Does diet matter? According to Annie Weiss, owner of Fit with Food Consulting, it does – but not in the way trendy diets may have you believe.
Instead of the one-size-fits-all approach many fad diets take, Weiss believes a successful training diet is all about nutrition ratios, timing and the individual runner.
Below, learn more about how fueling affects your running as well as how Fit with Food Consulting can help you reach your goals!
Why is the start of a New Year the perfect time for runners to clean up their diets?
Every day offers a perfect opportunity for anyone, runners included, to clean up their diet. The New Year is simply another day; why people wait to change until Jan 1st is beyond me! Everyday can be a Jan 1.
How can eating right help improve a person’s running?
An individual’s running can improve immensely with proper fuel – nutrition and hydration! I’ve seen some of my athletes drop 5-20 minutes off their times with weight changes, fuel tweaks and just simply starting to drink water! But it’s all based on timing, amounts and the runner. Eating right on a regular basis does not mean you run better – you could eat the right ratios of macronutrients in pizza and beer and run as well as someone who eats fruit and quinoa – it’s all about when and dialing in the numbers.
What does a good diet look like for runners in training?
Runners in training need to be eating a lot – with weight fluctuations along the way. An increase of 1,000 calories is possible on any given day pending the workout. There is no right or wrong diet … but the MOST important thing to remember … RECOVERY. If you aren’t getting the right recovery in, your training and racing will be affected immensely.
What about fad diets, like Paleo, Gluten Free, etc. – do these diets work over the long term? And are they beneficial for runners?
What about them!? They are no good … that’s why they are called fads Please just don’t even look at them! Here’s the skinny … these are diets that are advertised to EVERYONE in the world as a general diet that is good – each one may work for a different type of person, but certainly not everyone. We can’t generalize runners – each one is different and needs a specific nutrition plan just for them. None of my athletes have the same nutrition plan – they all follow different ratios, eat different foods, eat at different times – all based on their goals and their lifestyle. Eventually it dials in and results are made. Fad diets are for the birds
Some runners believe running allows them to eat whatever – and however much – they want. How true/untrue is this idea?
It really depends on the person – I’ve seen superb athletes eat a gigantic burger before a game and do really well, and I’ve seen it backfire. It really depends on the person. Tailoring a plan for someone may include that gigantic burger or to eat whatever they want. I currently have an athlete that at 4,000 calories is still struggling to gain weight – some people just have the ability to eat anything. But let’s face it; serious runners aren’t the ones eating garbage every day. As long as the ratios of carbohydrate, fat and protein are dialed it, it really doesn’t matter what foods help an athlete get there. Ideally though, certain foods are better for other reasons – heart health, etc.
What are some other myths out there about running and nutrition? What’s the truth behind the myths?
There are so many myths that you probably read in magazines. No matter what you read make sure of one thing … that it’s information from an unbiased, accredited resource! As you know, Dr. Oz was proven to be a quack now! Lots of myths out there are written by people who are trying to earn a buck – don’t fall into that … nutritionists are not accredited, dietitians are. Just know where your information is coming from.
Can you tell us about Fit with Food Consulting and the services you offer?
Fit with Food Consulting offers nutritional consulting for weight management, athletic performance and eating disorders. I work with a variety of men and women to achieve a variety of goals – some just need to know how to eat better because they want to feel better during the day, others want to lose 20 pounds. I work with athletes of any caliber … runners, weight lifters, swimmers; all with specific goals. And I also see those with a history of eating disorders, or current, that are stable in their illness.
What happens during a typical appointment?
My services are primarily online and sometimes face to face depending on the person’s needs and goals. Typically, I get information in advance and crunch some numbers beforehand. I will also get a diet recall to know what the person has been eating on a regular basis. After a 30-minute or 60-minute discussion and gathering more information, I will do a report and plan for that person – this may include a meal plan, the ratios needed or recipes for at home.
What sparked your interest in nutrition?
I decided to become a dietitian after undergoing my own eating disorder in college. I wanted to help people, because in today’s society, we put way too much pressure on people to look a certain way, or eat a certain way. My full-time job is working with eating disorder patients. I love it! I got more into sports nutrition being a runner myself. I have a passion for all of it.
Thanks for chatting with us, Annie! If you’re interested in learning more about Fit with Food Consulting, you can connect here:
Keep Running MKE – you’re doing great!