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Running and weight gain

(21 Posts)
Iamblossom Sat 23-May-20 09:00:00

Wasn't sure if exercise or this topic was the best place...

I am running more than i ever have, 30ish km a week, as i can't do my normal swimming.

This last week i have eaten almost half the calories i usually would as i have gained 3 pounds.

Could it be the running making me gain? I am flummoxed. Have upped my water intake in case it was retention, even bought new scales!!

OP’s posts: |
sausagepastapot Sat 23-May-20 09:00:47

Possibly building muscle, which is heavier.

MakeMineWithRhubarbJam Sat 23-May-20 09:05:40

Does an extra 3lbs matter?
If it is a long term permanent gain then it could be due to increased muscle mass. I have heard that muscles that are 'repairing' after a hard session can retain fluid.

In any case weight can fluctuate by a couple of pounds every day - mine certainly does!

MakeMineWithRhubarbJam Sat 23-May-20 09:08:10

Possibly building muscle, which is heavier.

Like a pound of lead is heavier than a pound of feathers? grin

Muscle has more mass than fat does for a given volume, but it's not heavier.

Iamblossom Sat 23-May-20 09:11:14

@makeminewithrhubarb no, not in the grand scheme of things, but having been the same weight forever then suddenly gaining 3 pounds i can't shift is weird, and I was trying trying to find an explanation

OP’s posts: |
jonnybiscuits Sat 23-May-20 09:17:25

Same happened to me when I upped my running and added weights. I read that it's fairly common when changing up an exercise regime as your muscles tear and retain water to rebuild.

I drank huge amounts of water and did a 24 hour fast and about 3lbs suddenly dropped off

TheFluffiestCat Sat 23-May-20 09:18:48

I'm in a similar position. Not running but working out 6 days a week, counting calories and usually not eating all my exercise calories. If I was just dieting, I'd expect to be seeing results now, either in the scale or in clothes fitting slightly better. I'm assuming it's still good for me to exercise and hoping that something will settle down soon.

jonnybiscuits Sat 23-May-20 09:20:25

@thefluffiestcat. Don't eat your exercise calories!

roff Sat 23-May-20 09:23:09

@MakeMineWithRhubarbJam someone always uses this analogy and its wrong.

Muscle is heavier. Like a sqm of lead is heavier than a sqm of feathers.

LaLaLanded Sat 23-May-20 09:28:45

Unlikely to be muscle gain from running, which is pretty much pure cardio unless you’re interval training.

My bet would be water retention. I run 30km+ a week and retain water almost all the time - I have a fairly low body fat % and can see the difference in my legs after a longer run.

@jonnybiscuits why not eat back exercise calories? If I didn’t eat them my calorie deficit would be problematically large...

Iamblossom Sat 23-May-20 09:54:50

I dont eat back my exercise calories either....

OP’s posts: |
Musicforsmorks Sat 23-May-20 15:21:42

I can really relate to this.
I know people say ‘it’s only 3 pounds’ but something similar is happening to me.

I don’t run, but do a lot of walking/fell walking and am generally active as I dont drive.
Been same weight for 15 years, barely a variation.

Since lockdown I have gained 8 poinds and it will not budge!
I even dialled my intake back about 6 weeks ago, cut out 500 calls of snacking per day and have gained a pound in return!

I didn’t think this was even mathematically possible in a sustained deficit.

I am baffled, and even though I’m ‘only’ 8.8 stones at 5’4 it is very visible to me and my clothes are uncomfortable. My usual weight was always 8stone.

It is evenly distributed and I dont think I am unwell, so no idea - but it does feel odd and like I’m defying laws of physics 😁

Iamblossom Sat 23-May-20 18:25:07

Not just me then. Very very weird and annoying.

OP’s posts: |
MakeMineWithRhubarbJam Sun 24-May-20 18:46:42


You are confusing mass (volume x density) and weight (mass x gravitational force)

And you can't weigh a square metre of lead or feathers. Square metres is a measure of area. Lead and feathers have a volume, which is an area times a depth or thickness. Like a box.

Shedtheload Sun 24-May-20 20:27:09

Well nothing is heavier than anything in that case. But it’s literally true that a square inch of muscle is heavier than a square inch of fat so in that sense it is entirely correct.

And every time someone writes this (and everyone of course knows what they mean) you alway get some person popping up saying ‘ooh, actually a pound of muscle is the same as a pound of fat’ as if it’s some revelation and not something that’s been done a million times before.

thenewaveragebear1983 Mon 25-May-20 08:54:12

I think it's quite common to stall weight loss when running. It's also surprisingly inefficient at calorie burning, like most evolutionary behaviours are, particularly once you are fit as our bodies are designed to run long distances at steady pace.

I retain a ludicrous amount of water like the poster above has said; yesterday I weighed 4lbs lighter after a run than before it. The more muscular you are the more water you will retain so as you build muscle in your legs (and bear in mind the quads, calves, glutes, etc are BIG muscles) obviously they will add some weight and will also retain more water than when you first start. You'll look lovely and toned and lean though smile

MyFamilyAndOtherAnimals1 Thu 11-Jun-20 12:50:14

Running makes me less stressed and much happier.

Severe stress makes me lose a lot of weight.

That's why I don't run to lose weight. I run to conquer goals, explore new places, make memories and feel mother nature. This makes me more happy than anything! (Also, no matter how chubby my tummy/boobs are, running gives me lush legs, a peachy bum and freckles - which is nice!)

NoImNotEntertained Thu 11-Jun-20 17:20:01

Joining in on an older thread here as the title resonated with me immediately! In particular I just noticed your post @jonnybiscuits and the exact same thing happened to me this week. I have been losing steadily but over the last 10 days or so I pushed a bit harder with the running and added in some weights/resistance and my weight loss has stopped dead.

I have been SO close to falling off the wagon today as was very disappointed when I weighed myself but took the dog out for a walk instead and feeling a bit more positive. Now I'm just wondering whether I can brace myself for a 24h fast! I already do 16:8 but maybe that's a good option to get things going again.

I'll weigh myself again tomorrow after my run and see if it was just a blip. [crosses fingers]

Iamblossom Thu 11-Jun-20 21:17:35

I'm still the not so proud owner of the extra 3 pounds but running, spinning, lifting weights and doing yoga. Drinking loads of water and eating 1800 cals or less a day. It is what it is.

OP’s posts: |
ZaraCarmichaelshighheels Thu 11-Jun-20 21:39:54

Maybe your body has got used to it so running is not challenging your body, try something completely new or maybe HIIT. My calorie burn is always much higher on HIIT than running which surprised me as I always thought running was the ultimate calorie burn but in reality it’s not, unless you incorporate interval training into your runs, steady state cardio for miles at a comfortable pace is great, don’t get me wrong, but you need to get out of our comfort zone to burn more calories if that’s your goal.

ZaraCarmichaelshighheels Thu 11-Jun-20 21:43:41

Just seen your last post op, if you are peri menopausal this could be having an affect on your weight, the horrible truth is (speaking from experience) I need to eat less calories now and exercise more just to stay the same weight, it’s grim.

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