Sad and Confused about it all!

Hello all,

I am sorry to have started a new thread, I am just so confused and getting quite annoyed after days and hours of searching online, I hope you can all offer me some pointers as you have done on a lot of the threads I've read on here over the past few days.

I am trying to start running again, sat here in my running gear as I type trying to build up the courage to stand up and walk out the door.

What I am getting really really really annoyed about, is what I am meant to eat! I am starting running again (I completed couch to 5k in 2012 but had surgery on my foot in the August so stopped), last time I never really made any changes to what I ate but now I am in terrible condition, get tired just walking up a flight of stairs, smoking again and at least 3 stone over weight (too scared to weigh myself), I literally have 1 pair of trousers that fit me and its getting to the point I don't want to go outside and have anyone see me, so I've decided that today will be a new start.

Ive searched and searched and all i see is conflicting advice, its the south beach diet, its the low GI diet, apparently if you want to have energy to run, you should be eating 60% carbs but carbs are surely terrible for weightloss? I am desperately trying to find some information on what to eat/food plans for people who want to lose weight and still have the energy to run.

Can anyone point me in the right direction before I retreat to bed crying into my ben and jerrys? I've had a rad through the Runners World running and nutrition forum but i'm really looking for some solid advice on what is good and what is bad, anyone out there have some experience in running for fitness and weightloss and the diets they used? I'd be forever grateful!



  • Forget  fad diets - you don't want one of those. It's all about eating sensibly and unless you are running silly distances you don't need to eat more of or eliminate certain foods.

    I believe in the mantra that there are no bad foods - only bad diets. 

  • DazTheSlugDazTheSlug ✭✭✭

    what Screamy said.

    unless your'e on some sort of starvation diet you will always have enough energy for a short run.

    if you're still wibbling, just go out for a walk (dressed in your running kit) and I bet you can't resist breaking into a bit of a jog... image

  • Thanks for the replies guys.  I just attempted the W1D1 of C5K and it didnt go well, I only managed the run 60 seconds 3 times but at least I gave it a go and made the first step.

    I think my issue is that I dont know what eating sensibly is, I will google more and see if I can find some meal planners.  I already walk an hour a day with my dog, 30 mins at lunch and 30 mins after work yet each day i'm putting on more and more weight, hence my sadness and confusion. 

    Thanks for taking the time to message me and I will research more on what I should be eating.

  • Meal planners are a good idea.

    Also there are loads of apps where you can enter how much weight you want to lose per week and it will tell you how many calories you need to eat and burn. It's then just a case of making a note of what you eat, how much you've burnt off and adding it up accordingly.

    Not that you need an app to do it, you can read the backs of packets for the calorific value, but it makes it a bit easier.

  • Booktrunk might also be along later. She lost a lot of weight herself so will be able to give you plenty of good advice.

  • Firstly, well done on getting started again!

    Some simple things that may help with diet:

    • Try to avoid processed foods
    • Snack on fruit and veggies
    • Drink plenty of water (sometimes we think we're hungry when we're thirsty) but avoid soft drinks and fruit juices.
    • A large proportion of main meals should be veggies - salads are great this time of year.

    Also, you could try keeping a food diary or using an app like MyFitnessPal, recording what you eat can be really helpful.

    Keep up the walking and build up the running really slowly, it will take some time but you'll get there.

    Good luck

  • The internet makes trying to find advice on healthy eating so difficult. If you go googling you will find folks preaching one diet or anther with nothing short of religious fervour.


    Just a quick FYI: In terms of carbs - you don't NEED 60% carbs to be a runners/athlete - I do ultra endurance and don't need that much.  However - they are tasty and I do love them (mmm bread) so I don't cut them out either.  


    This guy is great for all sorts of advice  and this woman is simply lovely and super helpful and knowledgeable   


    A balanced diet - means a different thing to different people and how easy it is to stick to any particular regime will totally depend on what you do and don't like.  There are sane people on the internet - honest - but yeah finding them is tough.


    The main thing - if you can do it - is 'real' food.  i.e. fruit and veg. Lean meats, fresh bread (not sliced packaged fluffy fake bread) with a sprinkling of whatever you fancy.  Dinner made from ingredients rather than out of a packet/microwave stuff.  I realise this is probably not new info and doesn't lay out a specific meal plan - but that is hard to do on a post.  There is this lady  she is really nice too and does free trials of meal plans and stuff.  She is a runner so gets the energy requirements and she plans food for amateur and pro athletes.



    IMHO the minute a regime has a 'name' - best to avoid.

