You know these great running and weight loss stories.

What happens next?

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kittenkat    pirate
30/04/2014 at 06:57

whaich are great, don't get me wrong.

I'm just wondering, has anyone achieved significant weight loss with running as a help to that, only to put it all back on again.

I think what I'm asking is: Is yoyo weight loss and gain as common in runners as it seems to be generally in the dieting world.

Thanks for any answers

30/04/2014 at 08:35

wasnt for me, (20st - 13st with under 10% bf now) but mostly because i got addicted to running, and then triathlon, but i suspect people who run JUST to lose weight (as the magazine this site is attached to would suggest) perhaps put some back on again.

But getting fitter will have increased their metabolism so perhaps not as fast as someone who lost it using a fad diet.

Edited: 30/04/2014 at 08:35
30/04/2014 at 09:25

I think it depends. I think that normally you'll put on a few kg but then it'll stabilise.

30/04/2014 at 09:54

Assuming injuries / 'life' don't derail matters - Most lose weight as they deplete glycogen and lose the water naturally bound up with that sugar but then progress slows sp they feel shit and give up.

Some might get past this point but continue to undernourish and fail to recover/rebuild from training stress, feel shit and give up.

Some brave souls tough this out but never address how their bodies remain programmed to crave carbs to burn for energy, but never learn how to use instead their their longstanding fat stores. So they get frustrated at their inability to acquire a flat stomach, feel shit and give up.

If on the other hand you just enjoy running (or any endurance sport I suppose) and take some vague interest in how to do it you can tune out without worrying about any of this and let it all just happen. 

Edited: 30/04/2014 at 09:55
30/04/2014 at 10:00

I'm 6ft3 and I've lost a quite a lot of weight, but kind of did it in stages.  17st+ to 15st was easy as it was obvious what I needed to do and not much running was involved.  15st-14st was a bit harder, and I did my first marathon at 14st (note I didn't say the word "ran" as this marathon was a truly horrible experience).  I then decided to take running a bit more seriously and got to 13st fairly easily with some relatively minor changes (not drinking as much was the main thing that changed).  13st to 12st7-ish is hard, and I keep 13st as my "ideal" weight, but try and get down to 12st7-ish for an A-race.

der mann - funnily enough, all the above is based on a carb-based diet.  I am just now experimenting with reducing carbs in my diet.  Breakfast this morning was two fried eggs and an avocado pear rather than the usual porridge.  Interesting combination, but quite nice  

I think for me the key change was when I found that rather than "running to lose weight" I was "losing weight to help with the running", as that totally changes the emphasis.

30/04/2014 at 10:40

Carbs are good - plus life's too short to never east croissants. Id never give them up.

Still I am hoping to acquire the trick of being able to sustain a decent pace without needing too much energy gel etc.

Like you though, life got better when I stopped looking at the weight per se and focussed more on whatever would help me feel better and enjoy running more

Folks who havent seen me for a while tell me Ive lost weight but truth be told, my weight really hasnt changed  - im just fitter than I was. That said I fancy trying to get to racing weight just to see what difference it makes to my running. 

Edited: 30/04/2014 at 10:43
30/04/2014 at 10:51
kittenkat wrote (see)

I think what I'm asking is: Is yoyo weight loss and gain as common in runners as it seems to be generally in the dieting world.

 

I don't know the stats but I'm hoping the answer is "no", partly because...

Big_G wrote (see)

 

I think for me the key change was when I found that rather than "running to lose weight" I was "losing weight to help with the running", as that totally changes the emphasis.

It's all about habits and lifestyle isn't it?  Anyone who thinks they are "dieting" is doing it wrong IMO.  Anyone can lose a few stone in weight by eating cabbage soup for a few weeks and then even sustaining a restricted diet for a few more weeks or even months but it's only when you subconsciously get up day in day out and carry on with a sustainable routine that you can genuinely say you've cracked it.

For me, there is far too much emphasis on the "calories in" side of the equation and not enough on the "calories out", when it comes to weight loss advice.  Maybe this is down to my own peculiar inability to control my weight unless there is a LOT of calorie burning going on. (Even as a "runner", I've not been averse to putting on a stone in weight if the injury has been particularly persistent!)

BTW, I was one of the RW full page "before and after" features, and I'm pleased to say that thanks to running round like a blue-arsed fly in between injuries for the past few years, I'm actually a stone lighter than the original "after" shot.  I'm all up for a follow-up feature, but I charge these days.    

30/04/2014 at 12:57
der mann ohne eigenschaften wrote (see)

Carbs are good - plus life's too short to never east croissants. Id never give them up.

 

I agree, which is why I said I'm experimenting with reducing carbs rather than giving them up

PhilPub wrote (see)
For me, there is far too much emphasis on the "calories in" side of the equation and not enough on the "calories out", when it comes to weight loss advice.  Maybe this is down to my own peculiar inability to control my weight unless there is a LOT of calorie burning going on. (Even as a "runner", I've not been averse to putting on a stone in weight if the injury has been particularly persistent!)

