It has long been thought that exercise and running gives you the licence to eat (and drink) whatever you want. But, things are changing. If you simply want to exercise, eat want you want and enjoy life then there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. However, if you are the person who wants to push themselves, run further, ran faster, lose weight then you need to consider how you are fuelling your body. Fuel being the key word. If you start to see food as fuel to meet the demands of your exercise, then you are part way there.
There is no one size fits all approach when it comes to fuelling and nutrition; you have to find what works for you, your lifestyle and probably your family. I will outline some of what has worked for me and what could work for you. I should state that I do not claim to be a nutritionist and my writing is not evidence based, however I read and use evidence-based sources from leading running nutritionists to influence my own ideologies.
First of all, have a plan. It is well supported that by having a meal/nutrition plan you can:
– train harder
– increase stamina
– increase strength
– recover quicker
– reduce illness
– have a more competitive edge
– perform better
– lose weight
– gain muscle
A weekly plan of meals helps you save money and time. It prevents the headache of wondering ‘what to make tonight’, where you go for a microwave meal or takeaway for convenience. Another tip, prepare enough for your lunch the next day – huge healthy time saver. A plan is a quick change you can make today to transform your diet; there are other changes you can make to improve your lifestyle and running long term.
Aim to avoid crash quick fix diets instead look to change your eating habits long term. The changes below are ones to build in one at a time for 2-3 weeks so that they become habit.
- Cut down and watch out for hidden sugars e.g in cereal.
- Reduce the amount of meat to once or twice a week.
- Cut out processed meat totally – only eat lean cuts
- Avoid marketed ‘low fat’ products – full of added unnecessary chemicals and sugars (especially the spray oils)
- Cut down the amount of bread (only eat wholegrain)
- Switch to brown rice and brown pasta
- Eat more seeds and nuts – especially Chia seeds
- Eat more berries and whole fruit as opposed to smoothies.
- Avoid energy drinks (e.g Lucozade) and recovery shakes – use water and natural food sources to fuel your run/recovery.
These are just a few changes that you could make – it is over to you to find what works for you. Remember, food is fuel and you want to give your body the best fuel to perform at its best.
This is just a scratch at the surface for exercise nutrition, if you want more information please do get in touch.
For recipe and healthy snack ideas head over to my website for some inspiration https://acrunningandfitness.com/recipes/
AC Running and Fitness