The New Runner’s Diet: 15 Easy Changes To Make Right Now

The New Runner’s Diet: 15 Easy Changes To Make Right Now

Whether you follow the healthiest runner’s diet in the world or the unhealthiest, we all have the same 24 hours in a day.

Whether you are the most enduring runner in the world or the least, we all have the same 1440 minutes in a day.

And whether you are the fastest runner in the world or the slowest, we all have the same 86400 seconds in a day.

The point?

There’s plenty of time to make the necessary changes in our runner’s diet, and it’s available to each and every one of us. Improving your health to improve your running, and your life, is a choice, and it’s one that’s always available.

Sure, some goals will come easier or harder depending on particular circumstances (e.g., experience and genetics). However, don’t ever fall victim to an unhealthy mindset because as long as your heart beats…CHANGE is always a possibility.

Whether you want to increase stamina and speed, lose weight, or improve your fueling strategy, all that’s required is the right guide and a decision…a decision to try.  

You will find my guides to be very practical with direct steps. That’s because my writing is experiential, meaning, it’s not from a textbook. After running over 100 ultramarathon distances, you sure learn a lot about what works…and what does not.

Soon you will realize that the healthy transformation you are seeking doesn’t transpire in your running shoes. That’s because the most significant impact, in my experience, comes from where it really counts: the kitchen.

And once you place your focus on nutrition, what you find is this: the real progress isn’t made through big DRASTIC changes. This approach tends to do more harm than good.

No, instead, it’s about the many small shifts you make each and every day. Over time, every small healthy gain compounds from a healthier and more energized you. In fact, we could even say that after you make enough healthy habits, your healthy habits make you.

So, let me ask you…are you ready to start establishing healthier habits today?

Are you reading to run further and increase your energy from making new choices in the kitchen?

And lastly, are you ready for the unveiling of, in my opinion, the most effective runner’s diet on earth?

If you answered “YES!” to any of these questions than I am truly thrilled for you. I am excited because you are ready to make a real change in your life. A healthy body is the foundation to everything you could ever want to achieve…running goals included.

First, we will explore a long-distance runner’s diet from a new set of eyes, that is, from a new perspective. Afterward, you will receive 15 small, yet, highly effective nutritional tips that you can start TODAY.

And lastly, I will provide some insight into one of the best runner’s diets on the planet. A way of eating and fueling that brought myself from struggling at the marathon and 50k distance to cruising through them with no food or water.  A runner’s diet that also contributed to my success of running a 200-mile ultramarathon.

Ready to get started?

Great! Before we dive in, first understand that I am not a certified nutritionist and make no claims to the contrary. Each individual’s dietary needs and restrictions are unique to the individual. You are ultimately responsible for all decisions pertaining to your health.  This is simply what worked for ME in MY journey as a long distance runner.

Always listen to your body. If it seems like it’s trying to tell you something, chances are…it is.

Also, this was not written to determine who eats right and who eats wrong. It’s not my intention to push you into a particular way of eating, but only to INVITE you to look at the way you eat from a new light.

So, let’s begin by heading in a new direction…

A New Runner’s Diet Direction

The New Runner's Diet: 15 Easy Changes To Make Right Now // Long Run Living

You will find many nutritional experts lecture on a particular diet that everyone should follow. However, many experts don’t exactly practice what they preach. Some say one thing and do another.

It’s much easier to suggest the right way to eat, then to actually eat that way yourself. A piece of chocolate dessert isn’t as easy to deny in person as it is from a hypothetical example in a written article.  

Let’s face it, we have many more physical and physiological addictions to particular foods than we’d like to admit.

In fact, it’s my understanding that sugar is one of the most addictive substances available. That’s why someone proclaiming they will reduce their sugar intake is one thing, but actually cutting it out is another. Restricting your sugar intake cold turkey works for some, but for the majority of us, it takes a weaning process.

With that, it makes sense that small progressive steps in the right direction are effective for improving your runner’s diet.

But what is the “right” direction?

