I hear this all the time – “I just ran five miles so I earned this donut!” Well, if we constantly live this way - then we will derail any efforts put forth to become healthier, leaner, faster and stronger. This mentality may also result in weight gain! While we do need to eat more food as we work out or run, it needs to be high quality food. We cannot view our workouts as calorie in/calorie out (I have discussed this in previous blog posts).
The other side of this equation is the overweight runner. Many people tell me that I am thin because I run. This is not true – I lost the weight BEFORE I started running long distances. Poor food choices will cause weight gain even if you are running or working out every day. How many overweight marathoners do we all know? These people put in a ton of miles and many of them do not lose a lot of weight. I am not calling any one out here, I am just saying running or daily exercise doesn’t make you thin by itself. Weight loss is found in the kitchen, not on the trail!
My view is this: The training should remind us that we need to eat clean so we can do more, have less injury, and achieve our goals! In 14 months I ran five marathons and a 50K Ultra. I was able to do this because my diet supported this level of training. When you eat high quality foods, your body will reward you because you can do more!
It can be a slippery slope to run to eat. We should view food as “eating to live!” I am not saying we should never have a treat, but the daily thought pattern of rewarding yourself with bad food because you worked out is not sustainable.
Change your thinking and change your life!