Race for Life - Update - Healthy Eating
Sunday, 10 May 2015
When you start out on your Race for Life training weight loss and body toning are not the main focus, most people sign up to make a difference and raise money to help fund cancer research. If you train before the event but don’t normally do any regular exercise it might me a good idea to take a look at what you are eating. It is important that your efforts on the road or the treadmill are complemented by the food you eat.
Here are some tips to help you make the most of your Race for Life experience:
Keep a food diary. Make a note of everything you eat and when you eat it. The food diary will give you a really good idea of the things you need to change about your eating habits and might help you plan to have a post run out snack to hand or eat something to give you energy before you go out and train.
Start counting – not calories, because that takes the enjoyment out of eating. Add up the amount of fats, proteins and carbohydrates you eat during the day. As a guide, you should be looking to eat 2 portions of protein a day (eggs, lean meat, lentils), 5 portions of carbohydrates (pasta, bread, cereal), 3 portions of dairy food (milk, yogurt, cheese) and at least 5 portions of fruit and vegetables. (If you are looking to lose weight, keep portion sizes small – a handful of rice/pasta, two medium size potatoes, one egg).
Swap food. Red and processed meats are linked to bowel cancer so cutting down can help cut the risk. Try chicken curry instead of beef stew or switch from ham to tuna at lunch. Check out Change4Life for lots more ideas.
Plan your menu. At the start of each week plan your main meals. Taking an overview of the whole week will enable you to see if you are getting the proportions of protein, carbohydrate and fat right. It will also help you with your weekly food shop and help you cut out buying high fat/high calorie food stuffs.
Here are some of the foods I have been eating recently, I'm trying to eat plenty of fruit, veg and protein but still feel satisfied:
Consider what you are snacking on. Crisps, cakes, biscuits and chocolates are tasty but empty calories – they have a high sugar content but they will not fill you up or give you the long-term energy you need. They give you a quick boost of energy which will soon drop leading to you becoming tired. After a work out, it is important that you re-fuel. If you do your run and then go straight to work without eating something, you will soon begin to feel hungry and this is the time you will chose to eat unwise snacks. It is really important that you drink plenty of water throughout the day. This will keep you alert, keep you healthy and can also counter hunger pangs.
For more tips on getting on track with your training download the Race for Life app, which provides advice and support in the build up to your race.
Are you taking part in Race for Life this year? How has your Race for Life training been going? I've had a few injuries and even some stitches so mine hasn't been great but I've been focusing on drinking more water and eating more fresh food and meals cooked from scratch.