Cutting Food Into Little Pieces Curbs Consumption

February 25, 2012 by staff 

Cutting Food Into Little Pieces Curbs Consumption, Even the most conditioned marathoner will suffer a blood sugar crisis when he or she goes more than about 15 miles. The only way to win this battle and boost the BSL is to counterattack. Whether you use PowerBars or other foods, here are the principles which have led to blood sugar success:

1. Choose a food that is low in fat (less than 10% of total calories) but which contains significant soluble fiber.
2. Most runners need 200-250 calories about an hour before the long run to keep the blood sugar level sustained until the half way point (of a run beyond 15 miles.)
3. If the food is a solid, like PowerBar, be sure to drink at least four ounces of water for every 100 calories of the food.
4. Cut the food up into small pieces for easier consumption during the second half of the long run.
5. Drink water with each piece Test your eating routine during long runs to find the right time sequence, quantity, etc. for you.

Holiday Eating Challenge

This week could be the beginning of what could be described as the real test of your nutritional stamina. Family celebrations, office parties, get-togethers with friends, and well-intended yummy gifts can make it hard, if not impossible, to stick to your normal, healthy diet. Here are a few not necessarily original or scientific thoughts that might help you relax and enjoy the season:

Eat something healthy before you throw yourself into the temptation pit. Having some baby carrots, apple slices, or even a baked potato can curb your appetite just enough so that you have some control when you get within gobbling range of all those special holiday goodies.
Remember to drink a lot of water before you leave home and after you arrive. Not only will this help keep your system cleaned out but it will also take up space so you don’t feel the need to eat or drink so much of any other offerings.
Try using a smaller plate so that there’s not so much room to pile on all that wonderful food. (Some would say a smaller plate just requires more layers!)
Start with a small helping of whatever will fit on your plate. If you feel that you must have more of something, go back for seconds.
Get what you want from the food table and then move away so you won’t be tempted to keep circling. (There is an old party trick of moving to different places around the refreshment table so that no one will realize you’ve been eating the whole time.)
Try to resist eating or drinking just to be doing it. Notice if you are really hungry or thirsty before digging in.
Stick to your regular exercise routine as much as possible. With large family and friend gatherings, you might even be able to persuade others to join you in an after-dinner constitutional. Besides burning up a few calories, this gets everyone out of the house for a little while and is usually good for a few laughs, all of which can help minimize extra holiday stress.
Make a wholehearted effort to stick to your eating plan, but if there’s something you must have, have some and enjoy it. Maybe you can eat a smaller portion than you would have in the past, but don’t make it your “forbidden fruit.” Have a little and love it. Get your fix so the urge doesn’t build up and you want more and more and more.
Here’s the bottom line: With a little thought and planning, it is possible to enjoy the holiday season without setting your fitness program back to the Dark Ages. Do what you can while enjoying this happy season.

Pre-Race Diet

24 and before: Normal balanced meals. Plenty of fluids all day long, especially electrolyte fluids. Before marathons you can eat extra carbohydrates.

18 before race: Start cutting back on solid foods. Keep drinking fluids. After lunch, cut out red meat, fried foods, dairy products, fats, nuts, and roughage.

12 hours before race: Don’t overeat. Only light, digestible foods like soup, crackers, and toast in small quantity. Keep drinking water and electrolyte fluids.

4 hours and less: Water only, in small regular amounts. Cold water is absorbed quicker. I recommend 6 oz. every 20 minutes, 8 oz. on hot days. If you want vitamin C, take it two hours or more before the race.

During race: Take a drink at every aid station-especially the early ones.

Running Lean

Starvation diets are not necessary and not healthy in order to run lean. The idea is to eat moderately and not overeat. Gradually shift away from the fatty foods you like by acquiring a taste for similar foods with less fat and calories.

Instead of, Try:

Fried Foods, Foods marinated in herbs or broiled
Red Meat, Fish or Poultry without the skin
Whole Milk, Skim Milk
Potato Chips, Cut vegetables (carrots, celery, broccoli, etc.)
Cheese, Part skim or low-fat cottage cheese

Complex carbohydrates such as whole grains and vegetables will satisfy your hunger and not give you big doses of calories. When to eat is also important. Try eating small snacks throughout the day to avoid being ravenous at meals, which leads to over-eating. Eating small amounts allows the body to burn it up as it comes in. It will also give you a steady flow of energy throughout the day- provided the snacks are not too concentrated in sugar and fat.

A slight, sensible reduction in calories, adapted gradually into your lifestyle, will allow your exercise to burn off even more calories. This sensible approach to your new healthy lifestyle can result in permanent changes: endurance exercise, a healthy diet, and a slimmer you.

The Starvation Reflex

By now you know that diets are read by your intuitive set point mechanism as a form of starvation, planting a future seed for increased fat storage. Over millions of years, our ancient ancestors withstood regular famines, establishing very complex and quick reactions to prepare even for the possibility of food reduction. If you’re getting food in adequate quantity and frequency, your system doesn’t feel the need to store fat. But the reflex starts into action when you’ve waited too long between snacks or meals on any day. The longer you wait to eat to eat your next food, the more you stimulate the fat-depositing enzymes. When you eat your next food, more of it will be processed into fat. But that’s not all the bad news. A longer wait between meals increases your appetite, which leads to overeating-during the next meal or over the next few hours. Even if you’ve eaten three to five times a day but have eaten too few calories for that day’s activities, you’ll experience an increased appetite during the next 12 to 36 hours.

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