Personally, I’ve made many modifications to my runner’s diet over the years. Every change contributed collectively in the same healthy direction. And despite the progress I’ve made, the path I’m on today is the same path I was on yesterday, and the same path I’ll be on tomorrow.

In other words, my diet is not flawless, but I take small progressive steps in a healthy direction every day. Your runner’s diet is not a means to an end. The journey is the finish line.

It’s not a diet to follow, but a lifestyle to live.

When you go from running a few miles on the treadmill to a 200-mile ultramarathon, you notice something interesting. That is, the more enduring your body becomes, the more sensitive you are to what you eat.

When you’ve been eating bad, over ultra distances, your body knows it. And at the same time, when you’ve been eating good, over ultra distances, your body knows it.

The further you run the better your eating habits should be. That, or you will create much unnecessary suffering along the way.

Remember–first you make new habits, and after a while, your new habits make you. In other words, once your healthier choices become a habit, you become a healthier runner who develops even healthier habits in becoming an even healthier runner.

One day I ate an entire pizza the night before a marathon and stuffed my face with performance bars the morning of the race. Now…I eat light the night before, and fast before the race begins, no pre-race meal whatsoever. I taught my body to efficiently burn fuel from within…and you can do the same.

Here’s what I can tell you…

At one point I was running relatively short distances, guzzling sports drinks and throwing back gels every few miles. Now…I run ultramarathons with minimal fuel, and when I do fuel, it’s with natural drinks and food.

Instead of endurance powder and sports drinks, I drink water and coconut water. And instead of gels and bars, I eat almond butter and fruit.

I run fasted also. Just a few months ago I ran an official 50k race with no food or water…zero intake.

But these positive effects from my runner’s diet didn’t develop overnight. And although ultramarathons may not be your goal, the same principle applies to any new distance. Changing your runner’s diet, and staying true to it, is about committing to small progressive steps.

Also, understand that you don’t have to wait until you start eating healthy to run longer distances. In fact, it’s quite the contrary. Let running longer distances be your reward for eating healthy. Soon you will eat cleaner to become a better runner, and incredible health will become a reciprocal of that.

Never forget that if you eat what feels right, and eliminate what feels wrong, you will feel alive!

So now, let’s dive into the next section as I explain a concept I like to call “corrosive running.”

Corrosive Running

The New Runner's Diet: 15 Easy Changes To Make Right Now // Long Run Living

Before we jump into the 15 nutritional tips, I’d like to mention an important subject when it comes to your runner’s diet. l like to call it “corrosive running.”

You see, I noticed a pattern when discussing running ultra distances with non-runners. Many people assume the longer you run, the healthier you are physically.

However, if you are running with poor eating habits, in my opinion, you could be doing much more harm than good. When you frequently slam back sugary supplements at top speed in fight-or-flight mode, you may be creating excessive stress on the body. More on this shortly.

And running ultramarathon distances doesn’t exactly prove to offer direct physical health benefits.

For me, running 100 or 200 miles in a single race, well, let’s be frank, destroys my body in the moment. However, the tradeoff is astonishing, at least it has been in my experience.

When I think back to the many positive changes I’ve made over the years physically, mentally, and spiritually, it’s really quite amazing. The positive changes in my diet, life, faith, purpose, and mindset all stem from the great joy and great suffering that I’ve experienced while running extraordinary long distances.

When running long distances, you develop an enormously strong body to endure the physical pain, and at the same time, you develop an enormously strong mind to endure the mental anguish.

In life, just like your muscles, you must break yourself down so you can build yourself up and become stronger. The path upwards always begins downwards.

You see, running long distances breaks down the ego which allows something more profound to enter into your life. Suddenly, your running leaves from a corrosive, fight-or-flight state, and enters into a harmonic rhythm and flow.

As I like to mention, between races and training runs, I’ve run over 100 ultramarathon distances. I’m only telling you from experience: nutrition becomes a crucial factor to reach this harmonic flow. Your runner’s diet is the foundation to all your running goals.

