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i like to run
Why am I somehow unable to lose weight? 12/5/2012 3:45PM Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
I just don't understand it. I'm a competitive college athlete, running the highest mileage of my life, and trying so hard to eat healthy all the time, and yet I just don't have the lean body type that runners normally do and am considerably over my racing weight. I'm female, 5'10", about 139lbs, and always felt that I ran best when I was around 130 or below, but no matter what I do my body seems to be unwilling to let go of the extra weight. It just doesn't make sense to me when I look around and see teammates who eat anything and everything in sight and yet can't GAIN weight, while I'm here running more mileage, eating less, putting a lot of effort into eating healthy, and still can't get down to racing weight. Or much less, seeing all these non-athlete college students who eat like crap, do very little to no exercise, and overall do not live in a health-conscious way at all, and yet never put on weight. And here I am running 65 miles a week, lifting weights regularly, and striving to eat healthy all the time! I've heard it said on here before that it should be very difficult to put on weight at this mileage level, but I have to work so hard just to maintain and am pretty sure I'd gain weight quickly if I ate what I wanted to. Do I just have a slow metabolism/bad genetics? How is this possible, and is there anything I can do about it?

Oh and just to be clear, I definitely do NOT have an eating disorder or any sort of history with eating issues; believe me, I love food too much;) I just know that at my current weight I could drop several pounds and run better for it, but this is seeming more and more impossible to do.
Knight Runnah
RE: Why am I somehow unable to lose weight? 12/5/2012 4:06PM - in reply to i like to run Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
Have you considered weight training 3x/week? Food diary?
Awarenesss
RE: Why am I somehow unable to lose weight? 12/5/2012 5:12PM - in reply to i like to run Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
I realize you most likely hear this a good amount, but losing weight is about calories in vs. calories out. Most people do not realize how much they are putting into their bodies on a daily basis. For a few days, write down and measure EVERYTHING you eat. Even if it is a handful of granola, it still has calories. You will get a basis for how you eat. http://www.t-nation.com/free_online_article/sports_body_training_performance/nutrition_for_newbies_part_1 Interesting article, and although not geared towards runners, everyone can learn from it.
ratio guy
RE: Why am I somehow unable to lose weight? 12/5/2012 5:49PM - in reply to i like to run Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
I recommend the book 80/10/10 by Doug Graham. It's about eating low-fat raw vegan. You can eat as much as you want, lose a ton of weight, and run faster and faster every day.
Lydiard is God
RE: Why am I somehow unable to lose weight? 12/5/2012 6:12PM - in reply to ratio guy Reply | Return to Index | Report Post

ratio guy wrote:

I recommend the book 80/10/10 by Doug Graham. It's about eating low-fat raw vegan. You can eat as much as you want, lose a ton of weight, and run faster and faster every day.


I would not recommend a serious female runner be vegan. Remember, if you are weight-training, that muscle weighs more than fat. Calories in/out is part of it. However, some people are very sensitive to the wrong sort of carbs. Cut out all processed food. Carefully check that you are not eating too many carbs like pasta, noodles, spaghetti, bread, starchy vegetables-remember corn is a grain, cereals, cakes and biscuits. Watch out for sneaky added sugar, especially fructose, which the body doesn't process very well. Trans-fats (hydrogenated fats) should be avoided. Artificial sweeteners, in particular Aspartame, can be harmful, and probably increase carb cravings.

Get someone properly qualified to check various measurements of skin-fold thickness. This is the best readily available measure of how much fat you are carrying around.

Make sure you are doing enough exercise of any sort that gets your heart rate up in sharp bursts to help fire a more active metabolism. Perhaps, too many 'slow' miles are teaching your body to store fat, in order to burn it next time you run.
bud lite
RE: Why am I somehow unable to lose weight? 12/5/2012 6:23PM - in reply to i like to run Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
1/10. No females post here.
i like to run
RE: Why am I somehow unable to lose weight? 12/5/2012 11:42PM - in reply to Lydiard is God Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
I do already do weight training twice a week, plus core work most other days. And I've attempted to do the whole keeping a food diary thing on-and-off before, but haven't had the time/patience/persistence to stick with it long-term.

I would not consider going vegan; don't think there's any way I could do that, plus I really don't know that it would be beneficial for me.

I do try to avoid processed foods, and to limit carbs or focus on healthier ones (i.e. whole wheat pasta/bread, brown rice, etc.), but I could still be eating too many carbs as I don't always do the best job with limiting them. I will try focusing more on reducing carb intake and keeping track of calories more carefully.

