Monday, February 2, 2015

Diet Lately

Something I've been thinking about lately are all the things that go into training. Running, obviously. Strength training, for sure. Foam rolling and stretching, yes. Proper rest, definitely. And let's not forget nutrition.

One of my 2015 goals is to eat to perform. A few months ago, I read an article in Running Times titled Your Fastest Weight. It probably comes as no surprise to learn that lighter and leaner = faster, at least to a certain extent. And since I'm not currently in a heavy training or racing period, now is the perfect time to focus on dropping a few pounds of fat.

So these past few weeks I've been religiously logging my meals and workouts using My Fitness Pal. I really like that I can customize my goal carb, protein and fat ratios for the day, as well as view stats like calories, fat, protein, sugar, fiber, calcium, etc. And so far, it's working! Already I've lost the extra pounds I put on post-marathon and am looking to drop a few more before I get into the spring/summer racing season.

This free app makes it easy to track nutrition and progress

Because I want this to be a sustainable 'diet', I don't really have any rules, other than I need to stick within my calorie limits, eat a good variety and limit processed foods. I have my eating spaced out because I find I feel better when I eat smaller amounts, several times a day. It helps me avoid feeling grossly full and also keeps energy levels up!

I'm also giving myself two 'cheat' meals per week. For example, going out to lunch with coworkers or Bacon Hashbrown Casserole for brunch. Food should be enjoyed and cutting out all treats is unrealistic not to mention boring!

A Sample Day

Breakfast: Bagel (whole-grain) with 1 Tbsp peanut butter + 1 serving plain low-fat kefir
Snack 1: 1 container low-fat Greek yogurt* + 1/8 cup granola (I liked Bear Naked Fit)
Snack 2: 2 cups raw vegetables
Lunch: 1 Chicken and Black Bean Enchilada + 1 banana
Snack 1: 3 cups plain popcorn sprinkled with 1 tsp grated Parmesan cheese
Snack 2: Picky Bar or Larabar
Dinner: Veggie egg scramble** + 1 apple

My healthy and delicious Chicken and Black Bean Enchiladas


So, pretty simple, right? Nutrition should not be complicated. A healthy training diet = Everything in moderation :)

My questions for you:
  • Do you consider nutrition part of your training? 
  • Do you have any restrictions on what you can and can't eat as part of a training diet?
  • How many times per day do you typically eat?
  • What is your favorite treat food?

Anyone that knows me well know that I heart cookies!

- ST

*Choose a yogurt that's lower in sugar, i.e. Chobani Simply
** 2 eggs, 2-3 cups veggies of choice (I like spinach, tomatoes and corn), 1/8 cup shredded cheese (2 percent)

80 comments:

  1. This is great! While it can be tedious, logging your meals is a great way to stay on track if only because it makes you aware of what you're putting into your mouth. And there will come a point where you're about to eat something hideous and because you log your meals, you're not going to want to see that mess up your whole day's calories and nutrients! It's very helpful. And you're totally going about it the right way by focusing on how what you put in your body will affect your workouts and it's not that you just want to lose weight. You want to perform better. It gives what you're doing specific meaning and becomes more of a lifestyle you can sustain. Awesome!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ha, I agree - having to log too many treats or seeing myself go over on calories for the day definitely makes me think twice about eating certain foods. Usually enough to make a smarter decision :)

      Delete
  2. I go through phases with logging my meals but I still recommend doing it to everyone. Starting out or hitting plateaus it can help you find the patterns you need to keep or change.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree! It can be very helpful to look back and see what things worked and what things did not work. Sometimes I even find old recipes or meal ideas to use again :)

      Delete
  3. I love My Fitness Pal, although when I am struggling to stick to my calorie goal I just don't log my food. Kind of the thought that if I don't write it down it doesn't count. Too bad it doesn't actually work this way.