  • Thanks again everyone, I've had a little cry as I sat in heap on the floor feeling sorry for myself and now I feel a bit more positive, I made the first step of getting back onto the couch to 5k train, I may of only manged to run for 3 mins but that was 3 minutes more than I did yesterday and 3 mins more than I thought I could do.

    I adore carbs, I've been thinking that is what my problem was, I could live on pasta and bread and baked potatoes, I tried cutting out all carbs and living on chicken and veg and salads but I ended up putting on weight image. I don't eat any microwave meals or stuff like that but something is wrong otherwise I might be able to wear something other than jogging bottoms, plus, if my upper arms get any bigger they are going to need their own post code soon!!!

    One thing I am good with is sticking to schedules and planners etc so thank you very much Gymaddict for those links, I will research them and look at making some weekly food planners, maybe I over analyse things, maybe this is so much simpler than all my googling is leading me to believe, sometimes I think that you can ask google what color the moon is and you will get 100 different people quoting 'facts' to prove its every color in the rainbow.

    Thanks to all for the fitness pal app, I will download it and use it to help me record what I am eating.

    Can I ask one more question? I am not really a massive morning eating person so have always struggled with breakfast, does anyone know if it would be okay to replace a solid food breakfast with a protein shake of some sorts? I think lack of breakfast has always caused me to over eat at lunch and dinner. Thanks for all the help guys, i'm feeling alot more positive now image

  • and yeah myfitnesspal is great although it does set the calorie requirements pretty low.  Personally I found picking my own calorie limit at something I thought more achievable was better as I could then stick to it. After all, it's consistency that is key - not eating 1400 calories a day for a week and then being so hungry you eat the entire contents of the fridge (which I would for sure if I tried to eat that little).

    Neither carbs nor fat nor protein or even (SHOCK HORROR) sugar makes you fat by itself.  It's overall intake day in day out, week in week out...etc etc    Obvously sugar doesn't have nutrient value and so is a bit of a waste of calories - but again it tastes nice so if you like ice cream - better to plan it into your day rather than try to cut out things that give you pleasure.  Booze is similar - no actual worth but lots of people seem to like it, so if this is you, plan it in.  


    There really is no 'magic' ratio of nutrients or one single thing that makes you gain body fat. .... the magic is to find a way to gradually reduce your intake SLIGHTLY and gradually do a bit more.  The less painful the changes - the more likely you are to manage it and to stick to it.



    oh and if anyone comes along and says - it's easy just eat less and move more without any actual structured ways to do this - ignore them - they are not worth listening to.

  • +1 on the my fitness pal.

    And you need to weigh yourself or how can you possibly improve.

    Knowing your weight won't make you any heavier.

    And basically - eat less - even healthy stuff will make you fat if you eat too much of it.

    Move more.
  • You don't need to eat breakfast if you don't want to. A mid morning meal when you are genuinely hungry is better than forcing down something when you don't want it.  Saying that, if work or whatever makes that hard - then by all means - get a protein shake or something of that sort.

    Smoothies are not brilliant though as they tend to be full of sugar (allbeit fruit sugar) with all the goodness of the fruit left out. Nothing wrong with fruit - it's just better intact rather than pulped.

    ps - it's hard.  Don't let anyone fool you into thinking that it's easy and you just aren't trying hard enough - or any of that guff.  But, you can do it.  You just need to be patient with yourself, forgive yourself when you don't stick to your plan and don't give up.  

  • Thanks again image When I did the couch to 5k before, it wasn't for weight loss, I wanted to run a 5k for cancer research and give up smoking (the smoking part I did but then crumbled) and while doing it I was with my ex and we ate nothing but McDonalds, pizza hut, curry and food from the chip shop, but I dropped a lot of weight, now my diet is not nearly as bad as that but the weight has crept back on, so maybe I need to stop worrying so much about the diet and more on just getting moving and focusing on the running programme while tuning my diet towards a more healthy balanced plan just using my own common sense and a little web guidance as you all say image

    I simply refuse to weight myself!! I prefer to go on dress sizes rather than counting the pounds! (plus im scared the scales will break).

  • I don't weigh myself either -  seeing a number on the scales can ruin my whole day.  I go by my clothes.  I think that for me, the numbers are tied into past eating disorders and a lot of bad body image nonsense and so it's best to stay well clear.


    Good Luck- sounds like you are feeling a bit more positive - which is half the battle. image

  • Smoothies are fine as long as you make them yourself, then you know what's in them.

    Small banana, some yoghurt, handful of raspberries or blueberries, semi skimmed milk - whizz up with a hand blender  = breakfast done.

  • Yes you are right Screamapillar  - I was thinking of the ready made ones in the supermarket.

