We all strive to be healthy and make sure we aren’t over eating and eating the right food. As I decided as part of my training for my second half marathon to read Matt Fitzgerald The New Rules of Marathon and Half-Marathon Nutrition I decided it was time to to a good hard look at my nutrition.
Using MyFitnessPal I logged my meals for a few days then pulled out my Sports Nutrition book by Nancy Clark and did some calculation. The numbers that I came up with were shocking. I was eating anywhere from 1000-1400 calories. I know you are going to read this and be like “don’t you have a background in this….. and you were only consuming that?”
Yes I do have a background in nutrition and have strived very hard to eat healthy and fuel my body and teach my students and athletes about proper nutrition. I never had calculated what my body actually needs and let me tell you it brought light to so many issues.
According to Nancy Clark you need to find out how much you should actually weigh: 100 lbs for first 5ft then 5lbs for every inch after. Then to find out how many calories you should actually be consuming you must first find your resting metabolic weight. Take your weight or what you should weigh and multiply by 10. Your resting metabolic rate is the calories you need to live.
I took my current weight of 132.5, equaling a RMR of 1325. Now when I saw that number and new the highest I got on a regular basis was roughly 1400 I was appalled at myself. How could I be starving myself when I preach to my students to EAT! I eat and I truley thought I was fueling my body correctly, clearly I had to reteach myself a few things!
After finding my RMR I had to figure out my activities of daily living. This is how active you are throughout the day without any purposeful exercise: sedentary add 20-40%; moderately active 50%; very active 60-80%.
1325 x .5 =662.5 take this number and add it to your RMR my number is 1982.5. This is the number you need to perform every day tasks! YIKES! What have I been doing to my body over the last few years? This explains why I feel tired; why I would be throughly exhausted on a 2 mile run; why my period has been a bit screwy; and probably why I have been moody, irritable, and easily agitated.
Next, Clark tells you to add your calories burned during purposeful exercise to the number you just came up with. I then went through my strava account and averaged my calories burned on 3, 4, and 5 mile runs just to give me a base. When I run I should be eating anywhere between 2100-24000 calories. That will go up as my miles go up.
Along with finding I need to up my calories I learned about the 2-Diet rule in my Marathon Nutrition book. Simply put it states within the weeknyou should eat more veggies than fruit; more fruit than nuts and seeds; more nuts and seeds than fish and lean meats; more fish and lean meats than whole grains; more while grains than dairy (dairy alternative); more dairy than refined grains; more refined grains than fatty meats; more fatty meats than sweets; more sweets than fried foods. Fitzgerald talks about stocking up on fruits and veggies and adding nuts,seeds,whole grain and lean meats for balance and really try to limit the other categories as much as possible.
It has been two week since I have taken action in changing the way I eat. I have become more conscious of how many calories I eat during the day and make sure those calories are coming from nutrien dense foods! I do leave Saturday or Sunday as a non documented day. If there is definitely one thing I learned over the last few years you cannot and should not deprive yourself of those foods you love! You should be able to have a treat in moderation of course 😉 and that is what 1 day a week is for me. I’d do not go crazy at every meal but if I want some vegan ice cream I’ll have it!
These last two weeks have done amazing things for me athletically. I have felt amazing and been able to maintain a good constant pace when I run. I don’t feel as tired after working out. Before I could go 1-2 miles and feel ok and after that I struggled to keep a good pace and would start to feel exhausted. I feel refreshed and most importantly I am becoming a better role model for my daughter and my athletes.
I encourage you to take the time and see if you are eating enough and then evaluate where your calories are coming from. When you start making you better you can become that great role model for others!
Clark, N. (2014). Sports Nutrition Guideline (5th ed.). Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics.
Fitzgerald, M. (2013). The New Rules of Marathon and Half-Marathon Nutrition. Philadelphia, PA: Da Capo Press.