I agree, but in a way it's understandable because burning say 500 calories is quite hard work whereas consuming them is very easy.  What I find strange (not sure if that's the right word, but "upsetting" is probably too strong) is that you sometimes get new runners at a parkrun who are drinking lucozade, and then nip to the coffee shop afterwards for a coffee and a cake.  Nothing wrong with that I suppose, but these runners sometimes look like they're doing parkrun to help shift a bit of weight and then going to the coffee shop afterwards to celebrate.  Basically, I think a lot of people have no idea what is in food in terms of calories and also no idea how few calories they burn on something like a jog around a 5K.  

30/04/2014 at 12:59

Well, I managed to mess up the quotes on that didn't I?  I still don't fully get this forum's quote facility, but never mind

30/04/2014 at 13:31

Big G  -  I agree that many people have no idea that they go away from Park Runs having consumed more calories than they burned!

But more emphasis on the calories-out side of the equation would be a very good thing... because your mindset when you personally switched from controlling your weight to run (rather than vice versa) is key, as Phil said.

30/04/2014 at 13:43

I lost about a stone a couple of years ago and kept it off. But as others have said, I lost the weight to improve my running, not the other way round. I did it by calorie counting, and I learned a lot about portion size which has now just become habit.

30/04/2014 at 13:53

I think the problem with trying to compare diet against exercise is that often the numbers you get will lie.

I lost lots of fat off my body last year, but maintained a fairly steady weight losing only a couple of pounds and this was with running only, I certainly wasn't dieting - too much of a bread fiend for that!

The difference was definitely there in body shape though. I am clearly stronger than I was and the muscles in various areas are bigger than they were. This obviously won't happen with diet alone.

As many have said though, if you run for weight loss then when you stop because you are happy again you will almost certainly put any weight you have lost back on as your activity levels fall.

30/04/2014 at 13:59

I heard a conversation in the lift the other week where one woman was talking about how she and a friend had joined some weight loss scheme (don't know which one) where appetite suppressants were supplied. 

The woman having the conversation had lost 9lbs, the friend had apparently lost 20.

In a month!

I felt like telling her they might as well flush their money (and the pills) down the drain for all the good it was likely to do them in either the long or, indeed, the short term.

Move a bit more, eat a bit less - the only permanent way.

Edited: 30/04/2014 at 14:00
30/04/2014 at 14:11
Screamapillar wrote (see)

I heard a conversation in the lift the other week where one woman was talking about how she and a friend had joined some weight loss scheme (don't know which one) where appetite suppressants were supplied...

Move a bit more, eat a bit less - the only permanent way.

and take the stairs!

30/04/2014 at 14:37

I suppose the beauty for me about being able to focus on the "calories out" side of things compared to "calories in" is the fact that it requires a positive mindset (do more stuff) as opposed to a negative one (restrict your consumption).  I know it's not really that simple but it ties in with the process that Screamy alludes to... you just can't diet forever, but you can get into the habit of exercising and if you're lucky enough to have additional motivational factors such as the exercise becoming an actual competitive sport (for example) then you can keep looking at continuous improvement, and actually enjoy it, as opposed to thinking, right, when I can I stop beating myself up with all this horrible self-discipline.

Anyway, chocolate time...

30/04/2014 at 14:59
kittenkat wrote (see)

whaich are great, don't get me wrong.

I'm just wondering, has anyone achieved significant weight loss with running as a help to that, only to put it all back on again.

I think what I'm asking is: Is yoyo weight loss and gain as common in runners as it seems to be generally in the dieting world.

Thanks for any answers

No

I'm sure it exists, it's just on the forum the ones that stay are the ones sticking to it, it's the people that you never hear from again that I guess are the ones most susceptible to the yo-yo effect.

30/04/2014 at 15:05

Also this thread is putting a lot of emphasis on running for diet. Seriously the exercise element is nice... BUT, dieting is all about calories in and getting them down to sensible levels.  You can run a marathon a week and still put on weight, exercise is fantastic, but the only way to control your weight is to only have a sensible amount of calories going in to your body in the first place.  If anyone thinks running alone will control weight, then I think they are in trouble from day one.

Edited: 30/04/2014 at 15:14
30/04/2014 at 15:17

booktrunk - I've found I need to keep an eye on 2 out of 3 things to keep my weight in check.  The three things are 1) running 2) food 3) alcohol.

If I am sensible with any 2 out of these 3 I maintain my weight.  If I am sensible/focussed on all 3, I lose weight.  If I am having a lazy couple of weeks and do only 0 or 1 of the three things, I put on weight.

I know this is a real over simplification but it's helpful for me to know this as when I'm injured I can still be careful with what I eat and drink and know that I won't balloon too much in weight.

Unfortunately for me, I am sad to say alcohol has the most immediate impact on my weight.

Edited: 30/04/2014 at 15:17
30/04/2014 at 15:19

I disagree with Booktrunk, at the point I was running 25-30 miles a week I could eat what I wanted and the fat was still coming off.

I can't say that will be the case for everyone, but it was for me. Obviously there is a limit to how much that will work, if you eat a whole cheesecake every day after your run then it probably is not going to lead to weight loss!

I think the bigger problem is using running as a weight loss device. Because if your only goal is weight loss when the scales tell you that your weight hasn't changed for a week you get disheartened and that leads to a drop in motivation or the urge to push yourself too hard.

30/04/2014 at 15:28

Big G: you have alcohol separate from food I think of it as one thing, it's all calories, i can have x calories week and not get any larger, if you want to spend 20% of them on beer, then I get to eat less, that really helped cut down my drinking a lot

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