  • I would say log everything you eat to give you an idea about exactly how much you are eating.  When I was bigger (I lost about 27ish kgs) I had no idea how much I was eating.  I started logging everything I ate and made sure I ate a lot of real food, meat, greek yoghurt, vege and fruit.  I avoided sugar like the plague and I also started biking to work and eventually started doing body pump initially once a week which increased to x2 a week.  

    I have put on a kg or two since I started doing endurance events (due to me eating more carbs - if I don't eat a base level of carbs I run my immune system down and it's no fun).  Once I stop the endurance events the weight goes down again.

  • booktrunkbooktrunk ✭✭✭

    Calories, limit the calories coming in to under 1,500 a day using myfitnesspal or any other app you want or a diary and pen/paper.

    ignore all the bullshit about x diet, just limit your intake to x calories and eventually the weight will have to go, if you are running c25k or similarish twill make next to no difference  weight wise, but you cannot use it as an excuse to eat any more calories stick to 1,500 daily, if you have a bad day then do the best you can that day and start you 1,500 for the next day, each day is a individual day, forget what happened yesterday be it a good or a bad diet day, all that matters is the day you are on. 

  said above don't eat pre made ready meals it's lazy and awful in diet terms full of wasted calories. Freshly made food with fresh ingredients. 

    All calories count, so don't waste them 1,500 includes all liquids, a bottle of lucozade would be 1/3rd you daily calorie allowance.... think before you waste your calories on things you don't need.

    Ifyou want to cheat, the only real cheat that I found that works is to not count fresh fruit, so 1,500 plus fresh fruit... Not fruit juice that's full of wasted calories, but proper fresh fruit.

  • Hi guys

    Thanks again for all the wonderful advice! I am feeling alot better about it all, never had any idea there were so many apps that can help on the iphone, I downloaded the fitness pal and logged my food yesterday, was surprised that I was over the allowance even when eating home made meals that I thought were somewhat okay! I do my food shopping for the week on a Saturday so I now have a much better idea of what to get with the help of the links you guys provided.

    Super surprised about luzocade :O, I never drunk it for sports, more because I love the flavour of the orange one but that will now stop if its 500 calories!

    I noticed on myfitnesspal that it re-adds calories onto my 1600 total when I input my activity for the day, do you guys do that as well or would you only eat 1600 and and exclude the fitness so if you did burnt 400 calories that day you would only eat 1100? (I'm not sure how to get my daily allowance to 1500, it automatically selected 1600 when I input my details).

    Thanks for the smoothie recipe, sounds delicious! I was thinking about the protein shakes that you buy as power and mix up with milk, can they be good for weightloss as well? Im scared I will get the wrong one and end up with a bulking up one!!!

    I love all veg and fruit, especially fruit salads with 0% fat greek yoghurt so hopefully phasing out whatever i've been doing wrong and introducing more fruit, veg and lean meats will help me to lose weight, keep up the running (or my pathetic excuse at running lol) and give me more energy, I hate looking at the clock at 6pm counting down when I can go to bed.

    Even though I only did a tiny bit of running yesterday, I hurt today! I felt a little down when I realised I couldnt do the full 1m run 1.30 walk cycle, so I was thinking I might do a few preparation weeks of 30secs run, 2min walk, then 45 sec run, 1.45 walk, then properly start into the 1min run and 1.30 walk on couch to 5 k, do you think that would be an okay way to start?

    Thanks again all, if it hadnt been for this site and you all replying, I would of probably crumbled back into bed yesterday with a big pot of ice cream!

  • I always eat up to my allowance - otherwise its too drastic. If the app says 1600 - go with that.

    The good thing about MFP is that it makes you question all of your consumption. You didn't know about the lucozade calories ? Well you do now !
  • MFP is a great educational tool - if nothing else it teaches you to read labels, and of course there is the odd nasty surprise (like the lucozade).

    I love carbs and cheese, but with the help of MFP managed to lose a little over five stone, and more importantly (other than some pregnancy weight gain) I've managed to keep it off. I wasn't eating badly as such, always cooking from scratch, but there was definitely too much pasta, wine and more than the odd bit of cake. After a while you work out what works for you. For me, I still weigh out pasta before cooking it, but everything else I can more or less eye ball a sensible amount after a couple of years of logging most things. As others have said, you can still have your treats, but only have one every so often, not several every day. If you REALLY fancy a lucozade, have one, but make it the only one for the week or whatever. The only other thing that I would say, is that you have to expect days where you just won't stick to it a friend's wedding, a birthday etc. It's ok to have these days. One day every once in a while will not derail your progress, and you'll have a lot more fun! It just has to be an occasional thing, rather than an every weekend thing.

