People often struggle with weight loss or even maintaining an ideal weight. Especially for runners, being able to maintain an ideal weight can make a huge difference in their fitness and performance level, as well as their overall health and well-being.
With all the extreme diet trends nowadays, whether it’s Paleo, Keto Diet, Whole 30, Intermittent Fasting and so on, it can be very confusion to figure out what to eat, not to eat, and how much to eat.
How to plan your ideal diet?
Your body needs all three macronutrients to function at an optimal level; protein, healthy carbs and healthy fats. Any diet that cuts out one of the macronutrients is not balanced, yes it will help to lose weight quickly, but it cannot be sustainable for a healthy, balanced life-long diet. When our body is deprived of certain macronutrients (protein, carbs, healthy fats), or micronutrients (vitamins and minerals) we can start seeing negative side effects.
We need to focus on eating high quality, natural foods. We have to focus on good carbs, good protein, and healthy fats. The key is to avoid any processed food, which are depleted of fiber and nutrients, loaded with preservatives and chemicals. Processed foods can disrupt our metabolism, causing weight gain, lower our immunity system and energy levels. Another food to avoid is processed sugar. Eating high levels of sugar can cause insulin blockage, the sugar is then processed into fat. It is important to avoid foods with ingredients such as hydrogenated oils (trans-fat), high-fructose corn syrup, artificial sweeteners, and any animal products (meat or dairy) raised with growth hormones or antibiotics.
The ideal diet plan to allow your body to reach and maintain it’s ideal weight is to avoid blood sugar spikes, stabilize our hunger by combining all three macronutrients in every meal.
Ideal Strategy: Listen to your body.
To figure out our ideal life-long diet, we can’t focus on the exact number of calories we consume at every meal, or the percentage of macronutrients that are into each meal. One of the main changes we can make in our diet to increase our energy levels, metabolism, stabilize our hunger and reach our ideal weight is by adjusting our macronutrient ratios. It is very important to pay attention to our body’s signals. The rate at which people oxidize food (turn nutrients into fuel) varies from person to person.
If you are a fast oxidizer (metabolize food quickly), you will want to eat higher ratio of healthy fat and protein, as those foods are lower on the glycemic index and they take longer to convert into fuel. If you are slow oxidizer (metabolize food into fuel at a slower than average rate), you will need foods that break down more quickly like lean proteins, healthy grains, vegetables and fruits. Slow oxidizers eating higher levels of protein and healthy fats will tend to feel more sluggish and low energy.
All you need to do is eat clean and fresh foods, focus on all three macronutrients, listen to your body to adjust your diet according to your metabolism, control your portion size, and don’t overeat. Some people’s metabolism is fine with eating three meals a day, others need smaller meals and some in between snacks. Runners and athletes have to really focus on listening to their body’s macronutrient’s need, to allow their body to sustain endurance, high intensity training and recovery.
Train Hard, Eat Right, and Feel Great!