Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Eating to Run?

When I first started my journey, all of my food choices were based on what would most effectively allow me to drop weight.  I was not necessarily making the healthiest choices, but I was staying within my allotted calories and for the most part I was eating much better than I had been prior to starting the weight loss journey.  A good example - my kids were still eating a lot of fast food back then, when I bought them a kid's meal I would steal a chicken nugget and a few fries to get the satisfaction of eating something that I craved.  Then I would eat a "healthy" meal when I got home.

Now... I still have cheats, I don't believe I would be successful without them.  In fact, just today I ate cheetos! (YUM!)  The key for me is to control the portion of what I am craving.   This weekend after my half marathon, I plan to have a nice lunch out with the family where I order whatever I want and I plan to follow it up with a cupcake from a gourmet cupcake shop down in Indy.  It may be what gets me through the half marathon!

The struggle?  I don't want to feel like I am running to eat, I want to feel like the food that I eat is fueling my running.  That is it positively fueling my body to accomplish the things I throw at it.  That being said, I am trying to lose 10 more pounds.  I have been "stuck" at my current weight for the most part since last August.  I have gone up some and down some, but I always seem to settle back in at 185 pounds.  I am 5'11 and a pretty large bone structure, so I know I will never be "skinny" but I want to get to 175 so that I can say I am officially not overweight per the BMI standards.


Anyway, back to the issue at hand.  I am struggling to know what is the right thing to do with my food choices. Obviously, I am focusing on eating vegetables and fruits as well as low proteins.  I haven't been eating many carbs in an effort to keep my calories low.  I know that I probably need to increase these especially as I get into my marathon training schedule come June.  However, what I don't know is how many calories to eat!  I started using myfitnesspal.com and it tells me to lose 1 pound a week I should eat 1570 calories.  And, when I exercise it tells me to eat back those calories.  However, I know that there are alot of people who say you shouldn't eat them back if you are attempting to lose weight.

I have a feeling its going to be a fine balance, between making sure I am getting enough calories to fuel my running and not eating too many calories which would cause me to bulk up (which definitely won't  help me run a  marathon).  I have been contemplating going and seeing either a nutritionist or a registered dietitian but even they can't seem to agree on what is the "right" thing to do!

I am going to try something for a few weeks and see how it goes I guess and go from there... my goals the next few weeks:
 - keep my net calories around 1200 per day
 - continue to drink 8 x 16.9 ounce bottles of water
 - limit diet coke intake to one per day
 - lean protein
 - lots of fruits and veggies
 - adding some bread and pasta to boost my carb intake

Does anyone else find it a struggle to balance the nutrition you need as a runner with the calorie restricting you need to lose weight?

I am not doing so well with my goal to reach $750 before Saturday - in an effort to get the donations flowing again, I have a creative idea.  If I reach $750 by the end of Saturday May 5, I will draw a winner to receive a prize!  I will be giving one entry per $10 you donate.  And to make things a bit more fun, if you share this somewhere, please let me know and you will get a bonus entry! Please visit my fundraising page and make a donation if you can ---> My Fundraising Page


  1. This is a hard one and one that I can't find the right balance with either. I find that the more I run the more I think I need to eat and I don't always make very smart choices. I think setting a reasonable calorie limit and then if you find you are still really hungry on days you run adding more fruits or veggies won't add as many calories but will help fill you up with nutritious food.

  2. I’ve been looking for a way to incorporate both of those tracks into a career and this is really relevant to me.

  3. Some months I don't struggle at all eating, othere's it is the worst! I am acutally consider going to theraphy for overeating...just to see if i can figure out what is going on.

  4. Yes, it's a tough balance. You need carbs for fuel, but you don't want to many. You need protein for muscle recovery, but lean and not too much. You'll probably just have to play with the numbers a bit to see what works for you in terms of energy, weight loss and life in general. I find it very difficult and I end up switching things up every few weeks to keep from getting in to a rut. Not that I've been doing anything right lately :)