I am reading a lot of books and online articles about running and training for a marathon. Naturally that includes nutritional information. Not only is it important that I eat enough food for my body to burn on my next training run, but I also need to make sure I am eating the right type of food. Just because I burn an extra 1,000 to 1,500 calories per day when I work out, it does not mean I can eat anything I want. Ideally I even want to lose a few pounds along the way, too. Shaving 10 lbs. off my current weight would technically make me perform about 5% better.
First things first – I have yet to succeed to lose some significant amount of weight. I seem to be stuck at around 160 lbs. body weight and just don’t lose more. I definitely have to increase my effort to eat better. I added quite a few more (complex) carbs to my diet as I am working out twice a day and need to refill my muscle glycogen stores, but I guess I am not doing a good enough job in regards to the quality of the food that I am eating. I am currently working on a diet plan to address this and to hopefully drop a few more pounds of weight along the way.
As everyone else, it is easy to find excuses and I am no exception. I have a full-time job, I have family, I have a side business that I am working on, and of course I workout twice a day. There is not that much time left to always cook healthy meals. Ideally I would like to spend 2 hours on a Sunday and prepare several meals for the week, but if you want to cook fresh with veggies that is not an easy thing to do. In addition, my schedule for the next 3.5 weeks looks horrible, but then things should clear up and that’s what I am gunning for. Of course I am trying to eat right and better every day and that effort continues, but the last 4 weeks before the race will definitely see an increase in that effort. For one, that time frame includes my taper period where I will decrease my workout volume slightly and second my calendar looks so much better for the last 4 weeks anyway.
But here are things I am trying to do today already:
- Add more veggies to my diet
- Eat more fruit
- Eat less bread and if I do, eat Whole Grains
- Add some nuts to my diet
- Cut back on my Nutella addiction
- Cut back dramatically on using artificial sweetener
- Eat more complex carbs, reduce consumption of simple carbs
I have not been really bad with eating stuff that would conflict with my diet, but in general my metabolism has been low even when working out 5 times a week. Now that I added more carbs to my diet and drink a lot more water I assume that my body stores more water which probably explains why the overall weight is not changing much. I look fairly lean or thin in the mirror when getting up in the morning and I am dehydrated after the night, but the appearance changes a little bit as I go through the day.
As mentioned before, losing some weight would help to make me run a bit faster and reduce the impact on my legs muscles and joints. On the other side, eating “wrong” just to lose weight could put me into a bad spot from a workout recovery perspective. Starving my body of necessary carbs to refuel would void the ability to refill my muscle glycogen stores correctly and my training efforts and results would suffer accordingly.
One item I already added to my diet is a product called “Quinoa & Brown Rice” from “Seeds of Change”. It is available at Costco and actually tastes pretty good. I often take a bag as lunch to work and then spice it up with lots of Cholula Mexican Hot Sauce. It takes only 90 seconds to prepare in the microwave and it comes with 47g of (complex) carbs. This is a great way to refill my glycogen stores and 47g of carbs in one meal is darn good – especially as those are complex carbs. I have yet to try using Quinoa & Brown rice to create a real meal, but I can see this one go well with some veggies already. Try it if you have not done so just yet.
Update: Just found some information that says that for every ounce of glycogen stored the body stores up to 3 ounces of water. That could explain a bit why I am not losing weight even with the extra running I am doing.