There are a lot of metrics available to runners these days - pace, distance, time, V02 max, recovery advisor, race predictor, stress score, heart rate zones, lactate threshold, vertical oscillation, …
Lots of runners look pretty healthy on the outside. They exercise a lot, maintain a decent weight, have low body fat percentage, low BMI, and generally look fit. But inside there could be a lot …
My name is Patrick McGilvray, and I’m an experienced marathoner, ultra runner, Sports Nutritionist, Master Life Coach, and weight loss coach for runners. I’ve dedicated my life to helping runners just like you properly fuel your body and your mind. So you can get leaner, get stronger, run faster, and run longer than you ever thought possible. This is Running Lean.
Hey there, and welcome to episode 191 of Running Lean. My name is Patrick McGilvray, The Weight Loss Coach for Runners and today: Fit But Unhealthy. So, lots of runners look pretty healthy on the outside, they exercise a lot, they maintain a decent weight, they have a low body fat percentage, low BMI, they generally look and feel fit. but inside there could be a lot more going on that no one really sees.
So I came across this study recently that looked at low carbohydrate diets versus high carbohydrate diets and their effects on athletic performance. And the results are pretty interesting from the athletic performance standpoint, but also kind of surprising from a health perspective.
So today, I’m going to look at what it means to be fit but unhealthy, and what you can do to make sure you are both. But first, as The Weight Loss Coach for Runners, I’ve helped hundreds of runners over the last few years lose a lot of weight; but here’s a little secret to the people who I work with, it’s not about losing weight. I know it sounds contrary, but hear me out.
Losing weight is great. And it inevitably happens, but the real goal of working together is to help you become the healthiest and most badass version of yourself. When you make the commitment to change your relationship with food and exercise when you focus on building strength and endurance.
When you do the internal work of developing the right mindset, you will absolutely transform yourself into a leaner, stronger runner and the healthiest version of yourself yet. So weight loss is not the goal. It’s just a nice side effect of you becoming your fittest and healthiest self.
So make the commitment today to improve your health and fitness. And you’ll lose that extra weight along the way. And if you want a little help with all this, as always, you can join the Running Lean Coaching Project.
That’s my unique weight loss coaching program for runners. Just go to runningleancoaching.com/join to learn more about that. And if you want a little bit of help, just getting started with all this stuff, then I have just the thing to help you get started on the right track.
I put together a free training for you. It’s about an hour long, it’s called Five Simple Steps To Becoming A Leaner Stronger Runner. I will teach you how to lose weight the right way and keep it off for good without running a million miles a week.
A few of the things that you’re gonna learn in this in depth training, why running more and eating less is not an effective way to lose weight, the one thing runners typically don’t do when they are trying to lose weight, the best fuel to use to improve your endurance and help your weight loss, and the right mindset shifts required to make all these changes last for life.
You’re going to learn how to crush your weight loss goals and your running goals directly from me, The Weight Loss Coach for Runners. So if you’re ready to get leaner and stronger, to run faster and longer and to become the healthiest, most badass version of yourself, then you need to check out this free training now just go to runningleancoaching.com and click on Free Training. Cool. Awesome.
Okay, so let’s talk about Fit But Unhealthy. So I came across this study recently. The study was called low and high carbohydrate isocaloric diets on performance, fat oxidation, glucose and cardio metabolic health in middle age males. Kind of a mouthful.
This was published in the Journal Frontiers in nutrition in February of 2023. So it’s a pretty recent study. And the study was conducted by some of the pretty well known researchers in the low carb endurance and athletic world like Professor Tim Noakes, Dominic D’Agostino, Dr. Jeff Bullock.
And one of the reasons that they did this study is that since the 1970s, there has been this shift towards a high carbohydrate, low fat diet for health benefits, but also for training benefits. You know, a lot of the professional athletes since the 70s have shifted to a high carbohydrate, low fat diet because they want to reap the benefits of all the carbohydrates in their diet.
So that they can, you know, run faster, right and, and improve their athletic performance. Most athletes hit a crossover point in their fuel system. So they go from burning mostly fat to almost exclusively burning carbohydrates.
So they reach this crossover point where fat burning effectively shuts down around 85% of the of their VO2 max. So around 85% of most athletes’ VO2 max, they hit this crossover point where fat burning pretty much shuts down to zero.
And unless you have ample stores of carbohydrate to use this fuel, you bonk you crash and burn, you hit the wall. So countering all of this, this is what’s been known and been followed and adhered to, since the 1970s or so encountering all of this is the fact that there’s a lot of athletes and a huge growing number of athletes that have been following a low carb high fat diet.
And they have been able to dramatically increase their fuel crossover point to well above that 85% mark previously seen. So they wanted to do this study, to just see what was going on here and really, you know, try to predict or try to show what would happen between these two groups of athletes, the low carb diet athletes and the high carb diet athletes.
They wanted to see what the results would be on athletic performance. So they conducted this study, it was 31 days, so it was four weeks long. And they compare the two groups of competitive athletes, these were middle aged men in their 40s, they were in good shape, they had low body fat percentages, like 12-16% body fat, low BMI.
They exercised around six hours a week. And so they were competitive athletes in their 40s, mostly runners, and they divided them into two groups, they had one group that was a low carb high fat diet, the other group was a high carb low fat diet.
They assessed both diets, and they were strictly controlling macros calories and their training load. So this study was really well done. And they were very strict about making sure the only difference in these two groups of men was that their one group was eating a low carb, higher fat diet, and the other was eating a high carb lower fat diet.
And then they had them do some performance tests. So each of the subjects in the test visited the lab on 10 different occasions during that 31 day period. And they performed tests periodically, but the two main tests that they did was a one mile time trial, and then six by 800 sprints.
And so they did testing throughout, but they did some time trials at the beginning. And then at the end of the study. And all these things were very tightly controlled, all the variables were tightly controlled, to make sure the only difference between the groups was their dietary intervention.
Now, the performance side of things was pretty interesting because the results showed that both groups performed almost exactly the same in these high intensity exercises. So there was no difference really between the performance of the low carb group and the high carb group.
There was a huge difference though in fat burning. So the high carb, low fat group, their fat burning peaked around .69 grams of fat burn per minute. Whereas the low carb group, their fat burning peaked around 1.85 grams per minute, which is the highest rate of fat oxidation ever recorded.
Okay, so the big difference between these two groups was the amount of fat that the low carb group was able to burn and they were at 1.85 grams per minute where the high carb group peaked around .7 grams of fat burn per minute. That’s a huge, huge difference.
So what this is saying is that depending on your dietary protocol, either way, you’re going to be able to perform at high intensities, about the same whether you’re doing a low carb diet or a high carb diet, okay?
So we can sort of take this off the table that a high carb diet is required to perform at higher intensities. Okay. So something else that I found really interesting and this is what prompted me to want to talk about this today is that in the group that was eating the high carb diet, they were doing all these blood tests on on all these people just to see like, you know, what, they were just measuring all kinds of things.
And one of the things they were looking at was blood glucose averages, and they did like fasting blood glucose tests. And one thing that was really fascinating is that the high carb group, 30% of them had average blood glucose greater than 100 milligrams per deciliter, which is consistent with prediabetes. So 100-125 is diagnosed as pre diabetes.
And there’s where in the 111 to 115 range, on average, 30% of these super fit competitive athletes with low BMI 12 to 16%, body fat, they looked great. They were very competitive runners, they appeared on the outside to be super fit, but are they healthy?
They’re being diagnosed with pre diabetes, because of their blood sugar being greater than 100 milligrams per deciliter on average during this 31 day study. And they did these tests many, many times. So this wasn’t like a one time deal.
The other interesting thing about this is that these people were also the greatest responders to carbohydrate restriction, which means that those individuals with a higher mean glucose, so the higher the individuals with those prediabetes numbers with the higher mean glucose, were more responsive to carbohydrate restriction treatment.
And all of their glycemic parameters were greatly improved if they switch to a low carb high fat diet. So average glucose was significantly lower, starting on day eight of the low carb and then remained lower throughout. And so the 31 day average glucose levels were down by 15%.
If they had switched to that low carb high fat diet. So some of the key findings that I’m just going to read this to you, these are some key findings from the study itself. So one of them is that athletes achieved equivalent exercise performance during a one mile time trial and a six by 800 meter interval session after a 31 day habituation to low carb or high carb diets.
When controlling calories training load, body composition changes across the groups. Another key finding during the later stages of the six by 800 interval sessions athletes achieve the highest rates of fat oxidation yet reported. According to current understanding, this is paradoxical since these high rates were measured in subjects exercising edit intensity, which was a which the rate of fat oxidation should be approaching zero.
Okay, so these were, the intensity level was greater than 90% of their VO2 max and their fat oxidation should have been at zero, but it was increasing. Crazy, right? And the low carb high fat consistently reduced glucose levels and glucose variability, which along with a large inverse relationship observed between main glucose on high carb and the percentage change mean glucose when switching to low carb.
So importantly, 30% of subjects who had a 31 day mean fasting glucose of greater than 100 on high carb were also the largest responders to the carbohydrate restriction, right? No subjects on the low carb high fat diet had a 31 day average mean glucose of greater than 100. Okay, so these results challenge the existing paradigm. The diets with higher carbohydrates are superior for athletic performance even during shorter duration higher intensity exercise which has been known or thought to be the case for a long time now.
Critically, these results demonstrate that lower carbohydrate intake may be a therapeutic strategy, even for an athlete, to improve glycemic index, particularly in those with or at risk for diabetes without requiring changes in body composition. Like you don’t need to lose a bunch of weight or physical activity, you don’t need to be exercising a ton more.
Interestingly, these results also demonstrate a unique association between glycemic responsiveness to carbohydrate restriction, fat oxidation rates, suggesting that there’s an important relationship here between glycemic parameters and metabolic responsiveness.
Okay, so my sort of interpretation, I was reading a lot of that from the study itself. It’s very scientifically written, a little dry, in my opinion, but my interpretation is this: that the low carb high fat diet produces the same results from an athletic performance perspective as the high carb diet.
And once you’re on that low carb diet for several weeks, weeks, your rate of fat oxidation goes way up. And this is key for both endurance. So being able to burn more fat helps you from an endurance standpoint, and helps improve weight loss, right, you have to burn fat if you want to lose weight, and that the high carb diet can lead to adverse health effects like pre diabetes.
And this is an interesting study because they looked at, you know, seemingly fit healthy men with low body fat percentages, normal body weight, normal BMI, all that they’re all competitive athletes, they exercise more than six hours per week, they didn’t have any medical diagnosis.
They weren’t on any medications, but 30% of them of the high carb group had, you know, blood glucose levels consistent with prediabetes, this is a problem, right? This is consistent with a prior analysis they did, which found that 30% of sub-elite endurance athletes, so this is like your average weekend warrior that’s just out there running for fun, like me, and you probably exercise, less than like six hours per week, had undetected prediabetes when measured via CGM, continuous glucose monitoring devices.
So a prior study has shown that 30% of athletes who seemingly are fit on the outside have this prediabetes condition. So they were fit but not healthy. And this is an important distinction. Do you want to just look healthy on the outside? Or would you rather look healthy on the outside and actually be healthy as a human being from the inside out?
So just because we see somebody on Instagram who looks healthy, they have lean body mass, low body fat percentage they’re ripped, they got abs for days, does not mean that they are healthy. It does not mean that they aren’t having some sort of internal issues or some, you know, condition like prediabetes.
And following the standard dietary advice, which is a very high carb diet, and low in fat, seems to cause metabolic dysfunction in around 30% of the population. And this is just the most fit population, whether you’re very competitive athletes or weekend warriors.
We’re not even looking at the people who do not exercise regularly, who are kind of sedentary. So it’s no wonder that obesity rates are what they are right now here in the US, which is over 42% of the US population is considered obese, over 42%.
This is the first time that here in the US the national rate of obesity has passed the 40% mark. And it’s further evidence of the country’s obesity crisis. The national adult obesity rate has increased by 26% since 2008. I’m gonna say that again, because it’s crazy.
The national adult obesity rate has increased by 26% since 2008.
And I say this all the time, you can’t outrun a bad diet, and this is what I’m talking about. These are very fit individuals who run a lot, who are very competitive, who all appear to be in perfect shape. But there’s more to the story. Your diet matters, what you eat matters. You cannot outrun a bad diet. Sure, exercise is important.
Keep running. Do that for sure, but it’s not going to solve all your health issues. You have to pay attention to the foods that you eat. And all this exercise and all this fitness won’t help keep you healthy unless you also change your diet. It’s up to you to take things into your own hands.
Don’t do what the powers be out there, the food companies, the government or whatever, what they’re telling you to do typically doesn’t work. You have to take things in your own hands. And listen, low carb, it’s not a fad diet. It’s not keto. It doesn’t mean you never eat another grain of rice your whole life, doesn’t involve eating sticks of butter wrapped in bacon, as good as that sounds.
If you want to learn more about my thoughts on carbs, I did an episode about this last week called Carbs Are Not The Enemy. Carbs are not the enemy. There are some carbs that are great and great for endurance athletes and great for weight loss, you just have to do them the right way.
So listen to that episode, for sure it’ll help you, you know, could get a good understanding of that. So if you’re a runner, and you want to improve your health, like really improve your health from the inside out, then making the switch to a lower carb diet might just be what you need.
And as always, I can coach you through all of this. We’ll put together a nutrition plan that fits your lifestyle and gets you to your health and fitness goals. Just go to runningleancoaching.com and click on Work With Me.
Okay, that’s all I got for you today. Love you all, keep on Running Lean, and I will talk to you soon.
