One of the things I'm struggling with this week is eating. And trying not to do it so often. When I was training for the marathon, I more or less ate clean, but ate a lot. I was always hungry, eating just about every 2 hours or so. After doing the Resting Metabolic Rate test and working with my nutritionist, I learned that if I ate 1757 calories a day without any exercise, I would maintain my weight. But I was working out twice a day and was burning up to 500 calories/day, so my daily calorie goal was 2257 - almost 2300 calories! I'm sure I was probably eating more than that because I gained a good 5 lbs during the training period. My kind friends tell me that its muscle...but I don't think so...
Last week, after the marathon, I celebrated and ate pretty much whatever I wanted to, and didn't record a thing. But this week I've been working hard on trying to get back on track. I want to get back to my pre-training weight.
So I'm trying to limit myself 2000 calories/day. Its not that many calories less than what I was eating, so you'd think it'd be easy, but its not. I do fine until the mid-afternoon. Around 3 pm, I start clamoring for snacks. And I mean I start climbing the wall! My first instinct is to head to the vending machines for some Pop Chips.
I am definitely a morning workout person and I workout at 6 am during the week. I find that its the best way to start off the day. But the reason I also did an evening workout was to avoid the 5 pm pig-out. I've learned that this is when I snack the most. If I don't workout and head home after work, I'll eat anything and everything I have in the kitchen. That was an extra 300 or so calories a day. So to avoid that, I worked out.
But since I'm STILL recovering (I honestly did not think it would take this long), this week I've just done the morning workouts. And sure enough, the week started out on Monday by me coming home from work and plopping myself down on the couch with a bag of blue corn tortilla chips and salsa. As soon as I was done eating, I had eater's regret and wished I never ate it. Here are some tips that my nutritionist gave me:
* Eat small, frequent meals.
* Gradually scale down calories. Don't try to cut too many at once.
* If you'll be doing more strength training, eat more lean protein. > Drop carb intake, don't cut it. > Follow a strength workout with protein right away (a bar, Greek yogurt or fruit and cottage cheese).
* If you have any muscle soreness, eat magnesium. > Whole grains > Avocados > Spinach
* Eat high volume foods, i.e., filling foods without as many calories. > Fruits and vegetables
* If you need a sweet treat, have dark chocolate. > A serving should be the size of a Hershey's Kiss > The darker the better > Make sure it doesn't have hydrogenated, palm or coconut oil
Since Monday, I've been tracking what I've eaten and trying to stay within 1900-2000 calories/day. At first it was tough, but after 3 days, its definitely gotten better. The counting of calories definitely helps me make smarter food choices and has helped me to stay on track so far.