10 YOU’RE OUT OF AC­TION…

Runner's World (UK) - - Weight Loss -

It hap­pens to us all, usu­ally when we least ex­pect it. Our ex­er­cise and weight-loss ef­forts are hum­ming along when, sud­denly, some­thing – in­jury, work, family – side­lines us. When your run­ning gets de­railed, it can be easy to pack on the pounds. Some peo­ple keep up the eat­ing rou­tines that fuel their run­ning even though they’re not lac­ing up. For oth­ers, the ab­sence of the stress re­lease that run­ning pro­vides leaves them more vul­ner­a­ble to the call of junk food. But weight gain when you can’t run doesn’t have to be a fore­gone con­clu­sion. Here’s how to pre­vent the num­ber on the scales from go­ing up while your mileage goes down.

IDEN­TIFY THE CUL­PRIT When not run­ning you need to be ex­tra vig­i­lant about calo­rie in­take. Where are your ex­tra calo­ries com­ing from? Have your por­tions grown too large? Are you mind­lessly snack­ing in front of the TV? Be hon­est with your­self. It may be hum­bling, but to get back on track you need to face the truth about what you’re con­sum­ing. STOP EMO­TIONAL EAT­ING Con­sider when you might be snack­ing sim­ply to re­lieve bore­dom, stress, rest­less­ness or other un­com­fort­able emo­tions. List calo­riefree strate­gies you can use to re­lieve those feel­ings. Stud­ies show that wait­ing as lit­tle as two min­utes is enough to make the crav­ing dis­si­pate. KEEP MOV­ING If you can still ex­er­cise – even at lower in­ten­sity – do it at the same time of day you’d usu­ally run, so you get the com­fort from your rou­tine and some calo­rie burn. If you can’t work out, try to in­cor­po­rate more ac­tiv­ity when­ever you can. Get up from your desk and walk to the wa­ter dispenser, take the stairs in­stead of the lift. These ex­tra min­utes of mov­ing add up, and ev­ery calo­rie burned helps. SEEK THE BEN­E­FITS ELSE­WHERE Re­mem­ber that run­ning pro­vides a daily bio­chem­i­cal re­set as well as a calo­rie burn. Stud­ies have proven that 30 min­utes of phys­i­cal ex­er­cise can help in­oc­u­lates you against stress. Ex­er­cise can also pro­vide so­cial time, and just a few easy miles are enough to give you a pow­er­ful sense of ac­com­plish­ment. If you’re fac­ing time when you can’t run, make a list of the ben­e­fits run­ning pro­vides, and work out how you could reap sim­i­lar ben­e­fits. Meet friends on Satur­day morn­ings when you’d usu­ally join a group run, or use that time for some other re­flec­tive prac­tice that’ll re­lieve stress. PLAN AHEAD It’s hard to make healthy choices when you walk though the door, still shouldering the stresses of the day. By plan­ning ahead you’ll in­crease the chances of eat­ing right. Try map­ping out the week’s din­ners on Sun­day evening. Do some of the prepa­ra­tion ahead of time so din­ner is ready within min­utes of get­ting home – and you won’t give in to crisps and bis­cuits. AD­DRESS YOUR WEAK­NESSES Use the time off to strengthen ar­eas of fit­ness where you might be weak. It’s a good time to start a strength-train­ing pro­gramme, or start a rou­tine of cross-train­ing or mas­sage.

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