Recently, I completed a self-supported, solo 12-hour run. I’ve always wanted to do a 12-hour event, but I could never really find a race that spoke to me. So, I decided to take things into my …
My name is Patrick McGilvray, and I’m an experienced marathoner, ultra runner, Sports Nutritionist, Master Life Coach, and weight loss coach for runners. I’ve dedicated my life to helping runners just like you properly fuel your body and your mind. So you can get leaner, get stronger, run faster, and run longer than you ever thought possible. This is Running Lean.
Hey there, and welcome to episode 180 of Running Lean. My name is Patrick McGilvray, The Weight Loss Coach for Runners and today what I learned running solo for 12 hours. So recently, I completed a self supported solo 12 hour run.
I’ve always wanted to do a 12 hour event, but I could never really find a race that I got excited about and nothing really spoke to me. So I decided to take things into my own hands and just do it myself.
So in this episode, I’m going to share what I learned running solo for 12 hours. What prompted me to want to run alone for so long, how I approached my training, how I fueled during the event and some interesting lessons I learned along the way.
And if you’ve ever considered doing an ultra marathon, this episode is for you, I think you’ll learn a lot. Also, if you have no desire to ever do an ultra marathon, I think you’ll still get a lot out of this episode, because a lot of the training, and the fueling principles especially, apply to races that have many different distances. Cool.
But first, if you’re ready to begin your weight loss journey, then I have just the thing that gets you started on the right track, I put together a brand new hour long training just for you. It’s called Five Simple Steps To Becoming A Leaner Stronger Runner.
I will teach you how to lose weight the right way and how to keep it off for good without running a million miles a week. Okay, some of the things that you’ll learn in this comprehensive training is why running more and eating less is not an effective way to lose weight and what to do instead.
One thing most runners don’t do or do wrong when they’re trying to lose weight, the best fuel to use to improve your endurance and lose weight, how to create the mindset shifts necessary to develop new habits that actually make all this last for life.
And then one thing that I did that was really the key for me being able to keep the weight off for good. And it’s something you should probably do too. And there’s a lot more in there. But those are some of the key points that you’ll learn.
So if you’re ready to get started, if you’re ready to get leaner and stronger, run faster, longer become the healthiest and most badass version of yourself, check out this free training, just go to my website runningleancoaching.com and click on Free Training. There’s never going to be a better time than right now to get started. So just go to my website runningleancoaching.com and click on Free Training. Alright, cool.
So let’s talk about this: what prompted me to want to run solo for 12 hours? So I came across a podcast where some people were talking about the 12 hour walk. And ‘The 12 Hour Walk’, if you’re not familiar, is a book that Colin O’Brady wrote.
Colin O’Brady is a pretty badass adventure guy. Like he’s done all kinds of endurance events like walking solo across Antarctica, and actually breaking the record for doing it faster than anybody else.
So he walked across Antarctica, pulling a sled with all of his, you know, food and equipment and everything that he needed for this track. And he ended up walking something like 12 hours a day, because I guess that’s how much daylight they had.
And he covered I don’t know, 50 miles a day or something close to that, 48 miles a day. But he ended up doing this for like 53, I believe, straight days. So that is pretty insane to do something like that.
So during the pandemic, he, you know, was back home and, you know, was itching to get outside and do something. And of course, you know, all this stuff is shut down. He couldn’t travel.
And so he decided to just take a walk and he left his house and he ended up walking for like 12 hours by himself without his phone. And he was just like, this is really fascinating. And he learned some interesting lessons along the way by doing this.
It’s a very personal sort of inward journey. It was for him anyway. And he thought, wow, I think a lot of people could benefit from doing something like this. So he wrote the book, the 12 Hour Walk.
And it’s a great book, if you want to check it out. It really goes into a lot of detail about all the things that he’s accomplished, and he’s accomplished some crazy events, some crazy endurance events.
But in the book, he talks about this 12 hour walk and encourages people to just do this. Leave your house, go walk for 12 hours by yourself unplugged. And some of the rules that he puts down are this, so it’s supposed to be done solo. So you do it by yourself, no friends, no dogs, no turtles, cats, anything, any other animal, it’s just supposed to be you. So it’s a solo journey.
And the length of time needs to be 12 hours. You know, it can be longer if you want, but that’s like the minimum right? So 12 hours is the length of time we’re talking about. And you need to be by yourself and there’s no, no phones involved.
So no headphones, no texting, no talking to anybody on the phone, no listening to podcasts, no listening to audiobooks, no listening to music. No, you know, FaceTiming people while you’re out there, it’s supposed to be a solo journey. Now you can take your phone with you, which I did. And I recorded a few short videos or a few voice memos or typed in some notes. I especially took some notes about my fueling during the event, just so I could keep track of when I was, you know, fueling.
So I could, you know, know how much time had elapsed between the last time I fueled. But it’s supposed to be done in silence, like you’re supposed to be just quiet, you know, and really not talk to people. And so that’s what the 12 hour walk is.
Okay, so I heard about this. And I heard some people talking about this on a podcast. And it really started, the wheels in my brain started turning because I was like, oh, man, I’ve always wanted to do a 12 hour event. And a lot of the 12 hour events or 24 hour endurance events, if you’re familiar with these things, a lot of times they do them on a short, one mile or two mile loop.
A lot of times they’ll do it at a track. So you’re running around a track for like 12 hours. And to me, that sounds terrible. The few miles like loop through the woods would be doable, but also you get sort of, you know, just used to the same things over and over again. So that really never spoke to me.
Like I just never was really interested in doing an event where I’m going to be running for 12 straight hours or 24 hours around a track or something like that. So I thought wow, this is pretty interesting. Because I get to do this anywhere that I want, I can go and run around my neighborhood, I can go down, you know, I live close to the Ohio River, I can go down to the river and run along the river.
And I’ll tell you about what I ended up doing and where I ended up going in a minute. But it was just sort of like this free form event like you can do it any way you want. So that really appealed to me. The solo adventure part of it appealed to me because I’ve you know, I’ve done a lot of running by myself for sure, I’ve done a lot of long distance running where I’m by myself for long stretches of time, but never more than an hour or two, something like that.
And then you’re like you hit an aid station or you’re running with other people or maybe you’re listening to something on the phone or talking to somebody. And then that aspect of not having your phone on and not having that distraction and, and listening to a podcast or an audiobook or something like that.
I love listening to podcasts and audiobooks when I run. It’s like I get to learn while I’m running. You know, I get to learn about you know, some badass, you know, adventurer guy, or whatever it is. And I really enjoy that. I don’t do that all the time, but I do enjoy that.
And so that appealed to me, like unplugging basically for 12 hours. So that part appealed to me. So this is kind of my, what prompted me, you know, and why I decided I wanted to do this. And then, of course, being a runner, I was like, well, I’m not going to walk this thing, I’m going to run it.
And I ended up doing a run-walk approach. And I’ll talk about that next and I want to talk about the training but just understand that this is something that you can do anytime you want. And if there really aren’t any rules other than what I just mentioned there, like if you need to take breaks, take breaks.
If you need to use a bathroom somewhere, use a bathroom, if you need to get some food, get some food, but the idea is that you kind of carry the food that you need, take a backpack or a Camelback or something like that. And then it should be self supported. There should be no distractions, it should be an internal journey, as well as an external physical journey. Okay.
So how did I approach my training? What did I do there? So, my idea was, my focus was always going to be on 12 hours. I wasn’t concerned about distance or time or pace or anything like that. I just wanted to be out there running for 12 hours.
And so I was going to I made a decision early on, that I was just going to do this slow and easy, that I wasn’t going to try to break any records here. And that if I could get to 50 miles, I would consider that to be a huge success. So that was kind of my goal, really, my big goal was like, you know, just to finish it, and just to keep, you know, running for 12 hours.
So, the way I approached my training, I started training for this thing back in like December, January. And the event was on May 27, that’s the day that I picked, so that was Memorial Day weekend, which was about three weeks after the Flying Pig Marathon, which I did, which was the Floating Pig Marathon since we had so much rain that day, it was crazy.
But I knew I wanted a little bit of time to recover from that race until before I did this other Ultra event. So 50 miles was the goal, May 27, was the date I picked. And I started training in December, basically January, and I was just building my base at the beginning.
I divided my training into three main sections. So the and as we get closer to the race, the running becomes more specific to the race. So at the beginning of my training cycle, I was doing more speed work, doing shorter, faster runs doing hill repeats and, and sprint intervals, and tempo runs and things like that.
As I got closer to the race, I stopped doing a lot of the speed work. And I just focused on, like dialing in sort of that race pace that I was going to use during the event itself, which was very slow. It’s like 13 minute miles, which is what I ended up averaging for the event itself, which I thought was fine, you know, it’s fine for me.
And that’s the way that I kind of approached the training. So, you know, I did a lot of miles, especially in that second and third phase of my training cycle, a lot of miles at a slow pace, and kept my heart rate down. And really the whole point of this was just to be out there for 12 hours, and enjoy it. I guess as much as you can enjoy running for 12 hours or being out there running and walking for 12 hours. And really just to finish.
And so I didn’t I didn’t put a lot of pressure on myself. I did have that goal of 50 miles. And so that was one thing where I was like, I do want to hit 50 miles. And that was totally doable. I knew that if I could get to about a 14 minute pace 14 something I knew that I would get to 50 miles.
So that was kind of the goal from a pace standpoint. So a lot of my training was just done by myself without my phone. So I just leave my phone at home and start getting used to running without any sort of distraction. Okay.
That was interesting, because think about this, how much time do you spend completely unplugged. Not looking at a screen, not watching TV, not listening to music, or podcasts, or books, or the radio in your car. Not talking to other people. Not calling someone or texting someone.
Think about this. This is one of the big lessons I learned because I was like, I do not spend much time during any given day completely unplugged. And that’s what was really interesting to me, that it made me hyper aware of how much time I actually spend distracting myself from whatever’s happening in the moment.
Think about it, like I was at the gym this morning. And I usually have my headphones when I’m at the gym and I’m listening to a book or something like that. And I forgot them right. I left them at home. So I’m just like, whatever. I’m just going to sit here in between sets and just look around, I guess I don’t know, what do you do? It’s kind of weird.
I was like, what did we used to do back in the day when we didn’t have cell phones? I guess we would just sit there and look at each other. Right? So I was just sitting there and I looked around and I started to see every single person in the gym staring at their phone.
Every single person that wasn’t actively lifting was like staring at their phone. Every person. It was wild. And I was just thinking wow, that’s so interesting. We are so connected to our phones that even two minutes in between sets we can’t not be sitting there staring at our phones, you know.
So for me, one of the biggest lessons that I learned really is that I can spend time away from screens and I can spend time away from distracting myself from the moment and that I want to be more mindful, I want to have more mindfulness in my life, I want to be more present in the moment, not just for myself, but for other people as well.
And so that was a huge lesson that I learned. And it took training for this event, and then actually doing the event to sort of bring that really into my focus and into my attention. So during the event, there were so many times where I was wanting to whip out my phone and call somebody, or text somebody, oh, I just thought of something I need to tell my kids. I better just text him.
And I was like, nope, I had my phone with me, but it was just for taking a couple of quick videos and some voice memos that I was recording, and a couple of notes that I was writing just because I wanted to keep track of my fueling, right.
So I did have my phone with me, but it was in airplane mode. So it was basically all I could do it use it for was recording messages, taking pictures, that kind of stuff. And I didn’t pull it out that often I was really just focused on being in the moment.
And that was one of the biggest lessons I learned is that I distract myself a lot. And we all do. We are constantly distracting ourselves. Aside from sleeping. We either have, we’re talking to someone, we’re listening to something, we’re watching something, we’re reading something, we are constantly bombarded with information, and constantly connected and constantly distracted from the moment. So just think about that.
How can you maybe change that? What does that look like for you? Can you spend some more time just in silence, maybe mindfulness meditation, maybe just leave your phone at home, when you go for a run, leave those headphones at home, take your phone if you want to, if you need it for emergency or something like that, but just take leave the headphones at home. Interesting, right? It may be an interesting experiment to do.
Okay, so the training I did was pretty standard, nothing really fancy there. Other than, you know, I shut down the speed work during that last six weeks or so and really just focused on really hammering the long distance getting used to running with a backpack because I did carry a backpack with water and fuel and things like that.
And that was it, like the training was pretty, you know, standard and really not a whole lot to discuss there. Other than, you know, just those last six weeks or so I just really ramped up the mileage. You know, I was doing you know, my weekly mileage ended up being I think at the peak was something like 60-65 miles a week.
But the long runs on the weekends were, you know, 25 and 12 was like the longest I did. 26 and 10, something like that. So that was the training. And then so my approach for the race itself, I decided I was going to bring the minimal amount of fuel that I needed.
And I was thinking because I’m fat-adapted, I don’t really need a whole lot in the way of fuel for something like this, but I wanted to maintain some semblance of energy. So I did use some fuel. And the idea was that I was going to start to run fasted and have some coffee before I left the door or headed out the door. I had some coffee about 6am and was out the door by 6:22 is when I started on a Saturday morning.
So I started fasted, just had some saltwater before I started and some coffee and that was it. The saltwater was actually an LMNT that’s an electrolyte drink. So I did my electrolyte drink, no calories, really no sugar or anything like that. And just some coffee, headed out the door.
And then my goal was to fuel every hour, and to get about 150 calories per hour 150 to 200 calories per hour. That’s all I wanted. I didn’t want more than that, because I don’t really need more than that. So, and I practiced during my training with this and this is something important for you.
If you’re doing a half or full or any kind of long distance event, you’ve got to practice your fueling during training, like all your long training runs should be dress rehearsals for your event. Okay, so just make sure you’re training the way that you’re going to be racing, right so I did this regularly.
And I’ve tried a few different types of fuels and things like that, I ended up going mostly with the Muir energy gels and those things, they have like four ingredients. It’s like almond butter, cacao, some blackstrap molasses, that’s the carbohydrate that they use in there. And then some salt, something, maybe there’s five ingredients, some other kind of flavoring in there, but they’re very clean.
