Running and Weight Gain

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  • 1 Post By Nappy_curly_crown
  • 1 Post By .AmyP.

Hey ya'll, so I started training for a 10k about two months ago. I run about 10 miles a week now and I am beginning to see a difference in the shape of my legs.
The thing that bothers me is that I have gained about ten pounds (from 120 to 130) since I started running. I've actually lost about a half inch from my waist and my pants still fit me, but I am annoyed at this unexpected result. Anything that can be done? Is it normal to gain this much weight from working out?
Sorry to say, it's probably not muscle. A little bit might be, but even women who are trying really hard to gain muscle mass by weight lifting would be hard pressed to gain more than a pound or two of muscle in two months. Some of the weight may be water, since when you store glycogen (the fuel your muscles use) you also store water.

What is more likely, and what I've noticed in myself, is that running makes me hungry!! Running burns about 100 calories per mile, and it's really easy to eat more without realizing it. An extra piece of bread, a second helping of mashed potatoes, another glass of milk and the calories can add up without even noticing. When I trained for my first half marathon, I was running about 25-30 miles a week and I gained 5 pounds. I think I gained 6 or 7 while training for my first marathon. I find that when I work out a lot, I really need to pay attention to what and how much I'm eating because it's really easy to take extra portions without realizing, or to say, "oh, I worked out today, I can have a Snickers" and suddenly I've eaten more calories than I've burned and I gain weight.

I hope that doesn't deter you from running, though! You just might need to be a little more mindful of what you're eating. I know I need to.
Well .... thanks ladies.
wow ten miles! amazing!
Well .... thanks ladies.
Originally Posted by shainala
Yeah, sorry to be a downer. Working out never helps me lose weight. I'm pretty active, and I gain if I don't pay attention to what I eat. It sucks! You mentioned in another thread that your pants are a little looser, so I wouldn't get too caught up in the numbers. As long as you look good, does it matter what the number on the scale says?
Well .... thanks ladies.
Originally Posted by shainala
Yeah, sorry to be a downer. Working out never helps me lose weight. I'm pretty active, and I gain if I don't pay attention to what I eat. It sucks! You mentioned in another thread that your pants are a little looser, so I wouldn't get too caught up in the numbers. As long as you look good, does it matter what the number on the scale says?
Originally Posted by nadra24
It's hard though. I am at my heaviest ever, and I recently read that fluctuating more than five pounds in your thirties and twenties is a good predicter of obesity in your 40s and 50s. I'm trying to avoid that given family history and then I gain weight working out? LAME!
It actually might be muscle gain. I'm by no means a fitness expert, but based on my recent experiences and what my doctor and nutritionist have told me. The legs are the easier and first muscle group to pick up lean muscle mass and it doesn't take much effort. I've been walking daily and riding a stationary bike...not much physically compared to running, but I've lost several inches but the scale shows a gain of about 3 pounds. My doc has banned me from the scale and suggests using measurements as a better indicator of weightloss.

Also keep in mind that more muscle mass means a higher caloric resting metabolism...which will keep you at a healthier weight longterm. Don't be afraid of gaining muscle...and don't let the scale alone determine how you feel.


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It actually might be muscle gain. I'm by no means a fitness expert, but based on my recent experiences and what my doctor and nutritionist have told me. The legs are the easier and first muscle group to pick up lean muscle mass and it doesn't take much effort. I've been walking daily and riding a stationary bike...not much physically compared to running, but I've lost several inches but the scale shows a gain of about 3 pounds. My doc has banned me from the scale and suggests using measurements as a better indicator of weightloss.

Also keep in mind that more muscle mass means a higher caloric resting metabolism...which will keep you at a healthier weight longterm. Don't be afraid of gaining muscle...and don't let the scale alone determine how you feel.


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Originally Posted by Nappy_curly_crown
Thanks... one of my coworkers said I just need to "throw my scale away" as long as my pants still fit.
How tall are you?
Originally Posted by nadra24
5'5"
Well I can say this...clear through high school and college I ran, played basketball, cross country, etc. and I remained constant at 120. When I got to law school I had no time to work out and I stayed at 108 through law school until I got married and had kids 6 years later. I'm also 5'5". There's something to weighing more when you work out IMHO...

On my EVO
I think it is most likely an increase in muscle mass that is causing your weight to increase. Muscle weighs more than fat.

What type or terrain do you run on? If you are running anywhere hilly, you are definitely going to gain some muscle in your legs and butt. I'm willing to bet that if you checked, your body fat % has actually gone down although the number on the scale has gone up.

Also, its the fat around your waist that can increase your risk of heart disease and diabetes. You waist is shrinking and so are your chances of any health complications in the future.

Keep an eye on your weight to make sure you are not increasing too rapidly as this can be unhealthy but as long as your waist is shrinking, I think you are on the right track.

Kudos to you for taking your health into your own hands.
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