Reader Question: What I lift, What I eat
Reader Liz emailed and asked,
How do you keep your arms so toned? Do you lift weights as well as run?
I remember reading that you love salad, do you eat a salad every day? I’m just trying to decide what foods I need to eat; I just started training for another half marathon and I’m finding myself to be super hungry ALL the time.
Thanks for the email, Liz. When I’m home and in my regular routine, I try to take at least one barre class a week. I dig Xtend Barre and my friend Bri’s classes, although I haven’t taken one since I’ve been back. need to get back into it…
We use really, really light weights (I use 2 pounders) but do exercise after exercise without any breaks to fatigue the muscles. It’s definitely high reps (pulsing) and low weights, and I’m always surprised at how sore I am afterwards. Xtend barre is all about keeping your muscles contracted and tight throughout all the movements so it’s a great core workout as well.
Here’s a one minute collage of different Xtend exercises. Some of them look wimpy, but you do them the correct way and bam, they’re killer.
I also try to take one BodyPump-type class a week at my gym, but I’m much worse at that and tend to skip out a lot of times. Even though there’s a lot of reps (a squat track can be 4-5 minutes!), you use heavier weights so it seems like a good balance to the barre classes. Now if only I could actually get myself there.
As far as eating, when at home I do eat a salad almost everyday for lunch. A big salad with a ton of salty toppings is one of my favorite meals and having it daily at the same time is a no-brainer way for me to get in servings of vegetables without even thinking.
I’m a volume eater so I prefer to eat larger portions of nutrition foods rather than a smaller portion of something else. My family knows that when I’m home, they better bust out the large salad bowl trough. So I’ll usually choose a salad with a grilled chicken breast rather than the burger and share the fries with my husband. Because a life without fries would be a life not worth living.
Running is a big calorie burner so when you increase your distance, your hunger will increase as well to compensate… long distance running isn’t always the weight loss tool that some think.
I don’t deprive myself or cut out any foods, but I do try to choose the more nutritious option whenever available – that whole liking to eat lots and lots thing. It’s all about balance and moderation: easy to say, hard to do. There’s no point in starving all day but you want to fuel yourself in the best way too.
For me, I can skip out on cheese. Sure, it’s good and tasty and all, but it doesn’t butter my biscuit; same thing for pasta. Fries? Oh no, I put a hurt on those all the time every time. Any gummy candy, same deal. It’s all about deciding what you’re going to spend your extra calories on.
Lastly, don’t deprive yourself: fuel your body with mostly nutritious foods and some “fun” foods, refuel within 30 minutes of a run with carbs and proteins to rebuild your muscles, and hydrate so you don’t mistake your thirst for hunger.