Need advice about continuing to run without losing too much weight
Just wondering if anybody might be able to offer me some advice about something that has given me a bit of concern lately......
In the last two weeks I've had no fewer than 5 or 6 people comment about my weight. Don't get me wrong, it's lovely to hear compliments from friends saying 'ooh you are looking slim these days' but I'm worried about losing anymore. I run because I enjoy it and have ambitions of one day running a marathon (the furthest I've done so far is a half-marathon). But I'm certainly not speedy and I don't do an excessive amount of exercise (run 3 or 4 times a week, one gym session a week for core work/strength training).
The weight-loss just doesn't seem to add up when you consider the number of miles I run (no more than 25 miles a week) and the amount of food I eat (bloody loads!). I eat three good meals a day and try to snack on calorie dense foods and things such as nuts and seeds. I've switched from semi-skimmed to full fat milk and believe I eat a varied diet. I indulge in chocolate and sweets just as much as the next person too.
I'm not worried about the weight I'm at now, but I just worry that if I wanted to begin a marathon training schedule that I would lose too much. Any advice much appreciated
Hard for anyone here to give an opinion without knowing what height and weight you currently are, and also what you used to weigh. Also if you're male or female.
Remember that peoples' perception of 'normal' weight/size is rather skewed - often people a stone or two overweight are seen as average and people at a perfectly healthy weight are seen as too skinny.
Have you actually lost a lot of weight, or have you maybe just toned up a lot and exchanged fat for muscle, making you a lot slimmer but still the same weight?
And are you really eating as much as you think you're eating? Some skinny people don't. Do you have a rough idea of how many calories you're consuming on an average day and in an average week?
You do realise that you may well get many comments on this thread from people who are overweight telling you to stop complaining about it !
The obvious thing is that you must be consuming less calories than you are burning when exercising. If that is not the case then you may wish to consider seeking medical advice.
Thanks for the reply - sorry for the lack of info.
I don't actually own a pair of scales so can't confirm if I've actually lost a lot of weight. I think it's more that I've toned up a bit rather than losing a lot of weight. It's really not something I've noticed dramatically but it just started to concern me with all the comments I've been getting lately. I've had to buy a new work wardrobe as my old trousers were slipping down. I'm female, and as my username suggest, I'm very short! (5 foot tall, just!)
I do genuinely feel as though I eat an awful lot for someone of my size (I also get lots of comments about "Ooh where on earth do you put all that food?!"). However recording my actual daily intake is probably a good idea, thank you.
Personally I don't feel there's an issue at the moment but just a litte worried about any effect of upping the mileage. I'm very happy with my body the way it is right now and perhaps I should stop paying so much attention to other people's comments
Carterusm - yes I realise that, sorry! When I had to fork out for the new work wardrobe I just had my colleagues saying, "I wish I had your problem"!
I think I need to record calories in vs calories out before I get too worried. But I am genuinely convinced I eat more than enough to maintain weight....there's obviously something amiss somewhere!
Out of curiousity I've just inputted everything I ate yesterday into 'myfitnesspal' which counts calories for you. According to this app, I only need approx 1600-1700 calories a day to maintain weight (I appreciate that this does not take any calorie deficit caused by exercise into account).
Apparently I consumed 2144 calories, which does not include drinks - and I had numerous cups of tea/coffee, a couple of glasses of squash and two glasses of wine yesterday (although the wine is not a regular occurence, the rest of the food and drink that day was pretty standard).
Exercise-wise, I ran a slow 2.5miles first thing in the morning. No other exercise and I have a sedentary job. It just doesn't add up.
If you are genuinely concerned you may be losing weight more rapidly than is good for you, the first thing to do is get some scales and have a weekly weigh-in (same time of day each week) to monitor things. I'd also suggest keeping a food and exercise diary and, for the purposes of the food diary, you'd better be dull and weigh things so that you can be accurate about how many calories you have consumed. Although BMI isn't entirely accurate as an indication of whether someone is over/under weight, it is still a guide, so you can then also calculate your BMI. If it is much below the healthy guidelines (18.5-25) and you continue to lose weight despite the food diary showing you are eating (more than) enough, then go to your GP urgently, as significant weight loss could indicate underlying health issues.
