I need how many calories?!?!

Getting My Grub On: Run/Food Chat

Getting enough calories while training for a marathon can be tough for me. A lot of  people have the mentality that long distance running = eating whatever/whenever.  Unless my goal is a complete run fail I can’t roll like that. My body is kind of freaky and just can’t hang.

I am one of those eat-several-small-meals-a-day people so I have to pay attention when it comes to increasing run miles.  Lately I have been utilizing NutritionData.Com to figure out what my daily needs are and if I am actually on track.

When I completed the daily needs calculator this morning I almost hit the floor. Based on my gender, height, weight and activity ND recommended the following:

 Your Calories Burned

Daily Energy Expenditure:  2580 kcal ( 10802 kJ)
Additional Calories from Exercise:  + 852.0 kcal ( 3567 kJ)
Estimated Energy Requirement:  3432.0 kcal ( 14369 kJ)

Read More http://nutritiondata.self.com/tools/calories-burned#ixzz1agWE3Tmc

3,432 Calories Per Day…HOLD THE PHONE.

Back to reality. This is impossible for me. Literally impossible. Unless I turn to a strict pizza diet, Mickey D’s or start slugging down protein shakes all day I am not going to be consuming this many calories.

So now what? Based on the information I put in this morning here is where I was at after breakfast: 317 calories. Yikes, according to ND I still need another 3,115!!! Pumpkin spice latte anyone? Maybe a little extra desert tonight?

Am I a total whack job or does 3,432 seem unreasonable to anyone else?

My plan for now is to continue to watch my nutrition and make sure I am eating a balanced breakfast, lunch and dinner with my little snacks in between. I figure that sticking to lean proteins, carbs, fruits, veggies and whole grains I should be golden. Butttt maybe one of you out there is a nutrition expert and can help a sister out!

How do you make sure you are getting enough while increasing mileage and/or exercise?



25 thoughts on “I need how many calories?!?!

  1. For as much as you are running, its not unreasonable. Eat more nuts, avaocados, coconut, seeds, drink whole milk instead of soy milk, add granola to your breakfasts, eat more potatoes (plain baked if you want), eat more dairy, mix in shakes and bars, eat whole eggs instead of whites all the time, cook with more olive oil instead of using sprays (dip breads in olive oil and drizzle olive oil on your pastas), eat more peanut butter, etc. Its easy to get more calories in without eating pizza and cheeseburgers all the time (though that’s way more fun haha). You for sure need more than 300 calories after breakfast is all said and done though.

    1. I wish I could drink whole milk- I can’t. Stomach can’t handle it. I eat granola on yogurt, avo, nuts, etc but at the end of the day I will not come close to 3000. My breakfast this morning was a whole egg w/a slice of cheese and a slice of turkey on an english muffin. Pretty darn good breakfast and I was full. I couldn’t eat another bite. Sigh. Fruit and nuts for snack before lunch- I still will not get to 2000 by the end of the day. At least I didn’t run this morning. Thanks for the tips brotha, keep em coming!

  2. Well, I don’t get 3000 cals a day!!! GAH! Nice. I try to eat quite a bit on long run days. Usually I have treats I wouldn’t normally allow myself as a way to eat more calorie dense foods.

  3. Hmm, I kind of think it’s a little nuts. But then again ,the leaner you are (and you are a lean!), the more calories you need because muscle burns more than fat. This knowledge is thanks to SUAR’s post a few weeks back.

    On harder/longer mileage days, I get close to 2000. I’m 108lbs, but my BF% is just average (20-22%). If I had a better %, like lets say 15% but still @108lbs, I would probably need more calories.

    But, really, if you feel you have enough energy, your weight is stable, then I’d hesitate to mess with it at this point. Everyone is different – those calculators are rather generic.

    1. I have no idea what my BF% is. I assume its average? I guess I would have to have the old caliper test done.

      When I hit send on that dang thing this morning I couldn’t believe the number. The questions are pretty generic so I think you are right in that it is likely not 100% accurate.

