Preventing weight loss.. (Read 346 times)


    Hi All Smile


    A question related to weight loss:

    I love running, but I do it mainly 'just for fun', I have no desire of shedding weight and consider myself already 'lean enough' (at the gym, I've even been told that my percentage of body fat may be too low **for my age**)..


    So, what is the best way to minimize the effects of running  on body weight? Also, more specifically, does running (say 45' at 70/75%) on an empty stomach always and per se lead to weight loss? The urge to go out and run is (occasionally) so strong that I end up skipping (or rather, postponing) breakfast.


    Any tips/links/advice -> much appreciated!




    Petco Run/Walk/Wag 5k

      I'm no expert and have only my own experience to rely on, but, IMNSO stomach content when running has no effect on weight loss/gain. Keeping calories burned in balance with calories consumed should maintain current weight. RA calculates calories burned during a run and you can use that to add calories to your current eating lifestyle. Various web sites can help you calculate calories consumed such as CalorieCount.about.com; myfitnesspal.com and others.


      You can even gain weight while running.. While I initially and intentionally lost weight I gained after relocation and change in consumption lifestyle while still running. Gained almost 20lbs and have had to lose it again via improved consumption lifestyle.

      bob e v
      2014 goals: keep on running! Is there anything more than that?

      Complete the last 3 races in the Austin Distance Challenge, Rogue 30k, 3M Half, Austin Full

      Break the 1000 mi barrier!

      History: blessed heart attack 3/15/2008; c25k july 2008 first 5k 10/26/2008 on 62nd birthday.



          Drink a gallon of milk a day (GOMAD). Big grin


            @bobev Thank you. That is pretty close to what I'd expected and I can indeed keep track of the calories with my runner app, but I'm just wondering whether there's some sort of 'grace period' after running by which I can get my calories back without incurring in weight loss or whether running on an empty stomach could destroy muscle mass, which cannot be 'restored' by simply eating after running...


            @jaybar: right.


            @zonykel: not terribly keen on milk, I guess I'll have to figure out how many ounces of Gorgonzola you get off a gallon of milk then Big grin

            Consistently Slow

              3 peanut butter sandwiches a day were my stable.

              Run until the trail runs out.

               SCHEDULE 2016--

               The pain that hurts the worse is the imagined pain. One of the most difficult arts of racing is learning to ignore the imagined pain and just live with the present pain (which is always bearable.) - Jeff

              unsolicited chatter


                As ridiculous as the problem sounds, me, being fat right now, actually had that issue a few years back.  I was thin, thin, thin.  People thought I was anorexic.


                I just ate as much as I could, but tried to keep away from excess fats and sugars.  And, the reason why?  Because quite a few of my running friends, while thin as rails, had cholesterol and high blood pressure issues.  Like anything, it take "work".


                Of course, at the moment, that's not my problem, its the reverse, so...


                A Saucy Wench

                  Trying very hard not to hate  you right now.  Not succeeding.

                  I have become Death, the destroyer of electronic gadgets


                  "When I got too tired to run anymore I just pretended I wasnt tired and kept running anyway" - dd, age 7


                    Unless you're currently unintentionally losing weight, I wouldn't worry about it. The increase in physical activity will probably make you hungrier, and things will even out. If you feel like you need to eat more than you're hungry for, just add a few healthy but calorie-dense things to your diet. (Nuts are my favorite!) Or replace the things you're already eating with more calorie-dense versions. (Replace 2% with whole milk, replace a lean cut of meat with a full-fat cut, etc.) You probably won't even notice the difference, appetite-wise.


                    Faster Than Your Couch!

                      It is a myth that running on an empty stomach causes more weight loss (or any) than running when you have eaten. Same goes for running after fasting overnight (read: before breakfast).


                      Running with a full stomach is not something I'd recommend. Rather wait 2-3 hours after a meal, even breakfast. Have just a very small snack before your run, if it has to be.


                      Your muscles have enough energy stored (in the form of glycogen, which is turned into glucose to be used by the cells for activity) to carry you through 2-4 hours of running, even if you don't eat in the morning. You won't experience any "real" weight loss. What you see on the scales is simply dehydration (loss of liquids), not weight or muscle mass lost through running.


                      Heavy activity like running fast or over longer distances when you have not eaten for at least half a day while being active at your normal daytime level may cause some muscle loss in the form of cannibalization, but this can be restored by normal eating and rest from heavy activity or running for a day or two (although the complete recovery of some muscle tissue might take up to two weeks, but you won't really notice that).


                      Even if you run for 2 hours in the morning every day before breakfast, you won't lose weight unless you don't replace the calories at all. When you replace them, does not matter, that "half-hour window" within which the runner has to consume a protein-heavy snack or meal, as it is claimed by some coaches and books, is a myth, too. Rather, scientific studies found that it does not matter when the food is consumed, as long as it is within a "reaonable" time after the run, like a few hours, or a day (depending on the extent of the activity).


                      It is also a myth that long, slow running burns more calories from fat than fast running. It is true that the percentage of calories burned from body fat in relation to calories burned from carbohydrates in food or glycogen is higher when the runner runs slower, but the overall amount of calories burned is higher with faster running, and so is the absolute number of calories burned from body fat, even though the percentage is then more in favor of calories burned from food or glycogen. So if you want to burn more body fat, run faster, and if you intentionally want to spend less calories, run slower (and shorter, because the calories burned per mile are about the same).


                      That's the big picture. There's some fine-tuning when it comes to ultramarathon running and elite performance, but for the recreational runner, that's usually irrelevant.


                      Just go for your run in the morning, then have a nice breakfast, perhaps an extra roll or yoghurt, and you should be fine. Your body will adjust to your activity and food intake.

                      Run for fun.

                        Someone said, "eat." That works for most people.

                        old woman w/hobby

                          Someone said, "eat." That works for most people.




                          Just run.


                            Than you all so much!

                            FTYC, your clarity is gold.


                            To sum up, yes, I do experience unwanted fluctuations in body weight and % of body fat. But, as some of you said, it would indeed be very unscientific of me to attribute such fluctuations to running on an empty stomach while there are SO many other variables that are at least as important as the amount/intensity of physical activity. For one thing, stress and any kind of emotional mayhem have, in my personal experience, a powerful physiological influence.


                            OT Rant: To those on the other side of the fence: I empathize! Let me just say that this isn't really such a whole fat (sic) lot of fun as it may sound. There's only that many "hey you should/must eat more!" one can take. Being well on my way to 44, I have less and less patience for anybody treating me like a kid. That's what it feels like. Buying clothes can be a bit of a nightmare too. I may be lean but I'm not thin. Skinny jeans won't fit my upper legs. Anything that does, also has about twice as much room as my rear end requires. Last time, out of despair, I headed for the kids department and discovered I could fit the largest but one size of kids jeans (thanks to the size of Dutch kids, I guess..), Radiohead's " I'm a creep, [...] What the hell am I doing here?" playing in the background. Rant end, sorries.


                            Thanks again for tips and feedback.



                              Beer seems to do the trick for me ... to prevent any weight loss that is.

                              7/20/17 #247 Comeback #19 ... 10/8 - Glacial Trail 50M




                                I used to smoke.  Didn't eat a lot.  Was super skinny.


                                I now run, eat more, and am less skinny.  I tend to run on an empty stomach too most the time.  I can assure you it doesn't always lead to weight loss if you counteract it with enough food later.


                                "We do not become the people who this world needs simply by turning our backs on anyone we don’t like, trust, or deem healthy enough to be in our presence. "  ---- Shasta Nelson