Are you fueling your goals or starving them?

If you want to ride a bike over 30 miles, you must put enough fuel in your tank.  This is actually a note to myself.  I just returned from a long – and hilly – ride with my cycling-addicted husband.  Although regular workouts are part of my established lifestyle, my workouts are usually much more “low key”.  A 3-mile easy paced run is about as vigorous as I usually go.

I have ridden with Peter before, I simply have never really understood on a physical level what it takes to fuel that kind of a workout – until today!  I made it, but my legs are not good for anything else today, and I have been eating continuously since I got home.  The tank was really, really empty!

I did not plan for this to happen.  I actually thought I had fueled fairly well with a big bowl of Greek yogurt (probably about 20 grams of protein in there) and a large serving of peaches and strawberries.  Of course I had a large glass of water too.  I know enough to at least TRY to prepare properly for a workout.

Lucky me!  I got a great reminder and topic for this post – a body just will not do what you want it to do if you do not provide adequate nutrition.  Next time I will keep this in mind.

I was also reminded that people need to fuel their bodies for anything they do, including weight loss efforts.  With too few calories, not only is it tough to resist temptations, it is also nearly impossible to expect to keep exercise commitments.  I was not even trying to reduce calories and I ended up depleted.  Just imagine if you thought that eating enough to move meant that you had failed at sticking to your plan.  What a colossal setup for failure!

For example, if someone thinks that 1200 calories is supposed to do anything more than keep them breathing, they will be very disappointed in themselves when they try to add any type of exercise.  Let’s not forget that exercise, even without any weight loss, improves health tremendously.  Why would anyone want to limit their activity by eating too little?

4 responses to “Are you fueling your goals or starving them?

  1. Most likely you would have felt better with a healthy snack, juice drink in the middle of your ride for that distance. ‘Course we don’t know if it included a wee hill or 2.

  2. Agree. While I do believe in calories in / calories out…my own experience tells me that severe calorie restriction only leads to sluggishness. If you want the body to be an efficiently running machine, you must feed it plenty of high quality foods….and it (your body) WILL reward you in the end.

    • So true. People who take the weight loss journey at face value (calories in/calories out) forget to enjoy the ride. Moving can feel good, so why limit movement by over-limiting calories? It makes no sense.

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