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10464 Views 12 Replies Latest reply: Oct 2, 2013 6:52 PM by
seaaggie Rookie 1 posts since
Jul 7, 2013
Currently Being Moderated

Jul 7, 2013 12:09 PM

Started running and GAINING weight?!


I am a 37 year old female and need to lose about 10-15 pounds.  For the first half of the year I was only running about 3 miles per week and have finally been able to increase my mileage over the last month and a half.  I did 6.5 miles yesterday and felt reasonably good afterward and am running about 12 miles per week right now.  I have also been trying to change my diet and take in less calories.  I know I have to be patient to see any results but I would have expected to start to see a little decrease on the scale by now but I am actually gaining weight at this point (up about 2-3 pounds).  I know muscle weighs more than fat, etc, etc, but I can't imagine that with the little running I've been doing for that to be the case?  Is this normal?  Do I just need to coninue to increase my mileage?  Should I do intervals?  I am not a fast runner, but I keep about a 10:30 mile pace.

  • InmanMom Rookie 1 posts since
    Jul 8, 2013
    Currently Being Moderated
    1. Jul 9, 2013 6:10 AM (in response to seaaggie)
    Started running and GAINING weight?!

    I am almost 39 and need to lose about 15 -20 lbs. I have completed the C5K and run about 3 miles 3x per week.  Since I started 3 months ago I have gained two pounds.  I too am trying to be patient with results but am now getting fustrated. I am  in the habit of running so I will continue to do it but why am I not losing weight and why aren't my clothes getting any looser?  I am interested to hear what anyone can suggest.

  • lenzlaw Community Moderator 10,539 posts since
    Jan 18, 2008
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    2. Jul 9, 2013 7:59 AM (in response to InmanMom)
    Started running and GAINING weight?!

    Running will help tone your muscles, but you have to do a lot of it before it will have much affect on weight loss.  For instance, 12 miles per week burns about 1200 calories. You can eat that much in one meal if you're not careful! Diet will have a much greater effect on weight loss.


  • justamaniac Legend 240 posts since
    May 30, 2007
    Currently Being Moderated
    3. Jul 9, 2013 8:27 AM (in response to lenzlaw)
    Started running and GAINING weight?!

    Weight reduction is a complicated thing simply because everybodies metabolism is different.  I am sure that you have already heard the mantra "burn more calories than you eat and you will loose weight" - and it turns out that this is not always the case and is actually a lot more complicated than that.  I am not an expert at this, but I have found that weight loss depends a lot on WHAT you eat, WHEN you eat it, and how much exercise you do.


    I started running a little over 4 years ago and wound up loosing about 20lbs.  In my case I found that I actually had to consume some calories (protein mostly) BEFORE I ran in order to promote and encourage the actual burning of unwanted fat cells (I know, it sounds counter intuitive). Also, even though carbs are supposed to be a runners best friend, I managed my carb intake carefully, leaning more towards extra protein.  Once I started sheding weight I eased off as much protein.  Beer (I love beer!) was a big culprit for me and I slashed that for several months. Wow, what a difference that made.


    But as Lenzlaw notes, it will take a while. I didn't really start to notice any significant weight loss until I was doing 20 miles or so a week consistently (either walking or running).  But keep the faith - it will happen, just don't quit! The bottom line is to figure out how your metabolism works and then work with that.

    Good luck and keep running!



  • Ritaketchem Rookie 1 posts since
    Jun 3, 2013
    Currently Being Moderated
    4. Sep 18, 2013 4:53 AM (in response to justamaniac)
    Started running and GAINING weight?!

    I too am frustrated with weight gain even though I run at least three times a week.  When I started training for a run in Korea last year I lost weight and fat off of my legs and waist.  After I got back from my trip I continued to run.  However, now I have noticed my inner thighs are getting built up and my legs are getting bigger instead of smaller and I too have put on 4-5 pounds.  I know that muscle weighs more than fat but it is frustrating to be doing several 5k's a year and not lose any weight.


    I am not a long distance runner and maybe that is what it takes to truly lose weight running.  I try to watch what I eat as well as do weight training but still getting a little frustrated.  I just keep telling myself it is better to have muscle than to look skinny and look way of dealing with it.



  • Lauren'sMom Rookie 1 posts since
    Jun 27, 2012
    Currently Being Moderated
    5. Sep 25, 2013 7:37 AM (in response to seaaggie)
    Started running and GAINING weight?!

