Try keeping track of every morsel you eat and every sip you take for at least a week (or longer for better results). By tracking what you eat, you will begin to see patterns and habits that may warrant change. Some changes may seem drastic at first: Switch to snacking on fruit or yogurt in lieu of chips or candy. Other changes might be more subtle: Expand your cooking repertoire to include a wider array of colorful veggies or eat more beans. Over time, you'll begin to understand what you need to change in order to achieve and maintain your ideal weight.
Many people start (and continue) running because it's a highly effective—and inexpensive—way to lose weight and keep it off. Running is a great calorie burner, but it's all too easy for all but the highest mileage runners to consume more calories in a sitting than they have burned off in a training run.
The good news is that a National Runner's Health Study shows that runners gain less per decade than their sedentary counterparts. But that doesn't mean we're immune from weight gain; runners gain an average of 3.3 pounds per decade! Follow these guidelines to help maintain your current weight, or to lose those extra pounds.
Make Yourself Accountable
Food from Every Group
All too often, runners complain they can't lose weight because they're always hungry. If this sounds familiar, your diet could be lacking in something: fluids, total carbohydrates, protein, or fat. Carbohydrates supply energy, protein is crucial for muscle repair and recovery, and dietary fat makes you feel full and provides additional energy. If you neglect any one food group, you’re more likely to overeat the others.
Portion Size Matters
Be accountable for your portion sizes. Measure everything you pour into a bowl or grab with your hands. This will keep you honest about how much you are really eating. Even healthy foods can add up to too many calories if you don't pay attention to portion sizes.
Turkey Veggie Chili
1 lb ground lean turkey
2 tbsp + 1 tbsp olive oil
1 cup chopped onion
2-3 garlic cloves
1 tbsp chili powder
1 ½ tsp cumin
1 tsp dried oregano
1 15oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 28oz can diced tomatoes, drained
1 cup frozen corn
1 cup frozen (or 2 cups fresh) spinach
1 cup mushrooms, washed and chopped
½ tsp salt
Non-fat plain Greek yogurt (optional)
green onions, sliced (optional)
Per Serving: 461 calories, 15g fat, 2g saturated fat, 65mg cholesterol, 387mg sodium, 43g carbohydrates, 12g dietary fiber, 41g protein
Heat 2 tbsp olive oil in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add turkey and cook until browned, stirring to crumble. Set aside in a bowl.
Heat remaining oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add onion and garlic and sauté until onion is tender (about 5 minutes).
Add chili powder, cumin, oregano, and salt. Cook for 1 minute until fragrant, then add turkey and tomatoes. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat.
Add beans, corn, spinach, and mushrooms; simmer for 15 minutes or until thick.
Top chili with 1 tablespoon Greek yogurt and 1 tablespoon sliced onions. Serve with corn bread for a real treat!
Rainbow Chicken Stir-Fry
4 servings, serving size = 4oz chicken with about 1.5 c. veggies
1/4 cup of lemon juice
1/4 cup honey
1/3 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
2 tbsp reduced-sodium soy sauce
2 tsp cornstarch
1 tbsp canola oil
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
1 bell pepper (green, yellow, red, orange) cut into 1-inch pieces
1 cup baby corn
1 cup carrots, sliced thin
1 bunch scallions, cut into 1-inch pieces, white and green parts divided
1 tbsp chopped garlic
Pinch of red pepper flakes (as desired)
1 cup pineapple chunks (fresh or canned and drained)
In a small bowl, whisk lemon juice, broth, soy sauce, honey, and cornstarch. Grate in 1 teaspoon lemon zest and set aside.
Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken and cook 4-5 minutes, until just cooked through. Transfer to a plate.
Saute peppers, carrots, and baby corn until tender, about 5 minutes. Add pineapple chunks, scallion, garlic, red pepper flakes (if you like them), and more lemon zest. Cook, stirring, for 30 seconds.
Add the broth mixture and cook, stirring, until thickened, 2 to 3 minutes. Add scallions, chicken, and juices; stir until heated through, 1 to 2 minutes. Serve with brown rice.
Savory Pork Chops
4 servings; serving = 1 pork chop and approximately ½ cup fruit mix
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
4 4-oz bone-in pork chops (3/4" thick)
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
2 cups (about 2 medium-sized) ripe nectarines, sliced
1/2 cup shallots, chopped
1/4 cup dried cherries
3 tbsp red wine vinegar
1/2 cup fresh basil leaves
1/2 cup low-sodium chicken broth
Per Serving: 240 calories, 7g fat, 1g saturated fat, 716mg sodium, 18g carbohydrates, 2g fiber, 27g protein
Preheat oven to 400°. Heat oil at medium-high in large ovenproof skillet. Season pork chops with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 pepper. Cook for 3-5 minutes per side until browned, then set aside.
Add nectarines, cherries, shallots, vinegar, broth, and 1/4 teaspoon salt and pepper to skillet. Cover and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Return pork chops and their juice to skillet and transfer to oven. Roast for 8-10 minutes, until pork is cooked through and nectarines are tender.
Sprinkle with basil and serve with a baked sweet potato or whole-wheat couscous and a green vegetable for a balanced and tasty meal.
1 serving = 1 cup
1 large bunch of kale, torn into pieces with stems removed
1 tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper
Per Serving (before toppings): 64 calories, 3.5g fat, 0.5g saturated fat, 0mg cholesterol, 50mg sodium, 6.7g carbohydrates, 1.3g fiber, 2.2g protein, 90.5 mg calcium, 299.5 mg potassium
Heat the oven to 375 degrees. Place the kale on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Drizzle the olive oil over the top and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast for 12-15 minutes, watching closely after 10 minutes to be sure the kale does not burn. Remove from oven when crispy but still green.
Kick that kale up a notch by adding one of the following topping combinations:
(Remove the kale from the oven after 5-7 minutes, add one of the topping combinations, toss, and continue baking for the remaining 5-7 minutes)
Topping 1: 1-2 tbsp grated Parmesan cheese + 1 tsp garlic powder
Topping 2: 1 tsp nutritional yeast + ¼ tsp red Chili Flakes
Topping 3: 2 tbsp large-flake unsweetened coconut + 1 tbsp maple syrup