Tips On Eating & Drinking The Calories You Burn Through With Exercise And Running.
One of the reasons I continue to run to this day is that I can eat what I want (within reason) and not gain much any weight.
However there is a point where eating all of the calories you burn through running becomes detrimental to not just your fitness, but your morale as a runner as well.
Here are a few things I’ve learned about eating through the calories you burn through exercise.
- Whatever you do, don’t eat all of the calories you burn after every single run. You will likely start to gain weight and this will impact your fitness. In 2012 I was guilty of doing this most weeks. I’d wake up rueing my binges. It seemed like I’d cancelled out all of the effort I put into the running for no reason whatsoever
- If you’re just starting out running and you find it extremely difficult, then think of the amount of pain that went into completing your run before you consume junk food. This is especially true if you’re overweight. As you lose weight, running will get easier and then you can have a more liberal attitude to eating the calories you burned.
- A healthier approach is to have a blow-out every now and again where you eat what you want and don’t feel bad about it! This couldn’t be more true on special occasions like your birthday, the Christmas holidays or Thanksgiving. Just before holiday season I’ll put more effort into my running and watch my diet more carefully just to minimise the impact that the party season has upon my waistline.
- Always underestimate the calories you burn when running, particularly if you intend to replace the calories you’ve burned with food. For every mile I run I allow myself to consume 100 more calories. Since I’m 205lbs and 6′ 3″ tall I burn between 120-150 calories per mile (depending upon which online calorie burning calculator I check). This means that I still record a calorific deficit without going hungry.
- If you aren’t hungry after a run, then don’t force yourself to eat. After every race I’ve ran so far, I’ve had zero appetite only for it to return maybe 3 or 4 hours later with vengeance. Listen to your body and you won’t go far wrong. Too many times I’ve forced myself to eat food, only for me to continue on eating all day.
- Try not to feel too down if you struggle to get the eating / exercise balance right. If you gain weight, don’t give up on running or healthier eating. Focus on what went wrong and try to improve bit by bit. It’s taken me 18 months of trial and error to get anywhere near striking a balance that I’m happy with. And I haven’t done that by burning myself out with too much exercise or starving myself either!