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Race Fueling

I’m Always Hungry—Help!

It could be that you are not eating enough total fat or enough total protein (or both) to meet your training volume.

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Q: I’m always hungry! What are some snacks that will keep me feeling full longer?  

A: You may be hungry simply because you are training long and hard, and you may need to eat more total calories across the board—from carbs, protein and fat. However, I see countless athletes each year who are not eating enough total fat or enough total protein (or both). As a result, they’re famished all day long. You should be consuming at least 20–25 percent of your total calories from fats such as avocado, nuts, nut butters, fatty fish, olives and olive oils. There are numerous food tracking apps, such as MyFitnessPal, that can help you determine the number of grams of fat you are eating each day. Remember that fat contains 9 calories per gram, so if you need 2,000 calories per day, you need about 500 calories from fat, or 55–60 grams of fat each day. Include some fat in every meal and snack to help increase satiety between meals. Great snacks with healthy fat include whole nuts, nut butters, olives, avocado, hummus and cheeses. For protein, most athletes need between 85 and 130 grams daily. Use food labels, online food trackers or apps, or visit a certified sports dietitian to help you determine if you are meeting your protein needs. Protein-rich snacks include Greek yogurt, cottage cheese, turkey jerky, edamame and eggs. By ensuring you are eating a varied and adequately balanced diet, you should feel satisfied between meals so you can concentrate on other aspects of your life.

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