Oh, hello Rumbling Stomach

I have the hunger again.

Whenever I run it’s normally at least 6KM and anywhere up to 12KM. This number is going to increase. That’s a given. Especially since I have a 16K in just 4+ week’s time.

I can not eat enough. I’m hungry. I’m hungry before I run. I’m hungry after. And the next day? Oh my god, I can’t eat enough.

Thing is I don’t know what to eat.

I’ve done different combinations – like smoothies with fruit and almonds, peanut butter sandwiches, banana and cottage cheese, or even just having some chicken lunch meat. Before and after runs. This in addition to my normal everyday food.

I don’t know what to eat.

The next day – because often runs are at night – I am ravenous. Yesterday I really wanted to be within my points, so I started off with a small breakfast like I normally have (some Swedish crackers, light Philadelphia cream cheese, and some roast beef) – and I was working from home, so breakfast was at 9am – by 11:30 my stomach was rumbling so loud I thought the neighbours might come over and ask if there was construction going on in my apartment. I then decided to have a pretty bulky lunch – 2 eggs, 2 egg whites, spinach, tomato, mushrooms and feta cheese scrambled. I ate slowly, even though I was hungry enough to have scarfed it down. Within 30 minutes my stomach was rumbling again! Later I had a sandwich with low-fat cheese and chicken lunch meat and some cucumber to bulk it up and before dinner another cracker with some peanut butter. I felt like I could have eaten the whole day and never really been satisfied.

I got very little sleep the night before – in fact the reason I worked from home was because I literally slept a half an hour before my alarm went off. Sometimes I wonder if lack of sleep leads to being hungry.

I drank lots of water. I remembered what so many people have said “Maybe you are not hungry, maybe you are just thirsty”. This really didn’t help. Well, at least I got my water in, right?

I know I’m not a seasoned runner and I don’t run bazillions of miles/kilometers a week, but I’m doing at least 20KM a week, trying to run minimum 2 if not 3 times a week.

I want to eat to fuel myself for running, but I want to lose weight as well! It seems I can not have both.

My regular argument with myself over the scale numbers not being the be all and end all is in full swing over here, people. I DON’T WANT TO WEIGH 80 KILOGRAMS!!! I want to be LESS. I don’t need to be skinny, I’m not asking for that. No matter what anyone says I AM STILL IN THE OVERWEIGHT CATEGORY. I don’t want that.

Yes I know I need to be patient. I have to keep trying to find what works, but throw me a bone here universe, will you? I need help. I don’t know what to eat anymore. I don’t eat junk, I eat all my fruits and vegetables, I drink all my water, I get my dairy and good fats in. What else am I supposed to do?

I don’t vary eating much during the week. Here’s a typical workday:
Breakfast: 2 Swedish Crackers with something on them: filet americain, Philadelphia light, chicken or roast beef, coffee
Snack: large non-fat latte at work (with 1 pump sugar free vanilla), some fruit if I’m hungry before lunch
Lunch: two slices of brown bread, some sort of lunch meat, filler veggies (tomato or cucumber), “greek” salad – 2 tomatoes, cucumber, red onion, feta cheese, olive oil, balsamic vinegar
Snacks: cottage cheese, banana, yoghurt with berries and almonds
Dinner: usually something chicken or fish, always veggies and sometimes rice or couscous

How do you fuel yourself as a runner? Have you also lost weight very slowly because of running?


  1. Fran says:

    Mostly I eat the same as you do. When I started running a year ago I didn’t lose weight at all, that took about 6 months before I started losing. I’m no expert on food combined with running. I just eat my meals and sometimes when I’m very hungry I take something extra or just ignore it.

    What you might try is a liga fruitkick or something like that an hour or so before your scheduled run, that helped me.

    And I’ve bought whey protein powder which I use after my long runs on Saturday. Usually that’s all for breakfast as I’m not hungry till lunch when I use that.

    1. Renée says:

      Thanks Fran, I do eat the Liga’s sometimes – I think I need to make out a new shopping list.

