Running is a great tool for weight loss (or weight management) but what are the best post-run snacks to meet our weight loss goals?
If your goal is weight loss, or maintaining your current weight, your choice of post-run snack needs to tick these boxes:-
- Energy balance
Hydration is key after any training run, but when we're hungry we sometimes fail to meet our hydration needs. So either make sure your post-run snack has a lot of fluid (smoothies, protein shakes made with water, homemade soup), or make sure you drink a big glass of water with your meal or snack.
Satiety (how full you feel) will help prevent overeating and snacking in the hours after your run. So make sure your post-run snack is substantial enough that it really does hold you over for a few hours, and avoid too many processed "fast" carbohydrates which can leave you feeling peckish.
Nutrients, vitamins and anti oxidants are more important than calories, particularly in this post-run window. Of course, you need to keep an eye on calories but it's very important to make sure your snack or small meal is delivering a powerful nutrient punch, too. Low-cal is meaningless if the food choice is packed with artificial ingredients and devoid of useful nutrients. Your body will simply send you on a search for more nutrition.
Protein will help your body repair and recover from your run, and is great for helping you feel fuller, too. Don't skimp on protein in your post-run meal (protein powder, Greek yoghurt, cottage cheese, egg, meat or fish are great).
Carbohydrates will replenish your body's depleted glycogen stores and are just as important as protein in the post-run window. But don't overdo it (it's easy to take in more than we need) and go for natural sources like fruit, oats, potato or rice rather than packaged processed items like breads, pastries, biscuits and bars.
Energy balance is a fancy way of reminding you that, if you want to manage your weight, you do need to be honest about how many calories you actually need to take in. It's very easy to overeat when we're hungry from a training run or race, but it's also very easy to undo any weight loss plans in just one super-sized snack.
Try these great ideas (they're our current favourites!) or share your own favourite post-run snacks on our Facebook page.
Greek Yoghurt And Fresh Fruit
Use real Greek yoghurt, not Greek yoghurt-style, and try pineapple (a natural anti-inflammatory), berries (high in anti oxidants) or melon.
Great for getting in nutrients after a hot run, try ice, water, protein powder, a spoonful of yoghurt, some berries or 1/2 a banana, and a couple of spoons of oats. Try adding spinach, too - we promise you can't taste it, and it's so nutritious!
Mix whole porridge oats (not the instant, flavoured kind) with Greek yoghurt or a scoop or protein powder, add some fresh fruit (try grating a pear or apple into it) and mix before your run. Pop it in the fridge whilst you're out.
Protein Shake And Fresh Fruit
The protein shake is designed to deliver exactly the right amount of protein and amino acids to your body, and the fruit gives fast but natural carbohydrates.
Hard Boiled Eggs And Oat Cakes
Ideal if you have a savoury tooth, a couple of hardboiled egg will give protein (albeit not much) and the oat cakes a savoury crunch of carbs.
Chicken Breast And New Potatoes
A small chicken breast (or small white fillet of fish, or tin of tuna) and potatoes is a small meal which gives your post-run muscles what they need. Aim for a fist-sized portion of both.