Some people don’t like the way they taste, I think they taste fine. They’re kind of good, actually, I think they have almond butter as another ingredient depending on which one you get: cashew butter, almond butter. But they’re pretty good and have good, clean ingredients.
There are a little bit of carbs, like 12 carbs per packet. And they’re 150 calories. So one of those per hour was kind of my goal. And I had a couple other things that I had just had in my closet that I just pulled out a couple other types of fuel. But they were all very similar and all about 150 calories each. So that was what I planned on doing. And I stuck to that plan pretty well.
So after about an hour of running, I did my first Muir, and then kind of kept doing that every hour or so there was a couple of times where I lost track of time, and I looked down, I’m like, oh, it’s been like an hour and a half and I haven’t fueled at all, better do something. And then the next one I did a little bit shorter, like, you know, I just had to kind of tweak it a little bit.
But at the end of the day, I think I only used eight or nine of those. So it should have been 11. And I think I brought 11 with me, and there were a couple left when I got home. So maybe I used eight or nine of them in total. So it didn’t even need as much as I brought with me, you know, and I was really trying not to weigh myself down the pack that I had fully loaded with water, two liters of water plus all the, you know, goos and the phone and stuff like that, we’d like eight and a half pounds, so it wasn’t super heavy.
But eight and a half pounds is eight and a half pounds added to, you know, your body weight as you’re running for 12 hours, right. So I wanted to keep things as light as possible. So I just brought the bare minimum and I didn’t even use all of it. And I felt fine.
The race itself was pretty uneventful other than so I headed out of my house. And it was cool in the morning. You know, it’s very cool, probably in the high 50s, right. And I was like, oh my god, this is perfect, you know, but it got hot that day, it ended up being in the high 70s.
And two things that really helped. Number one is that I chose a rail to trail, also the little Miami Recreation Trail, that was kind of the majority of the run for me was on that trail. And I hit that during the peak of the day. And it’s very shaded because there’s trees on both sides.
And most of it, there’s some sections that are totally exposed, and it was getting hot. So that helped. So the location that I picked for this thing really did help. Also, it ended up getting cloudy in the afternoon, which was amazing because when the clouds came over it dropped the temperature down and kept me from like, I was getting hot with the sun out I was really getting hot.
And so the clouds really helped a lot. And so for that second half of the day, you know, I finished at 6:20pm. The second half of the day was warmer, but it could have been a lot worse. So I was thankful for the clouds. So I took off from my house. I ran out to this trail, which is about 12 miles from my house. So I took another path called the Watson Way, it’s another rail to trail that sort of connects to this other one.
And I ended up running from my house 26.2 miles to a little town called Loveland. And, you know, that is the farthest I’ve ever run by myself. The farthest I’ve ever run in one direction, that’s for sure. And so when I was in Loveland, I was like, 5 hours and 36 minutes into this thing. So I wasn’t quite halfway but close to it. And I decided that was a good point to turn around. And my goal was to make it a double marathon.
So if I got to, like 52 miles, that was the goal. At that point, I was like, I think I can do this. You know, I’m padding my time a little bit because I might slow down towards the last half of this thing. And I did slow down a little bit towards the end just because I did have a little bit of extra time and so I did a little bit more walking during the last hour or so, a little more walking, and a little less running and it felt fine.
You know, all in all, the event was great. I did stop to refill water a couple of times, because the two liters of water that I had wasn’t going to be enough. I ended up stopping at a Starbucks on the way out towards Loveland.
So during the first half, I stopped at Starbucks and got some ice water, took that with me, that felt great. Stopped at a little bike shop that had cold waters and filled up my backpack with cold waters on the way out. I did that again on the way back, stopped at that Starbucks again, on the way back in, I ended up getting an iced coffee, which was amazing. So delicious.
And then that gave me a little bit of an extra boost there for the last few hours that I have out there. And then you know, I ended up just finishing feeling pretty good. The only problem I had during this thing was that my knees are kind of messed up, like I’ve fallen down on the trail so many times that my knees occasionally will kind of start talking to me and my right knee was kind of talking to me towards the end of this thing.
And I was like, yeah, I think I’m ready to be done. And then as soon as I finished and I stopped, and I sat down, and I took a shower and stuff like that my knee just swelled up, it was huge. And just bending, it was very painful. And walking was hard.
Like, I messed myself up pretty bad, like, not even knowing that I was in, you know, doing any kind of damage to the knee. That knee is fine now like it just took a couple of days for the inflammation to go down. I don’t know what the issue is with that knee. But it does do this every now and then.
And I’m just going to take it easy and not overdo it here during the next few weeks. But it’s been fine since then. It took a couple of days for that swelling to go down, but it’s been fine. So the event itself was great. I did it solo, I did it without talking to people.
For the most part, when I did stop, I had to like, you know, talk to the people that sold me the water or the coffee or whatever. But other than that, and one guy that ran past me, there were some running groups running on Saturday morning. And one guy in a running group said, Hey, I love your podcast.
And I kind of just looked and waved because I didn’t want to say anything because I’m like I’m trying to be quiet and not say anything. So for the guy that ran past me and said, hey, I love your podcast, on the Murray trail, I think you’re with the tri-state group, then hey, I’m gonna say, hey, thank you for listening. I appreciate that. And I appreciate that you gave me the shout out during the run, but I was being quiet at the time.
So I wasn’t talking to anybody. And I did run into my son. I’m like, you know, he was running towards me on one section of the trail. And I’m like, what are you doing out here and he’s like, I just went out for a run today. And he didn’t know where I was running. And so he didn’t know he was going to run into me. I’m like, hey, I’m not supposed to be talking to people. He’s like, cool, I’m gonna leave. And I’m like, cool. Alright.
So that was kind of fun. And by the way, I ended up running almost 53 miles total. So it was a double marathon and a little bit more. So that was cool. So a couple of lessons that I learned through this whole thing, number one, that you have to get out of your comfort zone if you want to grow.
And I’ve talked about this before, but this brought it all home to me in a big way that this was an uncomfortable event fFor me. It was uncomfortable for a lot of reasons: because of the silence because of no distractions, because I had to be in the moment. And because it’s 12 hours of running, come on.
It was hard, you know, something that was very challenging to do the training was hard. For this event, the event itself was hard. But coming out of this, I feel like a little bit of a different person. You know, I feel like I have learned some things and I’ve grown and I’ve like, every time I challenge myself and I try to do something like this, like, once a year.
Every year, I try to pick some event, something that I’ve never done before and do it. So anytime I do something like this, it causes me to level up, causes me to grow and it causes me to become more and become closer to that ultimate version of myself that I’m always working towards. It’s a work in progress. It always is.
But doing things like this. I want to encourage you to do something like this because things like this cause you to level up, they cause you to grow and they cause you to evolve as a human being, okay.
The other lesson that I learned is that being alone in silence without the distractions for 12 hours is really hard. We are so used to using our devices and distracting ourselves that to do this was a challenge but it was great. I loved it. At the end of the day. I was like, wow, I’m like I didn’t need it. You know, I don’t need to distract myself, I could just be in the moment.
And it got me thinking about when I was younger. You know, we grew up without the internet without cell phones. Well, we did have like a Sony Walkman you could wear you know, and listen to tapes, you know, that was awesome. But even so, like, we didn’t take those everywhere we went, you know, and so there was so much more in the moment.
Mindfulness, I guess you would call it, we didn’t know, it was called that at the time. Now we have to call it a certain thing, because it’s so different from what we’re used to doing. But that’s just how we were back in the day, you know. And so it just really made me realize how distracted we are all the time.
And how much I am craving, and I think we all kind of crave a little bit of like silence and internal, an internal journey, so to speak. Okay. Another lesson I learned was this, that we all have an inner dialogue, we all have an internal voice that’s kind of talking all the time.
And I realized that that voice never really stops, it’s there’s always going and even being out there, I thought, this voice has got to stop at some point here. And it sort of did at least it got quieter after about four or five hours, but it took four or five hours out there running by myself for this to even like calm down at all. Okay.
And then I noticed that there were times where I started just talking to myself out loud. So that into your internal voice that I had, maybe I was missing it, I don’t know, but I would just start talking to myself out loud. And it wasn’t like seeing anything, you know, mind bending or anything like that.
I would just be like, oh, hey, I wonder if it’s time to drink some water. Maybe I need to grab a gel. Maybe it’s time to feel? Gosh, that tree is cool. Oh, man, I’ve been on here for a long time, those clouds look interesting. Like just whatever. I was sort of, like narrating things, and I had to like, stop myself and be like, dude, what are you doing? I was craving some sort of, I don’t know if it’s a distraction, but some sort of a dialogue.
And so I started just creating a dialogue to myself, Okay. But all in all, I would suggest that if you want to challenge yourself, and if you want to level up and if you want to see what you’re capable of, and if you want to learn some lessons that you know are going to be personal to you, then I would suggest doing something like this, you don’t have to run it, you could walk it. It can be something that you do once a year, twice a year, I’m considering doing this again in the fall as a walk.
And I might invite you to join me, not in person, but virtually and we can all do this, maybe we pick a date. And we all do this together, so to speak. You know, we all do it on the same day in our separate towns in our separate cities, separate countries, whatever. And it could be something where we all learn some lessons together, we kind of come back and commiserate on what we’ve learned together. Sounds cool.
So all in all, this was a successful event. For me. It’s my first 12 hour timed event. And I enjoyed it. I really did. I enjoyed the the aspect of doing it however, I wanted to do it, you know, picking my own route, picking how I wanted to approach the fueling and, and hydration and all those things myself.
Making all those decisions myself and not having to, you know, have it be dictated by a race director and a certain location and a certain day in a certain time and certain types of fuel they have out there. Like I just did it myself. And it was awesome.
And actually, it was one of those things that like wasn’t that big of a deal. It really wasn’t. I devoted one day, one day to bettering myself to being mindful with myself being alone with myself. And I would suggest that you kind of do the same thing. Cool. All right.
So that’s all I got for you here. And listen, if you’ve ever struggled with losing weight, if you want to lose weight and keep it off and you want some help doing that, I want you to know that I have a great coaching program, and it was created with you in mind.
The Coaching Project is my lifetime access weight loss coaching program for runners. You and I will work closely together to put together a custom nutrition plan for you to get you to your goals. And we also talk about building strength and we talk about endurance and we talk about mindset, okay, and then we meet regularly to see what’s working and what’s not and then course correct as needed.
And one thing you have to understand about coaching is it’s not like some other diet or something like that. It’s not like a one size It’s all cookie cutter approach, right? You’re an individual, you have your own sets of goals and lifestyle and food preferences and the way you want to work out and things like that. And I’m going to meet you where you are.
And we’ll put together a plan that you feel good about because you have to enjoy what you’re doing. You have to enjoy the food, you got to enjoy the way you work out. Because if you don’t, you’re not gonna stick with it.
So if you want to just stop struggling, you want to start getting results, check out The Coaching Project. Just go to runningleancoaching.com/join to learn more, I’d love to see you in The Coaching Project. All right, that’s all I got for you today. Love you all. Keep on Running Lean, and I’ll talk to you soon.
Nutrition is going to be the number one driver of your body composition. If you’re a runner and you want to lose weight, you have to get your nutrition game on point. The thinking that just …
My name is Patrick McGilvray, and I’m an experienced marathoner, ultra runner, Sports Nutritionist, Master Life Coach, and weight loss coach for runners. I’ve dedicated my life to helping runners just like you properly fuel your body and your mind. So you can get leaner, get stronger, run faster, and run longer than you ever thought possible. This is Running Lean.
Hey there, and welcome to episode 177 of Running Lean. My name is Patrick McGilvray, The Weight Loss Coach for Runners and today: Weight Loss Principles Every Runner Needs To Know, Part 1: Nutrition.
So nutrition is going to be the number one driver of your body composition. If you’re a runner and you want to lose weight, you have to get your nutrition game on point. The thinking that just running more is going to solve the weight problem for you is outdated. And frankly, it just doesn’t work.
There’s a lot more going on when it comes to weight loss; the types of foods we eat, the timing of our meals, what happens in our bodies, when we eat certain foods and so much more. There’s a lot to consider here. So don’t worry, I’m gonna break this all down here for you today.
My hope is that by the end of this episode, you’ll have a much clearer understanding of just how important nutrition is for weight loss, even if you’re a runner, especially if you’re a runner. And this is part one of a three part series called Weight Loss Principles Every Runner Needs To Know.
Part two will be focused on exercise principles. And part three will be all about the mindset principles runners need to focus on in order to lose weight and keep it off for good.
But first, if you’re a runner, and you struggle to lose weight, then I have just the thing to help you get started on the right track. I put together a brand new fun and free training just for you called Five Simple Steps To Becoming A Leaner, Stronger Runner. I will teach you how to lose weight the right way and keep it off for good without running a million miles a week.
Here’s some of the things that you’ll learn in this in depth training. You’ll learn why running more and eating less is not an effective way to lose weight. You’ll learn the one thing runners don’t do properly when they’re trying to lose weight.
You’ll learn the best fuel to use to improve your endurance and improve your weight loss. You’ll learn the mindset shifts required to make these changes last, and you’ll learn the surprising key to losing weight and keep it off for good and a lot more.
You’re going to learn how to crush your weight loss goals and your running goals directly from me, The Weight Loss Coach for Runners. And this is about more than just losing weight. It’s about not doing the same things over and over expecting different results. It’s about changing your whole relationship with food and diets and nutrition and exercise.
It’s about becoming the healthiest version of yourself from the inside out. It’s about changing your mindset and creating new habits that last for life. Are you ready to get leaner and stronger, run faster and longer and become the healthiest, most badass version of yourself? If yes, then you’ve got to check out this free training now.
