Blog Posts by The Editors of Runner's World

  • “I Lost Over 140 Pounds by Running!”

    Molly Jordan, after her 140 pound weight lossMolly Jordan, after her 140 pound weight lossNAME: Molly Jordan
    AGE: 26
    OCCUPATION: Environmental Consultant
    HOMETOWN: Toledo, Ohio
    FAMILY: Mother, sister, brother-in-law, and a 2-year-old niece

    What prompted you to start working out?
    I woke up one morning weighing almost 300 pounds and decided I didn't want to be fat anymore. There were only a few stores I could shop at to buy clothes (which was going to get harder if I kept on the same path). I was wearing a size 26 pants and 2X to 3X tops, and going to the mall was almost always upsetting walking past the store where the "tiny people" shopped. I remember going to bars a couple times with friends who were all skinny and knowing no guys were looking at me or would even give me a chance.

    How did you start?
    In October 2011, I started using an iPhone app to count calories and started doing a Wii fitness game. In June 2012, a friend gave me a pass to her gym and I ended up joining and working out that day. I had always wanted to run, but knew I was too heavy to do it, and when I would try,

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  • How to Read a Food Label

    Here's how to make healthier choices by quickly picking out important information from the nutrition facts panel.Here's how to make healthier choices by quickly picking out important information from the nutrition facts panel.Like many health-conscious shoppers, it takes me a little longer in the grocery store than you might imagine. Coupons? Check. Thoroughly inspect every square inch of produce? On it. Wrangle an 11-month-old? Done. Read every nutrition facts panel and ingredient list? No problem! You see, once you become familiar with the food label, shopping for healthy fuel really isn't as time-consuming as you might think. This article will help you decode the label in order to determine which foods should come home with you and which should stay on the grocer's shelves.

    PLUS: Your Ultimate Supermarket Survival Guide

    Here's how to read the nutrition facts panel and the food label:

    Start at the top: The first place to start when you look at the nutrition facts panel is the serving size and the number of servings in the container. In general, serving sizes are standardized in order to make it easier to compare similar foods; they are provided in familiar units, such as cups or pieces, followed

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  • "Running Helped Me Lose 146 Pounds and Overcome Asthma!"

    BJ Keeton, after losing 146 pounds!BJ Keeton, after losing 146 pounds!NAME: B.J. Keeton (@professorbeej)
    AGE: 30
    OCCUPATION: College English Instructor and Sci-Fi/Fantasy Author
    HOMETOWN: Lawrenceburg, Tennessee
    FAMILY: Wife, Jennifer; Mom, Judy

    What prompted you to start working out?
    My wife and I went to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter during the summer of 2010, and the attendant could barely click the safety harness of the roller coaster over my gut--and I was in the plus-sized seat. My seat only clicked once; everyone else's clicked three times. I thought I was going to fall out of the seat and die. At that moment in the amusement park, I knew my life had to change. I couldn't let my weight--which I had never cared about that much before-hold me back from living my life. I was 27 years old and a newlywed. I had my whole life in front of me. I needed to be able to enjoy it.

    How did you start?

    By walking. I downloaded the Couch-to-5K app and tried that. But it wanted me to run for 60 seconds at a time, and I just couldn't do it. So

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  • How to Fuel for Your Race Day

    Many people assure me it's not strange to have a recurring nightmare. They insist they too suffer from such nightmares, and then dive into a tale of a college course they forgot to drop until it was too late or a classroom they couldn't find on the day of the final exam. Being a sports RD and a runner, my recurring nightmare is a little bit different: Race day has arrived, but I can't find my ticket for the Metro or Staten Island Ferry, and I forgot to pack my gels, blocks, and pre-race breakfast. Covered in a deep sweat, I thrash about, wondering, "How will I finish my carbo-load, if I didn't pack my pre-race bagel!?"

    Even seasoned racers occasionally forget their gels, bib, clothing, shoes--you name it. I'll openly admit that I once arrived in Manhattan days before the New York City marathon only to find that I left my gels sitting on the kitchen counter at home. I kicked myself the entire way to REI, where I picked up some packets for the next day's event, and as I did so, I came

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  • The Golden Rules of Weight Loss

    Exercising keeps you fit, healthy, and happy, but to lose real weight, you also have to focus on what you eat.Exercising keeps you fit, healthy, and happy, but to lose real weight, you also have to focus on what you eat.Runners know the miles they log on the pavement, trails, and the treadmill are great for keeping them fit and healthy. High on the list of the sport's many virtues? It is an amazing tool for weight control. But weight loss is a different story. Because you run, you may think you can eat whatever you want and still drop pounds. Unfortunately, that's not true. Running is only half of the equation. You have to look hard at what and how you eat, too.

    Leslie Bonci, M.P.H., R.D., pinpoints eight crucial nutrition rules of weight loss in Run Your Butt Off!, a new Runner's World book for beginning runners who are coming to the sport to lose weight. Bonci's advice can help any runner who wants to lose weight--whether it's five pounds or 25. She'll show you how to track your food intake, space meals to ward off hunger, and honestly reckon with the calories you consume in a day (brace yourself). These methods were tested by real runners who overhauled their eating habits and shed dozens of

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  • The Truth About 8 Confusing Weight Loss Tips

    Here's the skinny on treadmill calorie counts, "fat genes," the 100-calorie-a-mile myth, and more.

