If you’ve been following along with my New York Marathon training updates, you will know that we are just over a month away from the big day.
Training is going pretty well, I’m trying to fit in all of my runs and stick to the pace targets set by Gia. This week I’ve scheduled in Pilates, Yoga AND weights, as well as all of my runs, and am aiming to get plenty of sleep. One thing that I know I can improve on in the 32 days (but who’s counting?) is my nutrition. I am asking my body to knock out back to back days of hard running, as well as pushing it down the Thames Tow path for 20 miles at a time. The least I could do is fill it with the right kind of fuel…
Last week I was in Denmark with work, where I ate a lot. We were treated to 5 course lunches, tasting menus and double breakfasts, as well as mid-morning snacks of mussels and soup (slightly odd, I agree).
It was amazing, if a little indulgent. I didn’t hold back, clearing my plate on most occasions and tucking into the steaming bread baskets overflowing with delicous rye bread and freshly baked sour dough with salty butter.
And yet, when I got back to London and hopped on the scale (covering my eyes slightly), I discovered that I’d lost weight!!
So I had a little think about everything I’d eaten, and realised that it was all fresh, seasonal, unprocessed products. Nothing artificial at all. When chatting to friends, some have said they’ve experienced similar weight loss when they’ve cut out processed food.
So… maybe it’s time to cut back on the crap.
According to James Duigan, Crap stands for
P- Processed Foods
“Toxins and acids makes us fat: “Anybody who eats and drinks too much alcohol, fizzy drinks or sugar and processed food, will struggle to keep their weight down. That’s because toxins are stored in fat cells, so they encourage your body to cling on to fat. If you are dieting the regular way but still taking in toxins, you’ll lose weight, but the toxins have will have nowhere to go except back into your system”. source
As I’ve mentioned on the blog before, I hate diets. They don’t work for me, partly as I can’t cut anything major, like dairy, out of my life completely. With my lifestyle, a strict diet simply isn’t sustainable; I work in food, I enjoy eating food and cooking. I love going out for dinner with friends and family, or staying in with a homecooked meal on a Sunday night. Additionally, midway through marathon training is not the time to be overhauling your diet as you don’t know quite how your body will react to the change.
I do drink coffee, but am a wimp and only have 1/2-1 shot when I buy them, so limiting my intake is not a problem.
There are however some positive changes I can make to my diet to improve my nutrition over the next few weeks.
- No more Diet Coke (or fizzy drinks other than sparkling water)
- Drink more water- 2 litres a day!
- Swap squash for Nuun– still get the fruity taste, but with way less calories, and far more benefit
- Cut down the amount of processed food I eat, homemade is the way forward! Apart from energy gels- I have no idea how to make Gu at home.
- Eat 5-7 pieces of fruit and veg a day
- Cut back on Alcohol (I am thinking of giving it up completely for a month, but have never done this before, and to be honest, I am a little nervous!)
- Snacking sensibly, on the right kinds of foods, not a family sized Dairy Milk at 4.30pm!
I am not actively trying to lose weight, sure there are a few Kgs that I would be happy to see the back of, but I’ve plateaued at a weight that looks and feels about right on my 5ft 6 frame. I do however want to feel better, sleep well, have glowing skin, fight off illness and feel less lethargic, and I know cleaning up my food will help with this.
I am still a firm believer of ‘Everything in Moderation’, so if I’ve run 20 miles, I am probably still going to have a cupcake or two to celebrate!
What is your number one tip to improve your diet, health, nutrition?