diet advice for plump newbie!

Hi all!


Long story short (ish), after having a baby and pigging while sitting on my bum feeding, i managed to become about 6 stone overweight.  I havenever been small but have always been muscley and fit due to working with horses, so being unfit has floored me!


In Febuary i signed up for the GNR.  I have never run before and it came as a shock to the system just how bad the situation was, with the effect i couldn't run for 3 mins straight.  I began getting knee and muscle pains and decided i would have to shift some weight first.  I have lost 3 stone on a very low calorie diet (about 600 calories a day max) and have started running again - what a difference!  I love it, i can go out and am currently following a training plan and am upto about 18 miles a week, with 6 miles as my long run. 

I am determined to do the race, i have no pain at all and tbh, i am kinda making it up as i go along, running the majority but also walking if i have to.  I am not aiming for Usain Bolt times (!) but just aim to complete (hopefully under 3 days...!).


My question is;  I have noticed i run better if i eat something, but obviously still have weight to shift.  I feel i am beginning to need more in my diet, but have no idea what i should be eating to help me in my training whilst maintaining my weight loss.  So any ideas?



have no tasty nibbles for reading this far, but can unearth some mini rolls for the deserving and a G&T!


  • Fruit and fibre. Glass of milk after running. Nothing beige (chips, pasty, bread, etc). You only use c. 300 kCals /hour (approx). So you need to stay in deficit to lose weight. Good luck.
  • mathschickmathschick ✭✭✭

    600 cals a day is not enough! You need to eat a bit more, plenty of veg and some fruit, and go for things like brown rice which are filling. I know when I was very overweight half of my problem was portion size. Maybe try weighing out your food and to get the right amount for a while till you get used to it. It might help you to go to a group like weightwatchers - I have been in the past and found it very useful and supportive. Really hard to pluck up the courage to go at first, but I think what it taught me more than anything was what the right amount of food to eat was, I had lost all perspective of how much I needed.

    As PSC said, running doesn't really use up a massive amount of calories unless you are doing really long distances/going really fast, so don't fall into the trap of 'rewarding' yourself and thinking it is ok to have that chocolate bar/bag of crisps/whatever because you have been for a run.

    Good luck

  • Never have a reward after exercise.  Whoever put you on a 600 calorie diet needs kicking.

    @PSC - could you clarify "you only use 300 kCals/hour", please?

  • Congratulations on what you have done so far, sounds like you're determined enough to succeed, but ditch the 600 cal diet, you should be eating the normal calorie intake for your height and age and allowing your daily exercise to burn the calories off, as long as the fuel you use is greater than the fuel you take in you will lose weight, but a lack of fuel in the first place will make exercise difficult and could increase your chance of injury. Also the timimg of your exercise and eating is important, I find carbs before and proteins after works well for me, trial and error will tell you what's best for you 

  • Well done on your weight loss so far, you are doing so well.

    I too had 6 stone to lose so I understand what you are going through. I have lost 5 so far and the loss is getting slower the closer I get to target, but I was prepared for that and am happy as long as I am being active.

    600 calories a day will certainly work to start with but it is a dangerously low figure for sustained weight loss, especially if you are asking your body to run on top of that. It is very tempting to drop the calorie intake as low as possible to get the weight off, but it is better to try to be patient and set yourself up for a healthy future.

    I used my kids as inspiration and imagined them eating the same foods as me when they are my age - and going through the same range of emotions, struggles, etc. It was enough for me to bin the faddy diet products and get into the kitchen to cook up some "proper" food. I serve them the same food as me, as much as possible, and try to set a good example, which is not so much about how much I weigh but more about how I "use" food.

    Best of luck wiith your weight loss journey, it will take time but you will get there in the end and your life will be transformed. You can do it!

  • MillsyMillsy ✭✭✭
    300 cals per hour seems very low. I know it differs a lot with weight/ pace etc but i've seen lots of reports that say its approx 100 cal per mile which seems to back up the estimates on my Garmin and other tracking sites. That works out at about 600 cals per hour (approx) for an average runner.
  • 600 cals per day is extremely low, conventional wisdom seems to be that 1200 cals is about as low as is safe to go for sustainable change, and even that would be 1200 + additional consumption to replace those burnt through exercise, giving you 1200 cals to fuel your body for the rest of the day.

    I know a lady who managed to lose a similar amount on one of these 600cal per day diets - it was effectively a starvation diet consisting of special soups which attempt to cover essential vitamins and minerals - however she put the weight back on again after the diet. Reading around indicates that this is typical with crash diets.

    Well done Georgie on the discipline it must have taken to achieve your weight loss so far, but please do be careful and consider a more gradual sustainable change. If  you're the sort of person where structure and targets and tracking helps you, then consider giving the app/website a try. It's worked well for friends and relatives of mine for weight loss, and I find it useful for weight-maintenance.

  • wow, thank you for all your input so far!

    The diet i am on was the Cambridge plan.  I initially chose to do it due to the fact i wanted to shift some quickly (i have a young horse and i needed to shift a certain amount of weight to ride him.  I am now riding him!)  It as intended as a temporary measure to enable me to lose enough weight to be able to ride again and pick up my exercise, as before, even taking it very slowly, my body just couldn't cope.  I certainly have no plan whatsoever to stay on a low calorie diet, but do find losing weight very difficult.  I have never really 'dieted' before, as i used to work 12 hour days on a hunting yard on red bull and wine (i'm sure there was some food involved somewhere along the way lol!) which kept me very fit!

    Now i am where i intended to be i have no problem with increasing intake and trying to lay down some good, healthy eating habits for the future.


    Mathschick - i must admit i have done WW and SW and tbh found them impossible.  If anything, it was actually that they allowed too MUCH freedom of food and i have never liked the group support thing afterwards.  Doing what i'm doing works because it is SO restrictive, leaves no room for interpretation and it comes of quickly enough to please me (i have NO patience!), but now i have to put my running and riding first above the diet, and i feel it is jeopardizing that.


    Annoyingly, i ran 15 miles last week on 600 calories a day - result 2lb weight loss!  AAAARGH! really is not working - i think my bady is in shock lol!

    Today i did 6 miles, and had 2 poached eggs and a banana for brekkie and i think it made a dramatic difference.  I love the fact everytime i go out it gets easier and i can really feel the changes for the better.  Plus it is amazing head space away for a while!



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