123

Running and Weight Loss (Read 4287 times)

    Hi All I am quite new to running (after a break of too many years to mention!) and I wondered if anyone else had come across this in their early days of training. I started running last summer then due to other commitments lost off again around November. i started in ernest again last month and am currently running 3 - 4 times a week gradually increasing distance and also trying to work with a HR monitor following recommendations in various articles I have read regarding fitness & weight loss. Although I am taking care what I eat and given the increase in exercise I notice that my weight is sticking or even creaping up - is this normal or have I got some bizarre sort of reverse metabolism? If anyone can give me advice on what I should be doing to help me attempt at losing a few lbs while increasing my training I would much appreciate it!! Thanks
    Scout7


    CPT Curmudgeon

      Bella, First, welcome aboard! As for the weight issue, I've found that the fit test is a much better judge. If my clothes are getting looser, then I'm losing fat. Remember, fat is less dense than muscle, so weight can increase, while your actual appearance is smaller. If, however, this isn't the case, I would recommend starting a journal to track your intake. It'll make things much more visible as to what's going on.


      Needs more cowbell!

        I started running with the intent to lose weight...I will be the first to tell you that it's not easy. Once I started training for races it became really difficult to lose AND train well. In order to lose you need a deficit of calories, but if you aren't eating enough to fuel yourself it becomes very difficult to run as well as you might like. Right now I'm trying to kind of compromise...which means losing VERY slowly (never was a fast loser, anyhow) and really scheduling my caloric intake to higher amounts a day or two before my long run and then scaling-back on the calories more the rest of the week. So far it's working fairly well, in that I've lost ~9#s since the beginning of the year. I have 10+ to go to be to my goal weight, but this will likely be pretty slow-going from here on out. Come join us in the Jiggly Joggers group (link is in my signature). Today was weigh-in and next week we are starting a Spring weight loss challenge--5% body weight down for everyone! We're a pretty motivated and supportive bunch and we keep each other on track! Smile k

        Kirsten - aka "Auntie Kirsten"

        '14 Goals:

        • 2 olympic distance duathlons -- 6 days apart -- PR at least 1

        • 130#s (and stay there, gotdammit!)

          Thank you to both of you. I seem to remember last year the same happened and eventually it evened out. I am only about 8-9lbs from my target and did think the increase in exercise would boost weight loss, wishful thinking!! As an ex WW I am keeping to fairly low calorie / low fat food and even not drinking so much so maybe eventually it will kick in. However, I am not increasing 'fuel' for my runs, maybe I need to look at that option obviously not the favoured chocolate bar...... And its a very good point to go by clothes rather than scales - just I'm addicted to getting weighed. Thank you for the quick responses and support. I may well join in your Jingly Joggers as it might just be the motivation I need - thank you.


          madness baby

            Although I am taking care what I eat and given the increase in exercise I notice that my weight is sticking or even creaping up - is this normal or have I got some bizarre sort of reverse metabolism?
            Welcome! I was so hungry my first couple of months of running, and I started tracking my food to make sure I wasn't eating too much more than usual. (I used sparkpeople.com, which is fairly geared toward weight loss, though it helped me when adjusting my intake to account for increasing levels of exercise.) My weight didn't change much, but my body shape sure did. Scout's right about the fit test!
            deb


            Needs more cowbell!

              Thank you to both of you. I seem to remember last year the same happened and eventually it evened out. I am only about 8-9lbs from my target and did think the increase in exercise would boost weight loss, wishful thinking!!
              When I started running I gained weight. Running makes me very hungry, unfortunately. But I love running more than I love being svelte--and I'm not even a particularly good runner.... Wink I will say what has worked in recent months is the addition of weight-training. Right now I am running 3-4x/week and doing a pretty intense weight workout 2-3x/week. Once warmer weather comes I will be running 4-5 days and doing my weights 2x. Running or weights alone don't do it, but the combo really is pretty magical for me. The weight work seems to have helped my running, too, since my legs are so much stronger. That and running on snow have made my stability needs lessen, or so it seems. The last time I tried to run in my most stable shoes they made me hurt BAD. I had been wearing a less stable all-weather shoe all Winter and the running on loose snow + leg work appears to have changed my gait. k

              Kirsten - aka "Auntie Kirsten"

              '14 Goals:

              • 2 olympic distance duathlons -- 6 days apart -- PR at least 1

              • 130#s (and stay there, gotdammit!)


              madness baby

                As an ex WW I am keeping to fairly low calorie / low fat food and even not drinking so much so maybe eventually it will kick in. However, I am not increasing 'fuel' for my runs, maybe I need to look at that option obviously not the favoured chocolate bar......
                That brings up another point - to make sure you are getting enough calories to fuel the exercise. Too much calorie restriction just signals your body to hold onto those calories. Bouncing around within a calorie range is much better of a strategy than sticking to very low calories. Also, Kirsten is totally on it about weight training. Just doing 20 minutes or so of weight training with hand weights every few nights will make a big difference (after a few weeks).
                deb
                RobertEggers


