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Running to Lose Weight: Rules to Remember

running

We’ve all heard it, “The only way I lose weight is when I run.” Although it’s true that running is a very effective way to lose weight, there are some golden rules to follow for those using running as a weight loss tool. While these rules are directed primarily to first time runners or those returning to run after a year or longer hiatus from it, several of them still apply to all runners looking to shed a few by pounding the pavement.

1) Define your running goal, not just your weight loss goal. What this means is be more specific than saying you want to start running in order to lose ten pounds. Instead, clearly state how much running you want to be able to do (how many times a week, for how long, the type of workouts) and how long you expect it to take to get there. For example, “I am running 4 times a week for at least 3 miles each run by July 1, 2014.” Next, define how you will get there, such as “I build up my runs each week with a run/walk program.”


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Work it Off: 3 Ways to Burn Off the 90 Calories in a Cup of Yoplait Light Yogurt

There are a number of reason’s that Yoplait Light Key Lime Pie flavored yogurt might not be considered healthy. There’s the strange light green coloring (pretty sure it’s not natural) and the 10 grams of sugar. But, it’s clearly a healthier choice than some other snacks I’ve been known to indulge in, like donuts!

yog

This past week while at the grocery store I saw there was a special on these yogurts. Ten for $5 or something like that—a deal that’s hard to pass up. Add in the fact that things were downright warm in Portland and this seemed like a fitting treat. So I grabbed a few and went on my way. I’ve been enjoying the yogurts all week and, aside from the fact that they’re not exactly natural, they’re a fairly healthy treat: No corn syrup, 20% of the daily recommended value of calcium, and just 90 calories.


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Work it Off: 3 Ways to Burn Off the 400 Calories in a Donut

You know how sometimes you just want a donut? This is a feeling I actually have a lot–basically every time I walk past the bakery section of the grocery store. I usually don’t give in, but sometimes I do because, you know, everything in moderation—even donuts.

burn donut

On a recent trip to the grocery store I gave in. And it was totally worth it. I picked a cake donut that had chocolate frosting and sprinkles because if you’re going to go, go big. I savored the treat, making sure I wasn’t distracted while eating. I really wanted to enjoy every bite. And I did. Indulging at the start of my shopping trip probably helped me keep from filling my cart with unnecessary items. I purchased a bunch of produce and some kitchen staple but nothing baked or packaged.
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Work it Off: Burn Through a 600-Calorie Plate of Nachos

There are certain weeks when my “TGIF” attitude carries over to what I eat. This past Friday was a good example of this. I’d worked hard for the past 5 days and when Friday rolled around I was ready to unwind. I met up with some friends and ordered one of my favorite comfort foods—nachos.

burn nachos

To me, few things feel as good—or bad—as a heaping plate of nachos. You’ve got the crunchy pile of corn chips. The warm black beans and melted cheese. The salsa and, if you’re really lucky, guacamole. On last night’s order there was even a healthy helping of pulled pork. Delish!

Luckily I shared the snack—which actually served as dinner—but the calorie count of this one was a real doozy: Somewhere around 1,200 calories for the gooey plate. That means I ate around 600 calories worth of nachos in one sitting. Ouch!


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Work It Off: 3 Ways to Burn off 533 Calories from an Order of Tater Tots

For me, bad weather in Portland generally spells the start of bowling season. I play in a weekly winter league with 5 of my friends. Our team name is “The Thunderballs”, and what we lack in skill we more than make up for with laughs and good conversation. This past week I was running late and didn’t have time to eat dinner before arriving at the alley. I scanned the menu for something healthy and, finding nothing, ordered chicken tenders with a side of tater tots. My teammates arrived, and one by one, more orders of tots appeared on the table. Without meaning to, our team of 6 wound up with at least 4 big plates of the deep fried potato poppers.

tater tots

It turns out greasy hands—and slippery bowling balls—is just one hazard of this type of meal: Tater tots have 160 calories per 9-piece order, and each plate came with 50 or so tots. I would gauge my consumption at around 30 tots, or 533 calories. And that’s not including the dipping sauces, which included ketchup and ranch dressing that evening.


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