    I totally consider nutrition as part of my training, but if I am craving something I eat it. I just try not to go overboard. I

    Good luck!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Lol - I have that same thought sometimes. If I don't log it, does it really count? ;)

      I think it's important to treat yourself within reason. Sometimes cravings are your body's way of telling you something!

      Delete
  4. Nutrition is a huge part of my training. My fitness pal is a great way to keep track of what you eat and don't eat. I try to focus on eating whole foods and staying away from sugar and processed foods. Nice to meet you #Growyourblog hop.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's great to meet you, too! I'm loving discovering new blogs through #GrowYourBlogHop!

      Delete
  5. Yup, junk in, junk out. I can always tell if I'm eating more processed foods than I should be, but sometimes it can't be helped. I got a crock pot for Christmas and I can't wait to make some good meals with it!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Crockpot recipes online make me drool - such a good way to add flavor without a ton of calories and fat!

      Delete
  6. this is the first time I have seen the fitness pal- I am not very good at trying to keep track of stuff like that. I am a firm believer that junk in = junk out so I do try to make better food choices and stay away from processed foods when I can. I will take a look at the app though- it couldn't hurt! I do eat every few/four hours or so at least a little something, otherwise I am always hungry!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yay, another frequent eater! I swear it makes the workday go by faster ;)

      Delete
  7. This recipe looks yummy! And I LOVE My Fitness Pal! You can find entries for any food or any restaurant! It really makes tracking what you eat so much easier!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree - I love being able to look up restaurant items and have easy access to nutrition info for foods I regularly eat. Makes it so convenient :)

      Delete
  8. Nutrition is one area in which I struggle, but recently I began trying to get more vegetables into my diet (I love green peppers...who knew!?!?) and trying to cook more with my wok and crock pot. My wife and I are both starting to really enjoy a few meals I make that I probably wouldn't have "liked" or thought about making a while back.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Trying new foods is fun and finding new ways to sneak in extra veggies is great :) I heart green peppers - I eat them in my raw veggie mix every day - love the crunch they add!

      Delete
  9. I have been trying to get back into logging all of my meals and workouts using My Fitness Pal too! I go through a period of a few days doing really well and then a really busy day comes along or a day where I snack here and there a lot and I lose my streak! I eat about 7 times per day, breakfast, morning snack, lunch, two snacks spread out before dinner and then another snack after dinner. I'm glad to see someone else who snacks as much as I do :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hehe - fellow snackers unite! The way I see it is ... the more times per day I get to eat, the more I have to look forward to throughout the day ;)

      Delete
  10. I'm using My Fitness Pal too, in combination with my new Fitbit! I'm trying to really stick it out with logging meals all day - I used to log everything I brought to work, and then want to eat a ton at dinner and would just never record that. I try to space out my snacks and meal throughout the day (every 2 hours) but sometimes I get bored and *accidentally* eat the next snack "early"... oops!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Lol - that sounds very familiar :) If I don't space my food out throughout the day, I'm almost guaranteed to eat too large of a dinner. And then end up feeling gross and bloated when it's time to go to bed. Yikes.

      Delete
  11. Nutrition is definitely part of my training. I can tell a huge difference in my workouts if I've eaten unhealthy. I'm not a fan of counting calories. I focus on eating clean 80% of the time. I eat about 5 times a day.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think eating clean 80 percent of the time is fantastic - and a realistic goal for most people. Keep up the great work :)

      Delete
  12. After I got injured last fall nutrition fell by the wayside. Now that I am back to building my base, I am trying to hard to get back on track with my eating. I know that the extra pounds aren't helping but it is all about baby steps for me at this point. The trick for me is advanced planning. I try to take my entire days worth of meals and snacks to the office. If I forget to do this, I get derailed fairly easily. Good luck to you!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Advance planning makes all the difference! On Sundays, I usually do a bit of meal prep and chop all my vegetables, make an entree and divide it up into individual portions, etc. Otherwise, takeout would be way too appealing :)

      Delete
  13. I try and keep my nutrition on the forefront, especially when marathon training. I go for the 80/20 rule becuase life is too short to be that strict. If I want a cookie every now and then, I am going to have it!

