Eating to Run!

Lately I’ve been on a push to lose a final few pounds and hopefully finally  get rid of my gut.  I’m 6’1″ and I was at 205lbs in late February (or Febtober as I like to call it in honor of SNL’s Celebrity Jeopardy) cut about 10lbs by my Yakima River Canyon Marathon and I’m shooting for a goal of 180 by sometime this summer.  The hard part is, I’m running 60+ miles a week, and lifting weights at least twice each week so I don’t want to short myself on fuel.

In the past when trying to lose weight I’ve shot for a 1000 Calorie deficit a day,  whether through exercise or just eating less, so that I wound up losing ~2 pounds a week.  It always resulted in at least a little rebound weight in the end, because we just aren’t meant to run (pun kinda intended) on that kind of deficit, but I kept banging my head against that wall because I was not happy with my body.  Now I’m basically happy with my body as is,  I just want to drop the weight so I can be a bit faster and to conquer the gut I’ve had for 18 years or more (I was a chubby kid even at 10).  I’m the fittest I’ve ever been and even though I’m not elite, nor am I ever likely to be, I’m an athlete now! (If you’d asked me 5 years ago if I’d ever consider myself an athlete, I’d have laughed in your face.)  I no longer see food as my nemesis (which it really never was to begin with), or as something I need to control, but as my ally in crafting a healthy lifestyle.

Now I’m working with my food,  trying to cook and eat delicious healthy meals to get me to my 2500-3000 calories i need each day.   An average week day goes something like this:

Breakfast: Usually a protein shake/smoothie containing 3oz of berries, 8oz 1% milk and 2 scoops of Protein Powder (total 440 calories, 63g of protein), Sometimes it’s an Omelet or a bagel sandwich.

Morning Snacks at  the office: 1 serving Dried or fresh apples, Yoplait Light yogurt, 6oz Chicken Breast (total 400 – 410 calories, 40g protein) 

Lunch: 1 cup Beans (pinto or black usually), .5 cup brown rice (~350 cals, 16g fiber)

Afternoon Snacks: 2 fruits, (usually an orange and a banana) a can of tuna and a serving of potato chips (~420 cals, 26g protein)

Dinner: Here is where I have my fun! At least when I’m not doing a show, if I’m in rehearsals than this is usually more chicken breast, more rice, and more beans, just dressed differently. A few recent dinners:

Accidental Peanut Thai Soup: 2oz Rice Noodles (dry weight), 6oz Chicken Breast, 1 cup Stir Fry Veggies, garlic, onions, green peppers. Homemade Peanut sauce (2/3 cup Light Coconut Milk, 2 Tablespoons peanut butter, soy sauce, garlic, onion, sirracha, curry powder and lime juice to taste all blended together) (~700 cals, 50g protein)

Beef Fajitas: 1/3lb skirt steak, onions, garlic green peppers, fajita seasoning. 2 or 3 Corn Tortillas, 1 cup pinto beans

Various Whole wheat pasta, sauce, and meat or fish (favorite fishes: Seared Tuna Steak, Salmon Filet) combinations.

Evening Snack: Depends on what macro nutrients I’m short on,  there have  been occasions it’s just a tablespoon of peanut butter or extra virgin olive oil

I know my exact meal plan doesn’t work for everyone, I’m burning 10000 calories a week running and only trying to drop ~1lb a week. But the principles I’ve learned can work for anyone to change their lifestyle so they can achieve their fitness goals. The basic principles I follow can best be summed up as:

  1. Eat mostly whole foods (Fruit, Vegetables, legumes) and whole grains, avoid the processed stuff.
  2. Keep your protein, fiber and healthy fat intakes relatively high, and unhealthy (Saturated or Trans) fat intake low. 
  3. If you’re doing lots of cardio eat plenty of carbs (which you will eating whole grains and whole fruit/veggies)
  4. Don’t deprive yourself, moderation is your friend. You can have a treat, just keep in your calorie goal range for the day and you’ll be fine.
  5. If you make a mistake, accept it and move on, one mistake does not a failure make.

Soon I will hit my goal weight, and the calorie deficit will go out the window, but I will continue to follow those principles because they’re part of a healthy lifestyle, the athlete/runners lifestyle I want to be living far on into the future!

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3 responses to “Eating to Run!

  1. You have a great nutrition plan there, Geb! It’s healthy, sustainable over the long-term, and should optimize performance. Thanks for sharing! 🙂

  2. I agree — this is a great nutrition plan — and very similar to one that I follow! You have a great outlook on living a healthy lifestyle!

  3. Pingback: Today: The food plan « I Did That

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