                  These guys have helped loads of people i know lose weight. I havent used them myself but they seem to have a healthy attitude with a mix of suplimentation, meal replacement & exercise. if you contact them ask for Angela shes lost loads Smile www.slim-down-now.net


                  A Dance with Monkeys

                    Although I am taking care what I eat and given the increase in exercise I notice that my weight is sticking or even creaping up - is this normal or have I got some bizarre sort of reverse metabolism?
                    It is amazing how few calories we need. When your metabolism revs up, your body becomes more efficient at using the calories you take. Try not to supplement the calories you use for running AND use your ideal body weight to calculate your daily calorie needs. I am a 5'9 male and I estimate that the most I need in a say is 1800kcal, and can get by easily on less than that during weeks in which I am not running. Some musings I have posted in the past on nutrition and running - To run, you need calories. To propel yourself at speed, you need stored glycogen, which is the storage version of carbs. At any given time your body stores a maximum of about 2000 cal of glycogen. Your body does not particularly care how it gets those carbs (i.e., there really is no such thing as junk carbs in terms of glycogen storage, however complex carbs are less likely to be easily absorbed from your GI tract and therefore less likely to replenish glycogen or to make you gain weight). French fries and potato chips help replenish glycogen as well as pasta, but bring with them extra fat. High fructose corn syrup may be more likely than other simple carbs to form abdominal fat when consumed in excess. Whether you run or not, your body uses up about a third to a half of its glycogen just to keep you alive as you sleep at night, so you are constantly using and replenishing your glycogen. To sustain and increase muscle mass you need proteins. To do this, you need to consume the variety of amino acids that serve as the building blocks for protein. As long as you are able to find and eat the diversity of needed amino acids, including the ones that your body cannot manufacture on its own (the so called, essential amino acids) then the source does not matter. If you like tofu, so be it. Egg whites, great. Steak or fish or chicken, bring it on. As long as you are getting all the needed amino acids in sufficient quantity, you should be fine (see the article on proteins in this past month's TN Running magazine). To sustain yourself when not running at maximal pace and to support your running at that pace, you need fats. You are always burning some fat, even when running at maximal pace; the proportion of calories supporting your effort coming from fat simply drop as you increase your effort. One pound of stored fat is enough to propel most runners about 80 miles, provided that there are also enough carbs around to support the fat (or that the runner is running slow enough that the carbs are not the major energy source). There are lots of different fats out there, and some are better than others. The fats that are bad are considered so because they damage your body in ways that the better fats do not, and some of the good fats actually protect your body. Trans fats inflame arteries. Saturated fats do the same, and increase your risk of cancer. Cholesterol fills the walls of the inflamed arteries. As we are learning more about fats, it seems that the more natural fats (e.g., olive oil, butter, grain oils) have fewer troubles than the relatively synthetic ones. The major problem with snacks and fast foods is that they are made using the synthetic oils that contain the trans- or saturated- fats. Eating out at nice restaurants, you often will encounter just as many hidden fats and bad fats as you will at a fast food restaurant, so don't be fooled by ambiance or price. However you choose to eat, you need to do it in a way that is sustainable. If you feel like you are eating special on a diet, or feel like you do not have energy then you will not sustain that type of intake. If all you eat is fast food, you will balloon up, feel terrible and then get sick and die, also not sustainable. A nice balance of interesting foods, including a healthy and well balanced base with occasional snacks and meals out is generally sustainable and inexpensive. Making your own foods helps you be in control, cut cost, and ensure that you get the needed calories to support your running. You do not need to eat salads only, and can loose weight eating pasta and bread and rice, so long as you balance those things with proteins and healthy fats, and keep the portions in balance with your energy needs. You can use on line sites like nutritiondata.com to figure out how many calories are in a serving of food, and match your running miles (~100-130 cal/mile) and your living calories (~1500-2000 cal/day) with what you eat. If you weigh, for example, 160 lbs and you run 20 miles per week, you need approximately 1800 cal/day to live and an additional 2600 cal/week for your running. No more.
                      Thank you all so much for your help & advice. I may be wrong think I have been sticking to the idea of eating to lose weight as well as increasing activity from almost nothing at the beginning of the year to running an average of 13 miles a week over the last month. I haven't been increasing my intake and maybe this explains why I have been more tired recently too. I dont eat 'junk' food and dont eat ready meals all meals we prepare from scratch. I do indulge in a little chocolate at weekends but no more than usual. I think I will look at working out calories to see how far away (in either direction) I am. I will have a look at the various websites you have given me and see if I cant sort out what I should be doing to increase energy with the correct food. thank you all again.
                      va


                        ...One pound of stored fat is enough to propel most runners about 80 miles, provided that there are also enough carbs around to support the fat (or that the runner is running slow enough that the carbs are not the major energy source)...
                        Hi Trent: Can you explain the "provided that there are also enough carbs around to support the fat" part? You need some carbs (or glycogen?) present to burn fat? Btw, you always post really good stuff on nutrition. You should write a book or at least start a web site. Regards,