    I think MFP is a great app to show you exactly what you are putting into your body! Good luck with your goals and that enchilada recipe sounds amazing!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Love it - I agree - life is too short to give up cookies :)

      Delete
  14. That enchilada sounds delicious. I use My Fitness Pal as well. Like you, I love that I'm able to check on my carbs/protien/fat ratio throughout the day.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I like that the enchilada recipe lets me eat a food I love while still sticking within my nutrition plan. Nom :)

      Delete
  15. Nutrition is definitely important for training. For me, I try to eat "real food" and whole foods as much as possible. I think 80 - 90% healthy and some wine and chocolate never hurt anyone. I try not to think of it as a diet. More of a lifestyle. I don't track calories or anything. My downfall is chocolate covered anything - especially almonds. Swinging by from #GrowYourBlog hop! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Chocolate! I would totes like some right now :) I agree a little wine and chocolate never hurt anyone. Some might even say a little bit is healthy ;)

      Delete
  16. I do consider nutrition a part of my training, but I agree with you about the diet part, I just can't cut out things I like completely, without it backfiring on me. I'm not a huge snacker, so I eat three meals a day, but breakfast and dinner are bigger than lunch. I just eat lunch for the sole purpose of getting to dinner haha and I think we both know each other's favorite treats. Carbs carbs and more carbs!!:)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Haha, we do love our carbs :) In all forms. Especially sweet ones!

      Delete
  17. I too am trying to learn how to use food as fuel! I use MyFitness Pal as well and love that app. I'm trying to become a little bit leaner and stronger to get to my goal marathon time. I eat about 6 times a day right now, all very small portions. That works so much better for me rather than 3 meals. But I'm a sugar-a-holic, so that can be a problem sometimes :/ Stopping by from the blog hop!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Smaller portions are the way to go! I'm a sugar-a-holic, too, so I know how it goes. Especially during the afternoon when any type of carb or chocolate sounds amazing! ;)

      Delete
  18. This post rings pretty true to what I am trying to do myself. I am one of those people that can train physically great, but I really slack off in the diet end. It's actually one of my goals this month to work on improving my diet, watching my calorie intake and making sure everything I put in my body is a bit healthier:)
    I used to use My Fitness Pal too, it was great. I switched over to the Fitbit food app, because I use a fitbit, so that is the one I am using now. But they are great tools to keep track of the calories!!! Good luck with your diet and training!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Kristy and good luck to you as well with your diet and training! We can cheer each other on via the blogs :)

      Delete
    2. Thanks to this comment, I just realized that you can log your food on Fitbit. I'll have to look into whether I'd like that better than MFP, which I use.

      Cookies are one of my favorites, too!

      Delete
  19. I'm pretty bad when it comes to nutrition and marathon training; I usually just eat whatever I want until 6 weeks before the race, when I notice I should probably drop a few pounds. At that point, I'll cut out things like alcohol, candy, and fried foods, and I end up losing about 5 pounds in those weeks leading up to the race.

    On a typical day, I eat about 5-6 times. 2 to 3 of those times are snacks, and usually not healthy snacks. My favorite treats are gummy bears, Swedish fish, and chips.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ha, I love all of those treats you listed - especially Swedish Fish. I can't keep them in my house because I can't stay away from them if they are anywhere near me :) So good!

      Delete
  20. I do consider nutrition part of training. But it's also just a great habit to get into! Most of my limitations on what I try to stay away from is processed food. That will get you every time!

    It depends on the day how often I eat. If I'm at work then I may not even get a lunch break (health care field)! But when I'm at home I'll keep it to several smaller meals so I don't want to eat everything in the kitchen!

