Eat like a Runner
Oct 22, 2012
Plan What You Eat
It's a lot easeir to maintain a healthy diet that includes all of the essential vitamins, minerals and nutrition your body needs when you plan out and prepare your meals for the day/week ahead of time. On a weekly basis, create a master menu and shopping list that includes complex carbs like fruits and veggies, lean proteins, and healthy fats from nuts and seeds. Go to the grocery store at the beginning of the week and purchase all of the ingredients you will need to complete your weekly menus. Try to stay away from processed foods as much as possible. When you return from the store, you now will have all of the ingredients you need in-house to prepare healthy meals all week long and eliminate excuses for not being able to cook or eat healthy.
Eat Throughout the Day
Consistency is key to fueling your body like a runner and ensuring optimal performance before, during and after your workout. You should strive to eat three meals and one to two small snacks per day in order to support a consistent metabolism in your body that can keep you from crashing and becoming over-hungry. Once you let yourself get too hungry, you run the risk of quickly consuming more calories than you realize to combat your strong hunger pains.
Track Your Progress
No one enjoys counting their calories--not even runners. Even so, you need to be honest and realistic about how much you consume on a daily basis to determine whether you are fueling your body appropriately. Counting calories can become a distraction and very frustrating, so eating appropriate portions is more than likely an easier option. Track your meals in a paper-based journal or input them into an online accountability journal. Make sure to be consistent and take every thing you eat or drink into account--even what you may be adding to your morning coffee or sampling in the kitchen while preparing dinner!
Take It Slow and Steady
In addition to tracking the food that you consume, it is also important to be conscious about how fast you are consuming your meals. Recent research has found correlations between how fast you eat and your body fat percentage! Faster eaters reported higher body fat percentages during the study than those who took their time to completely chew their food. Slower eaters reported lower body fat percentages, which may be associated with being more aware of each bite of food they put in their mouths, and focusing on the actual act of eating rather than becoming absorbed by mealtime distractions such as the TV, a good book or the computer.
Whether you are a runner or not, everyone can benefit from following the four easy healthy habits described above. By planning what you eat ahead of time, eating smaller and mroe frequent meals and snacks during the day, keeping track of what you are eating, and eating your food slower you are well on your way to creating healthy habits to fuel your body for optimal performance. If you would like more information on how combining smart nutrition with regular workouts can help you meet your fitness goals, call our Fitness Together studio today to learn about our nutrition counseling sessions!