How much do you eat...?


I'm looking for some advice on how much I should be eating, and would be really interested to hear what other people's daily diets look like. I just have no clue how much I should be eating.

I've struggled with eating problems for several years and so therefore am very wary about how much is too much. I'm currently 5,3" and weigh 8 stone. I train 4-5 times a week, about 20 miles on average.

Please share your daily diets - it would really help! Thanks.


  • you are the same weight and height as I am and do about the same milage!

    I usually start the day with a big bowl of porridge (made with milk) and honey or muesli and yogurt. Lunch is something like a sandwich and a chocolate biscuit and i'll have a big evening meal such as pasta with chicken and pesto, chilli con-carne with rice etc (varies alot!) and I'm a terrible picker so am constantly having little snacks throughout the day! Oh and a may have a few glasses of red wine throughout the week (boosts iron levels doesnt it.....)

    hope this helps but you should try and judge for yourself how much your body needs.

  • Hi, thanks for that. That sounds about what I eat but I thought it was too much. I know everyone is different - it just all confuses me!
  • Hi summerain, I'm 5ft 2 and 49 kg, so we're probably similar builds, and I've had a pretty stable weight (okay, I used to be 48 kg!) so hearing about my daily diet might be useful for you. Note I'm vegetarian, so if you're not, it may be a bit less helpful. Also, I'm a grazer - I tend to like to eat several times during the day, so I reduce the calorie intake in my main meals, to compensate. I probably take in about a third of my total calories as snacks.

    Breakfast: cereal (e.g. mini wheats and bran flakes with a few rasins and cinnamon, or home-made muesli (made with sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds and linseed as well as raisins & sultanas).

    Mid-morning snacks: piece of fruit (e.g. banana, apple or orange). Couple of crackers/water biscuits/corn thins and slice (about 30 g) reduced-fat cheese, maybe a handful of a dried fruit/nuts mixture. If I'm still feeling hungry, I try a mug of hot marmite, in case it's salt my body is asking for (that also gives me some B-vitamins).

    Lunchtime: e.g. cous cous and a protein e.g. lentils, tofu, cheese, plus a carrot, and a piece of fruit. OR, instant soup with cous cous and cheese. OR left-over veg and pasta/potatoes/rice from the previous supper, with lentils or chick peas. OR (summer only, and not if I'm running in the evening*) large salad with tofu, cheese and/or mixed seeds for protein, and cous cous for carbs. OR a mini-pizza plus a carrot. OR medium-sized baked potato with beans and a bit of cheese. I try to always have a full glass of water with lunch.

    Afternoon/early evening snacks (we eat late): e.g. Corn Thins, water biscuits or oatcakes, sometimes wholmeal/granary bread, with a slice of cheese, or a bit of marg, if I want something savory. Piece of fruit or a handful of fruit/nuts mix if I want something sweet. Occasionally a peanut butter-and-honey sandwich!I'll probably have two or three snacks during the afternoon/early evening.

    Supper: protein (lentils, chick peas, vege. sausages, couple of eggs or whatever), two or three good portions of veg, small portion of carbohydrates (e.g. 50 g pasta, before cooking, or two small potatoes) (more carbs if I've run that day). OR home-made lentil lasagne, plus green veg and maybe also mushrooms. Or vegetarian cassolet (made with beans and barley, but no meat), plus green veg and mushrooms. OR (once a week) small half (my husband gets the larger portion) of a thick-base pizza (Sainsbury's Basics) with mushrooms/onions/garlic fried in a little oil and added to the top. (etc.)

    We usually share a bottle of beer with supper.
    I often feel very hungry the day after a long run, and I'll eat more carbs and protein.

    I also allow myself a couple of "treats" each day if I want them - e.g. a couple of pieces of decent chocolate, a piece of turkish delight, a piece of apple "liquorice", a slice off a Marathon (sorry, Snickers) bar (about 1/6 of a bar). I keep the treats out of sight so they're not tempting me visually all the time.

    *can't have a salad at lunch if I'm running later - my guts don't like it!)

