Here are some common-but-damaging food “rules” to avoid.
Energy bars are a convenient way to supplement your nutrition. But if you’re eating only bars, it’s a red flag. “It’s best to get kilojoules from whole foods,” says sports dietician Suzanne Girard Eberle.
Although many bars are enriched with vitamins, they don’t provide the quality of nutrition gained from real food.
“It makes you prone to injury and can compromise the immune system,” Eberle says.
Let’s say you like your routine of eating lunch at 1pm every day. So what, right? “It’s a problem if you’re restricting food when you’re hungry,” says Eberle. You run slower, fatigue more quickly, and take more time to recover when your body doesn’t get food when it needs it.
If your kilojoule-counting evolves into the “I want that orange, but I can only have 240.7 more kilojoules today” variety, then you’re overdoing it. Your body sometimes requires more fuel. Deprive yourself, and you risk a host of health woes. Cut yourself some slack.
If your response is always, Thanks, but I’ve got a (insert faux excuse here), then you may need to examine your reasons for skipping: consistently avoiding social eating so you can control the menu can portend or evolve into an unhealthy relationship with food, says Eberle.
Purposely not fuelling on the run in an attempt to burn more kilojoules and lose weight is self-defeating. If you don’t feed your body properly before, during, and after long training runs, you’re much less likely to have a quality performance, says Eberle.