Trying to lose weight in order to run faster?
Let me stop ya right there!
Let me tell you the truth...that may be the thing that hurts you the most!
Prioritizing weight loss instead of fueling for performance puts you at HUGE risk for injury & makes it harder for your body to work harder to hit faster times (since your body needs energy to do that!).
Each and every one of us have a "set point weight" which is a genetically pre-determined set of weights where your body is HEALTHIEST. For some of you, that range may be 120-130 pounds, for some of you it may be 190-210 pounds... it can be a small range or a large range, it can be a lower number or a higher number. It doesn't matter to your body because since it's your body's set point, that is the healthiest weight range for your unique body.
So why is it when you are at a weight lower than your set point is your performance jeopardized?
Being below set point sets you up for injury risk due to hormonal imbalances, added stress to the body & reduced energy availability for healing/recovery. Menstruating women have the benefit of monitoring the regularity of their period as a sign that they are eating too little.
However, even if your period has not been affected, eating too little puts your body at risk for injury. Even before you lose your period you are at risk for injury because as we have lower energy availability, our body is producing less estrogen which protects our bones. Let's think about this...do you think you can get faster by getting injured? That makes no sense! So therefore we know focusing on restriction is not going to help us get faster.
Let's think about Olympians
Do you think Olympians are restricting their calories to get that Olympic body? Or do you think they are training, sleeping, fueling and doing all the things that they can to support their body. You can bet that they are eating and living their life in a way to support their body. They are not restricting on myfitnesspal. When you are restricting, your body is not going to have the energy to rebuild muscle. When we rebuild muscle we are becoming a stronger, fitter athlete. Your body will also not have the energy to refuel your workout, which means you will not be able to push your performance.
We have to realize that nutrition helps our performance and performance is going to help our nutrition. We need to let go of the belief that we need to lose weight to run faster. You are not going to get faster...you are going to hurt yourself. If you want to get faster, you don't need to restrict, you need to stop obsessing over your weight, stop obsessing over food and learn to fuel like the athlete that you are.
This what I do in my group coaching program. I work with women who are so afraid to eat food and I help them to challenge these irrational thoughts. We talk through the science so we learn through nutrition how to build a plate that is going to nourish us. We do the hard work so you can stop focusing on weight and start focusing on fueling. If you are interested in my coaching program click here and we can talk about it together!