AMA #2: How to Eat Intuitively Around Exercise

In “Ask Me Anything #2” I answer the following question:

How do you keep practicing intuitive eating and taking care of yourself once you’ve taken on joyful movement? I am now bicycle riding with my husband and I’m having some serious wobbles when it comes to choosing food to keep me energized during activity without making me feel too full or sluggish. Usual advice in the cycling world is so full of ‘must’ and calorie counting that it drives me nuts!

The only way to figure out what really works for you is to experiment.  To figure out what will keep you energized on a long bike ride without feeling sluggish, try changing one thing at a time, starting with your hunches.  Let’s say you’ve noticed that if you eat a heavy meal right before your ride, you don’t get hungry during the ride, but you feel sluggish the whole time.  But if you don’t eat before your ride, you don’t have enough energy to make it the whole way.  Here are some solutions you could try:

  1. Eating a big meal a couple of hours before your ride.
  2. Having a light meal right before your ride.  (Less protein, fats, and fiber, but more complex carbs, perhaps.)
  3. Not eating before the ride, but bringing a few snacks to eat during the ride.

One of those things might work, or none of them, or it might take a combination of ideas.  Be open to whatever you notice, and put aside anything you might have heard about the “right” way to do it.  If I were to go on a three hour ride with my partner, chances are that he’d be totally fine without a snack, and I would totally bonk without a snack.  Does that mean that one of us is wrong?  No.  We just have different needs and different bodies.  With some experimentation, you’ll figure out what works best for you.

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