Just go to runningleancoaching.com and click on Free Training. Do not put this off, there’s never going to be a better time to do this to get started on your weight loss journey than today, just go to runningleancoaching.com and click on free training.
So when I started thinking about putting together this episode on weight loss principles every runner needs to know I started listing out all the principles I thought were important. And my list got massively huge. So I decided to split it up into three parts.
So today we’re going to be focusing on nutrition principles. Next week, we’ll talk about exercise principles. And then the following week, all talk all about mindset principles. So today is going to be focused on nutrition and the nutrition principles that you need to understand if you want to lose weight.
If you’re a runner, and you want to lose weight these are the principles that you really have to understand. And it’s not a list of every nutrition principle possible. But it is a pretty comprehensive list. There’s a lot that I’m gonna be talking about here today.
And these are the ones that I talk about with my clients the most and the ones that we focus on the most, and the ones that seem to have the biggest impact on your weight loss. So that’s why I’m kind of focusing on these here today.
I don’t have these in any particular order. They’re not numbered or anything like that. I don’t know if there’s 12 or 18 principles here. I don’t even know, I didn’t even count them but the thing is that these are all important and they will all contribute to your overall health and fitness and especially to your weight loss journey. Cool.
Okay, so let’s just get into this, I’ll just start rattling off these principles. The first one is this. And you’ve heard me say this before, but I thought it was like one of the most important. So I’m just gonna lay it on you right now. And that principle is this: you cannot outrun a bad diet.
I know that we’ve heard for decades that you know, cardio is king. And especially the sugar companies will tell you this, right, just move more, eat less and move more, and you’re fine. The real thing that we have to understand, though, is that the biggest driver of your weight, the biggest driver of your overall body composition is not cardio, it is nutrition.
I work with runners who are in massive amounts of training, who are training for ultra marathons, and who gain weight during a training cycle. This happened to me several times, I was training for ultra marathons and was gaining weight. And I was like, this does not make sense. I’m not eating a ton more, what’s going on here?
And it had a lot to do with the types of foods I was eating, which I’ll talk about here in a minute. I had a client a while back, who was running at least three miles a day. So he was doing at least a 5k every single day. And he had done this for seven straight years.
And he’s probably still going seven straight years of running at least three miles a day. That is a lot of running. And he gained like 15 pounds in the process. That’s crazy, right? So you cannot outrun a bad diet, what you eat is way more important than how much you run. And I’m going to get into this, you know, and several of these principles, you’ll understand this more as we go but just understand that running more is not the answer. Okay.
So the second principle you have to understand is that if you want to lose weight, you have to burn fat. And, I mean, we all know this, like intellectually, but we don’t put our bodies into a state of fat burning. We eat the kind of diet that really keeps our body storing fat. So I want to explain this process really quickly here.
When you eat certain foods, like sugar, for example, this will spike your blood sugar, this will also cause a spike in the hormone insulin. When insulin gets produced in a high amount, it will drive that blood sugar down and you’ll kind of feel terrible, and you’ll want to eat more sugar so you can feel normal again, right? So that’s one part of it.
The other thing is though, every time insulin is present, your body is holding on to fat in its fat cells. So insulin is like the jailer that has locked up your fat, and it’s fat cells. And you cannot, you know, burn fat, you cannot lose weight while your insulin levels are high all the time.
So really, what you want to do is you want to eat the kind of diet that keeps your blood sugar regulated, pretty normalized, and you got to get your body into fat burning mode and get out of fat storing mode.
Okay, so we are naturally good fat burners, human beings. But we’ve gotten very far away from that, especially in the last 50 years or so. We started eating more processed food, more junk food, a lot more snacking, a lot more sugar, and we are just storing and storing and storing that fat.
Well as humans, you know, we evolved to store some body fat, and that’s good for us. It’s good to store some body fat, it helps us insulate us in the wintertime. But it’s also a good fuel source. For times of famine, you can survive for a long time off of your own stored body fat.
But we never put our bodies in the state where we can actually burn that fat. All we’re doing is just adding more wood to the woodpile, so to speak. So we just keep making that woodpile larger, but we’re not using that wood as fuel that fat as fuel.
So really, you have to understand that there is a fat burning state that your body needs to be in, versus a fat storage state that your body might be in, right? And in order to get the fat burning optimized, you have to eat a diet that regulates your blood sugar a little better. Okay.
The next principle is the order in which your body burns fuel, you have to understand that we metabolize certain macronutrients in a certain order. And this is important because I’m going to shed some light on what foods you want to kind of focus on here.
So, the order that we metabolize different nutrients is like this. First is alcohol. So that’s the first thing that gets metabolized. So, if you drank a couple drinks of alcohol, let’s say you have a couple of drinks on a Wednesday night, and then that is going to slow down or stop your fat burning from happening while your body is processing that alcohol.
And it takes about 48 hours, 48 to 72 hours for your body to metabolize that alcohol fully, and get you back into fat burning mode. Okay, so if you’re trying to lose weight, maybe take a break from alcohol, that’s something to consider. So alcohol is number one.
Number two is sugar. As long as sugar is available as a fuel source, your body will use it, it loves using sugar as fuel, it’s very easy for your body to use sugar as fuel. The problem is it doesn’t utilize it 100% gram for gram of sugar.
You eat a chocolate bar, some of that is going to be used for fuel. And some of that is going to be stored in your fat cells to be used as fuel later. You know, you drink a Big Gulp, which I don’t know if you guys know what that is. But it’s a giant soda, a giant sugary drink and you drink that drink, your body cannot process that much sugar all at once.
I don’t even know how many teaspoons of sugar is in something like that, but it’s probably a lot. My guess is that it’s way more than your body can metabolize at once. So you’re going to store some of that as body fat, and which is normal, that’s the way your body’s supposed to work.
The problem is that you’re not going to be able to burn that until you kind of get rid of that sugar. So we’ve burned alcohol first as fuel, then we burned sugar.
The next thing we can use as fuel is what we call exogenous fat. So that is fat that you eat. So if you eat, you know, some bacon, and then you go for a run, you might be using some of that exogenous fat as fuel, which is fine. You know, fat is not a bad fuel source.
Most people won’t be really good at burning fat until you get fat adapted until you’ve trained your body to become fat adapted. But you can use exogenous fat as fuel to some extent. Okay, the next order of metabolites that your body will use as fuel would be stored body fat.
So this is important to understand, because we want to limit the amount of alcohol and sugar. And the exogenous fat is not as big a deal because once your body gets good at burning fat, you’re going to be burning more stored body fat anyway. But we want to, you know, limit the amount of sugar and alcohol especially that we are consuming in order for our body to kind of force our body to use its own stored body fat as fuel, okay?
So you want to get really good at burning your own stored body fat. So the typical way we think about this is just think of a fuel tank, and at the top of the tank is sugar and at the bottom of the tank is like your own stored body fat. And you got to get rid of that sugar first you got to like get rid of that as a fuel source, you got to burn through that. And then you can start tapping into that stored body fat, okay.
So this is why it matters, the kinds of foods that you eat matter, more than just like calories, you know, calories do matter. We’ll talk about that in a minute. But just understand that it is important to eat the right kinds of foods and not go too crazy on the sugar side of things especially, or alcohol. Okay.
Next principle, what you eat is more important than how much you eat. So the types of foods you eat, like I just was explaining here, matter more than the number of calories. Yes, calories do matter. But typically, the right diet will help to regulate caloric intake, and do that in a way that is nice and easy and sort of effortless.
You know, if you’re eating the kind of diet where you feel pretty full throughout the day, and you’re not having these crazy cravings and over desire for sugary carbohydrate laden foods, then, you know, you’re going to feel more satiated and you’re going to be less hungry throughout the day and you’ll probably naturally just drive those cravings down and drive the number of calories that you’re eating down, which is fine, right?
The wrong diet, on the other hand, though, tons of carbs and tons of sugar will make you crave more of that stuff. It will drive hunger up, it will cause you to overeat. It’s very easy to overeat carbohydrates, refined carbohydrates, especially.
And sugar especially because your body will respond to those things, and will release some hormones that make it very difficult for your body to regulate your hunger signals. Like ghrelin is the hunger signal, and it actually ramps up that signaling of that hormone when you eat more sugar.
Leptin is the fullness hormone. And that gets down regulated when you’re eating a lot of sugar and carbohydrates, right. But if you’re eating more protein, and you know less on the on the refined carbohydrate side of things, your hormones start to work the way they’re supposed to, insulin won’t be produced in a great amount, and your leptin and ghrelin will be in check, your blood sugars will be regulated, and you’ll feel more satiated and full throughout the day.
So just understand that what you eat, the types of foods you eat is going to make a bigger impact than just trying to focus on the number of calories that you’re eating.
Okay, next principle is this, the typical runner’s diet just doesn’t work. So the typical runner’s diet, I talk about this, half jokingly, but really not is that it’s all carbs, it’s all sugar. So we do carb loading in the days leading up to runs. And then you know, the morning of or we’re loading up with carbs before we run, and then we’re fueling with carbs during the run. And then after the run, we need to recover. So we eat a bunch more carbs.
And then basically, every day is just like, I’m gonna eat as many carbs as I want, because I run and it just doesn’t work. Or if it did work for you in the past, it probably doesn’t anymore. Or for some people, it really does not work at all, ever. So we just have to understand that that typical diet of like beer and donuts, and burgers, it just doesn’t work, you know.
So we have to understand that if you’re the kind of person that is a little more carbohydrate sensitive, that you’re a little bit intolerant to carbohydrates, then just get rid of that stuff. That’s all, get rid of that stuff. There’s a way we can do this that will absolutely help you to fuel your running and lose weight and do it all. And there’s an answer.
You know, there’s a way of doing this that will allow you to hit all your goals, your weight loss goal and your running goals simultaneously, right? But we just have to understand that that typical runner’s diet is probably not going to work for you. Okay.
Next principle. The goal here is to eat a diet that helps to regulate your blood sugar. Now, I kind of talked about this a little bit, that insulin spikes, that constant insulin spiking and crashing will cause massive hunger, you’ll never feel satiated.
It causes overeating, it causes poor running performance too. So you get those blood sugar spikes and crashes, insulin is high all the time you’re hungry all the time, running becomes more difficult. You need a lot of fuel for running, you’re constantly hitting the wall because you don’t have enough fuel.
It takes longer to recover from those harder workouts, sleep becomes compromised. You don’t have all day energy, you kind of crash in the afternoons, right? Focus and concentration are impaired and you’re gaining weight. So this is all what happens when you eat that typical runner’s diet, that diet that is spiking your blood sugar constantly, right?
So we want to make sure that we are doing the opposite of that, right? Get to a diet that helps to regulate your blood sugar, and helps you to keep your blood sugar normalized. This is going to be key, okay. And it’s a little bit different for each person. But I’m going to give you some examples and some ideas of what to do here in a second, okay.
Next principle is this: all foods in moderation does not work for everyone. So I hear a lot of people, especially dieticians, talk about all foods in moderation, like there should be no foods that are off the table, like you can eat everything, but just moderate, just moderate it. Okay?
This is like telling somebody that has a drinking problem, just moderate your drinking. Why can’t you just moderate it? Why can’t you just control it, just drink like normal people. So I think we have to be very careful when we lump everyone together and say everyone should be able to eat everything that they want. Just do it in moderation.
I don’t hold this belief, this ideology. I believe there are some foods that we should kind of stay away from and that or should be consumed very sparingly. And that some people just have a very hard time doing that in moderation. Some of these foods, so why not just stay away from it? It’s not a big deal.
Like for example, I used to drink alcohol and I don’t anymore I quit like 16 years ago. And for me, I don’t know, I don’t have any desire to drink alcohol anymore. I used to smoke cigarettes, I have no desire to smoke cigarettes again, I stopped smoking cigarettes, I don’t know, 20-25 years ago, something like that. I couldn’t imagine not having a cigarette or having a drink every day. Now, it’s something I don’t ever need to think about.
So what if you took that same approach to something like sugar, where you just, you know, took a break from it for a while, and you got to this place where you just don’t even want it anymore. You just don’t even want it. That’s a great place to be. Okay.
Some people can moderate their sugar intake, and maybe just have, you know, a piece of chocolate every now and then. And it’s no big deal. Some people, they have one piece of chocolate and it’s like they’re off to the races, they start binging on that stuff. That’s kind of an unhealthy relationship with that particular food.
But it’s also something where maybe just stay away from it, at least for a while. And in my coaching program, we do this thing where we help to turn down the volume on our desires for these kinds of foods so that we don’t feel like we have to moderate or we don’t feel like we have to avoid them altogether.
Like we can just take it or leave it because there’s not a big deal anymore. That’s a good place to get to. Okay. So just keep in mind that all foods in moderation, it doesn’t work for everyone. Some people maybe should stay away from some foods, you know, but I’m not saying that everybody has to, okay?
So the next principle is this. You need to avoid what I call the Vile Triumvirate. What is the Vile Triumvirate? The Vile Triumvirate does this. It’s three things, it’s sugar, refined grains and vegetable oils. If you stay away from these three things, I’m telling you right now your health will improve. And you’ll probably start losing weight.
And for some people, it can be pretty dramatic, the health improvements and weight loss that you experience when you just stop doing these three things. So sugar, no one’s going to tell you that sugar is good for you. I don’t care. If you’re a dietitian, if you’re a doctor, if you’re some other type of like health or fitness expert, nobody’s going to tell you that sugar is good for you. It’s not, I think we all know that.
Moderating is hard, and we probably all need to eat a lot less of it. Okay. And listen, you don’t need sugar to run, you don’t need to eat sugar in order to run, you can get fat adapted, you can use your own body fat as fuel. When you get fat adapted, and you are burning fat really effectively, then you can run for long distances with basically almost no fuel doesn’t mean you don’t, you can’t use fuel for running but you don’t need all the sugar to run. Okay, so sugar, all the forms of sugar, just get rid of that.
