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kiess7

Athlete concerned I'm timing meals wrong and eating too much in general

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Day 14 - I'm in the midst of training for a half ironman.  Todays workout (a light day) included hour of strength training and an 1 15min interval bike ride (with about 16 minutes all out in there somewhere).  Pre-WO 7:30 I ate link chicken sausage, 2 eggs and half avocado.  I felt good after the workouts (not hungry) and waited and just ate lunch 1:00 (large salad with chicken and butternut squash and olive oil and tsp sun butter).  At 4:00 i was hungry (like eat fish and broccoli hungry) and ate bowl of beef enchilada and some celery sticks.  And i plan to eat dinner... Is this too much?  Did I time it wrong?  In general I feel like I'm eating a ton and possibly gaining weight (afraid to check!).  Any ideas? 

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You should definitely eat if you're hungry.

 

Pre workout is generally smaller than what you ate. Did you work out for those 2+ hours immediately after eating? And do you always work out hard in the morning? I ask so we can help you troubleshoot meals and timing.

 

It looks as if you probably need to eat more lunch--as well as have a proper meal 1 complete with veggies, not just pre-wo protein and fat--if you were hungry three hours after lunch.

 

Ideally you want three meals plus pre and post wo food. Pre wo should be protein plus fat and post wo should be lean protein and a bit of starchy veg. Neither one needs to be more than a few bites unless you want more.

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You definitely need a post-workout meal after strength training for an hour. It is not a question of IF you feel hungry. Your muscles are ready to eat after a workout and they will recover faster if you feed them lean protein immediately after finishing a workout.

 

You did not describe portion sizes very well, but I suspect you are closer to under-eating for someone training like you are. You are not over eating.

 

Here is our guide:

 

How much to eat

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So to be more specific - I worked out 45 minutes after I finished my meal.  You are saying eat a smaller amount than I did (which was one chicken sausage, 2 eggs and 1/2 avocado)...so something like 1 egg and 1/2 avocado and then immediately after a larger salad w protein/fat and some sweet potato.  Then another hour after a lunch and then dinner?  

 

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And my lunch portion was 4 cups spinach and chopped veggies/tomatoes/cucumbers, 1.5 "palm sized" amount of chicken with about 3/4 cup butternut squash (roasted in olive oil) plus a homemade balsamic dressing.  Then a few extra carrot sticks with tsp of sunflower butter. 

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So to be more specific - I worked out 45 minutes after I finished my meal.  You are saying eat a smaller amount than I did (which was one chicken sausage, 2 eggs and 1/2 avocado)...so something like 1 egg and 1/2 avocado and then immediately after a larger salad w protein/fat and some sweet potato.  Then another hour after a lunch and then dinner?  

What time do you waken at?

 

As LadyM said, you really want three meals plus at least a post work out meal.

The postWO meal should not include fat, your subsequent meal should.

If you can let us know your typical schedule we can help you tweak meal times.

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OK so typical schedule:

wake at 6:45.

PWO  meal 7:30 (2 eggs and 1/2 avocado, 1/2 piece bacon) (is this too much??) 

Usually workout around 8:15 - it varies but lately about 2 hours a day 5-6 days a week (*there are lighter weeks)  Today I swam from 8:30-9:30 (by time i changed and got in pool) and then biked 10-11am (again changed between)

11:15a  palm and a half of chicken, 1/2 sweet potato and black coffee  (is this too much??) 

 

Now wondering timing what rest of day should look like. Thanks for all your input. :)

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If it's that big of a gap between wakening up & working out I'd go for a full breakfast (so more protein, more veg) at say 7am & skip the pre work out completely.

Post WO I'd drop to a palm of chicken plus option starch carbs and stick with water (coffee postWO can keep cortisol levels raised - have the coffee preWO if you like). 

Then you could have meal 2 @ say 1/1:30 and then dinner any time from 6pm onwards.

Research shows that there is no benefit in eating huge amounts of protein post workout - the recommendation is for around 20g - you can however benefit from eating higher levels of protein throughout the day, so maybe ensure you are eating to the high end of the template at each meal - especially on your heavier training days.

Hope this helps.

 

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If it's that big of a gap between wakening up & working out I'd go for a full breakfast (so more protein, more veg) at say 7am & skip the pre work out completely.