So… are you spending your days eating sugary drinks and processed foods? Or are you eating directly from the source?

Are you swimming upstream trying to control the natural flow of things? Or are you letting go and becoming one with the current?

Are you becoming dependent on external ways of fueling? Or are you looking inward for sources of energy?

At one point, I stepped away from a corrosive style of running. Eventually, I stopped overindulging in gels, blocks, and bars. Instead, I do things like intermediate fasting and run longer without sugar.

I try to step away from fight-or-flight mode if I’m not speed training. Now your tunnel vision opens up. Here is where a balance is established and an appreciation for life is found through every stride.

But it all starts in the kitchen. Actually, to be more precise, it starts in the ground…

RELATED: How To Run A 100 Mile Ultra Marathon With Your Mind

Eat Real Food

The New Runner's Diet: 15 Easy Changes To Make Right Now // Long Run Living

I read on PFAF.org that there are over 20,000 species of edible plants.

…thank you Mother Nature.

Most of the time, however, we go for something sugary and more processed. In fact, sciencedaily.com tells us that 60 percent of the calories we eat off the shelves are highly processed.

And it seems like after we experience their potentially negative side-effects for long enough, we then go on a so-called “diet.”

Here is where we fall into the trap…

We then find more processed foods in “diet” form. Like fat-free this or low-carb that. And do you see what happens? All we’ve reached is another processed form of eating which hardly lasts long term, only to eventually fall back into our old ways.

Have you ever heard someone say, “Are you still on your diet?”

Do you see what’s wrong with that question?

By “going on a diet” we declare that our poor eating habits are the norm. We are only leaving home for a vacation and will eventually return. In this way, diets are a trap, and it requires a paradigm shift to escape…

Here’s one for you:

We are real live people who require real live food so our bodies can function the right way. When our bodies function correctly, we are healthy, when they don’t, we are not healthy.  

A healthy body is an energized body that metabolizes efficiently, this is essential for long-distance runners.

Here’s another way to say it: a healthy runner’s body is to eat healthy… and to eat healthy is to eat real live food. The rest will take care of itself.

But again, this shift doesn’t happen overnight. Yes, your body IS what IT eats, but it takes time to transform. Plus, it’s never easy to kick an addiction.

So, remind yourself that by eating all natural, you allow your body to digest and metabolize the right way. Soon you will begin primarily burning the fat already stored in your body for energy. This would be instead of fueling with refined sugars through processed foods.

Also, once you start to eat all natural, the body detoxifies itself from all the harmful pollutants in processed foods.

It’s my understanding that processed foods are toxic to the body.  So, if you’re consuming more waste from toxins than you’re eliminating, your body will never burn fat. However, by eating real live foods, you will naturally burn fat and use internal energy all day.

Also, drink plenty of water. Our bodies are our trillions of cells and require water to function.

In addition to drinking more water, a large portion of your daily diet should be in high water content foods like green vegetables. This helps the body cleanse itself instead of clog it.

To sum it up, keep corrosive running in mind. Ask yourself, “Is my style of running doing more harm than good?” Remember–you have an opportunity to find a more harmonic flow when you run. Here is where you find longevity in the sport.

Next, let’s dive into 15 tips to develop a new healthy runner’s diet to improve performance, lose weight, and increase energy. It’s time to create a healthier and more enduring you!

15 Small Changes That Make a Big Difference

The New Runner's Diet: 15 Easy Changes To Make Right Now // Long Run Living

The information you are reading isn’t the whole piece of the new runner’s diet pie (don’t eat pie!). No, instead, it’s just a few small slices to help construct your healthy foundation.

In fact, most of the quick tips you are about to read I also provide in my new book The Fat Adapted Running Formula: A Step-By-Step Guide To Becoming A Fat Adapted Runner. If you want a proven system for developing a healthier and more enduring runners body…one that can help you run extraordinary distances…then give it a read.

Either way, remember, it’s about the little changes you make each day. And that’s just what you receive below, a list of small changes that have the biggest impact.