The weights we do are pretty intense, and I do higher-intensity running workouts along with all the mileage (although as I'm in the early stage of base training right now I'm not doing much other than tempos, strides, hard long runs and maybe the occasional fartlek). But seeing as what I'm doing activity wise is astronomically higher than most of the general population here (i.e. my inactive college-student friends who still somehow don't gain weight) and at the higher end even within my xc team (almost all of whom don't seem to have these problems at all), I don't think that's where my problems lie.

Anyone have similar experiences? It just seems that I put on weight so much easier than other runners even though I'm trying harder not to...
LOL11
RE: Why am I somehow unable to lose weight? 12/6/2012 6:02AM - in reply to i like to run Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
Try eating more.
Seriously, the fact that you are trying to lose weight, maybe why you are not.

With the level of milage you run, you should be eating well over 2500 cals daily if not more.

Are you eating at night, if so stop it. Pick a time of the evening for your last meal and then do not eat until the next morning.

Make sure you eat breakfast, and eat frequently during the day to keep your metabolism running.

Drink lots of water during the day to feel full.
Your next coach
RE: Why am I somehow unable to lose weight? 12/6/2012 9:26AM - in reply to i like to run Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
I could change this...

I did notice something...You really want to change this about yourself, right? You want to be lean.
So, if you want it then I assume that you would be open to trying to figure out what it is...

However, when someone brought up Vegan diet, you said, "I would not consider going vegan"...
When one is trying to figure out a solution to a problem, it seems one would need to be open minded.

Your closed mindedness in just one subject echoes in all other aspects of your life. I believe this quality of yours if keeping you from the normal "runner's body" you seek...

I hope you respond to me...
asdfasdfw
RE: Why am I somehow unable to lose weight? 12/6/2012 10:03AM - in reply to i like to run Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
The first thing you need to do is track your calories. Use one of the many online calculators to get an estimate for your maintenance caloric level. Then eat that amount of calories every day for several weeks and see what happens to your weight. If it stays stable, then you've found your maintenance. If not, you may need to adjust a bit.

Once you figure out maintenance, start eating at 10-20% under that. For example if your maintenance is 2500, eat somewhere between 2000-2250. Make sure you're getting at least 0.7g of protein and 0.4g of fat per pound of body weight. It's OK to go over these numbers, in fact the rest of your food intake doesn't really matter as long as you hit your calorie target and get sufficient micronutrients (take a multi, and eat enough fruit and veggies).

Work out with weights 2-3x per week. This prevents you from losing significant lean body mass, and will ensure that most of the weight lost is fat.

Follow these steps, and you are guaranteed to lose weight. Keep in mind that your maintenance level will go down slightly as you get lighter, so adjust accordingly.

After several weeks you may reach a point where your fat loss "stalls", since your metabolism may slow down. If this happens, consider incorporating "refeed" days 1-2x per week, where you eat significantly more carbs than normal (about double the normal amount). Also consider taking a diet break where you go back to eating at maintenance for a week.

Good luck!
faosijfoaisj
RE: Why am I somehow unable to lose weight? 12/6/2012 11:27AM - in reply to i like to run Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
Stop trying to lose weight. Concentrate on running faster.
bumbojumbo
RE: Why am I somehow unable to lose weight? 12/6/2012 11:34AM - in reply to i like to run Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
Seriously? You say no to 80/10/10 but then you say you currently restrict carbs! If you don't like your weight on what you're doing, maybe something should change. Vegan diet will allow for loss of weight better running.
faosijfoaisj
RE: Why am I somehow unable to lose weight? 12/6/2012 11:41AM - in reply to bumbojumbo Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
80/10/10??? 80% carbs??? That is just stupid. We need a lot more fat in our diets than that. Where do you think most of our energy comes from. Converting lots of carbs into fat is not a good diet.
Cordain
RE: Why am I somehow unable to lose weight? 12/6/2012 12:34PM - in reply to i like to run Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
It is people like you who would benefit by a much lower relative intake of carbs. No reason to eat carbs beyond glycogen storage and for people who are insulin sensitive, carbs are geared toward fat storage.

On 65 miles a week, you are likely not burning more than 500 cals of glycogen a day. No need to eat more cals of carbs than that.

Carbs in excess of glycogen use make people fat, not fat. Carbs are NOT your body's main source of fuel, on a run or otherwise. On a steady run, it is about 50/50.

