Back in May I posted about some changes I was making to my nutrition to go along with my MAF training, which included leading a snack-free existence. I had a request to do an update, so I thought now would be a good time.
First, let me back up and talk about why I made changes. Just as with MAF training, I wanted to improve my body’s ability to use fat for fuel. Too many marathon crashes too early on indicated that something was off. So my focus with nutrition, under the guidance of my friend the Sock Doc, was on increasing good fat intake and decreasing, or eliminating, snacking. Again, it’s not that I was snacking on processed foods or anything unhealthy. But any snacking, even healthy snacking, can hurt your body’s ability to utilize fat for fuel because you are providing it a constant source of glycogen (read more here on the Sock Doc’s site).
So four months later, where am I? Doing pretty well. I don’t snack anymore and I’m just fine with that. Instead, I eat a big breakfast, a big lunch, and plenty of healthy fats and protein to keep me filled up. My dinners remain about the same size that they were before, if not a bit smaller even.
Was it an adjustment? You bet. I had a tough time at first stretching the time between lunch and dinner. But my body has learned to make it through those hours without needing anything extra. I may get hungry by the time dinner rolls around, but I’ve also learned that being a bit hungry–not famished–is ok. I can live. I’ve also leaned out some, something I attribute both to the change in diet and training–my body simply uses fat more than it used to do. I’ll admit I like this side benefit. And like before, I am continuing to run all my morning runs on no fuel. I’ll be going 18 this Saturday and have no qualms about approaching it this way as this is what my body likes now.
I’m not saying this way of eating is for everyone. It’s just what is working for me, at this stage in my life. I am certainly not an RD, so I am not recommending it to anyone or claiming it’s what you need in your life. I will say, though, that it has made me rethink my kids’ snacking habits a bit. I think that as a society, we’ve programmed our kids to snack, when in reality, they’d probably be just fine between meals if they were taking in more substance during meals. My two cents.
What about you–snacks or no snacks? Do you think you could manage without?
On a sidenote–I’ve got the Baltimore Running Festival logo up in my left-hand sidebar, which links to our new RunWithCSE blog. I’d love it if you’d stop on by now and again (or weekly!) for posts on both the running festival races, as well as topics that touch on running in general. Thanks for any love you can give us!