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How to Start Running to Lose Weight and Avoid Injuries

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Megan Lyons is a wellness, and running coach, from Dallas, Texas and the voice behind Lyons’ Share. Through her personalized, one-on-one Health Coaching, she helps people achieve their healthiest and happiest selves by finding the balance of nutrition and fitness that works for their unique body. She empowers busy people who successfully balance work, family, social life, and many other commitments, but who have been up and down the diet roller coaster, to finally reach their health goals and feel confident about their bodies.

She firmly believes in the concept of “bioindividuality” which is the awareness of one’s specific health and diet needs based on their body composition and lifestyle. After graduating from Harvard University and doing her MBA from the prestigious Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, she completed a full-year program to become a Certified Health Coach/ Certified Holistic Nutritionist from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition.

CureJoy had the privilege to interview the ever “effervescent” Megan to get some valuable insights on what are the common pitfalls, precautions and expectations for anyone who wishes to adopt Running as a means to achieve their Health goals. Here are some excerpts from the discussion:

 

Q: Do you notice a trend to lose weight quickly, without working on the “real” factors of diet and lifestyle?

Yes, I do often see potential clients who are looking for a “quick fix.”  Our culture today is built upon instant gratification, and if there is an easy way to do something, people are excited to take advantage of it. While I’m all about automating things in our businesses or day-to-day lives, when it comes to our bodies and our health, it is a completely different story.

Any diet pill or magic weight loss solution on the market is simply too good to be true, and in many cases, can be dangerous.  True, healthy weight loss does not have to be difficult – in fact, I work with my clients to make only one simple change every single week, so it never feels overwhelming – but it does not happen overnight.  For most people, a healthy range of weight loss is around 1-2 pounds per week.  For those with a higher total amount of weight to lose, it’s often possible to lose faster than that, but most diets that offer immediate weight loss will lead to re-gaining after the individual comes off of the diet.

I always tell people to be patient with themselves – it took your body a while to put on the weight, so it’s OK if it takes several weeks, or even months, to lose it.  If you are doing it in a way that is healthy, sustainable, and doesn’t feel restrictive, it will definitely be worth it.

Q: Being an avid runner yourself, do you feel that overall fitness, and not weight loss, should be the long term goal of any regimen?

If an individual is just looking to lose weight, there are far easier ways to do it than signing up to run a marathon or other long-distance race.  In fact, many people who run marathons end up gaining weight during training!  (I talk about the topic in this blog post).

If done carefully, though, people can sign up for and train for running races while losing weight!  In these cases, the motivation of completing the distance successfully is often very helpful to continuing the weight loss journey.  I think the overall answer depends on the person’s starting place and goals – if you only want to lose weight, I would recommend a different training regimen; if you want to lose weight and run, you can do it – carefully!; if your main goal is the running, then I recommend focusing on overall fitness rather than weight loss.

 

Q: What the common pitfalls of jumping on the “weight loss” bandwagon with gusto and over enthusiasm?

Unfortunately, I see many beginning runners think that they need to run every single day, or that their pace should improve on every single run, or that every run needs to be a further distance than the previous run.  In almost all of these cases, the runner will end up either injured or burned out mentally, and will stop running before completing the program.

Injuries like runner’s knee, achilles tendonitis, plantar fasciitis, and shin splints are all common in runners who try to do too much too soon.  The injuries extend to other forms of exercise, too.  When starting an exercise program, I always advise people to start slowly, build gradually, and most importantly, listen to your body.

 

Q: Would you stress a bit on why you feel “bio individuality” has to be the crux of our health finding mission?

This is one of my favorite questions to be asked, and also one of the reasons people wind up so confused about nutrition in general.  Many of my clients who come to me for health coaching feel so overwhelmed by the conflicting nutritional research that gets published, and can’t figure out which path to follow for themselves.

For example, on any given day, you might see a study that touts the benefits of a “Paleo”-type diet, which is often heavy on meat, and a study that demonstrates increased health and longevity of those who follow a vegan diet (with no animal products).  How is this possible?  Simply put, it’s all about balance, and finding out what works for a person’s unique body chemistry, preferences, and lifestyle.  If there were one “perfect solution” to the diet conundrum, we would not have so many best-selling books, flashy news articles, and more – these often exist because the authors have found something that works for them and they think can be applied to the rest of the world.

Some people might thrive on a diet that makes others feel terrible, and the only way to determine this is through self experimentation.  There are a few things that I think are beneficial to everyone (namely, water, vegetables, and some form of movement), but aside from that, each person is different.