  • How often do you run? I too am a veggie and graze a lot, but will compensate with an evening run (the length/intensity of which depends on how badly I feel I've eaten that day). My problem is I know runners need more calories, I just feel so bad eating what I feel is too much - but I'm sure I'll get the balance right eventually. Going by what you have both said I don't feel all that bad as I did image
  • you can't be eating too much, your BMI is at the lower end of the healthy range. If i were you i'd try and stop worrying about food and enjoy running, not just for the fact it burns calories.

    How about setting yourself a new running goal, like a new PB or new distance? It could help to take your mind off the calorie counting image

  • That's what i've just done - did a half 2 weeks ago and focused on the running and improving my performance by stopping stressing about the food. As predicted, now that the race is done with I'm back to focusing on calories. Maybe I should just keep doing race after race! (Would give me that time off from the kids too!) I actually wouldn't mind that image After 6 years of eating disorder it's only when I'm in training for a race that I'm less inclined to restrict. Thanks for the advice.
  • if your weight is healthy then you are eating right.

    personaly i am a "proteiny" sort of person, a real Atkins/Dukan baby. For me is not about a diet, is about the way i eat is normal for me. I am woman of 4 ft 8 in and weight 7 and 7 half ST

    I don't like carbohydrates much, bread, pasta, potatoes, rice..........i just can't stomach it! i feel bloated if i eat them and afterwards i don't eat them.

    I normally eat for breakfast a small salmon filet (yes, fish in the morning!) with an egg cooked in the oil left on the pan from the salmon (well, you can't let that omega3 go to waste), and then a yogurt.

    For lunch i eat a seafood medley of tin of tuna and prawns, and crabsticks, etc OR pieces of chicken like two chicken legs.........followed by yogurt.

    For dinner i normally have steaks, beef steak, or home made burger with lean mince, or a piece beef roast, or homemade turkey burgers....................followed by yogurt,

    Well, I also eat veggies and greens of course, but the main foods for me are fish, seafood and lean meats,

  • Sorry i think i mistaped my weight.................i meant i am between 7 stone or 7 and half, (about 46-47 kilos)which os healthy for my height of 4ft 8, (1m 46 cm)
  • glad it helped image

    hope you find some good races to train for

  • Fatima, do you find you get tired eating so few carbs?
  • Summerain. Stop worrying about the calorie intake quite so much. Only start worrying if your trouser/skirt waistbands start getting tight (chose ones that you know are comfy when you're at the weight you want to be/ought to be)! I realise that not worrying is easier said than done, given you've got a history of weight issues. However, with that 20 miles per week of running, you can probably eat about 1,800 calories a day, which isn't so bad. Just remember to fill your plate with vegetables first, then it's easier to have a smaller portion of carbs. Also remember that protein helps you to feel full. Personally I go for moderate protein + moderate carbs + low fat, rather than high-protein, high-fat, low-carb, but I know some pople prefer the low-carb approach.

    Oh, and normally I'm running 20-25 miles a week (presently I'm just re-starting, after a three-month break due to injury) and cycling about the same.

  • Thanks, I'll try remember all this image I find myself having to have tons of caffeine to keep my appetite in order. If only food wasn't such a complex issue. Grr. Lol.
  • This isn't really a Lager and Kebab thread is it?image
  • Hello all

    I have struggled with food for several years and like Fatima I also don't eat many carbs (only porridge and maybe some bread once a week).  I run (7.1 min mile) or work out (cardio) intensely for 1 hr 15- 1hr 30, 5 times a week.  I am 5ft 5 and currently weight about 62kg.  I've never been a stick insect but i'm quite muscly and am about a size 10/12.  This is my typical daily diet:

    Breakfast: 1 and a half cereal bars (granola bars)

    Lunch: 2 apples

    snack after work: dried fruit and nuts and some bits of cereal or some kidney beans, peas and salad cream (weird i know but i like it!)

    Dinner: salad of green beans, tomatoes, kidney beans or broad beans, carrots etc plus ham or tuna or cottage cheese.