      What exactly do you do with the Whey protein powder? Where do you buy it? Also, since you are a local, do you know where I can buy things like vegetarian sausages? Just at the Reform Winkel or somewhere else? Oh and what about things like ground chicken or turkey?

  2. Fallon says:

    I completely have this problem, although it’s getting easier for me. I have been running like crazy but not losing much weight, and I think it’s because I eat too much. I will also say I think that my body composition is changing, but anyway. In the last week or so, I’ve finally reached a balance that works for me in terms of food; I don’t feel hungry all the time and I’m hoping I’ll start seeing some movement on the scale soon. I basically eat 1700 calories every day–I’m not sure how many points that is, but we are within about two to three kilograms of each other in weight, so our caloric needs should be pretty similar. Spark decided how many calories I should eat based on the assumption that I burn a minimum of 2200 calories a week.

    Here’s what I eat on an average day:
    Breakfast at about 8:30am: Oatmeal pancake (30g rolled oats + 1 egg) topped with 7-9 grams of nut butter and about 12-14 grams of no sugar added jam. Sometimes I add chia seeds. It’s about 260-285 cals.
    Morning snack at about 10:00am: Usually a granola bar (homemade or purchased) at about 170 cals.
    Another morning snack (I’m a huge snacker) at about 11:15: An apple or some peaches or something for about 70 cals.
    Lunch around 12:30 or so: Typically leftovers from the night before, or if I’m in a hurry, a can of Chunky Campbells soup. I try to get in some protein and to keep my lunch between 250-350 calories.
    Afternoon snack at about 2:30: Pretzels or an apple or something of that nature, between 50-100 cals.
    Afternoon numero dos at 3:30-4:00 or so: Something fruit or veggie, sometimes a wedge of laughing cow with crispbread. Keep it under 100cals.

    Generally I try to make it so that I come home with at least 600 cals to work with at night. If I’m going to work out later that night, I have a small snack (100-150 cals) when I get home, then work out, and then have dinner after my run/workout. And usually popcorn for a snack after dinner if I have the cals.

    Sorry this is pretty much the world’s longest comment, but I have been sooooo frustrated with this problem lately and it sort of helped me to write it out. For me, the best thing to do is just chug water and have about a zillion little snacks during the day. I’d rather have lower cal meals and be able to snack between meals. This also helps because I am a boredom eater…if I plan to munch between meals, it’s okay when it inevitably happens.

    1. Renée says:

      not the worlds longest comment! thanks for all the input!

      I’m going to look into a few things and maybe just accept that right now I need more fuel and I can better eat something with some value than starve!

  3. Marissa says:

    I think you have to play around and see what works, I eat something little before I go then afterward I eat a bagel thin and some peanut buter or a smoothie or protien shake. I didn’t start running until 4 or so months ago and I like you am starving ussually after I work out hard. I am still playing around and don’t have the answer some weeks I eat all my APs and loose and others I don’t but I have faith in the long run I will loose.

    1. Renée says:

      well, that’s the thing. I have been playing around with it for quite a while and it still comes down to this. I am hungry and I just really don’t know what to eat anymore. For example, I have been a MODEL Weight Watcher Citizen today – it’s 4pm and I have had 23 points. That leaves me only 6 points for dinner. 6 points is NOT POSSIBLE. It’s 4 pm and I just had my last snack – I won’t even get dinner until 8pm. I won’t make it w/out eating something again, I know exactly how it goes.

      Like you I know in the long run I will lose but some days it is so very frustrating!

  4. Heather says:

    Hmmm…your diet plan looks great to me. I would start by drinking even more water and try green tea. It will fill you up and suppress your appetite. Otherwise I’d load up on high fiber foods as much as you can stand – apples, high fiber breads and complex carbs (veggies). Hang in there and keep experimenting!

    1. Renée says:

      I do drink a lot of water. And tea – sometimes I have a Venti herbal tea at work before lunch, just to get me through the morning. Does green tea work differently than just regular herbal tea?

