Elite endurance athletes do not consciously restrict the amount of food they eat by enforcing inflexible calorie counts or portion-size limits or by eating less than is needed to satisfy their hunger, as many recreational athletes and dieters do. Nor do they mindlessly overeat as a majority of people in affluent societies do today. Instead, they pay mindful attention to signals of hunger and satiety and allow these signals to determine when and how much they eat. This is the only reliable way to eat sufficiently but not excessively — that is, enough to meet the energy demands of training but not so much as to gain or hold onto excess body fat.
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