I run 80mpw and perform at a fairly high masters level and only eat about 30% of my cals from carbs. 7% bodyfat. 3500 cals a day.
Cordain
RE: Why am I somehow unable to lose weight? 12/6/2012 12:38PM - in reply to i like to run Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
Whole wheat and whole grains are NOT healthy and are less healthy for some than others. Evolutionarily novel foods. If they are a "required food group" how did we do without them for most of our evolutionary history, not to mention high yield dwarf wheat of the last 50 years is far different than the heirloom varities:

http://www.wheatbellyblog.com/2012/12/wheat-belly-quick-dirty-2/

Carbs from tubers, fruit, and, if you have a high carb demand, limited white rice (not brown! phylatic acid in whole grains blocks nutrient absoroption). Bad epdemiological science that doesn't control for correlations that appear as causation led to science that is being over-turned by better methodology. Fiber is over-rated and salt isn't bad for you.

My HDL is extremely high and LDL extremely low on a diet of fatty meats, fish, no whole grains, fruits, nuts, eggs, veggies , and tubers.
pr100
RE: Why am I somehow unable to lose weight? 12/6/2012 12:46PM - in reply to i like to run Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
I don't know the answer for sure. But if you take any simple sugars or alcohol I'd start by cutting those out altogether.
lose the weight tone up
RE: Why am I somehow unable to lose weight? 12/6/2012 12:47PM - in reply to Cordain Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
Since there seem to be so many restrictions on carbs and what not to lose the weight can someone simply list out what an ideal meal would be for breakfast lunch and dinner? that would be the easiest thing for me to follow and understand. and i will be able to stick to meals if someone tells me what they are. thanks
Calories in < calories out
RE: Why am I somehow unable to lose weight? 12/6/2012 1:20PM - in reply to lose the weight tone up Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
If you follow this you will absolutely lose weight. I am a female (5'5, 108) and this is about how I eat when my training is cut back so I don't gain weight. When I am at high mileage (70-80) I increase by about 1,000 cal. But if you are trying to LOSE weight, you will need to burn more than you eat. Protein is overrated, your body can only process so much at once. Hence the moderate amount in the diet. Stick to whole foods, healthy fats, and drink mostly water. Also, I can 100% guarantee you eat more calories than you think. I knew a girl just like you who thought she was a victim but didn't realize her bowl of cereal & yogurt after meals was probably in the ballpark of 800 cal.


Pre-run: ~200 cal
granola bar with moderate amount of protein (I like Zone double dark chocolate)

Breakfast: ~500 cal
Banana nut oatmeal
[1/2c quick oats, 1 banana, 1/4c nuts ~450 cal
Combine oats w/water, cook 1 min, add sliced banana, cook another minute, add nuts & mix. I also add cinnamon, nutmeg & allspice.]
Coffee with 1/3c 2% milk ~50 cal

Lunch: ~500 cal
Hummus, cheese, veggie sandwich ~400 cal
[2 slices whole wheat bread, 1 slice reduced-fat cheese of your choice, 3 tbs hummus, veggies such as spinach, mushrooms, onions, etc)
Fruit (such as grapes, orange, apple, etc) ~100 cal

Snack/ pre 2nd run: ~300 cal
Yogurt parfait
Chobani 2% Greek yogurt ~150 cal
1/4 c granola w/nuts & raisins ~150 cal

Dinner: ~700 cal
Stir fry
4 oz chicken, 2c stir fry vegetables, 1 tbs teriyaki (or whatever sauce), 1tbs oil ~350 cal
1/2 c brown rice ~350 cal

Dessert:
Mini ice cream sandwich ~100 cal

Total ~2300 cal
really??????
RE: Why am I somehow unable to lose weight? 12/6/2012 1:31PM - in reply to Awarenesss Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
The calorie in calorie out theory isn't the whole picture. Your body needs insulin to store fat so keeping insulin levels low blocks fat storage and encourages energy expenditure. This is the reason Atkins and South Beach work so well.
Snowdog
RE: Why am I somehow unable to lose weight? 12/6/2012 1:48PM - in reply to faosijfoaisj Reply | Return to Index | Report Post

faosijfoaisj wrote:

Stop trying to lose weight. Concentrate on running faster.


I agree with this poster. Everytime I tried to lose weight, I gained. All of a sudden you think of food all the time. One time, I tried for a school year to lose 5 pounds. I ran alot and limited my food. Nothing. Went home for the summer, worked, ran, and just lived. Mid-summer I put on a pair of jeans and they were loose. I lost 6 pounds. I thought I was eating more (because my parents made nice dinners), but they were balanced I guess. So focus on running to get better at running, not as a calorie burner. I always had better speed at a heavier weight, so take advantage of that and get your raw speed faster. And don't limit your running potential to a number on a scale. Maybe 135 is your ideal racing weight and 139 is your ideal training weight. Your body will decide if you listen to it. You will be fine! Just live!
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