**Disclosure: I am not a nutritionist or registered dietitian. Please seek your own primary care physician or RD for a nutritional plan. I’m simply sharing what’s worked for me.
As the miles increase so does our hunger. And accordingly, so should our calorie intake.
But how much is too much or too little?
We don’t want to undo all we’ve worked so hard for yet we don’t need to starve our bodies of necessary nutrients and energy. We run hard, work hard, play hard…and then we consume an entire large pizza solo. Well…you know…it happens.
Eat to run strong.
Eat to feel well.
Eat enough to stay properly fueled.
Meaning don’t starve yourself but don’t over do it with the extra sugars because you ran 10 miles.
How many carbs do we really need? From Dietitian Today:
Runners need between 7 and 10 g of carbohydrate per kilogram of body weight during training and closer to the upper end of this range before long runs.
(To calculate lbs to kg divide your body weight in lbs by 2.2 w(lb)/2.2=w(kg))
If you have time I highly recommend visiting Dietitian Today’s article on Marathon Fueling. It is packed with info on fueling your body during training, race day, and recovery. Especially if you’re a numbers nerd like I am. I get way too much satisfaction over playing with numbers and calculations..
Tips to help control the urge to over indulge:
- If you’re feeling hungry you may simply be dehydrated. Sometimes your body mixes up the two. Try drinking a full glass of water first, then if still hungry grab a quick healthy bite. Read THIS LIVESTRONG article for more details.
- Keep healthy options stocked! We try to keep plenty of fruits and veggies on hand. I prep some and pre-pack them into snack size containers so it makes choosing healthy snacks easier.
- Remember why we eat. To fuel our bodies. Remember this.
“He who has a why to live for can bear almost any how.” – Friedrich Nietzsche
- Opt for a cup of decaf, green, hot tea about an hour before bed. Helps curb appetite, detox your system, and sleep sounder.
I know I’ve mentioned this before, but I really do struggle with food, calories, and self-image. I feel as though I’m constantly battling my mind and stomach over how much is too much and how little is too little. Constantly counting calories in and estimating my calorie expenditure during my runs. This isn’t healthy. This is called obsession.
We are ultimately in control of our bodies, minds, and thoughts. If not, we allow the urges to control us.
What it all boils down to is listening to your body closely. It will tell you when you’re truly hungry and in need. Just don’t mistake your need for calcium for a three scoop bowl of ice cream… 😉 it’s all about a healthy balance. One scoop should suffice.
On another note, we had a few flurries coming down today! It was beautiful with part sun and part clouds and a few teeny tiny flakes. It was refreshing, peaceful, and calming. Even though I had set out to run five miles of tough hills. I set out to run the toughest hills in town. Which isn’t too terribly hard to find in western NC. In fact, it is more challenging to find a zero hilly route around here. But that’s a good thing! Hills=strong glutes my friends. But I swear, when it’s cold and I’m running uphill over and over again I feel like I’m breathing like a moose on steroids. Terrible.