Adding Fuel to the Fire

Today’s Workout: 3 miles @ 30 minutes, 20 minute warm-up, 10 minute hill workout

For those of you who tuned in to Fact Friday yesterday, if you guessed that #2 was actually fiction, you’re correct.

I’ve been battling high cholesterol for years now, and have tried everything from running and eating only low-fat foods, to adding high amounts of oatmeal into my diet, and taking fish oil capsules, but for me, unfortunately a lifestyle change isn’t enough to lower my cholesterol. Both my father and my maternal grandmother suffer from high cholesterol and are on medication for it. I have my “last chance” test coming up before I have to relent and let my doctor put me on medication (which may be the best option for me); I’m hoping that the fact I’ve increased my mileage will help, but am not sure. As of now (as far as I know), though, the running hasn’t helped so much.

I also mentioned in last night’s post (that I might as well start calling Fact Saturday, since it’s practically Saturday when it goes up!), that today, I’d be discussing health and wellness. More specifically, fuel. If you’re like me, and lead a busy lifestyle (and it’s hard enough getting the time in for running), you might also have a hard time making sure you get enough food throughout the day. This hasn’t been a problem for me over the holidays, when I could find food around every corner, and was on vacation, but now that I’m in the full swing of things at work, and have dramatically increased my mileage, it’s becoming more difficult for me to make sure I ingest enough fuel to provide me with energy to run.

That’s why I’ve decided to go back on Weight Watchers.

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A lot of people think of weight watchers as a weight loss program, but it’s actually a lifestyle system that helps people monitor their diet (I hate that word!), whether they’re trying to gain or lose weight.

I started out doing weight watchers back in 2012 when I was laid up from running and suffering from plantar fasciitis. At that time, I was looking to lose weight. I was still eating the same amount of food that I was used to eating while working out, and it was catching up to me pretty quickly. Within a few months after starting the weight loss program, I had lost the weight that I had gained, and then some.

When I was finally given the go ahead to start running again, I continued on the program. I was training for my second half marathon, and after being on a weight loss program for so long, I knew I would need to keep tracking my exercise (in case you didn’t know, there’s a weight watchers app that helps you track both your food and exercise, helping you balance the two, so you’re not over-eating or under-eating) and food intake. This time, though, my big concern was making sure that I was getting enough fuel since I was burning so many calories from running so much.

When I’m following weight watchers alongside my half-marathon/marathon training program, I actually have to make sure I’m eating something hourly (minus the three hours before I go running, or else I’ll get sick). They’re usually smaller meals throughout the day, and are much healthier choices than I’d make if I wasn’t on the program. And of course, these healthy choices help me reserve more energy for my runs.

Here’s a breakdown of how my diet has been lately:
Breakfast, 9:00 a.m. : Coffee, usually from Dunkins (Peppermint mocha latte with skim milk)
Lunch, 3:00 p.m. .: Something quick and easy, like Campbell’s soup
No snacks, usually run in the evening, around 6:00 p.m.
After run: Recovery snack (chocolate milk)
Dinner, 9:00 p.m.: usually I’m so tired at this point, it’s something quick and easy, like one of my homemade “Cuban Quesadillas” (recipe to come)

When I’m on Weight Watchers:
Breakfast, 7:30 a.m.: Overnight oats with bananas and blueberries, LARGE coffee (at home) with 4 tbsp international delight creamer
Snack, 10:00 a.m.: banana and/or granola bar
Lunch, 1:30 p.m.: Turkey burger on a whole wheat bun with side of fruit salad or veggies (my favorites are Brussels sprouts!)
No snack until after my 6:00 p.m. run
After run: Recovery protein smoothie with cottage cheese (can find many recipes from Dashing Dish; trust me, these are great, and do NOT have a cottage cheese consistency!)
Dinner, 9:00 p.m.: Homemade pizza with wheat crust

This is just a sampling of what one of my typical days looks like when I’m actually following Weight Watchers. As you can see, I’m actually eating more when I’m on WW, and I’m eating a LOT healthier!

If you think doing weight watchers means you’ll be eating lots of frozen foods out of boxed containers, or bland meals, think again. There are a lot of great websites out there, like Dashing Dish and Skinnytaste (my two favorites) that offer healthy, low fat foods (like the potato skins below, which I made last week) that still taste great!

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Do you follow any type of “weight loss” program while running?

Do you tend to track your food throughout the day? And if so, is it to ensure you’re eating enough, cutting back, or just to make sure you’re eating healthy?

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5 thoughts on “Adding Fuel to the Fire

  1. Meg @ Megan Go Run

    I use MyNetDiary to track calories. I set it up to determine the amount of calories I need to maintain weight. I then log my exercise and the amount of calories I burn via exercise, I eat! There are times I go under and times I go over, but I think it all evens out!

    Reply
  2. emmelineruns

    I track once every few weeks to make sure I’m still in the right range and I reevaluate whenever I up my mileage. I also look at things like protein and sugars because at times I’ve been over 100g too low on protein which is insane and explains why my muscles were having a harder time recovering!

    Reply
  3. Sugar Plum Runner

    I love the weight watchers program because it teaches you how to eat regular food instead of just providing pre-made food. My sister and mom did weight watchers and I tried a few different weight loss programs in college for research(I graduated in Health education). Good luck, I’m excited to hear how it goes!

    Reply
  4. Marie Oliveira

    That’s really interesting! I had no idea WW could be used for other than losing weight. I don’t put much thought into eating. I think I eat better now that I run though.

    Reply
  5. Heather

    I don’t necessarily track what I eat, but I do keep notice of it. I’ve heard of all the awesome things you can still eat while on WW and was amazed at first since I thought you basically only ate veggies and fruit…lol. So not true! I try to eat a lot of veggies/fruit when I’m training but I also do protein shakes as well. I try to refuel within 30min of a training run to aid recovery. It’s funny how I eat so much better since I started running. 🙂

    Reply

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