Typically, the facets of someone’s diet are determined because of certain variables, such as high blood pressure, obesity, or other health concerns. Whether that person needs a high amount of protein or a low amount of cholesterol, or is taking part in a cleansing fad, he chooses the types and amounts of food that are right for him. It’s not much different with runners.
Each runner’s diet is unique to his or her lifestyle and preparation rituals, but members of the running community tend to have similar characteristics that can carry over to their eating habits. Runners are generally consistent, with an exceptional ability to plan and keep track of their daily activities. This can help them maintain a healthy diet, especially if they keep these four habits in mind.
Plan What You Eat
Planning and preparing meals in advance is an excellent way to include all of the essential vitamins and minerals that a runner’s body needs. It’s also easier to maintain a specific diet on a daily or weekly basis, especially if that diet has to take into account allergies or other nutritional needs.
Create a master menu and shopping list that includes:
- whole grain carbohydrates;
- lean proteins;
- healthy fats; and
- fruits and vegetables.
Try to stay away from processed foods.
Eat Throughout the Day
Consistency is the key to ensuring optimal performance before, during, and after a workout. Eating three meals and two small snacks per day will support a consistent metabolism that will help keep runners from “crashing” and becoming over-hungry, which can lead to consuming more calories than needed in order to combat hunger pangs.
Track Your Progress
Counting calories is never the ideal task, but runners should be honest and realistic about how many calories they consume on a daily basis. This helps to determine whether runners are fueling their body inappropriately with foods that may seem healthy, but are ultimately not.
Take it Slow and Steady
In addition to counting calories, it is also important for runners to know how fast they are consuming their meals. According to the Journal of the American Dietetic Association, there is a correlation between how fast a person eats and their Body Mass Index (BMI) rating. People that eat faster were reported to have higher BMI levels than those who took time to completely chew their food.
This correlation is thought to be associated with the consciousness of consuming the meal instead of being distracted by things such as a television, a computer, or a book.
These tips are not just for runners, though, because anyone looking to lose weight, enhance their workout results, or maintain a healthy diet can benefit from following these four habits. If you would like more information on combining smart nutrition with regular exercise, call Fitness Together Ellicott City today.