Running and Gaining Weight? Is It Possible?

This is a guest page by Brenda Lyttle.

So you are trying to lose weight by running and noticed that it is actually backfiring? Don’t you worry! You’re not alone who is gaining weight from running. This ironical situation has more often been observed in women who are trying to prepare themselves for any endurance event, like a marathon, in the near future. Better muscle efficiency, increased appetite, and improved muscle imbalance, are various reasons that often justify this weight gain. Increase in muscle mass and blood volume due to exercising can also lead to this unexpected increase in weight.

Accumulation of weight around the belly is also called the “runners pooch” and is usually associated with muscle imbalance, mainly the weak ab muscles, hamstrings, and tough hip flexors. Undeniably, this results in bad posture that causes the runners to stick out their stomachs, which may further lead to lower back pain due to muscle imbalance.

When the pelvis is bent forward, it puts extra stress on the lumbar spine that results in lower back pain. Hence, it is important that you work on your posture as a runner to avoid this. Stretch on your hamstrings and hip flexors, and strengthen your ab muscles. There are various ab exercises that utilize hip flexors, like bicycles, double leg lifts, and scissor kicks. Be sure that your hips are out of it.

Here are a few tips to ensure that runners are maintaining their present weight/or losing it:

  1. Combine Your Recovery Meal and Regular Meal – If your recovery meal interprets to shakes, bars, or gels, be sure to cut them off to save out from consuming hundreds of unwanted calories.
  2. Eat Less - Yes, it may sound pretty clichéd but it is only natural to feel that you can reward yourself with whichever food you want because you are working out. Majority of people are guilty of this. And while there is nothing to deny the fact that running does burn your calories but consumption of granola bars do nullify all that you have lost. So, it is better to eat only when you are hungry. Look for foods that are both nutritious and filling, like whole grains, vegetables, fruits, legumes/beans, and lean protein.
  3. Let Your Bedtime Be Sans Calories – It is easy to burn calories during the day and that is when you need them the most. Cutting on your calories in the day time can leave you feeling fatigued, hungry, or cranky. Sure, you wouldn’t want to hit the gym in that mood. It is thereby best to keep a check on the calories you consume at night. You definitely don’t need much energy around your bedtime. Hence, there are good chances that you wouldn’t be bothered by cutting back on calorie consumption much during the night.

Running is definitely one of the best thing you can do to stay fit and healthy and its benefits sure go a lot beyond the usual weight maintenance but if weight loss is the reason why you are doing it, be sure to monitor your diet as well to avoid any backfiring.

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