It’s a little bit of a chicken or the egg question: Do you take care of your eating habits or your fitness habits first?
Everyone comes at it a little differently. Maybe you need to start moving first, take just one step, and once that’s in motion you begin thinking differently about how you’re fueling yourself. Or maybe you need to start eating better, lose weight and then you can begin an exercise routine.
Either way, it starts with making one change, then another.
Over the next several months, we’ll talk to food, fitness and medical experts about how to make changes, keep them and then build on them, all in pursuit of healthier living. In particular, we’re talking about the Fargo Marathon, half-marathon and other related events in May. Sanford Health is a title sponsor of the event this year.
Registered dietitian and ultramarathoner Lizzie Kasparek talked with us about where to even start when it comes to how you eat as you train, and how it differs as it gets closer to race day.
Be honest with yourself
What is your goal, and what’s keeping you from meeting it? If it’s just being more mindful when you eat, then take those steps. Don’t eat in front of a computer. Put your phone down. Enjoy your meal. “People can overeat when they aren’t paying attention to the fact that they are really full.”
Know your limitations
If you lose weight and have to fall into unhealthy habits to keep it off, that may not be the right weight for your body. Runners and walkers and recreational athletes come in all shapes and sizes – you don’t have to fit into a stereotypical body type.
Start with one healthy habit
Kasparek recommends taking a good look at your breakfast, especially if you exercise during the day. Starting off by skimping on calories can set you up for making poor choices later in the day. “You run, have coffee, jump in the car and forget to pack snacks, and before you know it, you’re hitting the vending machine or starving all day and then overeating at dinner,” she says.
Over the next few weeks, Kasparek will share her tips and tricks for healthier eating while training and her own experiences with racing and running. You can follow her at on Twitter @lizkasparekRD.