It’s a list of quick and easy tips to help you start weaning off acidic addictions and to develop a healthier runner’s body built for longer distances…

1. Drink Half Your Body Weight

Drink water equal to half your body weight in ounces per day. For example, if you weigh 160 lbs., drink 80 ounces. Also, choose filtered water over tap water and add lemon.  This mix helps detoxify your body and boost your metabolism. Plus, as mentioned, your trillion of cells make up your body and require water to function. Simply put, you feel better and you run better because you are better. Drinking more water is essential for your new runner’s diet.

2. Combine Foods Properly

Combining the right food aids in digestion. For example, I find eating fruit on an empty stomach prevents weight gain. Also, combining non-starchy vegetables and protein is much more effective than fats and protein. There’s plenty of information on proper food combination available online. Experiment with combining foods in your new runner’s diet and see how your body reacts.

3. Reduce Your Sugar Intake

When you eliminate processed foods, you will naturally reduce your sugar intake. Read more about how reducing sugars will allow you to tap into your stored body fat for energy in The Fat Adapted Running Formula.

4. Eat Fewer Fruits and More Vegetables

When you make the shift to eating primarily real food over processed, fruit becomes a treat. I like to call it “natural lifestyle candy.”  Yes, fruit is healthy, but it’s still a treat and should be treated as such in your new runner’s diet.

5. Eat Relaxed

If you’re in a rush, you will overeat. Do you ever eat so fast that you barely give your body a second to realize its full? Afterward, your stomach hurts from overeating. You then say to yourself, “I think I eat too much.” That’s because it’s better to eat in a relaxed state.

In fact, the Okinawan People of Japan are known for having one of the longest life expectancy rates in history. And do you know their motto? They say “Hara Hachi bu,” translated to “eat until you are 80 percent full.”

6. Eat Organic Whenever Possible.

By eating organic, you are likely to avoid pesticides, growth hormones, and antibiotics. As a society, I think you can see a noticeable shift in consumers who demand safer food practices. Simply put, keep the pollutants out of your body whenever possible.

7. Don’t Count Calories, Just Eat Clean

Don’t make eating natural a so-called “diet,” or turn it into a job where you track everything you eat. If you’re eating naturally, then eat when you’re hungry, and stop when you’re not. By eating clean, you avoid intense sugar cravings that force you to overeat like the ones found with refined sugars and carbs. When you eat real food, your body will tell you when enough is enough.

8. Start Each Day with Essential Oils

I enjoy a more concentrated source of energy in the morning. Personally, I’ve noticed over time that my body now prefers it. I trained my body to want the good stuff, not the bad stuff, and it all starts in the morning. You can read more about using fat as fuel in my new book The Fat Adapted Running Formula.

9. Seasonings Turn Your Meal into Superfood.

Seasonings not only make food taste better, but they improve your health as well. It’s a win-win combination for any runner and aids in your new runner’s diet. Also, there might be food you don’t like so much, but with the right seasoning, it tastes delicious.

10. Pay Attention to The Ingredients in Dressings and Dips

You will find that many perceived healthy salads aren’t actually healthy at all.  After loading them up with croutons, cheese, and creamy dressings, you’ve turned a healthy alternative into a dietary disaster. So, if you decide to use dressings and dips, take note of their ingredients. Many of them are packed with sugar and hurt your progress in your new runner’s diet.

11. Remix Your Salads

For those who live busy lifestyles, and who desire to primarily eat real food, salad is a go-to. Here’s what I do: first, choose an oil dressing that’s low in sugar or use olive oil and lemon. Next, order the salad without croutons or cheese. Lastly, add nuts and extra vegetables. Your so-called healthy lunch has now actually become just that…a healthy lunch.

12. Order or Make Sandwiches Without Bread

If you’re eating out, and order a sandwich, ask for a lettuce wrap or extra lettuce. Or just order your sandwich without bread. This helps you not only reduce your carbohydrate intake, but it still allows for convenience while eating real food.

