As someone who trains for marathons or ultra-marathons, you may laugh when you see people trying to reduce their calorie intakes or track every single calorie they eat. You have the opposite problem — your body burns off so much that you sometimes struggle to keep weight on and your energy levels up. How can you increase your calorie intake without turning to unhealthy, sugary drinks and candy? Here are a few ideas.
1. Carbohydrate-Rich Beverages
Adding one or two carbohydrate-rich drinks to your daily routine can help boost your calorie intake without making you feel too full. There are plenty of carb-rich shake powders you can mix with milk and perhaps a banana to create a delicious smoothie. Look for one that also contains some added iron and vitamin B12 -- these are nutrients that runners are often deficient in. You can bring a shake with you in the car and drink it on the way to work as a second breakfast, or even mix one up in your work break room as an afternoon snack.
2. Healthy Sauces
Sauces, like barbecue sauce and ranch dressing, are loaded with calories. However, many processed versions are also loaded with preservatives. Try making your own healthy versions of sauces to add calories and flavor to your foods. You can make a delicious ranch dressing, for example, with some yogurt, garlic powder, olive oil, salt, pepper, parsley, and onion powder. Or mix some vinegar, molasses, ketchup, garlic, and cayenne pepper for a homemade barbecue sauce.
3. Roasted Veggies
Fresh veggies are good for you, but they're so filling. You'll be able to eat more veggies, thereby boosting your calorie intake, if you roast them. You can also add a healthy oil, like olive or canola, to the veggies to help them roast nicely and to boost their calorie content. Sweet potatoes, asparagus, carrots, and cauliflower are especially delicious when coated in oil and salt and roasted for 30 minutes at 375 degrees F.
Grains like rice and couscous are pretty calorie-dense and versatile. Try adding a half cup or so of one of these grains to each of your meals. You can add some soy sauce and garlic for flavor.
With the foods above, you can increase your calorie intake and hopefully have an easier time keeping weight on as a distance runner. Remember, you may need to eat more than three times per day to meet your calorie needs.Share