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Gaining weight while running

(32 Posts)
crazypiglady Wed 25-Oct-17 17:45:41

I'm on week 5 of C25k and am doing really well and loving it but...I have had an eating disorder for a long time and running is an attempt to channel my energy into something positive for my body but it means I can't fast, which I normally do twice a week. I'm also really hungry on run days and as a result I've gained half a stone. I'm well out of my comfort zone in terms of controlling my weight, desperately unhappy about what I see on the scales and am so tempted to give up so that I can control my diet the way I normally do. Sadly it's not fat turned to muscle, I can see where the extra weight is piling up on my hips and tummy. But on the other hand I've felt really good mentally while running. Any advice?!

lljkk Wed 25-Oct-17 19:22:38

There's an episode of Secret Eaters there this happens to one gal, she over-ate after every run.

Caulk Wed 25-Oct-17 19:23:57

Change what you’re eating before the run? More protein maybe.

leavemealone2017 Wed 25-Oct-17 19:34:46

Increase protein, also drinking more water can help.

crazypiglady Wed 25-Oct-17 20:46:18

I'm vegan and am having a big plate of pasta on run nights, but pasta isn't unhealthy is it?

AdalindSchade Wed 25-Oct-17 20:49:41

Oh dear
So, you shouldn't be running every day, so there is no reason why you can't fast on rest days.
Secondly, couch to 5k is good but really doesn't burn many calories - you are only actually running for about 20 minutes. So there is no reason why you should be carb loading, or eating more at all.
Thirdly, you won't build muscle by running, or any kind of light cardio exercise.
Fourthly pasta isn't healthy or unhealthy per se but if you eat too much of it it will cause you to gain weight.
Fifthly if running is making you stressed and gain weight stop doing it!

MamaDeeGee Wed 25-Oct-17 21:04:53

Are you sure its not fat turning to muscleo thats making you think youve gained weight?

MamaDeeGee Wed 25-Oct-17 21:05:03


RunningOutOfCharge Wed 25-Oct-17 21:09:31

No.... fat won’t turn to muscle until seriously long runs are happening

Despite what a previous poster has said.... it does happen..... when I was towards the end of my marathon training my legs looked hideous and I couldn’t even wear skinny jeans! My muscles on thigh/calf were huge

RunningOutOfCharge Wed 25-Oct-17 21:12:13

You don’t need extra food op

Pasta is calorie dense and not my first choice of carb anyway

Stillpissingdown Wed 25-Oct-17 21:13:18

I'd keep of the pasta!

I can't eat it any more as it boosts me and makes me gain weight PLUS I can bloody eat loads of it.

You could try

Whole meal pitta and salmon salad
Sweet potatoe wedges
Small portion of rice noodle stir fry.

Pasta has no nutritional value. It's just a fuller. Try other healthier carbs

Stillpissingdown Wed 25-Oct-17 21:17:18

Growingboys Wed 25-Oct-17 21:17:23

You don't need to eat any extra food on a C25K programme at all, and so I'd ditch the big plate of pasta straight away. Big plates of pasta are for the night before a marathon, not a 5k run.

I run to (mainly) help myself stay sane and happy, but it does help with weight control too, or at least it helps me eat as much as I like to eat without gaining weight, but I am running 10k average run. And I don't eat extra on run days vs rest days, and eat pretty sensibly (most of the time).

I also don't think fasting is a sensible long term weight management strategy.

If I were you I would find an eating programme/meal plan that you like the look of, and that is the right amount of calories for you, and run on top of that. Weight loss/management is mainly down to what you eat.

Stick with the running - you'll never regret it, I promise you. Good luck!

SwimmingInTheBlueLagoon Wed 25-Oct-17 21:21:43

Pasta is probably the culprit - it's a carb loaded filler, which is fine if your not doing much but when you are increasing activity levels it's not giving your body what it needs thus making you feel extra hungry. Your body needs protein when you are working out to repair and build the muscles. So as your vegan, I think you need to look toward meals with beans and pulses for protein.

crazypiglady Wed 25-Oct-17 21:28:13

Ok - pretty clear that pasta is bad! I've found I can't fast on rest days as I feel horrendous running the next morning. 20mins running may not be a lot to most people, but it's a lot to me right now and I found it painful with nothing in the tank from the day before! So if I'm going to continue running, I can't rely on fasting anymore to control my weight as I have done in the past.