    My kryptonite with treats is usually sweets! I like to bake, so I'll make cookies and it's hard not to sneak a bite! But moderation is key to everything right?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sweets are definitely my weakness, too! And I agree - moderation is key. Nothing wrong with a cookie here and there :)

      Delete
  21. The enchiladas look so yummy. One of my goals is to run a WDW marathon and the Army Ten miler (at the Pentagon). I am pretty far from those goals financially and physically. I have to lose weight from thyroid issues and figure out more ways to deal with sciatica. I likely have at least mild asthma and cannot pass a lung test anyway due to goiter problems. I am flat-footed, pigeon-toed and bow-legged. Yet, I am confident I will run a marathon in the next five years. Determination!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You CAN do it - confidence my friend :) Looking forward to reading all about your marathon success!

      Delete
  22. I always find that working on my diet is the hardest thing for me to stick to in a training plan. I have a really hard time saying no to cravings and delicious foods most of the time even though I know the better I eat, the better I feel for my runs to an extent. I found that My Fitness Pal wasn't a good way to go for me because I became way to obsessive about it and decided it wasn't worth it if I always had to stress about every single bite. I'm trying to find a healthy middle now.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree that nutrition is often the hardest part of any training plan. It's so easy to get into the mindset of thinking you deserve all the treats because you ran X miles or sweated your tail off in a group exercise class. At least that's my problem :)

      I hope you find a healthy middle :)

      Delete
  23. I am so lazy! I can't log everything in the MFP for more than a couple days at a time. I should actually say I am so busy. I like to eat every two hours especially when I am training. And I am not careful about what it is. Bad bad me!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. After my fall marathon, I was eating anything I wanted every two hours. The day basically looked like this: cookies, cookies, candy, cookies and more cookies. Sadly that diet did not agree with me when I started back up with training ;)

      Delete
  24. Nutrition definitely plays a huge role in my training. Although its often easy to grab what looks most appetizing or what's easiest to make, properly fueling my body will help me to perform better at races and during training sessions at the gym. Poor nutrition definitely contributes to slower runs and generally feeling run down.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Definitely - I usually do not eat as well on the weekends and can always tell during my Monday workout. It motivates me to get back on track so I feel better the rest of the week!

      Delete
  25. Great post! I use MyNetDiary for the same purposes and absolutely consider nutrition as a key part of training. But, like you, I don't think that there are any "forbidden" foods -- it's a matter of fitting everything into your calorie budget for the day! (Which, by necessity makes you eat more healthy, which really works out great all around!)
    My weaknesses are totally sweets - ice cream, cookies, cupcakes, pancakes, sigh :-) But, keeping up the activity level lets you have those . . .occasionally!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I had not heard of MyNetDiary so will have to check it out. Thanks for sharing :)

      Delete
  26. I think tracking your diet is a great way to help you reach your goals. When you are looking to accomplish something very specific I think it's one of the only ways to really nail down how your eating impacts your body. Right now I am eating Whole30 style, so quite a few restrictions. I like that I don't have to track things as long as I'm within the rules, but if I was looking to accomplish a specific dietary goal I'd go back to religiously racking my food like I used to. My favorite tracker app was Cron-O-Meter. It's a little more in depth that some trackers, but very interesting.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'll have to look up Cron-O-Meter - I'm always interested in learning about new fitness tools! From what I've read, Whole 30 sounds tough - but it seems like people that do the plan really like the results :)

      Delete
  27. I've kinda fallen off the wagon lately with My Fitness Pal, so I really need to get back into that! That's awesome that it's working well for you, and hooray for cheat meals! <3 Those enchiladas look super good. :D

    Nutrition is most definitely part of my training, and I'm somewhat of a grazer, so I eat throughout the day. My favorite treat food at the moment = homemade trail mixes! :]

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yum - trail mix is such a good snack! I like that it has a blend of salty and sweet!

      Delete
  28. I'm not training for anything but I have come to realize how important nutrition is. I've found that small meals throughout the day are best for keeping my energy up and just generally feeling good. I don't have a specific number and I don't track it but I know it works for me.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. How you feel is sometimes the best marker of all as to the success of a nutrition plan!

