When it comes to living the healthiest life possible, one that fills you with energy and vitality, exercise can often help. And training for a race is a great way to keep that upbeat vibe going as you have your eyes on not only crossing the finish line, but in doing it with your arms held in victory formation, telling the world that you’re proud of what you’ve accomplished.
Unfortunately though, sometimes following a strict food program in the name of training can have a negative effect. Instead of it motivating you to eat more nutritious foods in an effort to achieve higher levels of health and run faster and more easily, it can actually make you want to binge because you feel restricted or overly stressed about the upcoming race.
The good news is that you can overcome these types of feelings by simply using the following four strategies:
If you go hours upon hours without giving your body any nourishment, of course you’re going to want to gorge on everything in sight. According to a video created by health expert Dr. John Berardi, you’ll gain more benefit by eating more frequently as, in addition to controlling hunger, it reduces stress hormones, stabilizes blood sugar, and lowers body fat. To do this, he recommends eating roughly six small meals per day (every three hours, give or take) with your biggest ones in the morning and right after training.
Most training programs are strict when it comes to eating but, as previously mentioned, this type of rigidity can make you want to binge. Therefore, as recommended in an article published by College News to help new students avoid the dreaded Freshman 15, you’re better off having some level of flexibility, such as giving yourself a “Treat Day.” This enables you to stick to your training regimen a majority of the time, while still allowing you to enjoy your favorite foods occasionally so you aren’t tempted to cheat or give up entirely.
Remember Your Goal
It’s pretty easy to be sidelined during race training, especially if it spans over months of time. Therefore, keeping your goals in front of you at all times helps remind you of the things you want to accomplish, making it easier to make positive choices in regard to your food. Some goal-reminding suggestions offered by LessonInLife.com include putting images of them on your screensaver or wallpaper, pasting reminders on your wall, and asking a friend to remind you along the way.
Visualize Your Success
One extremely effective way to overcome obstacles such as binge eating involves visualizing yourself doing so in positive ways. As reported by Sport Psychology Today, visualization is a powerful technique used by many elite athletes, helping them become top contenders in their sport of choice. To do it, find a quiet place, close your eyes, and imagine yourself having the ability to eat whatever it is you want. Envision yourself making healthy choices and eating them in their proper portion sizes. This essentially trains your brain to respond this way in real life, making it easier to make good choices without hesitation.
Use these four strategies and your training won’t involve binging at all. Instead, it will center on you making good choices, ultimately leading you to your best victory yet!
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