Do you eat enough?

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03/11/2012 at 18:45

I run in the mornings and burn 600-1400 worth of calories off.  I tend to eat healthily and don't have a huge appetite so it can often be tea time before I am actually is positive calories for the day.  The only trouble being that I get very tired at points during the day as I feel my body needing energy as it struggle with being in "negative calories".

Surely this must be a common problem with runners, it can't just be me?  The obvious solution is to eat when you feel the dip and this isn't always possible and even when it is, the only easy options often seem to be junk food (which I simply don't do).  Anyone come up with high calorie but healthy snacks to combat this (seeds are good but useless when in the car - I drive a fair bit for my job)?



M...eldy    pirate
03/11/2012 at 18:54

Why should junk food be the only choice when you hit the dip?  Plenty of handy portable healthy bits such as fruit or nuts

I have to say if you are waiting until the evening before you have a reasonable meal then you know where the issue lies

A healthy 'balanced' diet means balancing the right times as well as the right types

Eat well & perform well

03/11/2012 at 19:03

I eat plenty of fruit but it's not high in calories.

Think about it.  A 12 mile run burns 1200 calories, roughly.

My breakfast - Porridge or Granola - 300-400 calories (I use skimmed milk)

So in negative calories after breakfast.

Lunch - A sandwhich or maybe baked beans on a spud + an apple.  That will fill me but still unlikely to top 600 calories.  I'm still yet to surpass the 1200 calories that i've burned yet have enjoyed a balanced diet so far (don't get much from drink as I drink water or tea with skimmed milk)

Even if I ate more fruit in between, i'd be struggling to get past what I've burnt off before tea.  I have tried nuts but seem to struggle to eat them after 5 or 6.  Seeds I can and do eat a lot of when I can.

03/11/2012 at 19:04

Why kittenkat, that is somewhere in the middle of what my treadmill, Garmin and various guides seem to suggest.  Maybe they are over-egging the cake?  Do you know different?

03/11/2012 at 19:05

Sorry, this was based on between 6-14 miles.  Probably more 500-1400

03/11/2012 at 19:20
How about a bigger bowl of porridge, add some nuts and dried fruit to it. 2 sandwiches for lunch instead of one? Nuts are very easy to snack on whilst on the move.
04/11/2012 at 12:24
My calorie bank account is 12.5 miles in the red for today. Luckily I deposited a load of calories into the account last night so I'm still in the black. Will be making another huge deposit into my calorie account as soon as the chicken is cooked.
04/11/2012 at 13:17

  Two bacon butties for brunch after my 14 miles but still almost certainly in negative today.  Sure the roast beef and yorkshires will soon sort that out!

Millsy, the difficulty is appetite.  The answer of just eat larger portions isn't as easy as it sounds!  I do add dried fruit though. 

Guess this must be more unique than I thought.

Edited: 04/11/2012 at 13:30
04/11/2012 at 13:59
Sorry cant help with appetite. I find it easy to eat / drink myself back into the black. Even after a 20 miler.
04/11/2012 at 14:04
Not quite sure what you're saying your problem is. If it's that you feel tried during the day then really, look at what you're eating and when as people have said. If you've got this bee in your bonnet about being in negative calories for part of the day, then get over it. That's how our bodies work. Your glycogen and fat stores have got plenty of energy stored up for you, ready for times like this. You might want to look at more protein and fat at lunchtime. Are you drinking enough?
04/11/2012 at 15:41

Sometimes eating too much carbohydrate can make you feel tired and hungry! Eating protein and fat (as Womble says) is sometimes a good move. Have a look at the Optimum Nutrition 4 Sport website; lots of good advice and it works for me!

04/11/2012 at 16:16

Adding extra calories is pretty straightforward.  In times of dire need I am prepared to adopt the 2 dessert strategy: 1 with lunch and 1 with dinner.  It's a sacrifice I'm prepared to make to fuel my running.

For a start, use full-fat milk to make the porridge, increase the portion in general and add some nuts, seeds and dried fruit or have a piece of toast and honey with the porridge.

Have snacks between meals.  Have nuts/seeds/biscuits - anything with more calories than a piece of fruit.  Or if you're worried about not hitting your 5 a day, have something in addition to the fruit.

Eat more than just a sandwich and an apple at lunch.  Add some crisps or chocolate.  If your exercise is really burning 1000kcal/day, you have to start eating energy dense meals.

Make sure you have a decent sized dinner.

04/11/2012 at 16:37

You are having difficulty ingesting enough calories during the day?

As the old Jewish saying goes - I should have your problem.

04/11/2012 at 19:31
I don't get the problem either!!
Maybe I just have an incredibly efficient appetite but I have never lost weight through exercise despite several marathons, cycling, swimming, hill walking etc etc or gained weight during spells of injury....
My appetite seems to more or less match my outputs, and meeting requirements is easy enough...
As others have said - bigger portions and calorie dense snacks to hand at all times, as well as fruit and lower calorie stuff. Just get used to it.
Are you actually losing weight?
04/11/2012 at 20:19

I have recently signed up to 'my fitness pal'. It's free to use, easy to add food intake and exercise to your daily log and if you fall into the negative calorie trap you can soon work out what to snack on while making sure you get the right amount of protein and fat in your diet. It may not be the best but it's free, i'm definitely eating healthier, as well as more often and losing weight.

04/11/2012 at 20:39
Your calorie account, or whatever you want to call it, doesn't reset overnight you know.
"New miracle diet. Stuff your face with cake then have a nap. Instant weightloss GUARANTEED!"
04/11/2012 at 20:49

Yeah, you want to drop this concept of ''negative calories''.  You're not running on anti-matter.  I managed 16 miles before breakfast this morning, partly because I ate a frankly rude amount of home-made ginger cake last night whilst watching the fireworks.

The only problem here appears to be eating the right things at the right times to avoid dips during the day.  Re-fuel with carbs and protein after a run, and eat healthy snacks between meals.  Being on the road is no real excuse, healthy snacks are easily prepared in advance.

BTW, I dread to think how many calories I can get through at breakfast. I'll eat fruit 'n nut muesli till the cows come home.

04/11/2012 at 21:13
I think the fix here is sooooo obvious it's unreal. I'm 10st 4ish pounds and absolutely stuff my face with whatever I find suitable (not un healthy) and do not drop a pound or gain.
If you eat small amounts and often you should be fine for the whole day. Like many have said its easy to eat on the go with something simple and healthy. Why not pre prepare a healthy wrap the night before (just an example)
You shouldn't have these dips? When you've consumed enough during the morning. Don't forget your still burning calories after the run, so you should have something to top up the energy levels
04/11/2012 at 21:58

+1 to Muttley  Bonus of running 12 miles is guilt free eating at the end

05/11/2012 at 06:02

Try ensuring each meal has some carb, protein and fat.  Full fat milk with your porridge, or add a tablespoon of ground flax / linseed.

If you struggle with whole nuts, try adding almond butter or sliced avocado to your lunchtime sandwich.  It will add some healthy fats and raise the calories, without the trans fats that come with butter, crisps or biscuits!

Try adding some spinach or other leafy greens in your sandwich to add some extra iron (..and calcium and other micro-nutrients.)


Edited: 05/11/2012 at 06:07
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