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6402 Views 10 Replies Latest reply: Apr 23, 2010 9:45 AM by Molly35
Kpoe111 Rookie 2 posts since
Aug 4, 2009
Currently Being Moderated

Jan 22, 2010 10:24 AM

Can anyone suggest a good diet for beginner runners?

I am 167lb and 5'2. I want to get down to around 120-130. I started running back in July 09, ran my first 10k in October and have only lost 10lbs since I started. I know I need to change my eating habits as well as calorie intake to lose. Any suggestions on a good nutrition plan for beginner runners who want to become lighter and more fit. I currently am running 3 days a week about 2 miles in 20 mins, trying to work my way up plus weight training and sit-ups, squats and leg lifts 3 days. I was doing 2.5 miles in 15 mins, but I got sick over Christmas with pneumonia and have had a set back. 

  • gatorman10 Legend 242 posts since
    Apr 23, 2003
    Currently Being Moderated
    1. Jan 22, 2010 11:04 AM (in response to Kpoe111)
    Re: Can anyone suggest a good diet for beginner runners?

    Well that is a somewhat loaded and somewhat frightenly easy question to answer.  Your delimma is that you need to lose weight by consuming less calories than you burn yet you have to fuel your workouts.  For me (from LOTS of experience and work, I have a V10 frame with a Yugo motor) I find that the key is quantity, quality and timing.  You can figure out how many calories to eat many ways.  Here is a site or weight watchers, etc.  The key for the beginner is that you feel hungrier and usually eat more than required. (Sometimes that perceived hunger is thirst, drink 16 oz of water and wait 20 minutes before eating impusively. or fatigue can cause hunger...)  I find that eating about 500 calories less than recommended combined with my "intermediate" fitness program leads to a loss of 1-2 lbs per week.  More than that and you are probably losing some muscle you are working hard to create.  I also recommend that you commit to writing down EVERYTHING that you put in your mouth and eat 4-5 times a day.  Writing it down and adding up those calories will show you that nutrient dense foods are the only way to go.  You simply have no room for empty calories....  You will also avoid the local candy stash because it is more of a pia to look up the calories and log them than the "joy" of consuming them.


    P.S.  Always eat breakfast like a king, luch like a prince and dinner like a pauper.  Good luck.  Exercise alone won't usually do much for weight loss.  I was up to 35 miles a week and never lost weight (gained a stress fracture!) until I bit the bullet and started journaling my food intake.  It was an eye opener.  For example 1 McDonalds cheeseburger is the same as 3 large bananas.  Which do you think is more filling and better for making you a better athlete?

  • runbei Amateur 18 posts since
    Aug 1, 2007

    Strongly recommend you read Eat to Live by Joel Fuhrman, MD (see Wonderful book based on hard mainline research - very readable, entertaining, insightful. Essentially, he discovered that what absolutely turns off appetite is eating large amounts of high-nutrient-density foods that have bulk: salad, steamed veggies, beans, etc. I've followed the diet, sometimes more strictly, sometimes less, for about 5 years now and love it.


    I've built a new "diet pyramid" for myself based on it, and it works very well for my running. Huge base of the foods mentioned above, very large base of fresh fruits, daily carbs from figs, dates, and raisins, very little starchy carbs, plenty of raw almonds, almond butter, and fresh-ground organic peanut butter from WholeFoods, and small (but essential) amounts of eggs and milk. Eggs the night before a long run really help, and a buttermilk smoothie with Recoverite added ( is a really excellent recovery drink after the long run.


    The whole dang book's now onine

  • KidFunkyFly Rookie 1 posts since
    May 9, 2008

    The book Integrative Nutrition was recommended to me by my holistic nutrionist twitter:@holisticguru (


    With the info in that book and some great advice I was able to improve my diet dramatically. It really boils down to balance. As an athlete you need to eat to fuel your workouts and survive. What *really* had an impact on weight loss in general was adding in resistance/weight training. Push Ups added to my runs, and pull-ups on a regular basis built more muscle which is more efficient at burning calories.


    I was 235 lbs 4 years ago. When I started out as a runner I was 211 which was 9 weeks before the 2008 AFC Half Marathon. I'm now 165lbs and an actively training and racing triathlete now. If you eat sensibly and focus on fitness as your REAL goal weight loss will just come along as a welcome side-effect.


    Also listen to a few of the many running/training podcasts that are out there. Lots of great tips that are put into play by regular folks. Run Run Live ( and Zen and the Art of Triathlon ( are two my favorites.




  • Chris Russell Amateur 17 posts since
    Oct 4, 2007

    Episode 66 of the Runners Round Table Podcast just did a whole hour on weight loss for runners.

    It basically comes down to calories in and calories out.  Find it on iTunes or at


  • vanessaruns1 Expert 40 posts since
    Mar 19, 2010

    You can learn about natural, holistic sport nutrition here (plus how to make carbs your friends!):

    Vanessa Rodriguez

  • how2runfast Legend 207 posts since
    Sep 21, 2008

    I recently found a new book, The Skinny on Losing Weight Without Being Hungry, by Dr. Louis Aronne.  I think it's really good.  It's basically about training your body to recognize that you are full and don't need to eat any more food.


    I wrote a post about it here:


    The Best New Diet Book


    Boston Marathon Finisher

    How 2 Run Fast

    Follow me on Twitter

    Albany (NY) Times Union Runners Blog

  • LMCRunner Rookie 1 posts since
    Apr 14, 2010

    I am currently training for my first half marathon.  I lost weight originally when I first started training, but I feel like I've hit a plateau and have gained some of it back.  I imagine that doing intervals and speeding up my running might help, but I have been trying to work on pacing myself for the long run.  Have any of you ever experienced this?  Any suggestions?

  • how2runfast Legend 207 posts since
    Sep 21, 2008

    It's not unusual to hit a weight loss plateau.  You body adapts to the new level of activity and sometimes you even over-compensate by eating more than you should (because you think you are burning all off running).


    To break through the plateau and get to the next level of weight loss, you have to do something different.  You have to increase the duration or the intensity of your training or cut back on your calorie intake (or a combination of any of the above).


    I would suggest that you try diet first.  It's easier to cut back on your eating than it is to burn it off running.  Make sure that you don't cut back too far.  Make changes that you can sustain and that will help you lose weight gradually.


    I recently switched from eating breakfast cereal (carbs) to eating a high protein breakfast (eggs, egg whites, or a high protein meal replacement shake).  It really curbed my hunger and as a result I lost several pounds without really trying too hard.


    Boston Marathon Finisher

    How 2 Run Fast

    Follow me on Twitter

    Albany (NY) Times Union Runners Blog

  • Molly35 Rookie 3 posts since
    Apr 23, 2010

    I would eat lots of protein (fish and meat) and make shakes and smoothies with vita coco, or just drink vita coco on the run. It has far fewer calories than sports drinks and rehydrates a whole lot faster than them as well. I like pineapple vita coco with my strawberry shakes.

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