Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Diet

My mother would often tell me that I was too thin and needed to put on more weight. Then, after dinner, she wondered aloud “where could I put it all”.

Little did she understand that runners consume more calories than the average person, and they need those extra calories. They need the energy to power themselves through all of the miles that they run.

Eating is not a choice. It is a must.

But what you eat, you do have a choice.

Hunger doesn’t immediately set in after a run for me. From what I understand, running tends to suppress my appetite for a short time. But it doesn’t take long, and I am ready to eat. The reason behind this urge is easy to see. After a long run or pretty much any run my energy levels are way down. My body’s nature tendency is hardwired to replace this spent energy.

The lower my energy level, the more likely I am to dive into the juke food: soda, pizza, box of cookies, chips, or donuts. My brain knows that these foods will provide a quick fix for my energy needs. The opposite it also true. When my energy levels are closer to normal, I am more likely to choose something better for me.

Therefore, it becomes really important to plan ahead. Having something prepared will help me make a much wiser dietary decision. The food doesn’t have to be elaborate. It just has to be enough that the body feels satisfied. Having it ready to eat makes the choice much easier when it comes decision time.

I once finished a run and then finished off a dozen donuts.  Yes, that’s 12 donuts. Half an hour later, I was laying the couch moaning and gowning.  My brain lingered in a comatose state from my sugar binge. To this day I remember how good they tasted, but “Ouch”, the side effects were horrible: sluggish, lethargic, etc.  

A better choice would have been to eat a couple of apples. In fact, I am not even sure that I could even eat 12 apples at one time.

Before your next big workout, do a little planning head. Have some wise choice foods handy and don’t go directly for the junk food. This is a much better way to keep your calorie count in check, control blood sugar levels, and just all-around feel better.

 

Sharing one thought at time,

The Cool Down Runner

 

 

 

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