Refined grains, those are wheat, corn, rice, oats. This stuff, especially when it’s refined, is very concentrated. It’s a very concentrated form of carbohydrate. This spikes your glucose, in some cases, even higher than just eating pure sugar does. That’s crazy, right? So it’s also hard to digest.
Some people have a real problem with this stuff, right? So if you just get rid of that, if you get rid of sugar and refined grains, I’m going to tell you right now that your blood sugar is gonna start to get more normalized, right? So those are the big two.
And then vegetable oils. These are just gross industrial seed oils. Go look up how they make vegetable oil at some point and you’ll never want to eat that stuff again. Okay, it’s disgusting.
Stick with good healthy fats, you know, like olive oil, butter, ghee, coconut oil, that kind of stuff. Those are all good for you. Avocado oil. There’s much better sources of fats and oils out there than using industrial seed oils. Okay, just get away from that stuff.
Okay, so what should you eat? Here’s another principle. I love this one. One of my favorites is eat real food. Just eat real food. That’s it. What’s real food? It’s food that still looks like food. It’s not processed food. It’s maybe minimally processed. It’s not packaged food. Or maybe it’s you know, maybe it’s in a package, but it’s like, doesn’t contain a ton of ingredients, you know.
But what’s interesting is a lot of the processed packaged food tends to have those three ingredients I just talked about: sugar, refined grains and vegetable oils. Like sugar, flour and vegetable oil seem to be the three main ingredients in most junk food.
So if you just stop eating processed packaged foods, you’re going to get a lot of that out of your diet. So that’s awesome, right? So food that still looks like food, you should be able to recognize that our ancestors should be able to recognize it. Oh, this is an apple. Oh, those are berries. That’s fish. That’s meat. That’s beans. That’s cheese. That’s potato. That’s some nuts, right? Just eat stuff like that, and you’ll be fine.
Honestly, there’s so much you can do with that kind of food that this doesn’t have to be complicated, you guys. Like you don’t have to make some crazy, complicated recipe every time you eat something. My diet is so simple and so easy. I’m almost embarrassed to talk about it. Because it’s so ridiculously simple.
You probably think like, I’m some, like, I’m a prisoner or something like for lunch today, I had a bunch of egg whites and salt. That was my lunch. Okay, that’s it. And it was amazingly delicious. Tonight, I’m having a big piece of meat and some sweet potatoes and some salad. Like that’s dinner. That’s it. It’s very simple, very simple. It doesn’t have to be complicated.
Okay, so real food, eat real food, food that looks like food, food, our ancestors would recognize food that doesn’t come in a package. You know, for the most part, sometimes I get the packaged, like frozen broccoli or something like that, right food that doesn’t have a million ingredients. Or at least you know, it has a few ingredients, and you can pronounce them all.
And you know what? Each of them is food that doesn’t come with all the marketing messages, right? If you’re eating packaged food, chances are it’s got some kind of marketing message, a bunch of ingredients, processed stuff, like just just stay away from that for the most part, okay?
If you just stick to these things, here we go: meat, fish, fruit, vegetables, eggs, dairy, tubers, potatoes, that kind of stuff. Nuts, seeds, healthy fats, salt, spices, just eat that stuff. Boom, you’re good to go. Okay.
All right, next principle, say no to snacking. You don’t need to eat all the time. What happens when you eat all the time is that every time you eat some food, even though it might be not sugar, but it’s some food, you know, it will, you know, raise your blood sugar a little bit. And again, we want to keep your blood sugar pretty regulated, right.
So if you keep your blood sugar lower, most of the time and you’re not snacking constantly, you’re eating like six or eight times a day, then your blood sugar is going to be pretty chill most of the day, which means your body is going to be burning fat most of the day. Right.
So just one of the easiest ways you can keep your meals spaced out and give your body a chance to tap into that stored body fat as fuel is to just stop snacking. You don’t need to snack. Snacking is not hunger. It’s not real hunger.
Real hunger means you can sit down and eat a meal. And if you’re thinking like, oh, I’m hungry, I should eat something. Can you eat a meal? If the answer is no, then don’t eat something. If the answer is I want like six nuts. That’s not hunger. Come on.
Snacking is almost always an emotional event anyway, like you’re bored, you’re lonely, you’re anxious, you’re stressed out, you’re tired, you’re angry, whatever. It’s some kind of emotion is driving that trip to the pantry. So just understand that you don’t need to snack. Okay, you’ll be okay. Give your body a chance to burn fat. Do that instead, right?
Listen, snacking wasn’t a thing until like the 1950s between 1950 and like today, you know, here especially in the US, we’ve just become a nation of snackers. And the food industry, they introduced all these packaged snacks that cater to our basic cravings for sugar, salt and fat.
And by the 80s, by the 1980s, people were eating snacks everywhere at home, at work, at school, while in the car, walking down the sidewalk. We did not evolve to snack all day long, right? This was never a thing until like the 50s. Right? It is a relatively new thing. You don’t need to snack just stop doing that. Okay, say no to snacking. The people who tell you you need a snack all day long is the food industry that’s telling you that and they want you to buy more food.
Okay, this leads me to my next principle, which is this. The food companies do not care about your health. They just don’t. They don’t care that you’re healthy. They don’t care that you’re lean and strong. They just want you to eat more of their garbage. That’s it. They do not care about you know, your health, you are not their priority.
Their priority is selling more food. So they make their foods hyper palatable. That means they are so amazingly delicious that you crave them day and night. Their goal is to sell as much food as possible. How do they do that? They just make it irresistible.
You cannot say no, you can’t stop. They even say it on the package. You know? “Once you pop you can’t stop. You can’t eat just one.” Right? They just tell you right there, like here’s what we’re doing to you, we’re gonna make it so that you cannot eat just one of these chips or whatever it is. They just care about making money and their bottom line.
And the end result of this is we are a nation that is metabolically unhealthy. We’re terribly unhealthy here in the US, right? We’re buying into all these marketing messages from the food companies, you know. And what you need to do is you need to go against that.
You need to go against the grain, and pun very much intended here. You need to take control of your own health and well being and on your own terms, that means do what people are not doing, do what the majority of people are not doing. Okay?
88% of the US population has some form of metabolic disease. They’re overweight, especially in the midsection. They have high blood pressure, high blood sugar, pre diabetes, diabetes, and on and on and on, you do not want to be a part of that 88%. You want to be in the 12%, who are considered metabolically healthy. That’s a very small percentage of the population, right?
But be that weirdo at the table who’s not doing what everybody else is doing. Be okay with that. We’ll talk about this more and when we get into the mindset stuff, but just understand that what everybody else is doing is not working. And the food companies, they don’t care about your health or you know, your weight or anything like that. They just want you to buy more of their junk, okay. Okay, rant over.
So, next principle is this: you are an athlete, so eat like one. This means that you should be eating like an athlete all the time. Whether it’s the offseason, or you’re in peak training mode, II, like an athlete, be intentional about what you’re doing.
Don’t just say like, well, you know, I got this marathon coming up, so I’m just going to kind of do whatever I want. But then afterwards, after this marathon, I’m gonna like really dial in my nutrition, like, don’t do that. Stay on track, always, it’s so much easier to just maintain a healthy lifestyle than it is to like, start and stop. Again, that’s kind of more of a mindset principle. But listen, you do not want to eat like crap for three months, and then try to get back on track just so you can like train for the next race or whatever.
Actual athletes do not do this. And you shouldn’t either. Now I’m not saying you got to train like an athlete, or, you know, you know, these elite athletes who are Olympic quality qualifiers and stuff like that. Like, that’s not what I’m talking about here.
But just like adopt this mindset of like, I am going to take care of myself, my health, my fitness, my running is a priority. And I’m going to eat like it all the time. Yeah, that means that you can have a beer here and there, that means you can eat that doughnut every now and then. But it doesn’t mean that this is like, you know, three months of the year you eat right, the rest of the time you just eat a bunch of junk, right?
If you started acting like an athlete and eating like an athlete, how would things change for you? Think about that.
Okay, next principle is this: there is no one size fits all. There’s not one diet that works for everyone. There just isn’t. Every single person I’ve worked with, I’ve worked with hundreds of runners. And we’ve put together custom nutrition plans for each one. And nobody does this the same. No two people do the same, which is cool.
I mean, it would be awesome if everybody could do it the same because I could like write a book or something and just hand it to you. And you know, you give me 20 bucks, and then we’re good to go. It just doesn’t work that way. It just doesn’t.
And any book that tells you what to do. Just take it with a grain of salt, you know, because it may not work for you. I’ve read all these diet books and listen to so many experts tell me what to do. And I have to tell you that it just doesn’t always work. You know, the South Beach diet, vegan, vegetarian, plant based paleo whatever, I’ve done all these different things. And none of them really worked perfectly for me until I kind of figured things out on my own. Right?
There’s so many factors that make us all individuals like my specific goals, my current diet, the way I exercise day to day, my food preferences, my dietary restrictions, my family and cultural considerations, my work and travel considerations, like there’s so many things to look at, that what somebody else is doing may work for them beautifully, but it may not work for me. Right?
So the goal here is that you have to figure this out. So a big part of what we do in the coaching project is we figure out what works for you. Right, and it does take a little bit of work to get there.
All right, next principle is this: the 90/10 rule. So you’ve probably heard of the 80/20 rule, right? I think that is fine for most things, but when it comes to sticking with your diet I love like more of like a 90/10 better.
I think that we can, most of us, can adhere to that. The 80/20 rule seems to be a little too loosey goosey for people. Okay? So 90/10. That means that 90% of the time you’re going to eat on plan, and then 10% of the time, you can eat a little bit off plan, right? That’s like one meal per week, essentially, is what we’re talking about here the rest of the time, just stick with the plan.
Listen, life is meant to be lived, we should be able to indulge every now and then to celebrate with family and friends. We just got to do it the right way. Food is a big part of our culture and how we come together as human beings, there always has been. It’s important. We celebrate special events in our lives with food, it brings family and friends together. And it’s how we connect. And you should enjoy that.
But you have to do it the right way. And that means you just don’t do it all the time. Okay. So, and I love this, somebody said this, I love this little quote. And it says, “It matters more what you eat between New Year’s and Christmas than what you eat between Christmas and New Year’s.”
So just think about that 90% of the time, stick to your plan that 10% of the time, you can be a little loosey goosey with it. You can indulge you can enjoy, you can celebrate, just do it the right way. Okay. All right.
Next principle, carbs are not the enemy. Okay, so I talk a lot about sort of the low carb approach to running. And if you if we kind of take a low carb approach, we can tend to lose weight a little easier, okay. But this does not mean zero carbs, right? So you do not need carbs to run, but we don’t avoid them altogether.
You can use carbs to help with running, you can use carbs to help build muscle, to improve your exercise performance, you just gotta do it the right way. The types of carbs that you choose, it matters, the timing of the carbs matters, how much you’re eating, that stuff matters. This is not an excuse to eat junk food 24/7. And there’s whole food types of carbs, like, you know, rice and potatoes and sweet potatoes.
And then there’s like carbage, which is just junk food, you know, is that carbohydrate, super refined carbohydrate, junk food, candy bars and cake and you know, bread and pizza and stuff like that. I mean, that stuff is fine, in moderation, very, very limited. Remember that 10%.
But if you’re using carbs strategically, you want to stick with whole foods, types of carbohydrates, right? And then the timing of how you do it matters, okay, but just understand that carbs are not the enemy and that like, it’s okay to indulge in some carbs here and there and to use them strategically around workouts and things like that. But we just got to be careful with how we do that. Okay.
Next principle, eating fat doesn’t make you fat. Listen, we need fat to live, we need it to survive as human beings, you have to eat that. That is what’s called an essential nutrient. Protein is also an essential nutrient. That means that we have to get it in our diet or we die. So fat and protein are what we call essential nutrients. If we don’t get those in our diet, we will die. There’s just no way around that right.
By the way, there’s a nonessential nutrient called carbohydrates. We don’t need to eat carbohydrates, our brains do need some glucose to function properly, but our liver will actually produce all the glucose that we need on a daily basis. So you could like just never eat carbs again, and you’d probably be fine. I don’t recommend that. I’m not saying you should do that.
I’m just saying like fat and protein, essential nutrients. Carbohydrates, nonessential. Just interesting, right? But there was this huge low fat craze in the 80’s and extended into the 90’s to some degree. Basically, that was like don’t eat fat, fat is bad. People were having all kinds of adverse reactions like being cold all the time. It was affecting their eyesight because they just completely eliminated fat from their diet. You can die if you do that, actually.
And what they ended up doing in the 80’s especially is they replaced a lot of the fat with sugar, you know, so they had these processed foods like, oh, here’s a low here’s no fat yogurt, but it’s like full of sugar, but it says no fat and people were like, oh yeah, let’s gravitate towards that.
How come I’m gaining weight? Well it’s because of all the sugar, right? Just choose healthy fats and I talked about that a little bit earlier. Animal types of fats. If you eat that stuff it is fine. And then you know things like butter and dairy and avocados, nuts, olives, olive oil, coconut oil, all those things are good sources of fat.
Okay. Another principle is this: train low, race high. What does this mean? That means that it In training, we want to, you know, train pretty low carb, okay. But for races, we want to have more carbs. So we want to train low carb and race high carb, high-ish. Okay, once you’re fat-adapted, you don’t need a whole lot of fuel for running and other workouts right? You need a lot less fuel than you think.
So for example, I did a couple of 25 mile runs recently, I’m training for a 12 hour event coming up here in a couple of weeks. And in these 25 mile training runs I did, I only took a few little Muir energy gels with me, which are about 12 grams of carbs, they also have some nut butter in there like almond butter, and some fat and protein, so fat and protein, a little bit of carbs.