13. Avoid Acidic Addictions

From my experience, when developing a new healthy runner’s diet, it’s beneficial to avoid refined sugar/carbs, alcohol, drugs, etc. Most of the time, I’ve found that if you consume something and have to pay the price later (etc. sugar crashes and hangovers), then your body is probably not benefiting from it. Simply put, avoiding acidic addictions will only help.

14. Practice Intermediate Fasting

This tip is one of my favorites. Not only is fasting beneficial to the body, but it’s food for the soul. I provide a step-by-step program for how to run while fasting in my new book The Fat Adapted Formula. It’s life-changing.

15. Eat Good Fats

Good fats are considered polyunsaturated or monounsaturated. “Bad fats” are what the industry calls “trans fats” and do more harm than good. Trans fats should be avoided.

So, there you have it, 15 small yet highly effective changes you can make TODAY.  Again, these are just a few small steps to get you started. Add that to eating real live food, and you are on a direct path to building a healthy foundation for your new runner’s diet.

Keep the Pump Moving

The New Runner's Diet: 15 Easy Changes To Make Right Now // Long Run Living

Remember this: developing a healthier body is like operating a manual water pump. Consider the piping deep into the ground where the water is stored. At first, it takes a lot of effort to press the pump lever, and guess what?

You get no water.

Meaning, when you start your new runner’s diet, you neither see nor feel any real changes in your body.

But soon enough, after constant pumping, you begin to see a few drops of water. In other words, if you don’t get discouraged, and continue making healthier choices, you start to notice positive changes…but they are small.

So, you keep pumping, and eventually what happens?

Water flows in an abundant stream!

And even better…pumping becomes way easier. Now all that’s required is a few pumps to keep the water flowing. Now MOMENTUM is on your side.

Well, developing a new runner’s diet is the same way, it takes time for your body to change. You will probably even feel bad before you feel good. But then one day the scale tips…

No longer are you making changes to feel better, but instead, you provide yourself with the right foods to continue to feel good!

And an increase in your overall running performance becomes a reciprocal of that!

However, please BEWARE. If you stop eating healthy for long enough, then guess what? The water flows back down the pipe and into the ground. Now you’re back to exerting an extraordinary amount of effort only to see minimal results.

As you can see, it takes perseverance to continue pumping in the beginning. Especially since we’re not really talking about pumping water, we are talking about changing the way you eat.

Pumping water is straightforward. You are CERTAIN water is down that pipe.

Well, that’s the attitude you want with eating naturally to improve your running. Don’t think, “This runner’s diet won’t work.”

Actually, don’t even think of it as a diet, because it’s based solely on the food provided to us by the earth. In reality, it’s the only way to eat. So, know that YES it will work, because it’s all that really works in the end.

You know what? Let’s drop the term “runner’s diet” completely. In my opinion, diets don’t even really exist. We either eat the way a human being was designed to eat, or…we’re are not eating at all.

Sure, I zig and zag myself; but if, for example, I’m going to eat chocolate or french fries, I’m honest with myself. I tell myself I’m deviating from eating the right way, and well…eating badly.

Stepping away from a dieting mindset is a principle I teach in The Fat Adapted Running Formula: A Step-By-Step Guide To Becoming A Fat Adapted Runner.

Remember–it’s not a change in diet, but a lifestyle change that’s required. Change the way you eat, and change your life forever! With this new perspective, your running will improve naturally.

Final Thoughts

The New Runner's Diet: 15 Easy Changes To Make Right Now // Long Run Living

A new runner’s diet isn’t an all-or-nothing approach. Yes, you will have to abstain from certain substances. And yes, you may feel uncomfortable and even suffer at times. That’s because it’s much easier to stick with your same old routine, even if it’s a bad one.  

But understand that even though eating bad may not cause stress in the moment, you could possibly be creating greater stresses down the road. Stresses like being too tired to play with your kids. Or giving up on your running goals. Or even developing a lifestyle disease.

Whatever the downfall, eating real live food, the food we were designed to eat, the food that’s actually food, will lift you up!

