Eating for energy and wieght loss

Im fairly new to running and find Im tired, thought increased exercise was suposed to increase energy levels? Ive had thyroid and iron tests all ok, I dont eat meat or fish and find bread bloats me. Im also trying to lose wieght, not alot just 1/2 stone and its not turning to muscle, Ive still got a tummy! I eat cereal, pasta, jacket pots, rice, salad, veg and bananas. Any suggestions what to eat to get more energy and lose weight? I walk my dog for extra excercise 1-1 1/2 miles 2x a week longer at weekends, run with club 2 x week and do core stabity exercises with a ball and hand weights. Any help appreciated.


  • Drink and drink lots. Minimum should be 2 litres a day. Water, No Added sugar juices, Isostar (mmm...scrummy). No pop or fizz.

    Are you vegetarian?

    Years ago, my brother gave up sweets and cakes to train for the army. Trouble was, though he ate the right foods, he still ate as much as he needed to sate his appetite.

    Can I ask...dare I ask...what weight are you now?

    Try another sport. I don't mean give up running, just supplement your training. I find cycling, swimming and squash have the weight dropping off me.

    Sounds like you have the food side licked - try kiwi fruits, they're supposed to be good for promoting weight loss. Don't ask me why, it's just what I read somewhere.
  • Make sure that you are eating enough. If you don't give your body enough food to fuel all the exercise you are doing, it will refuse to give up any of the energy (fat) stores it has...

    there is a feature in this mmonth's Zest magazine about measuring how many calories you need and how many you eat which might be helpful (although I didn't read how you calculate how many calories you need)
  • Hate 2 say it Emma, but it may be that you are eating too much, even if its the good stuff!OK you need energy to run, but you still need a calorie deficency to lose weight; when you are running your heightened metabolism enables you to eat more because you are using more energy, but if your intake exceeds your energy needs it will still be stored as fat even if its 'good' food such as carbs etc. Also it may be that you are taking in 'dead' calories without realizing it i.e. alcohol.After many years of struggling with diets etc. I started on a basic method of calculating, and using, more calories than I took in. i.e. I aimed to take in 1600-1800 calories a day while using a running programme. Little things helped like I started drinking gin & slim line (and dammit I liked my beer!!!), avoiding curries etc. and limiting myself to one 'pig out' day a week, usually Sunday, when I allowed myself anything I wanted to eat; this directly followed my Long Slow Distance Run, it made me feel better (major chocoholic!!!) and I felt that I had earned the treats after putting in the miles. Net result is that I lost 5 stone in 7 Months. I'm not saying that this is the best or only way, but it did work for me. Best of luck with the training... Hobbit
  • Hi Emma

    Here is a website which will help you work out how many calories you use in a day. Then if you keep a food diary for a few days and see how many calories you take in you will see if you are taking in more than you are expending or not. The general advice I have read seems to be look for a calorie deficit of around 500 calories to lose a pound a week.

    Dont forget that if you find that you are eating way below your calorie needs the body apparently can go into starvation mode where it hangs on to every calorie it can and stores it as fat.

    One more point is that you can not choose where you lose body fat from. In my experience the tummy was the last place to show results. As well as your runing keep up your resistance training (core and weights) as the more lean muscle you build the more fat your body will burn even when not exercising.

    Finally eats lost of fresh fruit and veg and try to eat 5 or 6 smaller meals a day rather than 3 larger ones (grazing). I have found this works for me. I reduced my portion sizes somewhat and eat fruit with almost every meal.

    I have to say that I found my energy level rose as a result of cutting out the junk from my diet, grazing throughout the day and taking exercise. Think it is something to do with keeping blood sugar levels as constant as possible. I am sure some of the more professional peeps on here will have the proper explaination.

    Here is a typical day for me:

    Male 5' 6" 10st 6lb

    3oz Cereal with full fat milk (50/50 Kellogs fruit and fiber and a musili from health food store), 1 banana, 1 mandrin orange, 1 pro biotic yogurt and mug of coffee.

    2 slices Mc Cambridges whole wheat bread with scraping of flora, 1 banana, 1 mandrin, 1 apple and mug of tea.

    Tuna, Chicken, lean beef salad sandwhich on wholemeal bread, 1 kiwi and one Activa low fat yogurt,

    1 banana and 1 apple


    Dinner after training, consisting usually of wholemeal pasta or brown rice with fresh veg and meat, 1 apple and 1 low fat yogurt,

    21:00 2 slices McCambridges wholemeal bread with scraping of flora.

    Also throughout the day I will sip constantly on water. I try to get my 1.5/2 liters a day . I dont always manage it but using the urine test (pale/clear = hydrated) I am usually ok. is another site which allows you to enter what you eat in a day and it show you the breakdown of protein, carbs fat etc. It is mostly geared to the US but you also have the option to fill in the foods you eat. You can use the nutritional information from the packs for this.

    Sorry this is a bit long but I hope some of this helps.

  • Thanks for all your sugestions, yes I am a veggie, drink 2 ltr of water a day sometimes more, only drink alcohol at weekends sometimes, try to eat lots of fruit and veg, dont really eat cakes, chocolate or buscuits and do eat little and often, which is why I find it so fustrating that Im not losing much wieght!!

    I do cycle as well and when I get the chance I do go swimming which I have only just learnt to do!!

    Im about 5'4" and around 10- 10 1/2 stone and average build but I reckon I must take my weight in my bone structure!!