And I had like three of them over 25 miles, it was very low in carbs, like I didn’t have to have, you know, a Gu every 30 minutes or whatever. And I was fine because I’m fat adapted because I use my own stored body fat as fuel very effectively. Okay. So just understand that there are benefits to exercising without fuel.
So exercising in that fasted state, you get a lot of benefits, you get improved performance due to more adrenaline being produced, you get a clearer head, better focus and concentration, faster recovery times due to more growth hormone being produced. So there’s lots of reasons why we like to exercise in that fasted state.
And it also helps emphasize fat burning, you know, so when you get really good at burning fat, then you go to, to race and you’ve been training low carb, you go to race and you add more carbohydrates for that race. That’s like adding rocket fuel, right, and you’ll get the you can optimize your running performance when you do that. Okay, so train low, race high.
Next principle, at some point, calories do matter. So there’s this concept called CICO. C-I-C-O.
And that stands for calories in, calories out. And this is the energy balance theory, which says, you know, the more energy you consume, the more you need to burn, basically, the cardio in order to maintain that energy balance, okay.
So this is what most people adhere to when they try to lose weight, the energy balance theory, and I tried this for years with an app. And I was tracking all the calories I was eating, like literally every gram of whatever I was eating, and then I was tracking all my exercise. It just wasn’t working. I was gaining weight in the process. Because there’s more to it than that, right.
And stuff we’ve talked about already, hormones like insulin have to be considered, the type of foods you eat have to be considered, all calories are not the same. The human body is not a steam engine. If we are a steam engine, this CICO theory might work, okay, but we’re not.
The human body is a complex, complicated, interconnected multi system living organism and trying to simplify it to work the same as a steam engine is just ridiculous, because it’s not. Right. Okay, all that being said, at some point over consuming calories is going to be a problem.
You have to be mindful not to overeat, you have to stop the automatic eating, the out of control eating, the emotional eating, you have to learn to know when you’re actually hungry and when you’re not. I know this sounds simple. And it is a simple concept. But it’s not easy. Because you’ve probably trained yourself to use food as an emotional management tool, right?
We all have. We all use food to feel better. We use it as a reward. We use it to feel better. We use it to manage our emotions, especially when we’re having negative emotions. We’re feeling really stressed out. Oh, I was doing great until I got really stressed out at work. And then everything went to you know hell in a handbasket?
Well, it’s because you haven’t learned how to deal with those emotional stuff. This is one of the most talked about topics in our coaching program, the coaching project, because everybody has to deal with this. Every single person I’ve worked with has had to deal with this to some degree. Okay.
So yes, at some point, overeating has to be addressed. Calories do matter. But keep in mind, when you change your diet, when you start eating real food, you start getting enough protein, you stop eating all the refined grains and sugar, your hormones start working properly, your blood sugar’s regulated, you’re not going to be hungry all the time. And not eating will be easy.
It’ll be effortless, and overeating will be much less of an issue. Okay? You got to learn how to deal with your emotions without food. And I’m going to talk more about this in our mindset principles episode that’s going to be part three.
So stick around for that one, because that’s going to be good. It’s important. This is one of the most important things that we have to address if you want to lose weight, okay? All right. So that’s what I got for you today.
Those are the principles that I think are the most important when it comes to losing weight as a runner. And remember, this is episode one of a three part series called Weight Loss Principles Every Runner Needs To Know.
And next we’re going to be talking about exercise principles for weight loss like running, walking, resistance, training, rest, recovery, cross training, flexibility, mobility exercises, tons more, all with a focus on, you know, helping you to lose weight guide. So definitely be on the lookout for that one.
And then listen, if you ever want help with all this, consider joining us in the coaching project. That’s my lifetime access, a weight loss coaching program. It’s designed specifically for runners to help you crush your weight loss and your running goals simultaneously.
The three things that you need to succeed at anything are number one, you need knowledge, so you need to know what to do and how to do it. You need the strategies you need, you need the knowledge, okay?
Number two is you need support. You need someone there to have your back, somebody to guide you through the process every step of the way, someone to encourage you and keep you motivated and help you stay on track.
And then number three, you need accountability. You need someone there to hold you accountable, so that you do what you said you’re going to do. Right and my unique weight loss coaching program delivers all three.
The coaching project will help you dial in a custom nutrition plan that works for you, your goals, your lifestyle, you’ll learn how to stay on track, even when you don’t feel like it. You’ll develop the mindset skills necessary to do the hard things. You’ll learn how to do cheat meals the right way, and I use cheat meals in quotes. I don’t really believe in cheat meals.
You’ll learn how to stop the emotional eating, the stress eating, the automatic eating that makes it so hard to lose weight. You’ll learn how to improve your running performance. Whether that means running faster or farther, you’ll be able to basically crush your running goals. And then you’ll just learn how to become a lean, strong fat burning machine right.
So to learn more and sign up today, just go to runningleancoaching.com/join. And I would love to see you in the coaching project. That’s all I got for you today. Love you all keep on Running Lean, and I’ll talk to you soon.
Most people think that losing weight equals suffering. If you want to lose weight you have to stop eating all “delicious” foods forever and you will suffer every single day. They use words like …
Hey there, and welcome to episode 172 of Running Lean. My name is Patrick McGilvray, The Weight Loss Coach for Runners and today, can losing weight be fun? So most people think that losing weight equals suffering. If you want to lose weight, you have to stop eating all the quote-unquote delicious foods forever. And you’re basically going to suffer every single day.
They use words like suffering and struggling and deprivation and starvation and white knuckling it. And I don’t know about you, but all of this sounds pretty terrible to me. If this is what you think losing weight looks like, if you’re suffering every day trying to lose weight, you are doing it wrong. Today, I’m digging into this concept of making healthy eating and losing weight fun.
Can losing weight be fun? Armed with the right mindset, I think it can absolutely be fun. But first, it’s been drilled into our heads that if you’re a runner, you have to eat carbs, lots and lots of carbs. The truth is, though, in two and a half million years of human evolution, we’ve never relied solely on carbs to run long distances, we just never have.
We burn fat, lots of fat, the idea of not using gels, and goos and stuff to run – this isn’t crazy. This isn’t some new fringe concept. It’s actually baked into our DNA. Humans are naturally excellent fat burners. But we’ve gotten far away from that in the last few decades. When you adapt to burning fat for fuel, you will have all the energy you need for running your own stored body fat, right?
We’re not talking about eating bacon and lard or whatever this is like your own stored body fat becomes your fuel source. Plus, if you want to lose weight, what do you have to do? You’ve got to burn fat, you’ve got to burn that stored body fat. So this whole concept of that adaptation, it’s a beautiful thing all the way around.
You really don’t need to eat a ton of carbs to run, you can eat some, that’s fine. You can become fat adapted, though and start using your own body fat as fuel. When you get fat adapted, you’ll never run out of fuel, you’ll be able to run basically all day, and you lose weight in the process. It’s a win win-win.
Learn more about my unique approach to weight loss for runners and join the Coaching Project. Just go to runningleancoaching.com/join to learn more. Okay, I mentioned something in last week’s podcast, or maybe it was a couple weeks ago about creating habits and trying to make things fun. And I just sort of touched on this idea of, you know, changing your habits eating healthy and how it can be fun.
And I got some questions about that. So I’m like, you know what, I need to just address this today. Because I think there’s this concept that when you change your diet, and when you start exercising, if you want to lose weight, like it’s just not going to be fun. Like you have to suffer your way through this whole process. I think most people believe that if you want to lose weight, you have to suffer. It has to be about suffering and struggling and excessive hunger and deprivation and white knuckling it. And this all sounds like super terrible, right?
The problem with this thinking, if you believe that in order to lose weight, you’re going to have to suffer for the rest of your life, that is absolutely not sustainable. There’s no way you can maintain that level of suffering forever. And so a lot of people believe this. They believe that losing weight equals suffering forever, never going to eat good food again. Got to eat bland, cardboard tasting stuff for the rest of my life. I’m going to be freaking out and feeling deprived every time I’m around some sort of quote-unquote delicious food. Like I just there’s no way I can deal with that. And so they just quit. There’s like, there’s no way I can do that for the rest of my life.
And many of you listening to this right now I know that you are good at suffering already. Like you’re a runner, like you’ve probably run marathons or ultra marathons or half marathons or whatever. Just training for an event like that and training for a marathon requires a lot of suffering.
Like you, there’s months of suffering, I gotta get up early. And it’s cold in the wintertime and like, you know, go run in the rain and run the snow and the ice and the wind and push yourself through the miles and you know that hurts. PR during a marathon is painful, there is pain involved in improving your time.
Every time you want to run a marathon, qualify for Boston, whatever that looks like for you. There’s pain involved, there’s suffering involved, not just in the race itself, but in the months of training that lead up to them. So we are good as runners, we are good at suffering, we can do that. We know what that looks like.
And I’ve suffered so much doing hard races. I have never run a marathon that at some point I didn’t say, ‘why do I even do this, this sucks so bad right now.’ And I remember running my 100 miler, and that’s a whole new level of pain and suffering, my friends, I’m just going to tell you right now, that this is something that I haven’t done again, since because there’s so much pain and suffering involved with that is like 28 hours of pain and suffering involved with that, right?
So runners, we can endure a lot of pain and suffering, we can deal with that, we’re good at this, right? But when I say to you, like, you know, what, just, you know, limit how much like pizza you’re eating or ice cream, like, you know, maybe just not eat that much. Immediately this becomes some type of suffering that you’re just like not willing to endure, right? Think about that for just a second.
You’re going to do all the hard work required to let’s say, qualify for Boston. So hard to do that. Right? You will suffer for months. And during that race itself, you’re going to be running so hard, you’re going to deal with so much pain, that, but if I say like, hey, don’t eat ice cream for 30 days, or 60 days or something like that, it’s like, oh, my god, I can’t do it. Right? It just becomes in our mind, it becomes something that we’re just not willing to deal with. Right? So this is why most people don’t even start.
Now, there is some suffering at the beginning. Like when you change your diet, there’s going to be a little bit of, you know, deprivation, you’re going to feel a little bit like, oh, what am I supposed to eat? I can’t eat sugar, I can’t eat, you know, processed flours and things like that. And whatever your plan looks like, everybody’s a little bit different.
But let’s just say you’re not eating pizza and ice cream. And you’re like, oh my gosh, I’m you know, this is hard, right? Yeah, it is hard at the beginning. Over time, that gets better. That gets better. Like it’s this is not going to last forever. I think we all know that, right. But if you believe that, you know, the rest of your life, you’re going to be suffering and struggling, no one’s going to sign up for that.
No one on this planet is going to sign up for that. I don’t care how much pain you can endure during an ultramarathon or something like that, nobody is going to sign up for a lifetime of suffering and struggling around food, right?
So there’s a mindset that this is too hard, I’m going to feel deprived for the rest of my life, screw this, it’s not worth it. And that mindset is just wrong, you have to change that, right? But most people, they just come at this whole process like losing weight, the whole journey of losing weight, is just going to feel so terrible forever that they quit or never start.
But when you do that, you’re really giving up what you really want for yourself. You want to get healthier, you want to be stronger, you want to feel good in your body, you want to feel confident, you want to run faster, whatever it is. Losing weight is actually just sort of a nice side effect of all those things.
Like you’re trying to become this healthiest version of yourself. And losing weight is just a little nice side benefit in the process. But you give all that up when you quit on yourself because you think it’s gonna be too hard or you make it too hard, right?
Becoming a fit, strong, healthy human being means you’re probably going to have to change some things. If you want to lose some weight, you’re gonna have to make some changes, you’re probably gonna have to give up a couple of these foods that you’ve been eating, or maybe not eat as much of some of these foods. Really limit how much pizza you eat.
I eat pizza every now and then. I eat some tacos here and there, I had some sushi a couple weeks ago. It’s great. I don’t do that all the time. But there will be some amount of discomfort there will be some amount of suffering involved. It should be minimal. It shouldn’t be temporary.
Changing your diet, changing anything for that matter, comes with some amount of discomfort, right? Just accept this, right? Let’s accept this and move on. It’s gonna happen. It’s typically at the beginning, it’s not a lifetime of pain and suffering and struggling. If it is, you’re doing it wrong. And I want to clear one thing up right away. The goal of all this, the goal of losing weight, or eating healthy, is not to have fun. It’s to be a fit healthy human being and do what it takes to stick with that, like make this your lifestyle.
To live your life as a fit, healthy human being, that means there will be some struggle, some suffering, some times that are not so good. That’s okay, that’s part of the process, there’s also going to be some times where it is fun, where it feels great, just like running.
But if you want to get stronger, let’s say, you’ve got to lift the heavy weights. Lifting heavy weights is hard, it hurts. There’s a certain amount of suffering involved, right. But is that fun? The results are fun. Looking in the mirror and seeing your abs for the first time since you were like 12. That’s fun. Having your shirts fit tight around your arms. That’s fun for the guys, maybe, maybe for the ladies, too.
If you want to lose weight, you have to endure a little bit of suffering like not eating pizza. That’s not fun. Not drinking any alcohol when everybody else at the table is drinking is not necessarily fun. But you know what is fun? Not waking up with a hangover the next day, stepping on the scale and seeing a lower number, that’s fun.
Fitting into that pair of jeans again, that’s fun. Feeling confident enough to wear a two piece bathing suit, or to maybe take your shirt off at the beach, guys only probably, depending on what beach you’re at, that’s fun. So it’s not going to be fun and games all the time. And you have to accept that, right?
You’ve got to kind of do some of the hard things in order to reap the benefits in order to have the fun. Running is hard, right? We do it anyway because we love how we feel afterward. We love pushing ourselves. We love accomplishing big things. We love seeing what we’re capable of. We love accomplishing more and running faster and running further.
