Best Diet for Runners
People that choose running as an exercise expel many calories, and it’s essential to eat a healthy runners’ diet for energy. It’s also important to stay hydrated, so you don’t become light-headed from sweating that will cause dehydration. Running is right for your bones, so it’s essential to eat food for runners that are rich in calcium to build strong bones. The younger you start with an exercise program, the longer you will have to build good strong bones, so when you hit your later years, breaks are less likely from falls.
Try and stick to whole foods in your diet that is rich in nutrients and vitamins. If you don’t understand the ingredients on the package, then you might be putting too many preservatives in your body that can cause cancer. Running is excellent for your cardiovascular system and your metabolism. High Intensive Interval Training (HIIT) is a unique way to rev up your body for 15 minutes and drop back down to a slow run. HIIT is responsible for getting your natural human growth hormone to rise to 438 %. This is what helps the aging process slow down. Remember to check with your doctor before you take on anything too intense. Stick with a pace you are comfortable with to avoid injuries from running.
Runners don’t have to wait until the New Year to start changing their diets. There is the right formula for runners called the 90/10 diet. Runners know if they start too fast, and too soon, there is a chance for injuries. Building strength and endurance also require eating a healthy diet. Runners know if they change their diet too drastically, they end up doing this too fast and too soon. Therefore, it’s essential to change your diet slowly and build up your strength to prevent these injuries and fasting issues from occurring.
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The 90/10 Diet
If you decide you are going to change your diet, don’t put too much pressure on yourself right away to be perfect and follow a specific diet. Give yourself a break and eat different types of food. Also, eat the foods that you know are good for you like fruits, veggies, proteins, either animal or plant, grains, fish, fats, etc. Implement these foods into your diet about 90% of the time.
The 10 % that is left allows you to have a drink, eat a tasty dessert, have a snack between meals, or eat some chocolate. Whatever you love that’s sinful for your diet, don’t deprive yourself of this 10% of the time.
The 90/10 idea is designed to take the pressure off runners to eat healthy 100 percent of the time but to eat healthy 90 percent of the time, with a 10 percent diet of their favorite junk food. People that eat healthy 100 percent of the time seem to deprive themselves of a healthy mindset. This is because they are missing something, and this can cause depression.
When runners eat a pure diet 100 percent of the time, they start to feel deprived. Then they begin to gorge on the foods they deprived themselves of, which can lead to weight gain and feeling fatigued during training for long-distance running. Runners who deprive themselves of the 10 percent rule of junk food in their diet, end up having more stress, mood swings, and other side effects from trying to be hard perfect. You are not cheating if you eat a candy bar occasionally.
Runners shouldn’t think of food just as sustenance for training, they should think of meals as something to look forward to. It is essential for runners to feel comfortable with their meals and snacks and not feel guilty and hide what they eat.
There are five steps you can try so you don’t dwell on what your diet is all about, but you enjoy how you eat and still have the strength and endurance to run.
Stay away from Cleansing
Too many runners feel that cleansing their bodies is vital for their diets. Some people start washing so they can start a new diet and feel better after they go on a junk food binge. Losing weight too fast is not healthy for runners or your diet. Stay away from the products advertised online for cleansing, so you don’t fall into a dietary mentality of restricting yourself from food. This might cause you to start avoiding the foods that are healthy for you.
If runners are training for marathons and depleting their bodies of the necessary nutrients in their diets, they will lose energy and not reach their ultimate goals when running for marathons. Don’t eliminate foods or cleanse unless you have a food allergy to a particular food or food group. If you are allergic to dairy products, then look for drinks that are a plant-based protein with calcium. They come in many flavors and are high in vitamins and minerals. Remember to stay away from cleansing and start small changes.
Runners can change their diets a little at a time, just like learning how to run a few minutes longer every day. It’s better to start small and build on your diet along with your running. This is how you will get accustomed to the 90/10 idea. Keep a food journal and think about what you are putting into your body. Look at your journal and read what you ate and ask yourself if you were eating because you wanted to or because you were hungry. Also, do you feel you eat when you are bored?
Look through your diet and see if you have eaten your daily portion of the right amount of fruit, veggies, proteins, grains, and dairy. If you lack in any food group, then start small. Have a small salad for lunch with your soup. Try to eat this salad at lunch daily until you are comfortable with it. This might take a few weeks to get used to an extra mixture. Don’t beat yourself up; take it slow like the running you do. Give yourself some time to change your diet.
Make Small Changes over Time in Your Diet
Don’t try to change your whole diet in one day, or you will overwhelm yourself and get the wrong mindset. It’s hard to change habits as much as it’s hard to break habits. Write down what you choose for your 10 percent plate of food.
Don’t feel guilty if you like some junk food occasionally in your diet. Remember to keep reminding yourself to start small. A person who starts to run isn’t going to run 10 miles the first time they start running. This is the same with your diet. No one can change their diet that drastically in one day. If you want a lean frame, then add foods that are lean into your diet.
Now, look at what you plan on eating 90 percent of the time. This is when you fill up with carbs, veggies, fruits, high fiber foods, and some nuts or even trail mixes. Use the 10 percent idea for nights out on the town and occasionally indulge with your friends. Don’t change everything about yourself; change the things you don’t like about your diet.
Don’t Eat When You are Not Hungry
People eat for many reasons, and some eat food for comfort. Stress and other emotions can trigger off people’s vices, and if your vice is food, identify the triggers. Are you eating because you are lonely and bored? Think about what you eat and when you eat and if you are not hungry, then drink a glass of water. Water will fill a person up and energize them. If you are feeling light-headed and low on energy after a run, then, by all means, make a small healthy meal for yourself.
Don’t Beat Yourself up Over Your Diet
Runners should never take their training too seriously, or they are going to suffer mentally and physically from being too hard on themselves. Food is the same way; runners don’t take your meals too seriously. Eat when you are hungry. You know what is healthy for you 90 percent of the time. The other 10 percent, enjoy yourself. Try new foods and see if they fit into your diet and fill up one of the servings of a food group. Make this a fun experience, because if you take anything in life too seriously, the triggers start the bad habits again. Enjoy running and planning out your diet with friends.