    I also pick at cereal and nuts some nights in the evening.  Plus Friday night I always have a few glasses of red

    I know my diet doesn't sound that great and i've been seeing a dietician for several months but for me i also can't deal with carbs like pasta or potatoes.  When i race then i would always have porridge with water before hand.

    Not sure if this helps but it's interesting to hear what other people eat!


  • Laura .. from a quick glance you are having no notable fuel until the evening when you need it least, is this something that the dietician is helping you to address?

    Even peas and salad cream for breakfast would be better  IMO   image
  • I was also suprised by this..... and impressed you mange to do so much exercise off such little fuel!
  • Nessie73Nessie73 ✭✭✭
    Run Laura Run-- I have to agree....with the last two posts. I'm not impressed- I'm concerned that you're doing so much exercise with so little fuel... sounds like you're not eating nearly enough x
  • You,re right, that is quite little. Do you get tired and find your exercise tough? I find if I haven't had many carbs I feel so unfit when I run. It's weird how we're all so different though.
  • i have terrible eating habits. the words human dustbin comes to mindimage.   i eat way too much of the wrong things!

     im 155cm and 51kg.  i usuually run 6 miles on 2 days then a long run of 12 -14 then rest day then repeat.  i will have extra rest days if im tired though. averaging about 35-40 miles a week. im a  one pace pony. slow 10min mile and bit more on long run. most runs are before breakfast.

    today was rest day and i still ate:

    breakfast was large bowl of honey cheerios, milk and cereal bar

    lunch was banana

    pre dinner (while im getting it ready) plum, 4 ryvita crackers and dip,one snak a jak, muller corner, handful of cashew nuts, 4 prunes, an apple

    dinner was large taro( this is like a potatoe) can of makerel in tomatoes sauce and veg

    after dinner:large bowl of cheerios and milk, more crackers, 3rd bag of marshmallows, 3 crabsticks, muller corner, solero, a few pringles, i think there might be a few more things but cant think of them now.

    i was 7 stones my whole life before exercise and put on half a stone when i started, took 2 months out in dec to have bunion op and put on another half.

    most people dont seem to eat that much and the reccomended portion sizes are tiny but i know its just cos i eat way too much! disgusting i know!!

  • Run Laura Run, how did you get to see a dietitian and why? Was it through the NHS or did you find a private one? I've thought a lot about seeing one, just so I can get the exact right advice that's specifically for me so that I can be sure I'm doing things right.
  • Hello again

    Yes, i totally agree with everyone, this is probably not enough food for the amount of exercise i do and my dietician told me that i have to take on more carbs.  Unfortunately it's not that simple for me as for a long time i've had a very bad attitude to food and can't shift the mind set that eating more will make me put on weight.  I've gained about 5-7lbs in the last year as i was underweight for my frame (I was 56kg and should really be about 62ish) and i didn't look well.  I was sent to the dietician through my doctor so it was NHS but to be honest it wasn't the best as i think i really needed a to go down the food pychologist route!  I do get tired but have started to eat a bit more carbs - just eaten two huge slabs of bread for breakfast.   The problem is the guilt as i'd love to eat potatoes, pasta and stuff and not worry that i'll put on weight.  I know that might sound stupid to most of you as runners should be able to eat what they want and not worry.

    Anyway i'm glad i'm not the only runner who has issues with their diet!  Wish i had the time to make some of these dishes though - especially the salmon for breakfast!  How do you fit it in?!

    Laura image

  • You sound so much like me, getting rid of that mindset is impossible to me. I worry so much everyday that I'm eating too much. Did your GP send you to a dietitian because you were underweight or because you asked? How did it come about?
  • Hello Summerain

    Yes, i too worry about it every day, i plan everything around what i eat and if i can't exercise or eat more than normal (outside my 'safe' food zone, i.e. going out for dinner) then i worry i've put on weight and sometimes work out more to compensate.  Basically for years i'd always been a size 12, around 9.5-10 stone and then a few years ago i lost about half a stone on a snowboard holiday.  I then carried on losing weight and exercised more and finally by christmas 2009 i had got to my thinnest which was about 56kg which for me was way too small.  I looked unwell and was always very cold and tired.  The bad food attitude mindset was as bad then and eating was very controlled as it is now.  Basically my mum intervened and through my doctor i got some help from an NHS eating disorder dietician.  Obviously i'm not the worst case they've seen as I do eat fairly normally and i'm not bulimic but just have a really BAD attitude to food and have to keep it in control.  It's a nightmare.

