How to Run and Lose Weight–Sounds Easy, But it’s Not

I started running, in part, because I was born with a good appetite and running allowed me to eat without feeling deprived. But the more I ran, the hungrier I got. I even gained weight while training for marathons, which isn’t all that uncommon. Not all of my running friends fall into this category wanting to know how to run and lose weight but some do.

My running journal says that generally for every pound of body weight you shed, you gain 2 seconds of speed per mile. Considering varying experiences with my weight and races, this is probably pretty accurate. On my 5’2″ frame, 5 to 7 pounds makes a big difference. Based on this equation, 5 extra pounds over the course marathon works out to be 4.37 minutes slower (or 4.37 minutes faster if you’ve lost weight).

Last spring, my husband and I did the Whole 30 diet and we stuck to it like glue. I ended up losing about 5 pounds which put me in a good position for my spring half-marathons.

But over the summer I trained for two sprint triathlons and my appetite went through the roof, like I was training for a marathon. I gained my 5 pounds back. What a paradox.

Paul to the Rescue

After a long run with my running group the other week, Paul asked how my run was. I told him it was okay but I wasn’t feeling my best because of the extra weight.

That’s when he told me about the Fast Metabolism Diet. Paul had taken a hiatus from running and was now training for a marathon and trying to lose weight too. The Fast Metabolism Diet says that if you follow the program you can lose up to 20 pounds in 28 days. Paul said that he lost 10 pounds in the first week!

On the Fast Metabolism Diet, you eat primarily fruit and carbs the first two days; then vegetables and protein the next two days; and finally a combination of fruit, carbs, vegetables, protein, and healthy fats for the last three days. Follow this sequence four times, which brings you to 28 days total. The premise is to jump start your metabolism by switching things up, much like with cross-training.

The creator of this diet, Haylie Pomroy, seems to have good credentials and experience to back up her theory. Some of it reminds me of Whole 30 because there are certain rules like no soy, dairy, wheat, corn, sugar, caffeine, or alcohol, and there is a lot of preparation.

Giving it a Try

To prepare for this new diet adventure, I spent hours planning out what to eat for this week and grocery shopping. It almost made me give up before I even started and just go back to the old-fashioned way of losing weight–just eat a little less.

To be fair, it isn’t any more work than anything else such as Whole 30 or Weight Watchers. I’m just not that into meal planning.

Grocery Shopping

The app is helpful though. It allows you to click on recipes from her cookbook and it automatically records how many fruits, carbs, vegetables, protein, etc. is in that recipe. It also creates a shopping list, which is helpful minus one caveat. The shopping list is organized by recipe rather than by produce, grains, meat, etc. so it’s hard to keep track of everything you need to get when you’re in the grocery store.

Today I spent time in the kitchen meal prepping for the week, which wasn’t as time-consuming as I thought it would be. I made steel cut oatmeal for the mornings, ground turkey for lunches this week, and a vegetable tomato sauce to go with rice pasta for dinner tomorrow night.

No Coffee??

Just to let you all know that the Fast Metabolism Diet says coffee is not allowed because it stresses your adrenal glands and the adrenal glands play a role in regulating blood sugar. Haylie Pomroy says caffeine pushes the body past its healthy state of energy, constantly stealing from your reserves, leaving you depleted and without resources for when you really need energy.


I plan to keep you posted on my progress with this diet and how it impacts running. However, coffee was allowed on Whole 30 and research has shown benefits of drinking coffee such as decreased risk for Type II diabetes, heart disease, certain cancers, depression, and more. Plus, I’m just not ready to give it up yet. So, keep that in mind as I share my results.


Running and weight loss is often harder than one might think because the energy demands of our sport can leave us feeling depleted if we don’t eat enough. To lose weight while running not only means we are hungry dieters. We can end up as ravenous runners who often push too hard at whatever goal we’ve set for ourselves in life who end up burnt out and grumpy for a little while. Is it worth those moments when runs feel like you’re flying or you set a new PR? It’s a tricky balance for sure but I for one would much rather keep trying because I never regret shooting for a little of that magic.





10 thoughts on “How to Run and Lose Weight–Sounds Easy, But it’s Not”

  1. I found your post most encouraging and helpful. As an aging runner and one who wants to lose some pounds it was quite motivating to keep me going. You explained everything is great detail and I hope to follow in your footsteps! Thank you!

  2. I’m nor sure if I’m familiar with the Fast Metabolism Diet. But if you can lose weight like you claim here? Wow. I have to look into this because I am a type 2 diabetic looking to lose weight. I’m hoping this is not one of those very difficult diets to follow. Is it hard to follow and stay on? I’d really like to know. Thank you!

    1. Hi Rob! Thanks for the comment. I’m only on day 2 of the diet but so far it’s not too hard to follow. The hardest part is all the planning but the recipes in the cookbook are pretty easy to prepare. After one day, I already have much less bloating so, so far so good. I’ll keep you posted how the rest of the diet goes!

  3. Great article. I like the fact that you pointed out the coffee is good for the heart. I have also been writing about it because it can help people should they know when to drink it.

  4. Hi, Thank you for the informative article. I had not heard of Fast Metabolism Diet before but I am very interested. I love running and I like to try and eat fresh and healthy when I can so this sounds like a combination I can embrace. I really like the idea of the app as a recorder and as a motivator. I will keep you posted on how I do.

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