But running is not always fun. Running is hard. A lot of times running is hard. I did two runs last weekend, I’m training for this Ultra. And on Saturday, I ran 24 miles. On Sunday I ran 10. Right, that was on the schedule. That’s what I told myself I was going to do. I did the 24 on Saturday and was pretty good. I felt good. Felt pretty strong, and recovered quickly from that run.
And the next day I set out to do 10. And every step of that 10 miles was terrible. It was so hard. I’m like oh my god, this is so hard. And if my belief is that running is supposed to be fun all the time. I’m quitting like right now, I’m not doing any of this, running is hard. Let’s just be honest, like running is hard.
You know, I’m putting in these miles because what I want for myself is to finish this Ultra and I, you know, I’m putting in the miles and I’m doing the hard things now so that I can reap the benefits and finish this thing. Now this Ultra I’m doing is going to be another level of heart. And that’s okay, I’m building the strength and the endurance and all that right now to be able to finish this thing.
But sometimes, running is hard. Sometimes, losing weight is hard, sometimes sticking with the plan, and not eating the pizza, and not drinking the beers after work or whatever is hard. Losing weight is hard sometimes, but we do it anyway because we’re committed to that process.
We’re committed to this as a lifestyle. I saw this quote the other day, which I thought was so awesome, it said, “How long does it take the average person to run a marathon?” That was like a question that was posed and the answer underneath it said, “Average people don’t run marathons.” I thought, damn, I love that!
I love that because we are not average people. We want more for ourselves. Average people don’t do the hard things. Average people will not deal with any amount of suffering or struggling in order to lose the way because it’s hard. But you’re not average. You’re willing to do the hard things so that you can become more, right?
Another thing I want you to think about is what does fun even mean to you? Is running intervals fun? I don’t know. Probably not. I’m going to say no. But how good you feel afterwards, that’s fun. Is doing the work to PR a marathon fun? No, but there’s some elation that you feel when you cross the finish line that is out of this world. I
s it fun to skip dessert? No. But when you see that number on the scale go down again, that’s fun. You got to reframe fun. Is it fun to binge out on like fried food? It might feel like it at the time, listen, I can’t eat this stuff. I eat fried food and I feel terrible for like three days. I’m sluggish, I can’t think straight. I got to stay away from this stuff. Stay away from fried food. If you just do one thing, stay away from fried food.
You know what is fun though? Waking up every morning feeling good. Having lots of energy, having a clear head. That’s fun. So we have to kind of reframe our idea of fun and maybe push some of this short term pleasure off the table, in favor of what we really want for ourselves long term.
And one thing I just have to say right here is like fun is subjective. What might be fun for me is not going to be fun for you necessarily. How you make weight loss fun, or how you make running fun is gonna be different for each person. So we have to come up with some ideas that feel good individually. But I’m gonna give you some examples here.
So how can you make running fun, let’s say one thing I love is running with friends. If you have a group of people you can run with regularly, that is fun. I have had more fun in my running group over the last, whatever, 15 years, basically running with the same people for that amount of time.
It is so amazing because we do hard things, but we do them together. And we laugh and we joke around, there’s always a joke of the day, usually super inappropriate. And super fun. Mix up your workouts, don’t do the same workouts all the time, change things up, leave your watch at home. That’s kind of fun. Just go out there and run. Leave your phone at home. They call this running naked.
It doesn’t mean running without clothes on, I want to make that very clear. Running naked means leaving your watch and your phone at home and just going for a run and paying attention to your breathing and to your surroundings. And like it’s just different, you know, run somewhere new, pick a new route somewhere you’ve never been before.
Get out in nature, run on a beach, one of my favorite things to do in the world is run on a beach. If you can do that, if you have any access to a beach, go do that right now. Run on trails, run up a mountain, get out in nature and run in nature, it’s amazing. This is what we do as human beings, we’ve just evolved to run in nature. So do more of that.
How can you make losing weight fun? Do it with friends. You know, one of the big reasons I have a group component to my coaching program is that we do it together. You know we support each other, we do coaching together, and we encourage each other and we’re there for each other.
We share ideas, and we share what works for us and what doesn’t work. And it’s more fun to do with friends. Plain and simple. Try new foods. What foods do you love? And by the way, there are so many choices for healthy foods out there. It’s literally limitless.
I hear people say this all the time. “I don’t know what to eat. There’s nothing to eat.” This is just a cop out. This is an excuse. There are a few foods that we try to stay away from like, I’ll tell people like maybe we start out with stay away from sugar, flour, vegetable oils, you cut out those three things.
“Oh my gosh, what’s left?” Literally everything else in the world. Everything else. Eat more protein, stay away from junk food. And then the choices are limitless from there. I love burgers and I found a bunch of new burger places around town here. And we go to these burger places and they do a great job of like making a burger with a lettuce wrap.
I don’t eat flour and leave you know the bun, whatever. So I’ll get a lettuce wrap burger. Oh, get an extra patty on there and put all kinds of stuff on there. Veggies, lettuce, tomato, pickles, onions, jalapenos, and a fried egg on there, whatever. It’s like super delicious and just love eating burgers again, you know?
I like pizza, all the pizza here. I’ll make my own crust. You know. Try new places, new foods, new recipes. Eating healthy can be fun. If it’s not fun to some degree, it doesn’t have to be fun all the time, you’re probably doing it wrong. Okay.
Another way of making this whole process of eating healthy and losing weight fun is rewarding yourself. Reward yourself for sticking to the plan. Don’t reward yourself with food. Don’t reward yourself with like, oh I stuck to my plan for the last week I’m going to eat a pizza, I’m going to eat ice cream, I’m going to, you know, eat a bunch of candy. No, don’t do that. That’s called self sabotaging behavior. We don’t do that.
Reward yourself with things like a massage, or go to a museum or get a new pair of running shoes. How about that, or a new shirt or pair of jeans or bathing suit or something. Reward yourself with something that feels good. Make it fun.
Go out in the woods, take a hike, get out in nature, take a weekend trip somewhere, it doesn’t have to be somewhere far away, or expensive or whatever. Just do something to reward yourself for sticking with the plan. Again, fun is subjective. So what’s fun for you? Like how many ways can you come up with to make losing weight fun for you?
And I talk about all this stuff here on the podcast. But listen, if you really want to change, you’ve got to do stuff, right? The only way you can produce results is by taking action. Action produces results, thinking about stuff doesn’t give you results.
So when this podcast is over, I want you to get a notebook or journal and I want you to spend a few minutes and write down all the different ways that you can make losing weight fun. Answer these questions. How can I make eating healthy, more fun for me? How can I make sticking to my plan more fun for me? How can I make exercise more fun for me? How can I make running more fun for me?
Ask yourself all these questions, write down all the answers, you should probably be able to come up with 100 different answers to these questions total, you know, something like that. 50, whatever, come up with as many as you can, the more fun you make it, the more likely you are to stick with it.
Another concept I want you to kind of wrap your head around is this. Over time, your palette will change. You may think that eating healthy is gonna be boring, I’m not gonna like it and it’s not going to taste good. And when you first change your diet, and you first stop eating some of these hyper palatable foods, your taste buds may be like where’s the good stuff, quote-unquote good stuff?
Where’s the overly processed hyper palatable foods? Like, over time your taste buds will change. And things will start to become more delicious to you, the simple foods will become more delicious to you. For example, one of the things that I love to eat, I love eating steak with salt on it like that is one of my favorite things to eat. It’s so simple. And this is from a guy who didn’t eat meat for like 10 years.
And now I just love it’s like such a beautiful thing. You know, a nice ribeye grilled with some salt. That’s it. It’s so good. And that’s all I need. Chicken and broccoli is one of my other favorite things. It’s just, you know, broiled chicken with broccoli. That’s it. And some butter and salt on that broccoli. Oh my gosh, so delicious. My mouth just like explodes with flavor. And I’m like, this is so good.
But it wasn’t good at the beginning. It was hard. It was like, this is like, I want a pizza, I want bread, I want sugar, or whatever. And I don’t need all that stuff anymore. My tastes have changed, my palette has changed. I find so much satisfaction and fun eating a super simple diet. It’s not complicated. It’s not, you know, super exciting. But it’s also fun to eat this way. It really is. Food can be fun, every meal doesn’t have to be some magical spiritual experience. Okay?
Over time when your tastes change these simple foods will become more fun for you to promise. If you’re trying to lose weight and you’re suffering, you’re suffering long term, you are doing it wrong. It’s not sustainable, you’ll quit. Right? It’s kind of like doing speed work every single day, you are going to hate running very quickly, you’re gonna burn yourself out, and you’re gonna quit because that is not sustainable.
And then listen, if you want to have more fun on your weight loss journey, consider joining us in the Coaching Project where we actually have fun. This is my lifetime access program. We support each other, we encourage each other, we learn from each other, you get live coaching with me every week, twice a week. And this makes the process of losing weight actually fun.
Just like running alone is not as fun as running with a group. Being on this weight loss journey alone is not as fun as doing it with a group like the coaching project. Cool. Alright, that’s all I got for you today. Love you all, keep on Running Lean, and I’ll talk to you soon.
If you’re a runner and you’ve been struggling to lose weight or you keep losing and gaining the same 10 pounds over and over again. Or you’re finally ready to get to your natural weight and stay there for good this time then I have something you will love. I’ve created a powerful new training just for you called running lean for life. You’ll learn exactly how to transform yourself into a lean fat-burning running machine. So you can run without bonking, lose weight without calorie counting and develop the habits required to make it last for life. To get this free training right now go to runningleanpodcast.com/leanforlife and start your transformation today.
If you’ve ever struggled to lose weight and keep it off, then this episode is for you. There are many different ways to lose weight - cutting calories, cutting carbs, cutting out snacking, more …
Hey there, and welcome to episode 164 of Running Lean. My name is Patrick McGilvray, the weight loss coach for runners, and today: how to achieve weight loss success. If you’ve ever struggled to lose weight and keep it off, this episode is for you. There are many different ways to lose weight, cutting calories, cutting carbs, cutting out snacking, or fasting, eating less meat, eating only meat, eating only cabbage and celery and on and on and on right.
Some of these weight loss methods are more successful and more sustainable than others. But they all work to some degree for some people. But despite all these different weight loss methods and their relative effectiveness, there is one master principle that you must follow if you want to achieve long term weight loss success. This one principle will also enable you to achieve success in every other aspect of your life, not just in terms of your weight loss or your health or your fitness.
So in this episode of the podcast, I’m going to share this one master principle with you that will show you exactly how to achieve weight loss success and more. But first, one of my favorite clients Kelly had this to say about her experience she said, “Before finding Patrick, I was not in a good place. I was struggling mentally, drinking alcohol and eating garbage. I felt like other women were faster and stronger than I was. And this program has helped me to break through those limiting thoughts and really take control over my life. I started eating real food, I started lifting weights, and I’ve become more determined. I’m a stronger runner. I’m 20 pounds lighter, I ran a 50k and I even did an Ultra Ragnar. Trusting the process and gaining the confidence to keep moving forward helped turn this into a lifestyle change. I now have goals that I feel I can meet and feeling weak is in the past. I feel physically and mentally stronger than ever. You are one of a million and you changed my life.”
Thank you, Kelly. But here’s the thing, Kelly’s story is not uncommon. Every day I watch your owners like Kelly, take back control of their diet, lose weight, get stronger, and do things they never thought they could do. So think about this, what limiting thoughts are holding you back? And are you finally ready to ditch those limiting thoughts and take control of your life? If so, maybe coaching is an option for you. To learn more and apply, just go to runningleancoaching.com/apply.
Okay, so let’s talk about how to achieve weight loss success. So like I mentioned, during the intro here, there’s many different pathways to weight loss success, you can cut out calories, you can, you know, ditch the carbs, you can cut out snacking and you can do more fasting. You know a lot of people do really well with intermittent fasting or even some extended fasting.
Some people do really well doing more of like a carnivore diet, they eat just meat, some people do better if they’re eating zero meat, some people do better if they’re doing the cabbage juice diet, I don’t even know what that is. But there’s just so many different methods of achieving weight loss. Now, some of these are more effective than others. I think some of these, especially when we get into things like really drastically reducing calories, you run the risk of slowing down your metabolism. This is not something that would really be sustainable.
I think if you limit a lot of nutrients, like if you’re just doing the cabbage diet, I don’t even know, is that a thing? But whatever if you’re just doing something where you’re just eating like cabbage for months on end, can’t be good for you. Like you’re probably not getting enough protein, probably not enough micro and macro nutrients in that. So anyway, some of these are more effective than others. Some of these are better than others. Some are more sustainable than others.
But here’s the thing, every diet that’s out there will work to some degree for some people. There isn’t just one thing that works for everybody. And I’ve said this so many times. Every person I work with I make sure we really understand that there isn’t one method, there isn’t one diet, no fad diet or whatever, that’s going to work perfectly for everybody.
Now, for me personally, I tend to gravitate toward a more low low carb sort of higher protein approach. So this isn’t no carbs. This is not like a totally carnivore type of approach. But I tend to eat lower on the carb scale. I definitely eat a higher protein than the average American for sure than the average runner definitely. And I don’t eat constantly, I’m not eating six or eight times a day.
And this approach seems to work well for a lot of endurance athletes who want to get fat adapted, who want to improve their fat burning capabilities, who want to run longer, who want to lose weight. But you know, even with this low carb approach, there’s a lot of room for differentiation, no two people are going to do this the exact same way, we’re all going to have our own sort of set point, as far as carbs go, like how many carbs do we need to feel good to make sure that our running is is still improving, to make sure that our weight loss is happening?
We don’t want to go too high on the carb scale. But we don’t want to go too low either. Like, are you making improvements at the gym? Are you seeing improvements in your running numbers, like all these things are worth considering. And it’s going to look a little bit different for each person. Okay, so just understand that there’s lots of pathways to success and weight loss, lots of different methods, lots of different quote unquote, like diets, you know, and to some degree, they all work, you know.
