What no one ever tells you when you are beginning an intense training regime (at least no one ever told me) is how HUNGRY you will be ALL THE TIME. I swear, I can never be satiated, especially in and around my days of long runs. This past weekend I had two gatherings with friends Friday and Saturday night that involved tables full of finger foods, like puppy chow (it is a drug), wheat thins and dips (I don't buy wheat thins because I can't keep a box longer than 3 days), shrimp, and breads (hellloooo carbs!). Well, shut the front door, because even if I eat before I go to these events, do not even get me started on what it is like to be in a room with open, easy accessibility to food with my metabolism right now. The good thing about my condo and living alone is that I do not keep a lot of snack foods, because once I pop open a bag of something, it is like I am a scavenging lion from Scar's ruling in The Lion King (yup, movie was on the other night so I had to make a reference). Due to this fact, I typically only buy granola bars, cereal, cheese sticks and waffles (which I do eat frozen...weird habit), so I can't really go to town on any of those items besides the cereal which I feel ok about since at least it is fortified with vitamins and minerals. (Things I tell myself to make myself feel better).
Anyways, the bottom line is, I am a bottomless pit! I finally understand why people cannot lose much weight while training for intense races. Granted, I could make smarter food choices sometimes, since I do have a huge sweet tooth, but I generally, six days of the week, really eat healthy, and I always plan out my meals. The key for me is to make sure I am eating every 2-3 hours so I never get so hungry that I become hANgry, grumpy or lose control. I also have started tracking my training and eating on SparkPeople which allows me to keep track on how much I am eating (so I eat more or less depending on what I have eaten throughout the day) and my mileage and exercise type/time totals. I also keep track of my weight and inches so I know how what I am eating and how my training affects my size. It's been fun to see changes and understand how my energy level, mood and runs are affected by what I am eating. I definitely notice the mind-body-spirit connections. It's pretty incredible. The next time I train, I may try more of an intuitive eating approach so I am more in touch with what my body is telling me it needs, rather than what I think I need, to see if there are any changes when I do that.
What are some of your big food cravings when you are in training mood?! I find that peanut butter ALWAYS tastes good, and I want dinner at about 4 PM!