Running alone doesn’t keep the weight off!!

lisa_english_bulldog_running_123rfI know this might sound impossible but it is sooooo accurate.  Running/exercise will not keep you from gaining weight.  It can help you out a lot in the good fight for healthy but standing by itself it will not do it.  EATING! is the determining factor.  I mean you can gain, lose, or stay the same without exercise.  You might not be as healthy overall but your weight can be stablized or moved in the direction you desire.  Of course the best combination is using both exercise and proper eating to lose or maintain weight.  This is a hard lesson for me as a runner.  I dreamed of the possibility that running could offer me a carefree life regarding food and treats.  How far from reality my thinking was.

It is very easy to eat more than you burn while exercising.  Even after running 50 miles you can eat more calories than you burned even before you go to bed that night.  Here are some examples from real life calorie expenditures that I have experienced and what I could (and have) eat to still be able to gain.

  • 6 miles @ 7:28 pace= 857 calories.  My normal is to eat 3 maple bars.  This adds up to 1,380 calories.  I actually do this too!!!
  • Marathon @ 10:19 pace= 3,617 calories.  After this last marathon I ate: 32 oz of Mt. Dew @ 440 calories.  I then ate two sausages with buns: 1,100 calories.  I also had a two scoop ice cream cone at B&B: 565 calories.  So that is 2105 calories within about 2 hours of the marathon.  This does not include the 1,400 calories I ate during the marathon nor does it include my dinner and snacks later in the day.  So adding what I wrote up I have already consumed as many calories as I have burned just 2 hours after the race.

This are real life examples and it is here to prove to myself that eating is far more important in weight issues than is exercise for me.  I can do the exercise but I need to focus on proper eating again.  It is a myth that endurance  and vigorous exercise makes you hungry.  Good exercise actually supresses hunger.  It does not however supress the thoughts of entitlement to food though.  Hopefully you enjoyed a small journey into the depths of my life. HAHAHAHAHAHA

16 Responses to “Running alone doesn’t keep the weight off!!”

  1. July 9, 2009 at 11:26 am

    I can really relate to this post. I’m not super overweight but have realized if I want to see real change and get faster, I need to change my eating habits. I like your blog by the way. I just found it.

    • 2 run4change
      July 9, 2009 at 12:02 pm

      Thanks for stopping in Laura. It is fun to have new visitors who run come by. Eating is such an essential aspect to overall health and weight maintenance. It does help the running to, to be in top form for a race.

  2. July 9, 2009 at 11:34 am

    Um, yes, I can totally agree on this. I am finding myself gaining during these last few weeks before my first marathon because it just seems to much mental challenge eating right and running! Of course, trying to get that back in check, but I can definitely say you are right on with this one.

    • 4 run4change
      July 9, 2009 at 12:02 pm

      Teresa I can always count on your comments to come swooping and to make me feel better. Thanks

  3. 5 Ruth
    July 9, 2009 at 2:30 pm

    I hear ya on this one. I love working out in the morning, but i find myself fighting to say no to food! My metabolism is higher than normal throughout the day, which is a good thing, but that means I just want to eat more and more. This is a good reminder to us that we need to be even more on guard with what goes in our mouth when we workout. Thanks!


    • 6 run4change
      July 9, 2009 at 2:36 pm

      Thanks for the comment Ruth. You are right that when were are working out that means we have to watch what we eat all the more so that we don’t give into the lie that we can eat whatever because we are fit and exercising.

  4. July 10, 2009 at 4:56 am

    Yes, you are so right about this. I know many “Clydesdale” runners (heavyweight) and many GAIN weight during marathon season. One reason: they do a 15 mile run on Sunday and end up eating a whole pizza afterward.

    I find that heavy running training requires me to eat an extra piece of fruit or two with a meal and not much more than that. Walking training burns even fewer calories.

    (background: I went from being a sub 40 minute 10K runner (ok, ONCE) to weighing 320 pounds and back down to a normal size several years later; I now mostly enjoy the “ultra” distances.

    • 8 run4change
      July 10, 2009 at 6:06 am

      Thanks for the comment blueollie. You inspired me and I appreciate that. Come on back anytime I would love to talk “ultras” with you.

  5. July 10, 2009 at 8:37 am

    While I’m not a runner (yet) I wholeheartedly agree that exercise alone will not keep me from gaining weight. Food is 95% of my battle. I’m not doing too well in the food category lately and it is so clear to me that it is key for me personally.

    So glad you are posting again, Jason. I’ve missed you.

    • 10 run4change
      July 10, 2009 at 9:04 am

      I am glad to be back posting a little more too athlete. I would have to agree I think that the % that food plays in weight issues is sky high

  6. July 10, 2009 at 6:01 pm

    Love your blog — like you, I lost big on WW. I lost >100 lb and have kept it off for coming up on 3 yrs now. I am a racewalker and crazy about the sport… and yes, I also have found that I can EASILY eat WAY more than I can burn doing a marathon. Thanks for writing about your journey and for your honesty. Keep it up!!!


  7. July 10, 2009 at 6:50 pm

    Love your blog. I lost >100lb on WW myself, and have maintained for almost 3 yr now.

    I can totally relate to this post. I can EASILY eat WAY more than I burn racewalking a marathon. Yeah, pretty sad… but true.

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts and your journey. It helps the rest of us with ours, too.


    • 13 run4change
      July 13, 2009 at 6:15 am

      Thanks for the comment Tammy. It is amazing how eailiy all the calorie burn from a marathon can be taken away by a yummy eating session. So true though, so true. Keep coming back to visit.

  8. July 12, 2009 at 9:00 am

    Totally. Running or other exercise helps but it is not the only or even the most important factor. I think most of us, myself included, have more issues with food than with exercise. Eating is definitely important and something I’m working on.

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