      I’m eating high-fibre bread and quite a lot of veggies, but I don’t do apples much anymore because they either make me hungrier or have me running for the toilet (sorry, TMI). Definitely CAN’T do apples or much veg before a run because, well, I’m not wearing a diaper so … :D

      thanks for responding Heather!

  5. honestly… your menu looks great from a WW point of view but from your distance.. I consider you to be an athlete and I’d add a few more carbs… well, that at least works for me.

    on days that i run I try to incorporate more carbs from breakfast on… and then after my run I stick to protein and veggies. I havent thankfully been hit by the post-run munchies…

    hope that helps!

    1. Renée says:

      Thanks Rebecca! It does help!

      when you say “more carbs” what exactly do you mean by that?

  6. Tammy says:

    First of all congrats on the running! I’m not a runner but did crazy intense one on one kickbox sessions 4 days/weeks, rowed thousands of meters and found myself soooo hungry at times! I’m no expert some of the things I’ve learned in the past year: I noticed you use low fat/non fat…it’s not fat that makes us fat, if you’re eating generally healthy whole fat cheeses etc will fuel your body. women often don’t get enough protein, even when we think we are…I often used protein shakes with fruit…this is a personal choice of course:-) Eat within 20 min of running, don’t allow yourself to feel hungry because it’s night time-we don’t gain weight because we eat at night. And no offence, and sorry but I’m anti-points counting for athletes:-) because it messes with eating for fuel:-) hope this helps, and I’m still learning so loving your blog and comments!

    1. Renée says:

      Hey Tammy! Yes, I did learn from Thor that I absolutely MUST eat something after running so I have been doing that. The problem seems to be the next day!

      I don’t eat a lot of cheese because of diary sensitivities – some things go down easier than others though and that’s why I’ve been using normal feta cheese, for example, and 3.5% cottage cheese. I do eat higher-in-fat yoghurt at times but I do not notice any difference in the hungry feeling.

      all that said… I’m taking lots of notes; thank you so much for your feedback! I am seriously thinking hard about my weight watchers program – trying to stay within points seems to give me a worse feeling than the numbers on the scale!

  7. The boy runs & works out quite a lot – more than me – and he swears by protein shakes and bars. Not really for use to ‘bulk up’ but just to keep his energy up.. and to keep him fuller!

    1. Renée says:

      Hey Aly :) thanks for commenting :)
      does he have weight to lose or considered to be a “normal” weight?

      I’ve started a shopping list – thanks for the input!

  8. Fran says:

    My friend buys it at a Vitamine store, I buy it online. I’ve bought it at XXL nutrition (just google it)

    I make a shake of it with water. You can also use milk.
    I know some people use it in their oatmeal but I don’t eat oatmeal.

  9. yenniechan says:

    I had the same problem for the longest time too. I had to start eating almonds before and after a run. I also had to cut down on my runs and focus on strength training until my body adapted to getting less food (and not going into starvation mode each time).

    Btw – I’m visiting from over at Half of Jess DDGbD challenge. As a fellow challenger – good luck on your journey! Can’t wait to see what everyone accomplishes at the end of this. :)

    1. Renée says:

      Hey, thanks for your comment! I have done almonds prior to a run, but I have a slight issue with nuts… I tend to eat too many and then I get a stomach ache. I also would love to do more strength training, but I have so little time I have to choose my workouts wisely. I think I need to understand really what my body needs more than anything. Perhaps even not count points for a while so that I am not going nuts from the numbers. Glad you are doing Jess’ challenge as well – I think we’ll see a lot of great things from everyone in the end!

  10. As we’ve already discussed this at length through email, I just want to add what I would consider carbs, seeing as you asked Rebecca about this: pasta, rice, bread, potatoes.
    But honestly, I am not sure what you are doing wrong because it all sounds good to me. Have you tried simply eating more points and see if that works? Sounds counter-intuitive but maybe the points calculated for you by WW are not enough? (Though I suppose you’ve already been doing that when going over points.)

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