One of the things I constantly struggle with is my nutrition. It seems like it should be something quite easy, calories in = calories out = no weight gain. But with my body, that’s not the case.
I’m the person that will eat a candy bar and literally gain three pounds from it. No, I’m not joking. And I’m not saying that so you write a comment like “aw, that’s not true, you are so skinny blah blah blah.”
I have a super slow metabolism (thanks mom and dad) and luckily running makes it a little faster. In the past, I’ve always had the mentality of… oh I’m running, that means that I can eat half this pizza, a bowl of ice cream AND three cookies and it’ll be just like I didn’t run!
But over the years, I’ve learned a few things about training. Nutrition is actually a huge component. Eat like crap = run like crap.
So, this time around, I’ve made some changes to my eating habits… some of it has been a conscious decision, others have been not so conscious.
I quit eating cereal. Cereal used to be my go to breakfast… for years. I would eat whatever cereal was on sale, thinking I was scoring a sweet deal. But, was I really? There is a lot of sugar in cereal (especially the ones that I was eating) and there’s not a whole lot of protein. End result? Super hungry by 9:30 a.m.
I started focusing on eating when I’m hungry. This has been my downfall for years, especially during marathon training. I read all of these books that said that you must eat every four hours, otherwise your body goes into starvation mode and starts to store food because it doesn’t know when it’ll get the next meal.
Remember when I went to the nutritionist, and I followed the diet she gave me? I also gained eight pounds in three weeks.
This time around, I’m eating when I’m hungry. I’m packing snacks (snacks = apples, nuts/trail mix, grapes!, PRO BAR, fun things from Graze), and snacking when it makes sense. I’m eating more snacks on days when I’m super hungry, less on days when I’m not. And meals? I eat until I’m full. I don’t overthink it by trying to give myself exact portions.
I need to eat carbs. I went through a six-month phase when I decided to eat gluten free. And it was miserable, mentally and physically.
I know for some people that it’s medically necessary to not eat gluten. And for others, it agrees with their body. Not for my body. I need carbs in order to be at my optimal condition.
Now, I’m not saying that I eat a pile of spaghetti for every single meal, but they are something that I need to have in my body in order for my stomach and everything else to be happy.
I give myself a break. I love ice cream, especially Blue Bell Ice Cream. Pretty sure I couldn’t survive without this in my life:
That being said, this is still part of my diet. Along with Mountain Dew. I know these are terrible things to consume, but everything in moderation. No longer do I eat a whole bag of candy corn in three days (my gut thanks me).
I treat food as fuel. After all, that’s what it is — food is here to fuel our bodies and, like gas in a car, keep us going hour after hour. It’s not here to make me happy or to give me something to do when I’m bored. It’s here to give myself the energy I need to manage my day (which usually lasts from 5:30 a.m. – 11 p.m.)… and it’s interesting how easy it comes to look at it from this perspective when you start seeing the differences after eating more veggies and less junk food.
So overall, the biggest thing I’ve learned, is that I don’t want your advice. I need to do what works for my body and obviously, I’ve sucked it up quite a bit with bad nutrition decisions… and learned most of it through trial and error. There are still things that I need to learn, but I’m much happier where I’m at compared to six months or even two years ago.
Has your eating changed over time? What are some things that you have learned about your body?
Have you tried any “fad” diets? Yay or nay for your body?
Follow me on Instagram
Follow me on Twitter
Follow me on Pinterest
Follow me on Facebook