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I have had the question on my mind for quite some time and have even asked some friends who are every day runners and elite triathletes. I am interested in losing weight but also training for different distances at the same time. I'm hearing mixed reviews on this one. I think more output less input would mean you would lose. However, my friends who train for longer distances and tris say that it's not really possible to lose weight and train at the same time. They say the focus is different and you either run to lose weight or you train and those are two different things.
Can you lose weight and train? If so, how?
"Can you lose weight and train?"
It depends upon whether you're already very fit and lean. If you are, then probably not, however, if you're a heavy runner like me then pretty much any kind of training also translates to weight loss.
I guess we'll need more data about you before we can formulate a good answer to your question.
Fat old man PRs:
We have several runners in our running group that started out heavy and new runners and now run marathons and lost weight. Three of them have lost over 100 pounds since they started running and training for long runs.
Our coach has us heart rate train. Over time it trains your body to use the fuel you have stored aka fat rather than just the carbs that are immediately by eating carbs. However, every week we are reminded that our long runs are not meant for weight loss and we are reminded to fuel properly during these runs.
Graduated C25K 08/09/2009
Follow me on my journey: SEEFLUFFYRUN
The problem is that "training" in the sense of preparing at a relatively high level for specific events often means calorie intake in proportion to your training level, resulting in no weight loss. If you decide to cut back on calories, it may be difficult to maintain performance. So is it possible? I would say it can be done, but it's a balancing act, and you would have to design your diet carefully (speaking of diet as what you eat, not in the weight loss sense) to make sure you get all the nutrients you need.
Running at a lower heart rate does indeed burn more fat as a percentage of total calories burned. But if you consume the same number of calories that you burned during your run, you won't lose weight. And keep in mind that the body determines how excess calories are stored. Once the glycogen (carb) stores are filled and protein is used to rebuild muscle, any excess is usually stored as fat tissue.
I think that there is a fine line here... My opinion is that yes, you can definitely loose weight and train. The fine line is keeping up with your body's nutritional requirements to perform (i.e. run). And of course, it will vary depending on a persons metabolic rate. Personally, I have to concienciously make sure that I eat or else I will drop weight like crazy. I also have to make sure that I eat foods that adequately fuel me (give me the juice I need for endurance). If I lean towards a more protien based diet, I'll feel full, I'll loose weight, but I'll have a lot of trouble running 10 miles. The net answer here is that everybody processes foods differently and some experimentation is necessary...
Short answer: I used to work with runners at my running club who wanted to lose weight. Yes, you can lose weight while training for races. If you are over weight you most certainly will lose weight if you eat the right foods while maintaining a training program. I did it. I was 260 pounds and lost 70 pounds while training. In addition I took an hour and 20 minutes off my marathon time. So, modifiying my eating didn't negatively effect my running...it enhanced it.
I've seen people who came into our running club way over weight. They worked hard, ate right and some became Boston Qualifiers.
This thing about calorie intake, training and not losing weight is geared toward people who are already at or close to their ideal body weight. A lot of people think you need to plow down thousands of calories to run. If you are already slim, then you don't need to worry about losing weight. Eat away! Fuel up with the right foods, hydrate consistently and fuel properly during your runs and you will attain your weight lose goals. Lean Proteins are great for aiding in weight lose in a healthy way...you need them. However, as a runner you'll need carbs to fuel your workouts. Don't be afraid to eat.....just eat the right foods. As you lose weight you will naturally become faster and it will become easier to run. Your energy levels will increase naturally as well.
I have 35 pounds to lose and I am having a very hard time at it. I am seeing two doctors and running all kinds of hormone tests, etc. I am convinced that I need to see a nutritionist on a regular basis to adjust my diet for my running schedule in order to lose weight and train well. I am training for a 5k this month and a half next month. The doctors are telling me to eat 1200 calories a day and I run 20 to 30 miles a week, six days a week. That is totally insane!!! I'm going to find a sports nutrionist and try to find a healthy diet. I have lost about 70 pounds through running and using MyFitnessPal to log my foods. I started using it to control calories and now I try to make certain I balance my protein, fat, carbs and fiber. You just have to experiment to see what works for you.
Eat 1200 calories per day and run 20 to 30 miles per week? Yeah, I agree, "totally insane" (and in my humble opinion, not at all healthy).
Fat old man PRs:
I struggled with this same question since the spring. I was going great with my running and weight loss (started running 3-4 days a week, completed several 5ks and 10ks while doing Weight Watchers). I stopped losing weight when I started training for my first half marathon (this weekend!!). I realized that training = need more fuel and less discipline with eating b/c its hard to concentrate on so many things at once. My recommendation: Try not to worry about losing weight if you are also training - while its frustrating to not lose weight when you're logging so many miles, focus on one thing at a time - don't go crazy with your eating, continue to be mindful and monitor yourself, but perhaps make running the priority. Good luck!
Yes you can if done correctly! Change your eating habits to good ones. Stay discipline write down everything you eat and everything you do for training. It's not easy but can be done!
I am trying to lose weight as well (15 pounds) and train for a half marathon. I thought that if I shed those pounds, running would be easier. As it turns out, dieting caused me to have very low energy. I didnt have enough fuel to get me through those longs runs I needed to do to train. I was consuming about 1100 calories a day and trying to run 5 miles and my body was NOT HAVING IT! I have had to make the decision to either train or diet. I decided to keep training and just eat clean, low carb, low sugar foods and drink tons of water. I actually gained a few pounds in the beginning (hopefully muscle weight) and then slowly lost weight. It wasnt the quick weight loss I was looking for but J think it's a nice healthy balance.