The marathon was three weeks ago, and my focus has completely switched to my triathlon training. I've been in some form of training for different races the last two years, but this time around I'm approaching some aspects of my training a little differently. The biggest change is that I’m really trying to pay attention to my nutrition.
Let me start off by saying I HATE the concept of dieting. HATE. I've easily spent over a third of my life on a diet, and it really did nothing for me mentally or physically. I know it works for some people, but anyone that has know me most of my life knows it never worked for me.
Since I started running two years ago, I have never really been too concerned about my weight. Honestly, I haven't. I still would get on the scale just out of curiosity, but I've never really run to lose weight. Even though the scale sometimes doesn't change much at all, I've been able to tell for a long time that I have gotten smaller and that is really all that mattered to me.
But with that said, I have REALLY enjoyed seeing myself in pictures being smaller/more fit with little change in my eating habits. So now I just want to see what progress I can make if I continue training and combine it with healthier eating.
My plan is to focus on eating more calories in the morning and early afternoon, and then cutting back in the evenings when my body is resting. I've been experimenting with different foods and what is practical for my schedule, and have come up with my general eating plan.
Breakfast will be a homemade protein shake that contains Muscle milk, espresso, and skim milk. I've been playing with the recipe for a few weeks now and have it almost perfected. I love iced coffee, and it tastes almost just like it. Some days the shake is enough, other days I end up eating a snack mid morning if I need it. Water is another thing I’m adding in as well, I need to get much better about drinking water all day.
I have a great advantage of getting a free lunch at work, and have the luxury of lots of choices. Generally I eat a big spring mix salad with either turkey, grilled chicken, or some tuna salad. (I actually really enjoy salad) I always eat some kind of carb like a soft pretzel or some wheat thins, because if not I'm hungry an hour afterwards. If I'm not in a salad mood I'll have some kind of sandwich and a few fries or chips if the mood strikes me.
At dinner, I was eating a fairly large meal, but now I’m going to try and eat smaller meals that are around 300-350 calories. This week my evening meals are as follows:
3 Slices of Turkey Bacon (75), 1 Egg+ 2 Egg whites (110), Sandwich Thin Toast with 1.5 tsp of Smart Balance (140), = 325 cal
Veggie Burger on Sandwich Thin (220), Carrots (50), Low Fat Ranch/Hot Sauce mix (80), = 350 cal
Grilled Salmon (140), ½ c. Cous Cous (110), big serving of Steamed Broccoli (80), = 330 cal
And when the mood strikes me I plan on adding a really simple smoothie to the mix it’s about 1 c. of mixed frozen berries (80), 4 oz fruit juice (60), Water = 140 cal
I have been seeing more and more information about the benefits of cutting back meals in the evening, so that was a bit of a factor of cutting back calories in the evenings. Also, these are foods I really enjoy and I don’t mind repetition, so I don’t feel like I’m missing out on anything. I have a small concern that my energy level may drop, but I certainly want to try this plan and see what happens.
Of course, since this isn’t a diet, I give myself the right to enjoy some fries at lunch now and again, and also some Friday night pizza sessions which is why I don’t consider this a diet at all. I’m sure some of you disagree with that logic, and that’s fine, but I’ve found a good balance for myself.