    Hi - I've struggled with this for years, too.  I found it very difficult to lose weight while running, but thought I would share some things that work for me...


    Heart rate zones - I use Digit with a chest heart rate monitor.  I ran an included test program to establish my heart rate zones, and now use that to determine what type of training I want to do.  I have a condition which makes my heart rate sky rocket quickly, and stay there, and I noticed that a lot of my runs ended up in zones 4 & 5 - not conducive to weight loss.  I now make a more informed decision of what I'm after for my runs - and if it's weight loss, I try to stay in zones 2-4, even if it means walking in intervals to keep the rate down.  I lost ~5lbs over a couple months doing this - but more importantly, I noticed very positive changes to my body and fitness level.  You're probably tired of hearing that muscle ways more than fat - I sure was! - but for me the fit of my clothes was more important than the scale.


    Also, I reluctantly entered the world of supplements.  I tried a couple I picked out myself at the superstores without much luck, then finally went to a local supplement store and asked for advice.  The guys there were really knowledgable and helped me pick something that fit where I was struggling.  The product they recommended for me (Oxyelite Pro) really helped and I didn't notice adverse side affects.  If anything, I was more motivated to get out and exercise.  I lost 15lbs my first cycle of 8 weeks on the supplement (with really positive changes to my shape), and am re-starting after about a 6-week off-cycle.  I'm not necessarily endorsing that particular product (my mom tried it with only minimal success, my friend has had a lot of success with Advocare), but it certainly worked for me.  I strongly recommend getting some informed advice - that's what really made the difference for me.


    Best of luck to you - and don't get discouraged!!!

  • Debbie Kimbriel Amateur 13 posts since
    Apr 15, 2009
    Currently Being Moderated
    6. Sep 25, 2013 7:50 AM (in response to seaaggie)
    Started running and GAINING weight?!

    Track your calories on an app or computer program.  You will be surprised how you eat your calories.  I have dieted for years and I was shocked at some of the foods I always thought were low in calories.  MyFitnessPal is what I use and it gives me a base calorie load and adds calories according to the exercise I do.  This will let you know if you can eat more and how much when you are hungry from running. 


    I run 25 to 30 miles a week and I have to be very careful not to gain.  The hormone cortisol is a problem for women.  It is the stress hormone and it makes your body hold onto every calorie you eat for dear life.  Cortisol will raise when you exercise and in some women it will stay elevated.  The next time you see your gyno ask him/her about your cortisol levels and see if that is happening to you.

  • DanaReneeH Amateur 8 posts since
    Sep 25, 2013
    Currently Being Moderated
    7. Sep 25, 2013 8:05 AM (in response to seaaggie)
    Started running and GAINING weight?!

    I'm in my last week of C25k training.  I have maintained my weight with 9+ miles per week.  This is somewhat discouraging but yet informative information from everyone.  I plan to increase my milage and will have to be even more cognizant of my calorie intake and what I'm eating!  I have noticed however, my clothes fitting slightly differently.  Not that I am back into my smaller ones yet. 

  • shipo Legend 499 posts since
    Aug 9, 2013
    Currently Being Moderated
    8. Sep 25, 2013 8:39 AM (in response to DanaReneeH)
    Re: Started running and GAINING weight?!

    While it is a given that every individual is just that, an individual, and as such, each body reacts differently, I will say that until I hit 15-20 mile per week, my weight didn't change.  Once I hit more like 50 miles per week I was losing one to two pounds per week.

    Fat old man PRs:

    • 1-mile (point to point, gravity assist): 5:50
    • 2-mile: 13:49
    • 5K (gravity assist last mile): 21:31
    • 5-Mile: 37:24
    • 10K (first 10K of my Half Marathon): 48:16
    • 10-Mile (first 10 miles of my Half Marathon): 1:17:40
    • Half Marathon: 1:42:13
  • DanaReneeH Amateur 8 posts since
    Sep 25, 2013
    Currently Being Moderated
    9. Sep 25, 2013 10:31 AM (in response to shipo)
    Started running and GAINING weight?!

    you just answered my ultimate question shipo.  Thank you.  New goal to add to the list  . . .

  • Ovhenderson Rookie 2 posts since
    Aug 24, 2013
    Currently Being Moderated
    10. Sep 25, 2013 11:55 AM (in response to seaaggie)
    Started running and GAINING weight?!

