Feeling like a bottomless pit on running days

I can’t help it, I get so hungry on the days that I run.  Yesterday in particular I felt like I was a bottomless pit; I ate and ate and ate…I’m not really on the I need to lose weight band wagon anymore (not that I would really mind it), but I know if I am running there is a difference in the approach.  I think what I struggled with the most was feeling like I was headed the wrong direction with some eating habits I am trying to change.  So what do I do?

Here’s what I am finding so far in my research, keeping in mind that everyone responds differently so I may have to tweek it a bit:

  • Take a look at how much protein I am eating in my recovery meal.  According to Jackie Dikos, RD in an article from Running Times, “The ideal recovery snack or meal will be rich in carbohydrates (roughly half your body weight in grams of carbohydrate) and include a source of protein (6-20g).” So for me that would be 74 grams of carbohydrates and since I know my body prefers protein I would stay on the higher side closer to 20grams.  Recover Right with Whole Foods
  • Increase electrolytes- for me this does not mean Gatorade, sorry I just won’t drink the stuff.  Too many chemicals for my taste so I will go with some suggestions provided in the article Top Marathon Recovery Foods on Active.com.  They suggest turning to fruits and fruit juices; things like berries, bananas, and other colorful fruits. Top Marathon Recovery Foods
  • Increase my veggies- I am trying to stay away from completely reloading with simple carbohydrates (i.e. breads, rice, pasta).  They have their place in my diet and when I eat them I try to make it whole grain, but I want to make sure I get plenty of complex carbohydrates. 
  • Drink more water- I know my recovery is impacted by needing more water in my daily intake.  Not to mention how much I take in while exercising.  It’s important especially in the summer months when sweat rolls off you easily.

So in preparation I will be cooking up some of my barley to add to some meals and grabbing a sweet potato to microwave for my longest run this Sunday.  I will probably take a look at adding a glass of milk to my recovery meal too so I can increase the protein.  I am going to have to figure it out and thankfully have some good resources to draw from for some advice.  I can tell though, that my body is adjusting to this increase of exertion and I love it.  I mean I really love the fact that I can actually go as far as I am and not feel like death warmed over.  I am also going to make an effort to shut that voice up in my head that says negative things about pigging out.  If I expend energy I have to refuel, it’s just that simple.

I wonder any runners out there that can give me some feedback on how their diets changed as they started out? What combination works well for you?

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