    Q: Are the calorie-burn readouts on machines accurate?
    A: Not always. If you run on a treadmill, glide on an elliptical, or ride a stationary bike, the number of calories you actually burn can be 10 to 15 percent lower than what's displayed, says Pete McCall, an exercise physiologist with the American Council on Exercise. Most machines don't take into account percent body fat, height, sex, age, resting heart rate, or whether you're holding onto the handles, which reduces workload. That doesn't mean you should totally ignore the stats on the exercise machines. Use the calorie readout as a barometer of your progress. If the number goes up from one session to the next for the same workout, you know you're working harder toward your weight-loss goals.

    Q: Am I doomed by genetics to battle my weight?

    A: No. It's true that some people are predisposed to having a slower metabolism, and others

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  • “I Became a Runner and Lost 80 Pounds!”

    Running helped Ruffian Rhodes build a new future and lose 80 pounds!Running helped Ruffian Rhodes build a new future and lose 80 pounds!NAME: Ruffin Rhodes
    AGE: 53
    OCCUPATION: Architect/Business Owner
    HOMETOWN: Oviedo, FL
    FAMILY: wife, Sarah; daughter, Alisha (20 yrs.); son, Andrew (19 yrs.)

    What prompted you to start working out?

    In January of 2008, at the age of 49, I was 5'6" and 250 pounds and was already on high blood pressure medication. Diabetes had run in my family. I'd watched my father inject insulin three times a day and seen him struggle with hypertension and numerous other obesity-related ailments, finally succumbing to congestive heart failure. I knew diabetes was knocking on my door. I have a wife and two children, and I knew if I didn't start doing something, I would be next.

    How did you start?
    I started walking, stopped eating fast food, and began counting calories. A year later, he joined a gym and started working out on an elliptical trainer, lifting weights, and eventually running. I began getting up at 4 a.m. to challenge my commitment. On mornings when I just want to stay in bed, I force myself

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  • 8 Best Post-Workout Beers

    .There's no replacing the nutritional boost of a protein smoothie with electrolytes after a run. But there's also no substitute for the joy of a cold beer after a hard workout. Here are eight delicious American craft beers that can satisfy any palate; from the light-beer lover to hardcore hop head.

    Session Lager
    Pop open the stubby brown bottle and enjoy this true American-style pilsner. Unlike bland, similarly light-colored, mass-produced beers with "pilsner taste," this beer from the craft brewers at Full Sail has sweet, bready barley with a light, spicy hops touch. Made with the same care as an IPA or imperial stout, this seemingly simple beer is an amazing crowd-pleaser and thirst-quencher.

    Our tasters say: "Very refreshing with light hops." "A great beer to drink cold!"

    PLUS: The Surprising Truth About a Post-Workout Beer

    Sly Fox Royal Weisse

    First off, don't hate the can. This lined aluminum chills faster, keeps beer fresher, and won't shatter if it slips from your sweaty

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  • Top 6 Diet Rules for Ultimate Fitness Results

    When you start exercising regularly, you might have to revamp some of your everyday eating habits in order to feel your best while you're working out and achieve the best workout results. Here are some general diet rules to pair with your workout plan.

    1. Go on empty (sometimes).
    What you eat before you hit the road or the gym all depends on when you're exercising and what kind of workout you're planning. Many people don't have the time--or the stomach--to eat and digest food before a workout, especially if that workout is taking place in the early morning. For an easy workout of one hour or less, going without food or drink probably won't do you any harm. (Just make sure you're staying hydrated.) But for any event that's longer or more intense, preworkout fuel is critical. Go out on empty and you'll fatigue sooner, plus you'll have a much tougher time meeting your goals.

    BEWARE: The Truth About Running on Empty for Weight Loss

    2. Keep it simple. So what's the perfect preworkout

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  • “How I Outran Diabetes and Dropped 6 Dress Sizes!”

    NAME: Aurea Nicolet-Dones

    AGE: 29
    OCCUPATION: Program Manager
    HOMETOWN: Puyallup, WA
    FAMILY: Husband, Jake, and children Aurea (2010) and Koben (2013)

    How and why did you start?

    My running life started with a trip to the emergency room. My blood sugar was three times higher than normal levels. I had been diagnosed with diabetes two years earlier, and was on oral medication and a low-carb diet. But in the midst of working, getting a cold, and taking care of my five-month-old daughter, I hadn't been as vigilant about my medication and blood sugar checks. At the ER, a doctor explained that high blood sugar could lead to coma or even death, and put her on insulin. That was it. I decided I was not going to let this disease beat me," she says. "I was not going to spend the rest of my life taking insulin. So I started walking regularly, then running on a treadmill, then entering some local 5-Ks. Now, I'm down to 179 pounds. I went from a size 22 to a size 10. I have finished a few

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