    Take care of yourself.

  • Peter MPeter M ✭✭✭

    Quantity was the first thing i had to accept was my mistake in eating. Might be healthy meals, but if you're eating far to much of it, it doesn't help any. 

    Take cereal for example, the recommended serving can be between 30g and 45g (see the box), have you ever weighed that to see just how little that is? and just how little milk goes with it? Granted, being 6ft3, i decided to go a bit above that each morning :P, but it's still a big drop from what i used to eat. 

    and while we're on breakfast, what i do is split my morning meal up between a bowl of cereal early on, and a toasted bagel at 11. Obviously eat what you prefer, but by splitting it over the morning like this, you don't have to each so much early on, and by 11 when you're peckish, you get to finish off your breakfast image. All set then for lunch later on.

    Finally don't eat to late. if it's a few hours before you go to sleep, then unless you've skipped dinner, go without, or go small.

    Sleep is also useful,.. partly as while you're asleep you're not eating :P, but also if you're not sleeping enough, you put more strain on your body, it consumes more fuel, you eat more. So get a good nights rest! 

  • Hi again,

    I think late eating was definitely one of my worse habits, for some reason I love nothing more than delaying my dinner until later so I can eat it then head to bed to watch a movie, enjoying that full feeling while I lie down....sounds really weird when I type it out like that...who does that?! I've stopped that over the past week though as I knew it wasnt good at all before even thinking about my diet!

    Looking back over the past few months I can see I have definitely been drinking too much wine, I'm only working part time at the moment so its like on a Tuesday "yey finished work for the week, celebrate with some wine", "oh Andy's playing today, lets have some cider" "oh its Friday, more wine". I knew I needed to cut that back so i'm happy only having wine on the weekends, sometimes these things just seem to sneak away from you! As i mentioned before, I don't really eat fast food or ready meals, I can't remember the last time I had any of them. I do cook from scratch but its probably too much portion wise, for example on Wednesday I cooked pulled pork from scratch, but that pork probably should of lasted 3/4 days or fed 3/4 people and I had with over 2 days.  I'm quite good with sweet things, i'm more of an all or nothing girl, if I have some, I need to eat it all and more but if I don't, I dont miss it and can do without so I will just stop buying the cakes and I won't miss them. 

    I like the idea of what Gymaddict said before about slowly cutting down on my intake and increasing my movement, that way its not such a shock to the system and I am less likely to crash and eat everything in sight.  I'm looking at this more as a change in lifestyle rather than a diet.

    Thanks again for all the helpful advice and kind words, its really appreciated! I took my "before" picture last night (which was disgusting) and hopefully in 12 weeks or so with the help of C to 5k and changing my eating I will be able to show a difference! x

  • Just a quick update, today was food shopping day and my trolley was filled with lean meats and lots of fruit and veg, currently have broccoli, cauliflower, onions, cherry tomatoes and peppers cooking in the oven with a fresh haddock filet awaiting to join them!

    I went for my second run today, it felt really good, I only did the run 30 seconds/walk 1.30secs but I completed the circuit so that's given me a bit more confidence that I can keep at it again.  I've always had an issue with my pace and tend to run to fast and tire myself so I took my little dog with me this time and I think it helped me to slow down as he is a miniature dachshund and only has tiny legs so I controlled my speed so he could keep up! Feeling great image

  • Peter MPeter M ✭✭✭

    thats a good idea to help slow the pace off image. It's all to easy when you're feeling fresh to go off to quick. But after a while it does become natural to have several paces you slip into.

  • Hello all

    Just wanted to pop in and say a massive thank you to you all.  I joined MPF and have been recording food and working on my C25K for 2 weeks now and I thought I would give a quick update.

    I have been doing my own little pre-programme for these 2 weeks being run 30 seconds, walk 2mins, second week run 45 seconds and walk 1.45 and now I can do 4 rounds of running 1 minute and 4 rounds of running 45 seconds so it's building up nicely!

    I've been logging in MFP every day and over these 2 weeks I have lost 5lbs already image although its not huge, I have lost inches on my waist which is great! Along with that, I've felt a massive change, i'm getting up early feeling fresh and ready to go, not like the living dead, I feel more confident and like I have a spring in my step!

    So a huge thank you to everyone who reached out to me here, you all helped me to kick start my new life and i'm still keeping at it!! 

  • Well done image

  • great to hear .......keep going have made a brilliant start.image


  • Top work! 

  • NessieNessie ✭✭✭

    Brilliant - just found this thread.  Sounds like something's "clicked".

    I was just mentally talking myself out of a lunchtime run, but I'm going to go now. image

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