I wouldnt say that you are too far off the recommended daily calories for a female, which I believe is about 2000 per day. With thos extra drinks and wine and then if you take off the run I reckon you were at about 2100 for the day, obviously 100 more than the recommendation. I agree with both you and Joolska that it would make sense to keep a diary of you food and drink intake against the amount of exercise you do.
Thanks for your input guys. Joolska - think I will invest in a pair of scales, just to keep an eye on it. As runs-with-dogs suggested, it might just be my body changing shape rather than dramatic weight loss. I know you shouldn't believe everything you read on the 'net but just been reading that going to the loo more often is a sign of your metabolism speeding up (sorry if that's too much info!). I've been going much more often for the past two or three weeks so perhaps my metabolism has just increased a bit more and that could explain the weight loss.
I've been on a diet for the last 8 weeks, lost 16lbs. I've done this by cutting my callories to just under 2000 per day. (my calorie needs vs yours aren't relevent because i'm a male and 10 inches taller) However the actual physical volume of 2000 kcals of food is tiny, quite litterally what I eat in an entire day now is what I used to eat in one meal, x 3, plus sandwiches whilst waiting for meals to cook. If you're only eating 2144 kcals a day you're not eating "bloody loads", "where do you put it all?", i'd suggest you're actually naturally eating just the right amount, and just as with every other naturally "normal" weighted person your luck isn't that "you can eat whatever you want", your luck is that you don't want to eat very much!
...and yes as someone who's been known to eat a large portion of chips with a large cod then go straight back and order the same again (I was young and lifting weights!) i'm jealous!
If you are suffering from unexplained weight loss + change in bowel habit- see your doctor, please!
It may, of course, be that you are changing shape, rather than weight, but this is difficult to know- can you weigh yourself at a public machine- say at the gym?
If your weight is actually stable,and it's your shpae that's changing, then that's fine. As far as worrying about losing weight due to marathon trainig- oddly enough it isn't often a cause of weight loss unless the person is overweight at the beginning- you end up so hungry all the time that a lot of people put on weight!
Tiny runner: I suspect at the moment you're just exchanging fat for muscle (which is denser), so you simply look like you're losing weight (I did that a few years ago and had to have my wedding dress re-fitted at short notice, because it was strapless and was going to fall off!)
Probably be good to check your weight on the scales, and see whether or not you really are losing weight. If you are, then a health check-up would be a good thing. Obviously if you can keep a food diary for a week or two before going to your GP, that gives the doctor more information to work with (people in general are notoriously bad at estimating their food intake).
Thank you for the comments all, some really useful stuff there. I think I am moving towards the possibility that I just think I eat more than I actually do. There's no way you can get a good picture just by logging one day's intake and exercise. Today for example, I did a mammoth hilly run which burned approx. 1350 calories. I've come home, drank plenty of chocolate milk, eaten a good lunch and am planning on some chocolate and a hearty evening meal later, but that still won't balance out the 1350 I burned this morning.
I'll keep an eye on it but I think this is just a case of me underestimating my food intake. Debra - I agree about the exchanging fat for muscle. I think the main reason I've started to get comments lately is that I used to have a bit of a pot belly. Nothing massive, but on someone of my stature it's quite noticeable. Pot belly has now disappeared and that's probably what people have noticed first. I just don't want to get any slimmer!
Tricialitt - I promise I'll jump on the next set of scales I see just to make sure there hasn't been a big weightloss. Thanks again for everyone's advice
Visit the official Runner's World page
Follow Runner's World on Twitter
Other Natmag-Rodale Sites
Run For Charity
About Runner's World
Runner's World is a publication of Hearst Magazines UK which is the trading name of The National Magazine Company Ltd, 72 Broadwick Street, London, W1F 9EP. Registered in England 112955. All rights reserved.
Website powered by: Immediate Media Company Ltd. | © Runner's World 2002-2013 |