Post WO I'd drop to a palm of chicken plus option starch carbs and stick with water (coffee postWO can keep cortisol levels raised - have the coffee preWO if you like).

Then you could have meal 2 @ say 1/1:30 and then dinner any time from 6pm onwards.

 

Really?  interesting.  Yes I usually have a good hour and sometimes hour and a half getting kids ready before I can start my workout.  Would you mind giving example of breakfast meal?  and Post WO i agree to less protein (as i just ate and am feeling full) but option with the starch?  Would you include starch anywhere else in the day.  This in general is another question/concern of mine...just wondering where and when to eat starchy veggies.  meals at 1:30 and 6p are good.  Nothing between 1:30 and 6 though feels hard some days - (another habit I'm trying to decide if i'm actually hungry at 4p or just used to snacking...) ;)   Any tips on that or just suck it up? 

This is all very helpful!  thanks for input.

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You definitely need a post-workout meal after strength training for an hour. It is not a question of IF you feel hungry. Your muscles are ready to eat after a workout and they will recover faster if you feed them lean protein immediately after finishing a workout.

 

You did not describe portion sizes very well, but I suspect you are closer to under-eating for someone training like you are. You are not over eating.

 

Here is our guide:

 

How much to eat

 

Thanks Tom - I do have that printed out and refer to it daily.  I guess I'm looking for examples and really just trying to reach out to other athletes who possibly are in similar situation.  Another thing I am wondering is how much starchy veggie to include daily (like lunch/dinner) if at all?  Should I just reserve it for post workout or include in both lunch and dinner or just one?

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Example:

 

  • Sautee 1 palm or so ground beef + one medium zucchini, diced + onion, diced. Serve with 1/2 avocado and/or top with an egg.
  • Eat 3 hardboiled eggs with some sauerkraut or sauteed spinach and a little homemade mayo
  • 3 eggs, 2 slices compliant bacon, served over sauteed mushrooms, onions, tomatoes

I generally try to eat sweet potato or butternut squash with Meal 3. Occasionally, I'll have some roasted beets on my lunch salad.

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Really?  interesting.  Yes I usually have a good hour and sometimes hour and a half getting kids ready before I can start my workout.  Would you mind giving example of breakfast meal?  and Post WO i agree to less protein (as i just ate and am feeling full) but option with the starch?  Would you include starch anywhere else in the day.  This in general is another question/concern of mine...just wondering where and when to eat starchy veggies.  meals at 1:30 and 6p are good.  Nothing between 1:30 and 6 though feels hard some days - (another habit I'm trying to decide if i'm actually hungry at 4p or just used to snacking...) ;)   Any tips on that or just suck it up? 

This is all very helpful!  thanks for input.

The starchy veg is optional postWO depending on the type of WO you do. If it's high intensity I'd probably include some. On your lighter training days I'd leave them out - although this is very personal, and if you do choose to leave them out & feel your sessions are suffering then add them back in again and see how you go.

Personally I always keep my starchy veg for meal three - I get stable energy throughout the day, steady mood, and improved sleep that way.

An example for breakfast  would be to increase the number of eggs to 3 (or 4 if you think you'll keep them down - they'll provide good slow burning fuel), and maybe add in a bunch of sauteed kale/onions/mushrooms along side that avocado.

I think I edited my post above to comment on the protein levels throughout the day after you read it - I've suggested you eat to the high end of the template.

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Example:

 

  • Sautee 1 palm or so ground beef + one medium zucchini, diced + onion, diced. Serve with 1/2 avocado and/or top with an egg.
  • Eat 3 hardboiled eggs with some sauerkraut or sauteed spinach and a little homemade mayo
  • 3 eggs, 2 slices compliant bacon, served over sauteed mushrooms, onions, tomatoes

I generally try to eat sweet potato or butternut squash with Meal 3. Occasionally, I'll have some roasted beets on my lunch salad.

Thanks ultrarunnergirl (great blog btw) - wondering if thats a Pre-workout meal, post or just b'fast. 

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Thanks ultrarunnergirl (great blog btw) - wondering if thats a Pre-workout meal, post or just b'fast. 

That's three examples of breakfast  :)

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