And as a runner, it doesn’t have to stop there. Here’s what’s taken place in my own life:

By making healthier decisions like eating real live food, increasing my good fat consumption, and significantly reducing sugars (which happens naturally by eliminating most processed foods), I began to primarily burn my own fat as fuel.

And since we are designed to store body fat for energy, I’m now tapping into a near-infinite supply!

Storing body fat is actually an adaptation developed for our survival. It’s stored energy. Our hunter-gatherer ancestors didn’t have the luxury to drive over to their local grocery store whenever they felt it was necessary.

No, instead it was feast or famine. So when you can efficiently burn fat for fuel, having body fat is actually a wonderful thing.

So that’s what fat adapted running is all about: tapping into an abundant source of energy from within. Now, fat practically melts from your body and increasing your endurance becomes almost inevitable.

Can you imagine what that will do to your running? To your physique? To your life?

Here’s what I like to say about fat adapted running…

When every step of your run begins to feel like the first step of your run, you have mastered fat adapted running.

So, let me ask you…

Are you a runner who wants to push yourself even further?

Are you constantly looking for the ultimate fuel that can power you through endless miles?

Did you know that such a fuel exists in your own body?

Yes, this extraordinary form of energy is found in each and every one of us, it’s called body fat.

In my new book, The Fat Adapted Running Formula, you will discover that the stored body fat within you is the key for greater overall performance, as well as:

Allowing you to run further than ever before: welcome yourself to the world of marathon and ultramarathons!

Using less effort: um…why does mile 20 suddenly feel like mile 5?

Regulating your weight: watch belly fat melt away!

Ridding you of sugar cravings: set yourself free!

Becoming healthier: it’s a secret to longevity for long distance runners.

Saving money on quick-fix options: the best fuel comes from within…and it’s free!

And more: you may find yourself a bit more enlightened.

So, are you ready to jump out of the sugar bowl for good? The way out is through fat adapted running. And in my new book, The Fat Adapted Running Formula I provide a simple process for becoming a fat adapted runner.

It’s a formula you won’t find in any other book. This process is from my hands-on experience. As a fat adapted runner I’ve run…

-over 100 ultramarathon distances

-40 miles with no food or water

-numerous 50ks with no food or water

-nausea away from my ultramarathon career

-15-20 lbs off my race weight

-several 100-mile races

-116 miles across the state of Florida

-one of the longest distances in the world: 200 miles

Will becoming fat adapted guarantee similar results? No, but will it provide the opportunity to achieve similar results? Absolutely!

So…click an option below to grab a copy for yourself and start changing your running and your life, for the better…TODAY!

Click here for the Paperback Copy from Amazon

Click here for the eBook Copy from Amazon

One Last Thought

The New Runner's Diet: 15 Easy Changes To Make Right Now // Long Run Living

Life is a treasure, and the gifts that life offers are the lessons we learn. This is how we grow. Yes, there are moments of great joy that can INSTANTLY change you for the better. If you’ve ever looked your newborn baby in the eyes for the first time, then you’ve certainly experienced this.

But for the most part, our lessons come in the forms of challenges and hardships. The times we fall down and pick ourselves up…that’s when we grow!

When we come up short, but continue moving forward without giving up on our dreams. That’s when we grow!

When we fail multiple times and still reach our goals. That’s when we grow!

Look, this runner’s diet thing…becoming healthier…changing your perspective….it’s not always easy. But from experience, I can tell you that it’s ALWAYS worth it.

So keep moving forward, make those small changes each day, KNOW that you will reach your goal, and most importantly of all…never EVER give up.

By making small changes every day and listening to your body, your running can improve, your life can improve, and you will NEVER doubt yourself again.

Fat adapted running can take you there, but it requires a leap of faith…

Ready to make that jump?

If so, The Fat Adapted Running Formula is here to help. Choose an option below right now and get ready to burn some fat!

Click here for the Paperback Copy from Amazon

Click here for the eBook Copy from Amazon

The Fat Adapted Running Formula // Long Run Living

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