…but I’m so hungry!
How do we steer ourselves through the entanglement of weight loss, eating correctly for training, and indulging in treats, to reach our desired body?
I know how to eat for weight loss, that’s easy. . . easy as in I know the rules, not that it’s particularly easy to achieve.
- We can calorie count, although all that weighing and measuring is a bit of a faff
- We can follow a Slimming World or Weight Watchers programme where healthy foods are allowed without restriction but less healthy ones are limited
- We can use meal replacement products; Slimfast springs to mind, not that I’ve ever tried it
- We can Atkins (yuck) or cabbage soup (slightly less yuck)
I think you get the idea, there are a myriad of ways we can lose weight but many of them will be a temporary solution and before long any weight lost will be back. For me, as I’ve mentioned before, sugar is the culprit. If I could quit the sugar I’d be positively waif-like, as my meals are generally healthy and of a moderate size.
Eating correctly for training, now this is different to eating healthily, or eating to lose weight. I am no expert but it’s something to do with eating enough carbohydrates to ensure you have enough energy and eating enough protein to build muscle and ensure they can repair effectively. While a banana, some dairy-free yoghurt and a sprinkling of muesli is a good enough weight loss breakfast, for training I’d need to switch to something more substantial, like porridge and a banana – and yes, I like bananas a lot! – maybe with a spoonful of peanut butter added.
In our house we have a penchant (hark at me with my posh words, myriad, penchant, whatever next?) for saying “Runners eat all the food” and it’s a phrase that my younger son and I use to justify excessive consumption of everything – even on days where we haven’t done any running. But taking this point in all seriousness, running does give an increased appetite, as you would expect.
According to my Garmin I expend in the region of 100 kcal for each mile I run, so a 10k (6.2 miles) equates to 600 kcal and a half marathon 1,300 kcal as an approximation, so is it really that surprising that we runners are a hungry bunch? However, a 5k parkrun does not need to be followed by a huge fried breakfast, although you could justify it after a half marathon.
The market is awash with companies offering fuel for athletes, such as energy bars, protein bars, gels, shakes, and electrolyte drinks but these often have a hefty price tag attached. So unless you have loads of money, look out for special offers and deals. I have just bought a sample pack of Tribe bars as I’m a sucker for a bargain (you can also get £5 off by using this link).
Finally, allowing for treats. I firmly believe that in order to stick to a healthy diet, be that for weight loss or training, you need a daily treat to look forward to. The problem can be (and in my case most certainly is) having too many treats. I have a few strategies which have worked for me in the past.
- switch your snacks – if chocolate is your thing then give up chocolate for the month and maybe have a couple of biscuits instead, or a handful of natural unsalted nuts in place of crisps
- create a tuck box – put sufficient snacks (one a day) in a special box and refill it weekly
- buy a luxury box of chocolates and limit yourself to one a day, write on a calendar the date of the last chocolate.
- fill your online shopping basket with masses of junk food but don’t place the order
I hope you find something useful in this post, I need to take my cake out the oven!