cause weight gain. “By using Metabolic Typing you will learn how to balance your nutrition so you can maximise your energy production and build good health,” says Stephen.
For some nutrition progammes, check out the Balanced Fitness Nutrition Website.
Whatever diet you choose, read these top tips to help you stop cheating and avoid these common dieting mistakes.
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Our friend, Jane Griffin,BSc RD, who's a Sports Dietitian and Nutrition Consultant and author of Food for Sport (www.eatwellperformbetter.co.uk), told us why she thinks the Low GI eating plan is great for runners.
"Runners who want (and need) to lose weight would do well to follow the Low GI diet. The Low GI (Glycaemic Index) Diet will, unlike many other weight loss diets, still provide you with enough carbohydrate to support your training and marathon while helping you to lose that “dead weight” of excess body fat. You can check out a GI table on the internet or buy one of the GI books on sale. A low GI diet involves making changes to the overall diet in terms of what, rather than how much is eaten, which means that you don’t have to spend time weighing food out. Like many of the more sensible diets around, you do still need to trim back on fat intake as this (along with alcohol) is the most calorific part of the diet. After digesting your food, glucose gets into the bloodstream, causing the release of insulin which has two powerful actions. It allows glucose to move quickly into the cells where it is used as a source of energy and it inhibits the release of fat from fat stores. Using mainly low GI foods you can avoid this scenario and instead force the body to burn body fat to meet your energy requirements. Another advantage is that Low GI foods help to keep hunger pangs at bay. Just one final thing though, you do need to use high GI foods just before and immediately after running – these will be used as an immediate source of energy as you start running and after to put back what you have used in training quickly."
On the alkaline diet thing, it's worth reading this first:
"wheatgrass contains chlorophyll which contains more light energy than any other element" I don't even know where to begin explaining what is wrong with this statement! If you are going to present pseudoscientific nonsense then at least put a disclaimer with it to state that no facts are contained within.
I would like to share the 4th diet that is good for runners is 'the food lovers fat loss system' .
Have a try www.foodloversfatloss.com
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