                        A Dance with Monkeys

                          Hi Trent: Can you explain the "provided that there are also enough carbs around to support the fat" part? You need some carbs (or glycogen?) present to burn fat? Btw, you always post really good stuff on nutrition. You should write a book or at least start a web site. Regards,
                          Thanks Big grin When running, you always burn carbs (i.e., glycogen) and fat. The effort you run correlates directly with the amount of carbs you burn: a high effort is equivalent to a high carb burn rate; a low effort is equivalent to a low carb burn rate (and a proportional increase in fat burning). The harder you run in terms of a percentage of your maximum effort, the higher proprotion of calories you use come from carbs. When running an all out sprint, nearly 100% of your energy comes from carbs or from anaerobic metabolism which replaces carb metabolism, and which requires carb metabolism to recover from. When jogging at a slow easy conversational effort, perhaps 60-70% of your energy comes from carbs, max. When walking, you are using stored fat as your primary energy source. When you run out of carbs, you bonk. Does that make sense?
                          va


                            Thanks Big grin When running, you always burn carbs (i.e., glycogen) and fat. The effort you run correlates directly with the amount of carbs you burn: a high effort is equivalent to a high carb burn rate; a low effort is equivalent to a low carb burn rate (and a proportional increase in fat burning). The harder you run in terms of a percentage of your maximum effort, the higher proprotion of calories you use come from carbs. When running an all out sprint, nearly 100% of your energy comes from carbs or from anaerobic metabolism which replaces carb metabolism, and which requires carb metabolism to recover from. When jogging at a slow easy conversational effort, perhaps 60-70% of your energy comes from carbs, max. When walking, you are using stored fat as your primary energy source. When you run out of carbs, you bonk. Does that make sense?
                            Yes, I understand. Thanks! Besides ingesting carbs during a run, how can a runner move the bonk point? Does it automtaically move as a runner becomes better trained? That is, as a runner's body becomes better trained, it becomes more efficeint at burning carbs?


                            A Dance with Monkeys

                              Yes, I understand. Thanks! Besides ingesting carbs during a run, how can a runner move the bonk point? Does it automtaically move as a runner becomes better trained? That is, as a runner's body becomes better trained, it becomes more efficeint at burning carbs?
                              Training certainly helps, primarily by increasing the amount of fat you burn as a proportion of your energy source while running at high exertion. This takes many miles and years. Also, I have previously posted this: Your body contains about 2000 kcal of energy stored as glycogen and another 4000 kcal for EVERY pound of fat you have (e.g., a 150 lb person with just a 5% body fat will still have almost 8 lbs of fat, worth about 32 000 kcal!). Energy expenditure while running is a function of your weight, and to a lesser extent the grade of the road, and to a far far lesser extent to your pace. So an 8 m/m runner is burning energy at about the same rate PER MILE as a 12 m/m runner with the same weight while they are both running. A 150 lb runner will burn approximately 120 kcal per mile run. Your body uses two fuel sources to run. One is glycogen. Glycogen is the primary energy source used for fight or flight type activites, which means it is the primary energy source used when running. When you run above 80-90% of your maximum effort (or VO2max, or Maximum HR), your body is burning almost entirely glycogen to fuel the effort. Below that, your body starts using the other energy source, which is fat. An innacurate but useful rule of thumb is that your body fuels its effort using glycogen as a percentage of total calories used that is equivalent to your perent effort. So if you are running at a 70% effort, about 70% of the kcal you are using to fuel the effort are coming from glycogen, and the rest come from fat. The reason you bonk is that you run out of glycogen. If you weigh 150 lbs and are running 80% effort, you will use about 2000 kcal worth of glycogen in about 21 miles. If you are running at a 70% effort, it will take you 24 miles to use 2000 kcal worth of glycogen. So why do you bonk at mile 18? Well, even if you carb load absolutely perfectly (and most of us do not), when you finish loading, you then go to bed and sleep. When you wake up marathon morning, your body has used up as much as 25-30% of your glycogen just keeping you alive overnight. And the next morning, the little bit you are able to force down into your stomach, well it does not ever get a chance to be stored as glycogen. Calories on the course? Sure, there are two general options. There are sports drinks, which deliver 4-10 kcal per cup, depending on how dilute the mix and how full the cup. And there are gu or jelly bean packets, which deliver about 100 kcal per packet, provided you can get every last bit. It takes about 1 1/2 packets of gu or about 15 cups of sports drink to fuel each additional mile (i.e., spare your body's need to burn glycogen) When you bonk, you slow down. When you slow down, your body preferentially burns fat. That is how you can finish, even after bonking. So, putting it all together, assuming that you weigh 150 lbs (thereby burning 120 kcal per mile), that you are running your marathon at 75% effort, and that you are able to store 2000 kcal, but that you also slept during the night and burned 25% of those calories, but that you take enough gu and sports drink to get 2 extra miles: ((2 000 kcal glycogen * (1 - 0.25 burned last night)) / (120 kcal per mile * .75 effort)) + 2 miles from carbs on the course = 18.6 miles You will bonk at mile 18.6. Or so. It is never quite this predictable. You can also attenuate this by long-term training (which increases your total body glycogen storage abilities and improves your fat burning at high exertion over time).
                              va


                                Trent thanks for re-posting this!
                                123