But if you want to achieve long term weight loss success, there is this one master principle that you must embrace if you want any of these things to work. In fact, this principle is just one word. But it’s a very, very powerful word. This word is so powerful and so important that I’ve made this one word, my mantra for the year for this year 2023. I printed out this word, I have it taped to my monitor. I’m looking at it right now. And I see this all the time, I’m constantly being reminded of this one master principle.
This word is so powerful, that it not only allows you to achieve weight loss success, but if there’s anything that you want to achieve in your life, in any area of your life, this one word principle is how you get there. And if you only embraced one mindset concept, this is what we’re talking about today. This is a mindset concept.
If you were to just ditch everything and just adopt this one mindset concept. This is the one that you should embody in everything that you do. Because if you do, your success is basically guaranteed, you basically cannot fail if you embody this one principle. Okay, I’m trying to be very dramatic and build this up. I don’t know why. But it’s fine, I guess. So I’ve probably teased this out enough for you.
So here’s the one word principle that you need to embody: discipline. That’s it. Discipline. That’s the word that I’ve chosen as my mantra for the year. That’s the word that’s taped to my monitor right now. And this is the way that you achieve success and anything that you want for yourself.
So what is discipline? The definition of discipline is to train oneself to do something in a controlled and habitual way. Another way of saying this, and I liked this definition a little better, it’s sticking to the plan, even when you don’t feel like it.
Alright, so your plan might call for chicken and salad for dinner tonight. But your husband just brought home a large pizza. And it smells amazing. And he opened up that box. And he said that pepperoni is all glistening with the grease on top of it and you can smell the cheese and you know how doughy that crust is going to be and how, oh my god, it’s like, you know, you just your whole brain is lit up now.
Your desire has increased like crazy. Being disciplined means in that moment, you eat your chicken and your salad because that’s what you said you were going to do. No one feels like eating chicken and salad when there’s pizza right there. But being disciplined means you do it anyway. Discipline means you go out and run for an hour because that’s what’s on your schedule. It said you run for an hour today. Even though it’s cold outside, even though it’s raining outside because your training plan says you run for an hour. That’s what you do no matter what.
Now I have an interesting story about this today. I have to tell him myself a little bit here. I run outside in whatever conditions and I have this whole training season I have for years actually And it’s very, very rare that I will ever skip a run. I really don’t skip runs but instead I’ll go run on a treadmill, which I have access to in my building there are a bunch of treadmills.
I could do this anytime I wanted to. But I don’t, I run outside. Today, I had this one, you know, hour block of time that I could run. And that was it. I didn’t, I don’t have time to go later. During that one hour block of time that I had to run, and I had to run an hour. During that one hour block of time, we were under a severe thunderstorm warning, there was lightning, the rain was coming down so hard with lightning and thunder, it was insane outside.
And I made the decision in that moment to go run on the treadmill. And that was a tough thing for me to do. Because I was like, oh man, I know that I need to be disciplined about this. And I know that I’ve committed to running outside no matter what. And I don’t mind getting wet. And it wasn’t warm outside. It wasn’t too cold, like 50 degrees, it was actually pretty decent temperature for like a rainy thunderstormy day.
But I was feeling really undisciplined about like not running outside. I was like, oh, I gotta go run on the treadmill. But then I started thinking about running on the treadmill. And I hate running on the treadmill. I hate it. I do not like it. The time on the treadmill just seems to go by so slowly. It’s not interesting for me, it’s boring.
My pace never really matches up to what I know my pace is like I can run at a certain heart rate. And I kind of know my paces. And on the treadmill, it’s like, you know, normally that’d be like a 10 minute mile or something like that, for me it’s a super easy pace. And on the treadmill, it’s like a 12 minute mile. I’m like, that’s not right. It’s not right. It’s boring. I don’t like the way it calculates my pace. It takes too long.
There’s all kinds of reasons why I don’t like the treadmill. So for me, being disciplined today meant putting aside my, whatever ego and getting my run in and doing it on the treadmill, just sucking it up and just, you know, not being a big baby about it. And just getting it done. And I did, that’s when I did I ran on the treadmill.
The only reason I didn’t run outside is because of the safety factor with all the lightning and stuff because I don’t mind getting wet, whatever, my skin is still waterproof. So I’m not concerned about that. I didn’t want to get struck by lightning. And it was pretty crazy out there this morning.
Okay, so being disciplined means you get it done. Even when you don’t feel like it. I didn’t feel like running on a treadmill, I did it anyway. Being disciplined means you do the things that you don’t want to do. So that you can become the person that you want to become. Discipline means choosing the hard things. When the easy thing is right there, the pizza, the couch, the warm bed, Netflix, the cookies, whatever that is for you.
Discipline means you are consistent with the way you eat, the way you train. How often you lift weights, when you go to bed, you’re consistent with reading and journaling and meditation and yoga and stretching, whatever that looks like for you. Whatever that thing is that helps you make progress towards your goals towards becoming that better future version of you. Doing that thing consistently takes discipline.
Alright, so what does this look like? How do you do it? How do you practice discipline, because discipline is a practice. It’s not something you just turn on. And then you’re like, good to go. It’s not something you say, well, I’m going to be disciplined. And then it’s just you never have to worry about it. It’s something you have to practice, just like learning to play an instrument takes practice or doing yoga, it takes practice.
I did yoga last night for the first time in a few weeks. It was hard, and I’m like, oh, I need to be more disciplined about yoga. I need to practice yoga more often. Because when I don’t do it for a while, it’s hard. Yoga is hard. Especially for runners. We are the tightest people in the world. So in order to be successful at anything, you have to have these three things, you have to have a plan, you have to take action and you have to get some kind of result.
Okay, this makes sense, right? So being disciplined means that you make a plan. Whatever that looks like for you, if you are wanting to lose weight, then you need to have a food plan. What is it you’re going to eat? What are you going to not eat? You know, if you’re used to eating pizza and cookies all the time. Maybe that’s something you got to take away.
So for you, making a plan might mean what foods you’re going to avoid and what foods you’re going to include. Right? Okay, so you make a plan. And then you take action on that plan, you work the plan. And this is where the majority of discipline happens, you’ve got to be disciplined about what you do, you will not feel like it, you will not feel like sticking to that plan, but you do it anyway. That’s discipline.
Because the only way you make progress is by taking action. The only way you achieve results is by taking action. And the way you take action consistently is discipline. All right, so you’ve made a plan, you’re taking action, you’re doing a consistently good job. Now you’re gonna get a result or not get a result. So what did all that action achieve for you? What are your results?
Is this what you want for yourself? Or are these results moving you closer to your goals or further away, so you got to analyze the results. And then if you need to course correct, make a change. Okay, then you repeat this process, you maybe tweak the plan, and then you start taking new action based on that new plan. And then you look at those results. And then you just keep doing this.
And modifying your plan, or course correcting, has to be part of the process. And this is part of the plan right here, this part of this process of being disciplined and getting results and achieving goals. The modifying your plan part is where a lot of people get stuck, because they try something, it may not work, you know, perfectly. And so they quit.
We don’t quit though, we look at the results. And if something isn’t working, we change something. Because a plan does not work 100% of the time for every person. That’s it. And we expect this, the people that I work with my coaching clients, we look at the results that we’re getting. And if something isn’t working, we freaking change it.
We change the plan. People are so afraid to do this, though. Why are you afraid to change the plan? Who cares? If what you’re doing isn’t working? Let’s try something different. Let’s make a small change here. Oh, you’re eating, you know, 80 grams of carbs a day? Well, let’s change that, you know, maybe you’re not improving your running speed that you want to, maybe we go to 100 grams and see how that works for you.
Maybe you need more protein in your diet. If what you’re doing is not giving you the results that you want, why do you keep doing? It doesn’t make any sense. But most people get stuck there. And that’s when they quit. And that’s one of the beautiful things about having a coach, whether it’s me or somebody else, having somebody there to help you look at the results and see specifically for you what kinds of things you can change to start getting some different results is really, really, really helpful. Okay, just keep that in mind.
Okay, so you have this plan, you’ve modified the plan, and now you’re taking, you’re practicing discipline, again, because you’re taking new action. And again, this is where most people give up, they don’t want to try different things. They’re not willing to go through this whole process of trial and error. But that’s the only way you figure out what works and what doesn’t, it’s the only way to accomplish anything – is you go to try something, see if it works or not, and then try something else and you just keep going.
This is one of the reasons why these fad diets don’t work because the same plan doesn’t work the same way for two different people. It just doesn’t they don’t work the same. People need to understand that. The same diet, whether it’s the Mediterranean diet, the South Beach diet, or whatever it is, doing it the exact same way for everybody will not work for everybody just doesn’t work that way. There’s no one diet that’s going to get everybody the same results never ever, ever going to happen.
Okay, so we make a plan. We take action, we work the plan. We do it, we stick to the plan, even when we don’t feel like it. That’s discipline. We look at our results. Do we need to change anything? Let’s be disciplined about analyzing results. Let’s be disciplined about making a new plan if we need to. And then take new action and rinse and repeat this process. Okay?
You cannot be afraid of this process. It’s how you accomplish everything you want in your life. In fact, it’s the only way to accomplish the things that you want in your life. And the only way. In the end, the key to accomplishing all these things is that backbone of discipline, right? Being willing to stick with the process of change, even when things don’t seem to be working the way you want them to requires discipline.
You have to be disciplined enough to make a change and keep going. being disciplined means you don’t quit If you don’t ever, ever, ever give up, you keep going, no matter what this can relate to losing weight, being disciplined about food, about when you eat, when you don’t eat, how often you eat, how many times a day you’re eating, how much food you’re eating, and each of those meals, how many carbs you’re eating a day, how many grams of protein, whatever that looks like for you.
Be disciplined about how you do that. Maybe you want to get faster as a runner, you got to be disciplined about running faster, you got to do the speed work, you got to do the hard work of pushing yourself hard past the point of, of comfort way past the point of comfort. Sometimes if you want to get faster. If you want to get stronger, you want to build muscle, you got to lift heavier weights, you can’t just keep lifting the same amount of weight and expecting to get stronger, it’s just not going to happen. You’re not going to have an adaptive response. You’ve got to lift heavier weights.
Same thing with your work with starting a business being an entrepreneur as your career. You want to be disciplined about or you want to achieve big things in your business life, you got to be disciplined about how you approach the work. And same thing with relationships, and raising children. Be disciplined about improving how you interact with your children, how you inspire them, how you motivate them, how you keep them on track.
Be disciplined about how you approach your relationship with your partner, be disciplined about communicating about expressing your feelings about expressing your wants and needs. So all these things, all these different areas of your life can be improved by practicing discipline. Now discipline gets a bad rap sometimes. Because people see discipline as being negative like they see it as a punishment.
And that’s like a definition of discipline. The practice of training people to obey rules is a code of behavior, using punishment to correct disobedience, like disciplining your child, right? This is clearly not the kind of discipline we’re talking about here. Okay. People think discipline means, you know, giving up all their freedom, you know, their free time, their sleep, not having any fun being miserable all the time, never being able to eat any good food.
Discipline is not negative. In fact, the opposite is true. Being disciplined means you gain massive amounts of freedom. When you’re disciplined with your time, and you use your time wisely, and strategically, then you have time for play and fun and Netflix. When you’re disciplined about what you eat, like 90-95% of the time, it means you can have the pizza or the cookie every now and then. And it’s no big deal. Because you know you’ve been disciplined the other 95% of the time.
Being disciplined means you have freedom to wear whatever you want at the beach this summer, because you’ve consistently done the hard work to improve your body composition. So you can take your shirt off or wear the two piece bikini or whatever it is for you. Right. Discipline is not a bad thing. It’s the means to achieving everything good that you want in your life.
Now, there are some negative consequences that go along with not being disciplined. Like if you lack discipline, you lack progress. You don’t make progress. If you lack discipline, you’re going to lack motivation. Because being disciplined actually creates motivation. You create progress, you get motivated, you lack progress, you lack motivation. If you lack discipline, you’re gonna lack consistency.
Discipline is how you stay consistent. Being disciplined is how you create massive consistency. If you lack discipline, you’re gonna lack mental toughness. You know, mental toughness is developed through this whole process of being disciplined. And if you lack discipline in one area of your life, chances are you’re going to lack discipline in most if not all areas of your life. Because how you do one thing is how you do everything, right?
And if you lack discipline, you will lack results, period. Now, the opposite is also true. There’s a beautiful positive ripple effect that happens when you practice discipline. When you practice discipline, you make progress. This increases your motivation, you become very consistent. You build mental toughness, you develop discipline in all areas of your life, you get the results that you’re looking for, or at least you get results and then you can kinda like tweak some things and then start to get better results you know, but the only way you make progress the only way you can achieve anything is by practicing discipline. Okay.
So just to recap, how do you do this? How do you practice being disciplined? Make a plan. So what are the steps required to get you from where you are to where you want to be. So if this is like losing weight, that’s your food plan. If this is improving your running performance, this is your running training schedule. So you make a plan, then you stick to the plan, no matter what.
You stick to the plan, even when you don’t feel like it. And then you look at your results. Am I moving closer to my goal or further away? Am I gaining weight? Am I losing weight? Are my runs improving? Am I getting faster, and then make changes if you need to tweak the plan, stick to that plan, analyze those results, rinse and repeat. Okay? I’ve chosen this word discipline as my one word mantra for the year. And I’m giving you permission to adopt it as your one word mantra for the year if you want as well.
Remember that whatever you want for yourself, whoever you want to become. Discipline is how you get there. That’s all I got for you today. Love you all. Keep on Running Lean, and I will talk to you soon.
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