Reader to Reader: Low-Calorie Energy?

"I'm trying to lose weight, so I always eat breakfast and just have fruit for lunch. But I come home from work quite hungry, and crash if I go for a run before dinner. Any suggestions for a quick energy hit that doesn't involve lots of calories?"Rutjosnabet

Your answers...

  • I couldn't get one foot past the other in the evening if I just had fruit for lunch! I'd suggest a mid-afternoon snack of meat or cheese sandwiches, and a banana or a couple of biscuits before your run. – Velociraptor
  • Allsorts are just the job, except they rot your teeth. And if you overdo it, the liquorice gives you the trots. – SFC
  • You do realise there's no such thing as non-fattening energy? Any food that gives you energy is going to be fattening if you eat more than you can use right then. – Rowan Green
  • If you ate lard before going running, your body would make a decent stab at converting it into available calories for the run. – DazTheSlug
  • Have a proper lunch. You're running on thin air. – Tequila
  • If you're only eating fruit for lunch you might be a bit low on fuel for a run. I've lost a lot of weight by eating sensibly and doing lots of exercise. Lunch would normally be a big tuna or chicken salad, then three bits of fruit during the afternoon. Watch the fat, but you still need good regular protein and carbs for fuel. – PhilPub
  • Take some Love Hearts on your training run. You'll wonder how you ever got on without them. – pugheaven
  • Kendal Mint Cake. Zero fat and essential on the long runs. – emmilou
  • Moo Milk Toffee Banoffee flavour. I don't know what's in it, but it gives instant hit of energy. – Bear B.Hind
  • Jelly Babies work for me as a mid-run energy boost. Used to eat the occasional mini Mars Bar during a long run, during FLM training. – Kazzaaaaah!
  • BANANAS! – Emma Ronald
  • 'Nanas are the devil's food before running – sends my tummy all funny. Bleurgh. Small handful of raisins and a square of dark choccie about 15 mins before an evening run does it for me. And lots of water during the day. – Treacle Tart
  • Dried fruit is pretty good as a healthy option. But as Rowan said, anything is fattening if your body doesn't use it for energy. You’d get fat on lettuce if you ate more calories from it than you expended. Dried fruit is as calorific as most sweets but it's better for you because of the extra vitamins and fibre. That said, I took Jelly Babies and sour strawberries on my last long run, and they seemed to do the trick. Marathon training is a great excuse to stuff your face. – sal19


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