    I will look at the websites suggested and thanks everyone for your help, will let you know how I get on!!
  • Emma, one effect to watch out for is that when you start exercising initially you replace muscle for fat as you get fitter. As nuscle weighs more than fat you can even put on weight. If you stick with the training and eat the right quantity of food the weight will come off. Be patient!
  • Im a women I dont do patient!!! I know what your saying, I just want instant resaults!! a girl at work does no exercise at all and has been using a slender tone machine and lost 5 inches from her waste in a 2 months!! Ive been running, gyming, walking and cycling and lost 1 inc!! lifes not fair!!!
  • Aah, but what is she eating?

    You've made a lifestyle change in running, whereas if she stops with the machine thingy, if she's made no change to her diet all the weight will go back on again.
  • Steady on with the drining too much advice ! You can overdo it ! Best advice is to drink until your urine runs almost clear and plentiful. Drink too much and you could deplete the sodium levels in your blood.
  • You guys give great advise! Now I've started training for my first london marathon, I have a massive appetite! Doesn't help that my husband eats quite big portions and I tend to copy. How do I control my urge? and how do I stop eating chocolate - big wickness! HELP!
  • What energy gels and drinks would you suggest for marathon. Also do you drink these before the start of races whilst training
  • Ann

    Have found that switching my food lifestle to the GI plan has removed all cravings / urges as it is all about maintaining a balanced sugar/ insulin balance. This is not a diet but a different way to eat for life.

    Like MK does above this involves eating 3 smallish meals a day & 3 snacks a day. Do not miss any meals as this creates cravings.
  • Emma - it sounds as though a lot of the carbohydrates that you eat are quite high Glycaemic Index (GI) - they will give you a quick bloodsugar lift, then leave you feeling tired and washed out soon after. It is worth getting one of the basic guidebooks to the GI value of foods - when I changed to low GI carbs with a sustained energy release, the stubborn weight started to melt away. Also - don't neglect protein intake - and it can be hard for vegetarians to get enough low fat protein in the diet, as it is so easy to rely on cheese, cheese, cheese.
  • Like Butcher boy and LynneW, I went with the GI Plan and it worked for me. It educates you to eat less protein and more fruit & veg. I don't feel bloated or tired in the afternoon and have loads of energy to run.

    I eat huge amounts of fruit and salad, which satisfies my hunger pangs. In bookshops there's a traffic light guide to low GI foods and I used that, sticking with all green food and the occasional amber.
  • Emma are you eating another protein? You eat lots of carbs but don't mention any protein sources.

    I find that when I ate some protein, not very much, I ate less carbs and was fuller quicker. I know it's easier for me as I eat meat but I go through phrases when I can't stand certain meats and eat pulses/beans instead. I also avoid dairy products as I am lactose intolerant.

    Another thing I have some really skinny female friends who have big tums. They lose weight from their tummy last and moan at me cos even though I am fatter I can get a flat stomach quite easily if I am exercising.

  • emma if you're a vegetarian mushrooms are the same pound for pound as red meat when it comes to protein, although its not the same type of protien it is a viable alternative.
  • Emma - if bread bloats you you may be wheat intolerant in which case the pasta isn't helping with the flat tummy thing. I was a vegetarian for many years but now eat fish as I am quite wheat intolerant. Giving up wheat made a big difference to my energy levels (it was obvious after three or four days so worth a try) but made it nearly impossible for me to eat out which is why I started on the fish again. Quorn is good low fat vege protein as is low fat cottage cheese. Persevere -slow weight loss and the changes you make by building muscle are better than quick fix diet fad results.
    If you think you can or you think you can't you're probably right.
  • no one going to point out that 10 stone for 5'4" isn't actually overweight?
  • Its alright for you lot I only started running on Wednesday and thats a starting from scratch, you know running and walking and was hoping to have lost 2 stone by now but I think thats wishfull thinking!
  • Emma, I feel the same as you.

    At 6ft I weigh 12st4 and have done for ages. Over the last year I haven't lost a bean - despite training for the Paris marathon last year, then after that slowly building my base mileage to 25 mpw, and now up to 30 mpw.

    When I was marathon training I definately was eating more - I was starving all the time - so I reckoned that was why I didn't lose any weight, but now, I don't think I do eat any more, so why am I not losing any weight? How can it be?

    And like you say - it doesn't seem fair, especially when you compare yourself to people who do no exercise, eat terrible food, and don't seem to gain any weight.


  • Oh, don't get me started.

    About 18 months ago I developed insulin resistance due to prescription drug, and now, even though I've been training for a marathon am still nearly a stone and a half heavier than I was before the insulin resistance. Moreover, because I've been eating more carbs due to the training, I've even put ON weight.

    Sometimes as much as 3lbs in one week, for instance a fortnight ago after running 16 miles, 4 miles, 6 miles and 18 miles in the nine days between weigh-ins!

    And other people I know keep complaining that they're getting so 'lean' what with all the running and all. Grrr.
  • Yeah, Grrr.

    "oooh, the weight just falls off", well great, lucky you. (although I'm sure there are people this is a problem for - and really, I am sympathetic.......)

    Sounds tough though Gar - are you going to have trouble forever now? Or will it get better?

  • Well done to everyone losing weight! Rome wasn't built in a day, but am also losing weight through WW and am now back out running (as of today).

    Like the person earlier walking / running - it does work! Stick with it!
    last year when I first went running i could only do 90 sec run sets but got up to 3 miles straight - ok v.slow but that is because i get a burning chest (possibly asthma) if i go too fast - has been that way since a kid.

    Onwards and upwards eh!
    Well done everyone.
  • Thank you for your post and i like to say this,yes you can maintain your wait by Energy eating food.You can also follow the book which is written by Yuri Elkaim.Thanks again.
  • Where were you when I needed you 7 years ago? image
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