  4. that is AWESOME I wish I could eat that many calories…but yes, you are a healthy mama, all those veggies and fruit will hardly give you any calories. You’ll have to increase your carb intake and get some more fatty foods. like avocados and pb 😀 Nuts, beans….protein rich foods. I would just eat constantly 😀 get a feed bag lol

  5. Feed bag? Hahahaha, classic. Seriously though, part of training like a mad person is eating like a mad person. Think of it as part of your routine. You will go run for 2 hours, so you need to want to eat for 2 hours. Its not the easiest thing to do though. I read about all kinds of bodybuilders who have a hard time eating as much as they are supposed to, and they are close to 8K cals a day. Could you imagine? Obviously you dont need as much as them, but you need to eat. A LOT. With as much running as you do, you should be hungry all the time. Eating = your new job. Now get to it!

  6. Oh my gracious, I can’t even imagine what that many calories a day would look like. Lots and lots of nut butter, I guess. 😉 Really though, just be sure to watch your weight and as long as you aren’t dropping extra poundage or starting to feel tired/sluggish, I wouldn’t worry too much about it. 🙂

  7. Honestly, I eat almost that many calories, and it’s not from junk. I do eat a lot of nuts and nut butter, actually (kind of an addiction). I eat 3 meals plus 2 snacks a day (around 10am and 3pm). Once I started logging my calories and was shocked. It made me kind of crazy obsessive, so I stopped doing that. I’m not officially marathon training yet, so I have no excuse. I say eat up! You are lucky! If you like veggies, add more, add avocado (tons of calories). Have 2 eggs, or 2 slices of turkey. Work in a few substantial snacks.

  8. I think these are often way too high for most people.

    I’m not an RD or anything, but I do think I have a pretty good grasp on health/nutrition.

    Honestly, just listen to your body. If you feel full, you probably are!

  9. Hello pretty mama!! 🙂

    Dang!! That’s a lot of calories!! When I first starting running marathons I had no clue on the proper fat, carb, etc. ration. Now I feel like I’m a lot better with fueling before and after runs to maintain my weight which tells me I’m eating enough. But, your body IS getting leaner while maitaining weight. I didn’t believe it until I saw it for myself by having my BF% assessed. (you should do it if your gym has the equipment) 🙂 It really gives you a good gauge at where you’re at in terms of leaness. If your BF% is too low then I’d start hitting up “hometown buffet!” 🙂 Just keep doing what works for YOU!! My hubby (bless his heart) is my mirror. He’ll tell me if I’m “losing my butt” or if he thinks I need to up my protein.

    “Have a happy, blessed FRIDAY!!”

    1. Pam, that is a great info! I am going to have to ask my gym if they can do that for me. They do not have scales (not kidding!) so I hope that they will be able to help. I try to just balance my meals and when I feel full I’m done. I do want to make sure I am getting what I need tso that I can keep on keepin’ on. I love that you have you hubby as your mirror!

      Hooray for FRIDAY!!!

  10. I’m gonna say that that’s prolly a bit excessive… I mean if you can do it and it feels good than more power to you. I’ve had some freaking high mileage weeks and probably never busted out anywhere near that amount of caloric intake a day. I would say that you should do what feels right for your body. Some of us run better on a little less than what non-runner doctors or nutritionists could ever understand. They just thing, “dang, they’re running a ton… they’d better eat a ton or they’ll die.” I think as long as you’re not feeling malnourished, you’re totally fine.

  11. I easily eat 3,500 calories a day. Easily. Could probably eat more if I wanted…

    Seriously, just a few handful of nuts or 1/3 jar of almond butter a day and I’m 1/3 of the way there. Not hard to do. I know not many women can fathom this, but your body is smart enough. I’m not overweight; my body is perfectly fueled for the high mileage of marathon training.

  12. Just calculated my needs… it is in the 4000s. Not surprised since I am hungry all day every day no matter the hour, but seriously, who can comfortably consume 4000 calories in a day while working meals around work and workouts?!

  13. OK so I am so with you on this nutrition thing. I am about to run marathon #3 (Marine Corps) in a matter of 1 week. I definitely do not eat that many cals in a day! When training for races I do however increase my carb intake (more complex carbs than refined) and so instead of, say chicken with rice I eat rice with chicken. Sometimes brown rice, sometimes white. I love whole wheat pasta. But I try to increase my complex carb intake (without overdoing it) and eat more fruits and veggies in my diet, along with healthy fats. It works for me.

    On the Livestrong website, there is a profile you can set up for yourself called My Daily Plate and you can track your calories there based upon your fitness activity/level.

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