Q: People today are adopting diets based on hearsay. What advice would you like to give to them?

Like I said above, it is all about finding the unique balance that works for your body.  It is a great thing to pay attention to nutritional research and learn about health trends, but the most important thing is to absorb all the information available and choose the pieces that work for each individual.

I am a big proponent of self-experimentation – if you read a study that sounds intriguing, why not try that on yourself for a few weeks and notice how you feel?  Pay attention to things like digestion, energy levels, cravings, satiation, exercise performance, and more.  If you need guidance, working with a health coach or other trained professional is often a great place to start.

When I work with my clients, I can help them sort through the research and trends, guide them to feel their best, and provide motivation and accountability along the way.

 

Megan Lyons

Megan Lyons is a wellness, and running coach, from Dallas, Texas and the voice behind Lyons' Share. Through her personalized, one-on-one Health Coaching, she helps people achieve their healthiest and happiest selves by finding the balance of nutrition and fitness that works for their unique body.

Megan Lyons

Megan Lyons is a wellness, and running coach, from Dallas, Texas and the voice behind Lyons' Share. Through her personalized, one-on-one Health Coaching, she helps people achieve their healthiest and happiest selves by finding the balance of nutrition and fitness that works for their unique body.

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Josula Kameshwar Rao
Josula Kameshwar Rao 5pts

I feel brisk walking is a better option than running. Please give it a thought. But the walk has to be BRISK.

Ayurveda
Ayurveda 5pts

Good Morning Puja Jaiswal! :)

Ayurveda
Ayurveda 5pts

:) Easier said than done!

Radonna Honey
Radonna Honey 5pts

Move on and diet as well !!! Don't give up !!

Colleen Coccia
Colleen Coccia 5pts

I don't think running is the answer for me!!! Lol! :-)

Puja Jaiswal
Puja Jaiswal 5pts

Good morning Ayurveda & all beautiful people have a fabulous day ☺☺

Azlan Salar
Azlan Salar 5pts

I think it is a good article, thank you. I jog/run minimum 5 days a week initially to lose weight. I think I have lost about 2 or 3 pounds in the last 2 months (I am 1.6meters and weigh 156kgs) which I felt wasn't much. But my clothes fit much better and I look toned and fit. Plus I have noticed increased energy levels and just being better able to deal with stress. I now just execise for this reason rather than losing pounds in a week and your article has encouraged me to continue to do so.


http://topweightlossfast.blogspot.com/

Mary Summers
Mary Summers 5pts

do you ever take notice to animals..they only run to catch food...running will only wear your body out faster than it should....so over rated. a good walk is so much better and relaxing,,,

Bridget Finn Coyle
Bridget Finn Coyle 5pts

Didn't you just share an article about not running to loose weight lol

Sara Brisby
Sara Brisby 5pts

What's up with all the spam and advertising? Do that on your own pages.

Suzy Rodgers
Suzy Rodgers 5pts

It is all very well, losing this fat, but this program (http://weightcontrol.healthymethodcenter.com) also shows you ways in which you can tone your muscles and your body so that not only are you losing the weight, but you are also shaping up your body too. I started to notice the difference in just a couple of weeks and by the end of the program, the results were startling. I hadn’t seen my uncle for a year and when he came to visit for Easter, he didn’t even recognize me at all! This is how good the program is.

Jenny Feshaven
Jenny Feshaven 5pts

Clean your internal health! Weight loss doesn't have to be torture. I mean, I lost a good 25 pounds just through a natural method (http://www.fullhealthguru.com/health) and still enjoyed all my favorite meals. The key is to detox because so much of our food these days is filled with chemicals we don't need, and super processed. The key is going natural because the weight will return otherwise!

Sam Kanda
Sam Kanda 5pts

Should be easy ur telling way

Briana Brosnan
Briana Brosnan 5pts

Lol-- seriously? How about get off your ass and start running?? How to lose weight by running?!? Eh, you run... Duh

Vk Verma
Vk Verma 5pts

How can I inc. Mass on body

Vince Krause
Vince Krause 5pts

poorly titled... article has nothing to do with title...

Suman Aggarwal
Suman Aggarwal 5pts

Medium pace jogging is good up to 40 years age. After this even jogging is not good. The best exercise is medium pace walking for 30-60 minutes on the road (preferably).

Madhu Sharma
Madhu Sharma 5pts

I read in last month about homeo pathy med.of weight loos eny one plz.write again

Imaan Gi
Imaan Gi 5pts

Tos kho mo na namanay kezhai