    A year later the dietician has now discharged me.  I think my weight is about 62kg  but i don't like to weigh myself.  I know i've put on a bit since the 56kg days as my clothes fit better now (which by the way, I hate!).  It's really hard though when you've been really skinny to put on even a kilo without feeling crap about it, even though it's the right thing to do.  I am now a much healthier weight and am toned from running and cardio but you can't help but comare to how you were before.

    Anyway, that's enough of my issues!  God, makes me sound like a head case!  Hopefully though you'll identify with some of this and I hope it helps. 

    Laura image

  • Summerrain, sorry i did not reply earlier.

    The answer to your question is that not, i don't feel tired because of not eating carbs.

    In fact, for me seems to be the other way round. I feel strong and energetic in a proten based diet with no starches.

    seems that my body works well on it.

    Apart from running, i also do other sports like gym work, martial arts and swim and aerobic classes/dance and i feel perfectly ok without carbohydrates.

    I suppose everybody is diferent, i sometimes have this joke saying that i may be a timewrap from an iron age

    I consider myself a real carnivore who eats anything that swims, flies or runs..........................well, i feel healthier that way,

  • Laura - you don't sound like a headcase and I totally get what you're saying. It's the same for me. The issue doesn't go away and it's there all the time. It's a pretty depressing thought to think about it never going away though. I started with it all when I moved out to go to uni. Tried so hard to make it go away and figured once I had kids etc that I would be cured, but at 27 with a husband and 2 kids later I'm still here. and I've tried HARD. It's a dietitian I think could help maybe. No antidepressants or counselling have helped. Grrr!

    Fatima, you're lucky, lol. I wish I could manage running with no carbs image
  • summerrain wrote (see)
    Laura - you don't sound like a headcase and I totally get what you're saying. It's the same for me. The issue doesn't go away and it's there all the time. It's a pretty depressing thought to think about it never going away though. I started with it all when I moved out to go to uni. Tried so hard to make it go away and figured once I had kids etc that I would be cured, but at 27 with a husband and 2 kids later I'm still here. and I've tried HARD. It's a dietitian I think could help maybe. No antidepressants or counselling have helped. Grrr! Fatima, you're lucky, lol. I wish I could manage running with no carbs image

    Sorry folks I can't run without loads of carbs, no energy. Have to eat more now I run and have lost a good stone too in 2 years.

    Guess it is each to their ownimage

  • Summerrain - that sounds really hard, I'm sorry to read that you've been through that.

    I'm sure you're sick of hearing that a BMI of 20 is right at the low end of what is deemed "healthy" and that more carbs, rather than less, might be the answer.  Any dietician that encouraged you to cut out carbs would not actually be helping.

    Sorry if that sounded preachy, but I'm a little concerned by this thread.  I hope you do find a means of overcoming what you've experienced with this.

  • Not preachy at all. I think it's just a case of listening to hunger and practicing being guided by that. Easier said than done when you've been overriding those cues with 'rules' for so long! It's just interesting to hear what other people eat. I feel it helps to see what is the average norm, so to speak.
  • My doctor just referred me to the eating disorders people so hopefully they'll have some ideas to get me thinking on the right path. Fingers crossed.
  • Good luck with it - its a brave thing you've done, both facing it and talking about it on here.

    For what its worth, I think a lot of us have become used to ignoring our bodily cues in one way or another.  Whether its about how much you're eating, how fast you're running, how much alcohol you're consuming.  This society both fetishes and reviles food at the same time - its a bloody weird message we get from what is around us.  I don't think anyone ever gets it bang on.

    Like I said, though, good luck with what must be a bloody difficult, but important, step.

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