12 May 2022 - Advice
Not eating enough carbohydrates
This is a mistake that I see all too often with runners, especially beginners. Many people first get into running as a means of losing weight and staying healthy, which it is perfect for. However, another strategy that people often use to try to lose weight is cutting their carbs. Many of the fast weight-loss dietary strategies out there, such as Atkins, keto, South Beach diet, focus on cutting or drastically reducing your carbohydrate intake. This certainly can work for some people, as carbohydrates are the main source of calories for most people, so reducing them will naturally reduce your calorie intake.
However, for those of us new to running or trying to improve our fitness for running, this is a big mistake! Carbohydrates are the body’s main source of energy for exercise, and your carbohydrate needs will increase considerably when you start running on a regular basis. Cutting down on carbs at this time can lead to lower energy levels, poor performance and slower recovery from training. And if you try to drastically reduce your carbs, such as in the ketogenic diet, you may find yourself struggling with fatigue, headaches and poor sleep.
My advice for new runners? Keep the carbohydrates steady and focus on dietary changes that make sense for your lifestyle. You can certainly lose weight and improve your health without sacrificing your energy levels and performance.
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