Thursday, January 14, 2021
Happy New Year, runners! The holidays and 2020 are behind us and now it is that time of year when you may be looking for a fresh start. Ditch the cleanse diets, weight loss fads and focus on sleeping more and eating with a purpose – to fuel your runs!
EAT regular meals
Plan ahead! Aim for eat three meals a day and snacks between those meals. The goal is to eat or snack every 4 hours, even if it is only a piece of fruit. All meals should include lean protein, carbohydrates, and fruits/vegetables. Use the model below to build better plates.
NOTE: Palo, Keto and Atkins are all eating plans that cut out carbohydrates. Studies show these diets do not enhance performance. In fact, carbohydrates are your primary source of energy and without them your training will suffer. If you eliminate foods, you are taking away key nutrients that aid in performance, recovery and protect you from injury. Rather than cutting out carbohydrates, be smart about your selections. For example, eat whole grain/multi-grain bread or pasta rather than white; select sweet potatoes rather than white; brown rice/quinoa vs white rice; and add more fruits and vegetables to your eating plan.
MAKE TIME FOR SNACKS
Focus on nutrient dense snacks that have a carbohydrate and protein source. Try folding these ideas into your day. Eat yogurt + fruit + granola; string cheese + whole grain crackers + orange; hummus + sliced vegetables; or beef jerky + apple.
WARNING – Don’t eat snacks directly out of the bag, box or container. Portion out your serving of food (crackers, nuts, seeds and trail mix), place them on a plate and put the package away. Eat only what is on your plate. The same is true while you are on the go. Use baggies or small containers to portion out your snacks to stash in your bag or car.
Pay attention to the food you are eating and enjoy it! Don’t read the paper, watch television or talk on the phone while you are eating. Pick a consistent place to sit at home and/or at the office to eat without distractions. Eat if you are hungry and stop a little before you are full. Don’t root through the pantry for something to eat or stand with the refrigerator door open waiting for something to jump out at you. If you find yourself doing these things, likely you are eating out of boredom. Instead, drink an eight-ounce glass of water; wait 20 minutes and if you are still hungry focus on snacks that contain protein.
find your sleep schedule
You get your energy from food and sleep. If you are sleep deprived likely you will turn to food for energy. Often those food choices are fast, processed and high in calories. Aim for 8 hours of sleep a night, in a perfect world. At the very least get yourself on a pattern – go to sleep and wake up at the same time.
drink more fluids
After a few weeks filled with seasonal cocktails and sugary coffee drinks, your body is craving water. Be sure you have a hydration plan and remember you can eat your fluids too (fruits, vegetables, soups, grains and yogurt).
Cheers to 2021 and Fueling with a Purpose!
This article was written by Christine Turpin, RD, CSSD, LDN, CSCS. She is the owner of Nourish 2 Perform LLC. If you have any questions for Christine, please email her at Nourish2perform@gmail.com.