I had run 7 marathons but was not happyt with where my weight was. My wife (not a runner) and I both went on South Beach Diet. It essentially has two stages: a two week purging of sugars and all starches. You eat mostly protein, veggies and salads and with minimal fat intake. For this period it was exceedingly difficult to work out. After that you start to phase back in healthy carbs (whole wheat pasta, quinoa, brown rice etc) and more veggies and fruit. The idea is to stay away from refined starches and to eat carbs that are high in fiber so your insulin doesn't spike.
During this period I began reading a great book by Monique Ryan on Endurance Nutrition (you can find it on Amazon.com). The two books are not inconsistent if you focus on two principles: 1) the key to endurance sports is to feed your body enough glycogen so it can perform and then recover. In other words, adjust yuour carb and protein level so you have enough to perform. If I am only doing a 3 to 5 miler I don't carb up heavily but do so for the 20 miler.
2) Eat the right carbs to keep your blood sugar level even during workouts.
Not only have I lost 18 lbs but I am working out better than ever and eating healthier than ever. But make no bones about it, balancing the two requires planning.
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