I kicked my exercise up a notch a few months ago in an effort to lose weight. I'm running 45 min to an hour instead of my 30-minute runs. I'm exercising 5-6 days a week instead of 4. But I'm more hungry now than ever! So I eat more. All things healthy. But I've gained a couple more pounds instead of losing. Any advice?
Drop the time back to where you were at, but increase the intensity. Also, add some cross training. Your body has become more efficient at what it has trained at. You need to do something else to keep it guessing. Do some high repetion resistance training. This will increase your muscle endurance, burn lots of calories, and resistance training does reduce appetite.
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Remember that muscle weighs more than fat. An increase in muscle will also require more energy for your daily non-workout tasks. If you are increasing your exertion in your workouts and increasing your muscle tissue, you will need to also increase your intake. One suggestion is to try eating high protein and veg. and lower carbs "snacks" every two hours. Don't skip eating either....if your body "realizes" that it is not getting in calories on a regular basis to sustain your workouts, your metabolism may kick into a "reserve" mode and it will essentially store away the food that you eat instead of burn it. To help keep it in perspective, pay more attention to the physical visable results and not the number on the scale so much. That's hard to do because we like to look at the numbers to see progress, but two people weighing the same may be very different in health and their appearance because of the ratio of lean muscle and fat that they both have.
Best of luck! Losing weight is really hard.....keep at it, though!
....."but I have promises to keep and miles to go before I sleep. Miles to go before I sleep." - Robert Frost
Have you done any other type of assessment besides weight? I often suggest picking up the scale and throwing it out the window. =) I suggest taking waist, hip, thigh, and arm measurements or having body composition assessed. Yes muscle is more dense than fat, so it's very possible (and very common) to not loose any weight, but improve body composition (loose fat and inches).
Another consideration - "healthy" foods are not always low-calorie. Nuts, seeds, olive oil, dried fruit, 100% fruit juice are definitely healthy foods, but also very high calorie. To loose weight (and still feed your newfound hunger) focus on nutrient-dense foods: fruits, vegetables (not cooked in oil or butter), lean protein, fat-free dairy (without lots of added sugar), whole-grain products, and calorie-free beverages.
Hope this helps and please write back with any more questions.
Justin Robinson, MA,RD,CSSD,CSCS
Consultant - Optimal Nutrition
I agree with everything others are saying in regards to weight. I had never really weighed myself until I started to become a "runner" and it was only because I was looking to lose weight. However, this sort of turned into an obsession and at the same time I was not eating nearly enough considering the amount of mileage I was doing. Since then, I have learned that you need many more calories to be able to keep up your endurance and fitness; this was tested for me last year in my first triathlon. I have not stepped on a scale since then, and again don't really find it necessary, as it does not accurately reflect how my body feels in any way. I say throw it out!
I would encourage you to consume the majority of your calories before 1 p.m. if you are still really looking to lose weight. This has really helped me maintain my physique and stay toned. Yes, everyone will have their slip-ups, but generally, I try to live by this. A big breakfast always gets me started, and snacks every hours or so keep me going. Eggs, fruits, yogurt, fiber bars; these are things that I consume on a regular basis. Dinner I try to stick to lean protein and vegetables.
CUT OUT SODA completely if you have not already done that! Stick to water!
I am sure you are doing great!
Findings in a recent study at LSU and published in a peer reviewed journal confirm your personal experience. Exercise alone is not effective for weight loss as most left to there own devices generally increase their caloric intake. Gaining lean body mass in truth does little to increase BMR. 1 pound of fat burns 6 calories a day and a pound of fat burns 2. That's a difference of 4 calories a day. Say you gain five pounds of lean mass through hard work and lose 5 pounds of fat you would burn a whopping 20 calories a day extra...that's it.
Without a proper diet weight loss is a losing proposition. Exercise has it's place in weight control, has many many health benefits, enhances body shape, etc. Find the right balance of both for you, but don't just keep blindly adding to your workout, or you might just end up eating more.
I think you don't skip eating either....if your body "realizes" that it is not getting in calories on a regular basis to sustain your workouts, your metabolism may kick into a "reserve" mode and it will essentially store away the food that you eat instead of burn it.