There we go, 20 miler training run in the books. That type of run requires an exorbitant amount of energy and this requires refueling. So what does that mean? That means it’s time to sit down and consume a spread of donuts, ice cream, and chocolate chip waffles doused in syrup. Gotta refuel the carbohydrates right? While it is absolutely true that refueling is an essential complement of any proper training cycle, the food choices and calorie consumption are often not appropriate to meet our bodies needs after such a long and hard effort. We tend to look to sugar and junk food on these occasions while a healthy and nutritious meal will serve us much better. What many runners fail to realize is that any excess fat we have on our body is simply extra weight we have to carry on the race course. We pay hundreds of dollars for special racing shoes that take a half a pound off our total weight, so why wouldn’t we try to shed five pounds and see how that feels when we are racing! If we make healthy food choices our bodies are naturally regulated to reach fullness when we have met our nutritional needs. When we eat things like oils and sugar however, this system gets thrown off completely. Hence we end up consuming far more than we need and end up at a less than ideal body composition. The best food choices for recovery and fat loss are proteins, healthy fats, and healthy carbohydrates. There is nothing wrong with a big plate of pasta after an exhausting run, just don’t forget the meat sauce! Once you start seeing the fitness benefits from a little of weight loss however it is easy to get out of hand. Everyone has their own best racing weight and under shooting that number is far more dangerous than overshooting it. When we are carrying extra weight, at least we are properly fueled and ready to take our bodies to the limits. If we get too light we may find ourselves low on energy and not able to perform. Losing weight is not something that all runners should be trying to do but it can be helpful to some. My advice would be to make healthy food choices and let your body tell you when it needs more.