For the weeks leading up until RTB:MA, we’ll have teammates from our blogger team, Team “OffBalance”, posting weekly about how they’re fitting in their training — whether it be with their other workouts or just a busy schedule.
Today’s 5th post is from Sarah of SarahFit.com about eating healthy while training.
Training for a race can be time consuming and demanding. If you are not eating properly, your fitness gains may be minimal despite your best efforts. Some people set out to conquer a race with the hopes of shedding a few pounds during the training process. Myself included, when I first started training for races longer than the traditional 5K I assumed I would lose weight since theoretically I was burning more calories. However, the increased cardio was kicking my hunger levels into high gear. Assuming I could afford the extra calories, I slowly and unknowingly gained weight and my training plateaued. It wasn’t until I started working with a personal trainer and discovered how to “eat clean” that I learned how the food you put into your body dramatically effects the results your body produces.
Eating clean essentially means that the only foods going into your body are free of preservatives, chemicals, genetically modified ingredients and are close if not in their natural state. This ensures that you are consuming nutrient rich foods. The calories provide essential building blocks to improving your health and repairing the damage caused by training.
If your training runs take place in the morning, having something to eat beforehand will prevent your body from using stored energy. Using stored energy equals burning fat and sometimes muscle, which will not improve your fitness levels and will feel slow and tired. Simple carbohydrates like fruit are ideal for pre-breakfast workouts. They do not require any preparation and provide quick energy. Another favorite of mine is sprouted grain toast like Ezekial bread with a little peanut butter and half a banana. Avoid dairy as it may lead to cramps and is slower to digest.
Training for races and focused fat loss follow different morning protocols. If you want to lose weight, on days your training plan calls for 3-4 miles or less, try skipping your pre-workout meal for a large glass of water. Make sure you’re awake, out the door and back within an hour to eat your real breakfast!
After your workouts, it’s important to consume protein and carbohydrates afterwards, preferably within 20 minutes. Greek yogurt with fruit, oatmeal, egg whites, and smoothies with protein powder are quick and easy post workout breakfasts that will help maximize your efforts.
If you train at lunch, time your workout to end in time to down your mid day meal after you’re finished. Same goes for a post-work run. If you can’t eat within a hour of finishing, bring a scoop of protein powder in a to-go container and add it to your water bottle after you finish. Drink while you commute home or get ready in the locker room. My favorites are Designers Whey Vanilla, Vega Sport Vegan protein powder, Jay Robb Whey Protein and JCore PostWorkout Snack.
While carbs were given a bad name in the 90′s for people looking to lose weight, athletes need them! Even if you are training and looking to shed some weight, eating brown rice, quinoa or sweet potatoes at lunch and or dinner will help you power through your workouts, burning more calories and maximizing training efforts.