      Delete
  29. I use MFP too. I don't track religiously, but whenever I do, it's very helpful! Those enchiladas look delicious!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks! The enchiladas were great - healthy, delicious and satisfying - my favorite combo :)

      Delete
  30. Just pinned your enchilada recipe - those look tasty! I'm training for the runDisney Glass Slipper Challenge at WDW at the end of the month.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for pinning! I've always wanted to do a Disney race - they look like so much fun. Enjoy! :)

      Delete
  31. Definitely consider it a part of my training! I'm trying to be a lot smarter about it this time around too. Last time I think I was under-fueled. I need to get myself that app.

    I usually eat 4 or 5 times a day (smallish snacks/meals).

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Small meals are the way to go! Fueling right is so tricky to master. I feel I'm always a work in progress :)

      Delete
  32. I absolutely LOVE My Fitness Pal. I use it for myself, but I also like it for my clients too. They can print off a list of what they're eating, and I can see where we need to tweak it. It's a great form of accountability!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I had no idea you can print off a list of what you're eating. What a great feature!

      Delete
  33. I'm on MFP too! It's such a great tool. One of my favorite features is the ability to customize your macros. I'm very thankful to not have any severe sensitivities to any foods, but we do try to limit processed foods as much as possible. I don't use the word "cheat" only because to me that screams guilt and negativity and I am trying to disassociate those kinds of emotions from food. I have teenage girls and I don't want them walking the path of potential eating disorders. We talk about mindful eating and that eating things you like within reason is good for your overall well being even if it isn't the "healthiest" choice.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's an excellent point - no food should be considered "bad". It's more about making healthy choices - and sometimes being healthy includes treating yourself!

      Delete
  34. You know you are addicted to MFP when you have a 1100+ login in streak.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Matilda - that is IMPRESSIVE! Lol - I think I'm doing well when I get 5 days in a row ;) Keep up the great work!

      Delete
  35. I do not log my meals, I wish I was good at that. I have never been one to track anything about food or calories, etc. I just feed my body what it needs for my training {a particular run} other than that, just clean and healthy with some good cheese here and there:)
    From Grow Your Blog, happy to meet you

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Good cheese is an essential part of any diet :) Feeding your body what it needs is what I consider a healthy diet - probably the healthiest diet!

      Delete
  36. I love this! I just started my training cycle last week for my first marathon, and one thing I was going to work on was nutrition - and I also started using MyFitnessPal! I'm definitely with you on the cheat meals, no one should have to give up chocolate (that's a meal, right?)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Chocolate is definitely a meal ;) Best of luck on training for your first marathon - you will love the experience!

      Delete
  37. Sadly I limit my wine and fair when training. Neither make me feel good when I run.
    Meals: 3 a day plus an afternoon snack
    Treat: cookies and cake

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I limit alcohol as well. It's sad but like you said it doesn't really agree with running. However, it does make a post-race cocktail taste that much sweeter ;)

      Delete
  38. I consider nutrition as a part of my training but find it very difficult to focus on weight, while training. So, I do kinda what you're doing...I don't restrict myself...I try to minimize junk but I live by the "nothing's off limits" philosophy #weightWatchers ;-) I also agree with you on eating smaller meals more frequently...I HATE feeling full...I eat 3 meals and 2-3 snacks a day. My favorite treat food...would have to be PEANUT BUTTER...ANYTHING. lol

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yum - I hear you on peanut butter - that stuff is like gold. So good!

      Delete
  39. I agree with you, my nutrition shouldn't be complicated or else it's too hard to stay on track. Those enchiladas looks delicious!

    ReplyDelete
  40. what a fantastic dishes looks very beautiful and delicious, i just wanted this lovely, yummy, hmmmmmmm.
    Chowringhee Restaurant in South campus | Online Food Delivery Order south campus

    ReplyDelete
  41. I found that site very usefull and this survey is very cirious,
    gluten-free

    ReplyDelete