Dozyoldtwonk Wed 25-Oct-17 21:31:00

Do you fast for a whole 24 hour period, or 16-8 for example?

Watching with interest as I have just added a couple of fitness classes to my usual routine of just dog walking (albeit fast walking, and most days) & am most annoyed to find I’m already up a couple of kilos. How does that work?!

Well done on the running, OP.

Stillpissingdown Wed 25-Oct-17 21:31:06

crazy I know what you mean about fasting and exercise!

Have you tried a calorie app? You tend to stick to a calorie deficit each day, only a small one but if your running too it will help!

It's pretty easy when you get used to it and you can scan food that's already logged

AdalindSchade Wed 25-Oct-17 21:51:48

If fasting works then keep fasting. The key to weight loss is eating less not exercise. Exercise is good and important but won't keep your weight off.
I know 20 minutes is a lot when you're not used to it, I don't run more than 30 minutes and that's a lot for me but the point is that you won't be burning a lot of extra calories doing 20 minuets so shouldn't be eating any more than usual.

@runningoutofcharge I said light cardio! Training for a marathon is a different matter grin

bumpertobumper Wed 25-Oct-17 22:13:32

Op, are you a healthy weight? Is your eating disorder under control?
Sorry for the direct questions, but you obviously have issues with your weight and body image, and I find a lot of the advice on here about keeping up with the fasting and cutting out the pasta may be counterproductive depending on where you are at in your recovery.

Do you have any support or counselling about your eating disorder? Using a fasting diet ( I'm assuming 5:2) seems risky if you do have a history of anorexia.

You haven't specified any details and sorry for jumping to conclusions, but I think you should be being careful to be taking proper good care of yourself through this, iyswim.

crazypiglady Wed 25-Oct-17 22:36:22

Yes I fast for a full 24 hours. My BMI is 23, I'd say it's under control, I still have to feel in control of my weight still and I was hopeful running would give me a mental boost, a positive focus, to distract me from the fasting and sort of force me to eat well iyswim

MaidOfStars Thu 26-Oct-17 10:13:04

After a fast day, do you eat before you run?

crazypiglady Thu 26-Oct-17 10:51:34

Yes I have a bowl of cereal 😊 I should have clarified that my BMI is 23 now I've put on half a stone.

rightsofwomen Thu 26-Oct-17 16:41:16

I have an ED. When I don’t I am naturally very slim. I am also a very keen and competitive runner.

When I’m not unwell I do put on weight when I am running a lot. Never a great deal but I do gain.

Now I am pretty underweight exercise makes me lose more (they tell me I over-exercise).

What I’m saying is that if you are naturally quite slim then putting on a bit of weight when you start running can be ok.

Sounds like you are eating too much before run days though. You just need to eat normally. I only carbo load for 20 miles or more. For a 1/2 marathon I will just make sure I’ve eaten well the day or two before and something carbs in the morning of the race (normal portion size).

If the running is good for your MH then don’t stop.

MaidOfStars Thu 26-Oct-17 16:42:40

Are you around average height?

If so, your muscles have about 2000 cals of glycogen in them - this is your fuel. On a fast day, you aren't replacing the glycogen you use, so it depletes from your muscles.

1. Run in the evening on the day after a fast day - you've had lots of food go in during that day, so your muscles should be ready to go.
2. Run first thing on a fast day - similar logic to above i.e. you've eaten normally the day before so should have replenished muscle glycogen.

Remember, fast days are simply building in a calorie deficit to your week. You can build in smaller deficits each day. BUT at BMI 23, you don't have to lose weight, and running will naturally create a calorie deficit.

crazypiglady Fri 27-Oct-17 12:13:29

rights do you find running helps to keep you mentally healthy? To control the illness?

I'm 5f7 😊

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