Is Healthy Eating Making You Gain Weight?

Thomas had a quick chat yesterday on healthy eating, and how it might not be in line with your goals, if you’re not careful that is!

One gent also had a question about nutrition with regards to getting ready for a marathon after completing several half marthons, and we’ve posted the reply to his post below the video!


Diets can vary from person to person, but in general people training for endurance events are going to need more carbohydrates in their diet.
Low carb/ketogenic diets do not, in general, work well for people in endurance sports.

Protein will be used during muscle building and recovery, and carbs more so for your energy source. Fats are important for general hormonal function, but you’ll usually not find it’s lacking, some Omega 3’s or Fish Oil however would be highly recommended.

Most athletes find that eating a large amount of protein before a run will make them feel lethargic, as it’s much more difficult for the body to break down.
You would need to have more calories on your training days, focusing on a little more carbs before the training so your body has that energy handy, and protein after training/before bed, so your body has the time to process it and recover.
The general recommendation on protein would be 1.6 – 2g per kilogram of bodyweight.
EG, if you are 75KG, you should aim to be taking in between 120g and 150g of protein per day.

On the day of the competition and leading up to it, absoutely nothing wrong with having things like chocolate or sugars before a long run, and even not worrying about protein levels much in the few days leading up to the event.
It’s very well known among long distance cyclists to use things like Haribo or chocolates for this reason, they provide a lot of calories which is easy for your body to access, don’t take up much in your stomach, and during an event they will burn off those calories anyways.

It would be a great help for you to track your calories over a week or two, and see the patterns.
In general, focus on getting more calories on your training days, more of those coming from carbs before training, and less calories on your non-training days.
Losing weight whilst focusing on performance can be a fine line, if you are not overweight it would be a good idea to try not let the weight slip too low.
People generally don’t perform well at low levels of bodyfat, and it is an energy source to keep in mind.
It’s key to keep the training do-able and scalable, if you feel destroyed after every session, you may need to alter your training load OR diet to suit.
And definitely reduce the training load a lot in the week or two before the event, the work is in the months, not in the week before.
It’s best to have the body as rested and ready before the event, not still in recovery.

PS:

Forgot to add the general recommendation for carbs during marathon training is between 7g and 10g per KG bodyweight, but again, take this as more an indicator, as my previous East German Fencing coach Uwe Proske used to say:

“Tomas, you must listen to your body!”