Running and weight loss

8 messages
08/02/2011 at 18:34
Hello everyone,
I'm a newbie to this site so bear with me whilst I work my way around it. Just looking for some advice and opinions really.
I'm 21 and have been running properly for around 3 years - I used to be quite overweight and as I'm only 5ft it didn't sit well (!), however now I'm a small size 8. I eat a really balanced diet, proper breakfast, wholegrains, protein, my 5 fruit and veg and a lot of water and I'm quite muscular due to the amount of exercise I do - I run 5 times a week usually 50 minutes to an hour each time, I guess around 20-22 miles a week. I'm not a fast runner but I'm gradually building up my speed.
My BMI tells me I'm 'obese' but I've always hated that calculation due to the fact it doesn't take into account muscle weight and assumes if you are short you must be very thin. I weigh 9st and my 'ideal' weight for BMI is around the end 7st mark - I'd blow away if I were!
I AM getting fitter and I've started introducing soya protein shakes into my diet which are really helping with recovery time also - It's just so frustrating that I STILL have excess fat which I simply CANNOT get rid of and I'm wondering what it could be due to. I eat around 1200 calories and I do wonder if sometimes I don't eat enough, but when I do eat my portion sizes are too large - I also wonder if I'm not fueling my body enough and it's storing fat.
Can someone tell me if I'm not eating enough? It's hard not to feel like you are over eating when you need to eat MORE for running! It's such a fine balance.
Some advice would be great.
Thanks
Sophie
08/02/2011 at 18:48

Hiya Sophie ,

5 runs a week is alot of excercise and 1200 calories a day  is too little !

Your body is  fearing " starvation mode "

I think you should take a little bit more.

Good luck x

08/02/2011 at 20:46
Well, the good news is that if you're 5 feet tall and weigh 9 stone your BMI is 24.6 which is not only not obese, it's not even overweight - it's in the healthy zone. Add a bit of variety to your exercise (some speed, some long slow runs), eat healthily when you feel hungry and it sounds like your'e doing essentially the right things.
08/02/2011 at 20:59
If you're under 5'2" BMI is skewed so it isn't an accurate measurement for you, so don't worry. You're doing everything right. If you are worried, go and see your doctor, they'll look at your thyroid and perhaps contraception. Though I don't think you have to worry too much, you've lost weight and you sound like you're doing everything you should. Well done you
08/02/2011 at 21:02

You need to eat more.  Funny isn't it... if you eat too little you don't lose weight because your body assumes its being starved so hangs on to every last gram of food.

If you're doing that much exercise you need at least 2000 calories a day just to stay the same weight.  If you want to lose weight I would suggest around 1600-1700 calories a day.  I also think you should forget the protein shakes and aim to get all of your calories from normal food.  A good breakfast, some well chosen snacks (fruit, nuts etc), a healthy lunch and a dinner that includes protein, veg and carbs.

09/02/2011 at 14:07
Thanks everyone, it's nice to have some encouragement now and then!
I'm also on 1200 mg of sodium valproate which I forget to mention and I suspect that has something to do with water retention.
Do I love it when people tell me to eat more!! Haha
Thanks
Soph
10/02/2011 at 12:50

A very complex subject, you're not alone, even the proffesionals struggle to get their racing weight right.

Racing Weight is the book of the moment on weight / sport. It's a bit heavy going but does give some useful insight to what is going on.

Don't write off protein shakes just yet, they can have a place, particularly either, straight after exercise or before bed, protein aids muscle repair. You will find a lot of "recovery drinks" have an element of protein in them. 

Your apitite is a good indicator of calorie need, trust it, and do as you are doing, by eating a variety of High Quality foods.

 Well done on your progress so far.

11/02/2011 at 09:42
thank you
yes i agree, i think protein shakes do wonders for running, especially when really trying to push your distance over weeks as as you say it really does help with muscle recovery. i've run 3 over 3 hour runs in the last 4 days and i have a soya protein shake straight after and wake up with no aches or pains at all.
(being a nutrition student) i also know that soya is a very pure form of protein and the shakes also have all of the essential amino acids.
goodness do they taste awful though?

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