    1) How many calories do you eat a day?


    2) How many calories do you burn working out (i.e. running) a day?


    3) What is your estimated TDEE?


    If you don't know the answers to all of these questions, we should start with finding those answers. Then:


    1) If you are not working out 5 hours a week total, then work on increasing your workout time.


    2) If you are eating above your TDEE, reduce by no more than 250 calories a day to minimize muscle loss.


    3) You should see weight loss after implementing these things for a while, but expect to plataeu (when depends on the individual).


    4) Once you plataeu, then and only then should you adjust your workout time OR do another TDEE reduction, but not both at the same time. Don't rush the process.

    Octavia Henderson, ACSM-CPT, ISSA-CFNS

  • 2LooseCaboose Rookie 1 posts since
    Dec 9, 2010
    Currently Being Moderated
    11. Oct 2, 2013 10:22 AM (in response to seaaggie)
    Started running and GAINING weight?!

    Hello Started Running and Gaining Weight !


    Whenever ANYBODY starts a NEW PROGRAM, the initial thought is INSTANTANEOUS results !  This is a misconception that should NOT be promoted !

    If you are willing to workout between 40 minutes to 60 minutes per day for 5-6 days per week, you can achieve YOUR GOALS !  The time frame that YOU

    achieve YOUR GOALS will be dependent on the ROUTINE ! Once you have established a ROUTINE, then I would consider DIETARY INTAKE.  Until then,

    I would emphasize that you complete YOUR running workouts and drink more water.  I will expand on this.


    I am in agreement with most of the information given here ... however, I must say that one of the keys to losing weight when you are running (besides upping the

    weekly mileage PROGRESSIVELY and in a DISCIPLINED MANNER ... (e.g. ... 3-5 km per week ...) is to INCREASE YOUR WATER INTAKE !


    Your body is 90% water ... and the mechanisms of the body work best in an ideal FLUID medium ... with that medium being WATER !


    If YOU work at ADDING between 500 ml to 1000 ml per week extra water (to be consumed daily) , that water will benefit you in a variety of ways:

    (1) help to mobilize deposited fat tissue

    (2) allow the SKIN (the largest organ of the body !) to work optimally

    (3) it will give your skin and your muscles the CORRECT inner osmotic cell pressure that will heighten your Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR)  !


    This adjustment generally occurs over a period of time ... I like to target 18 workouts (6 workouts per week) with water increase

    accordingly. So again ... like everybody else says ... be PATIENT ! You did not deposit the extra tissue in 3 days ... so it will take some time to achieve your

    goals ...  but it is within YOUR GRASP ! Stay focused ... record your weekly results ... and you will get there ! If you are working out at 3x per week ... then try

    and add ONE workout per week ... in 3 weeks time ... you will be up to 6 workouts per week ! Again Be Progressive !


    You should be drinking between 2000 ml (2L) to 4000 ml (4L) per day ... and YES ! You will probably increase your trips to the bathroom, but your body will

    adjust and start to improve and burn at your optimal BMR !


    I hope this helps ! I know it helped me and all the other runners that I have helped along the way !

  • Rookie 1 posts since
    Sep 20, 2010
    Currently Being Moderated
    12. Oct 2, 2013 6:52 PM (in response to seaaggie)
    Started running and GAINING weight?!

    As some of the posts stated: it is very complicated.  I started walking three years ago and needed to lose 50+ pounds.  I walked 2 miles in the morning on Tuesday and Thursday and 2 miles at lunch Monday - Friday.  I also complete my long distance miles on Saturday which meant each week I increased a mile up to 10 miles.  I barely lost 1/2 a pound a week and went to a nutritionist and discussed the issues.  She said I was burning too many calories and not eating enough calories.  I actually had to begin eating more and more often to even begin to lose a pound a week.  What she also said was it is very important what you eat and when.  If you work out hard you need to replenish your muscles with good protein.  So something to think about.  When you run out of calories your body has to get the energy from somewhere, so it starts to take it from your muscles.  The more muscle you have the better your metabolism is.  If you are hungry then you could be making your metabolism fluctuate too much.  Our body is amazing and slows the metabolism down because it believes your not going to feed it.  Try to up some of your calories for a few days and see if you maintain and then push a little harder. 

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