My determination post-surgery to resuming training has served me well. Over the past five weeks, I’ve remained consistent with efforts to push my body and retain as much fitness as possible. I’ve also remained focused on eating well. This year, one of my goals is to overcome my fears of running faster and longer. Through improvements in my diet, I will reduce my weight and make my body composition leaner. I won’t be using calorie restriction to drop weight, rather, I’ll use meal planning and prep to improve what I eat and be more specific with the calories on my plate. Last year, I spent time learning to eat well and to fuel for endurance training. Through that process, I began to understand just how profoundly food impacts my mood as well as my overall feelings of well being. Eating for performance is more than supplying sufficient energy to complete a training session. In addition to improving my mood, I’m also able to improve my sleep and the speed at which my body recovers from a workout. You are what you eat.
The primary reason that I haven’t made more improvements is my reluctance to apply sufficient discipline to my food and plan what I will eat each week. The combination of those two lax approaches has slowed the formation of new eating habits. The lack of planning also results in impromptu meals that are more habit than healthy or even satisfying (read: fast food). I have lost the taste for a lot of standard fast-food restaurants, but the convenience and speed can’t be denied. Coupling convenience with the power of long-standing habits, and allowing the healthy food-train to go off the tracks is too fucking easy.
Making some changes
So, rather than hope that I’ll improve, I’ve taken a few steps toward improving my daily diet. Robin and I have discussed meal prepping. The primary issue is refrigerator space. After calculating the number of containers that will be required, we determined that a second refrigerator is necessary. My food targets are below and you’ll notice that I have a lot of calories to ingest each day. Even with supplements, the intake of 230+ g of protein is not easy.
- Monday, Saturday (Long, Endurance Workout days) 3679 Calories (Carbs 495g, Fat 83g, Protein 238g)
- Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday (Typical workout days) 3087 Calories (Carbs 347g, Fat 83g, Protein 238g)
- Sunday (Rest day) 2350 Calories (Carbs 223g, Fat 74g, Protein 198g)
To get the above-listed calories (and mix of macronutrients), I eat 5-6 times a day. Typically, two breakfasts, lunch, after lunch, dinner, and then a meal after that. Fortunately, Robin has been willing to prepare food for me. However, I see the toll it takes on her. Preparing meals so frequently consumes tremendous amounts of her time every day. This time can be used more wisely. We’ve purchased a new refrigerator and I’ve picked out lots of meals that are amenable to being prepared in large batches and stored for several days.
Now it’s time to go grocery shopping and get to preppin’