Rubbish at eating properly!

I have started to feel tired and am unable to concentrate towards the end of my day recently since the start of term (I am a secondary school teacher).  Unfortunately I know my diet has a large part to play in this.  I currently run 35-40 miles a week across the evenings and at the weekends.

During the week I get up at 5am for work and need to eat as soon as I get up.  I usually have a large bowl of cereal and 2-3 glasses of water.  Teaching at the moment is very busy with lots of exams and coursework going on so I do not get time in the middle of the day to eat - kids are always in at lunchtimes for coursework catchup, so I grab handfuls of nuts/segments of fruit bit by bit throughout the afternoon from 11:30ish as I get the chance.  School finishes at 3:30 but I run when I get home (approx 6pm) and find that if I have anything the size of a sandwich after 1ish, it upsets my stomach and I don't run as well later on.  My stomach aches by this point and I find it hard to concentrate for long.  I get home, run, shower and then have tea at about 8-8:30ish although by this point I am often no longer hungry.

I know I need to eat larger meals in the middle of the day and more regularly, does anybody have any tips to achieve this around my busy job without eating so late it upsets my stomach?

Thanks in advance!


  • RicFRicF ✭✭✭

    I just graze on plain bagels. I can keep them in my pockets and just grab a bite whenever. I'll go through 7 or 8 during the day.

  • Year 11 mocks fortnight!

  • Hi moo,

    I would try to incorporate more protein in your diet, it will help you satiate your hunger. A good example would be to have eggs for breakfast (poached or scrambled with toast) at lunch a great option would be a salad with lean protein plus a small amount of carbs. Studies have shown that eating this meal at lunch will prevent your afternoon energy dip! The hard thing is to plan in advance - as it seems you are time deprived whilst at work!
  • If the kids are all in at lunchtimes for coursework catchup, when do THEY eat their lunch? And surely the school doesn't expect you to go all day without eating? Working through a normal lunchbreak is acceptable, missing the lunch altogether definitely isn't. Sounds to me like you just need to get out your sandwiches and flask of soup and chow down mid-catchup-session.

  • I agree with runs-with-dogs! ALL of you should have the opportunity to eat at a sensible lunchtime! If you're not going to eat at lunch or as soon as school finishes, then at least eat something proper at morning break - sandwiches and some fruit.

    I wouldn't advise the 7-8 bagels a day option - that's basically like eating a loaf of bread - but some sandwiches and fruit at least. I would also experiment with things that you CAN eat straight after school. Sandwiches might be out - possibly depending on the filling - but can try a slice of malt loaf, some rice cakes etc...

    Agree to more protein, and also think you should eat more/more substantial breakfast if you are only going to graze - add some toast to the cereals, or switch cereal to porridge. 

    Also, are you one of the overworked teachers who suppliments their diet with endless cups of coffee? 

    You're basically going from 5am until 8.30 without eating properly. 

  • Get yourself some Graze boxes, check out There are some free box offers around. Get 2 a week, they are under £4 each and filled with healthy snacks. I have just turned vegetarian and 'working' towards veganism and there is brilliant stuff out there for vegans and vegetarians, you will be getting your protein from nuts and seeds all natural, lovely combinations. What you don't like they won't send again. I cannot recommend it strongly.

  • Things have changed since I was at school; back then teachers lunchtimes were sacrosanct.  My first thought is that you need to make time to eat and your employer has a legal obligation to ensure you have adequate breaks.  Notwithstanding this, a sandwich takes five minutes and if necessary you could eat it whilst dealing with the kids course work.  I don't really see that a sandwich is any less convenient than fruit/nuts.

    Perhaps another thing to consider, if sandwiches upset your stomach is that you may suffer from some sort of gluten intolerance.  Maybe try rice salad or similar.

  • Hi Moo, you should try a medium portion of cannellini beans with a mix of toms, sweetcorn, salad and fresh herbs (chuck in some cooked chicken). It works great for me...... loads of energy throught out the afternoon and for evening running..... image

  • I have a big bowl of museli for breakfast, that keeps me going until dinner, where I have a bowl of porridge (plain old wholegrain rolled oats) with a banana mixed in, which keeps me going for the rest of the day; at 5pm I'll run/gym to 8pm, then eat again around 8.30pm (chicken, cannellini beans, brocolli, then maybe a bowl of granola).

    Thats all I eat all day every day (well Mon-Sat) and that diet gives me so much energy I bounce around... Lukily for me all those things I eat I luv and havent got bored of at all image

    I'd say porridge early afternoon is the most important meal for me, without that I'd really struggle energy wise!

  • I work in the city and if I didn't get organised I wouldn't eat. Cereal or microwaved scrambled egg whites for breakfast (they actually arent that bad and so healthy, cheap and quick!) and I bulk cook on sundays for my weeks lunches .... high protein and veg lunches with a bit of carb. I go through periods where I bulk cook lots of marinaded chicken for snacks in the day as well, or I just keep lots of fruit hanging around (bananas are best). If you are busy, organisation is key. 

  • Correction ... organisation AND an awesome tupperwear collection.

  • Hi Moo,

    Graze boxes are very good, my wife has them, and now I have started eating them too. I use to eat a lot of snacky rubbish during the day, but I've found these have really helped curb my cravings and stops me from feeling as hungry.

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