Gaining weight from running can be frustrating and cause you to quit your fitness journey altogether. Avoid unnecessary weight gain while exercising with my easy-to-follow workout tips below. Let’s get started!
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- Why Am I Gaining Weight From Running?
- You are Gaining Muscle Mass
- Why some people may lose weight from running
- Swelling After A Hard Workout
- Eating Too Much
- You can't lose water weight in one day
- Healthy Ways to Lose from Running
- Muscle weighs more than fat
- Hidden Calories
- You want to lose weight fast running
- How much weight can I lose from running?
- Running But Not Losing Weight
- Running and Eating Healthy, But Gaining Weight?
- Is there a way to speed up weight loss?
- Build those muscles
- How many calories are burned running
- Is Running The Best Exercise for Losing Weight?
- Watch out for emotional eating
- Establish a baseline
- Unrealistic Weight Loss Expectations
Why Am I Gaining Weight From Running?
Weight changes are common with a successful workout routine. Your body keeps water to aid with recovery, especially if your workouts are intense. This will cause temporary weight gain. As you gain muscle, your body composition will change. These results may not show up on the scales immediately. The more muscle you have in your body, the better!
Measure your progress by the inches lost around your waist or clothes fitting better. Taking before-and-after photos of your body changes is also a great motivator.
➡️ Best to bookmark our Running Weight Loss Calculator. It’s super handy and a great way to track your fitness goals!
You are Gaining Muscle Mass
When starting a running program, your body will take some time to adjust to this new rigorous activity. It will cause physiological changes that happen immediately and over time.
Losing fat can affect your body composition in a way that affects your muscle mass. Running increases muscle mass in the muscles of the thighs, quads, and glutes. You will build more muscle and lose less weight.
Why some people may lose weight from running
Running burns calories, but it also increases your metabolism.
The more you run, the more weight loss occurs—and because it helps boost your metabolism, you’ll keep losing weight long after you’ve stopped. That’s why people who run often experience weight loss without changing their diet or exercise routine.
Swelling After A Hard Workout
Muscle swelling and temporary weight after working out hard is not uncommon
New runners or runners that have taken some time off from training will often experience swelling and fluid retention.
Your body releases fluids to help your muscles repair themselves. Increased blood flow from training can cause mild swelling in other parts of your body, including your arms and legs.
If this happens to you, don’t worry. You may actually gain a few pounds, but it’s nothing serious and should go away within a few days.
Eating Too Much
Running can help you lose weight, but it’s possible that running could cause you to gain a few pounds.
When you run, your energy needs increase.
But your body doesn’t want to use up its energy stores, so your muscles will have the fuel to continue.
So it starts storing the extra energy in fat cells in your body. The more you run, the more energy your body saves and the more body fat it stores.
If you’re not careful about what you eat and how often you eat during or after exercise sessions, this can lead to weight gain!
Many new runners don’t know how much they should be eating while they’re training. It’s important to have an understanding of what foods are best suited for your workouts.
You can’t lose water weight in one day
Losing water weight will not occur overnight.
The body is always trying to maintain a constant internal environment. When you increase fitness and training levels, you burn calories and lose weight. But when you stop running, your body will try to restore the balance by storing fat.
The rate at which this happens depends on how much water is in your body when you start running. The more water you have, the longer it takes for the body to restore its normal balance and start storing fat again.
Healthy Ways to Lose from Running
Burning calories happens when you are running. You’re also burning fat, which is why many people who are trying to lose weight turn to this form of exercise as a way to shed pounds.
But if you’re not careful, running can actually make your weight loss efforts even more difficult. Why? Your body burns more calories than it normally would—and some of those calories come from the very fat you’re trying to burn off!
Here are some tips for staying lean while still getting your run in:
Run on an empty stomach
Avoid eating anything for at least two hours before your workout begins. This will ensure that the bulk of your calorie burn comes from burning fat instead of sugar stored in your muscles and liver.
Get up early
Get up earlier than usual every day so that you can do some light cardio before breakfast or lunch. Your body will use those extra calories first thing in the morning before they have a chance to be stored as fat!
Don’t overdo it
While it’s tempting to stay on the treadmill until every last bit of fat has been burned away, this isn’t always healthy or sustainable long term—so don’t let yourself
Muscle weighs more than fat
Muscle weighs more than fat. When you gain muscle, you may gain weight. You also burn more calories when you’re running, but if you eat the same amount of food as before, you’ll likely see a net weight gain.
Running can be a great option when trying to lose weight.
It is awesome for creating a caloric deficit and improving your cardiovascular health. If the scale isn’t budging, it’s likely because of hidden calories.
Your body needs energy to keep going when you run. That energy comes from carbs. Carbs are stored in your muscles as glycogen, which is broken down into glucose during exercise.
When your body needs more glucose than it has stored, it pulls from other sources: namely, fat cells. This process can lead to weight gain if it means that you’re eating more than usual or taking in more calories than you’re burning off through exercise.
A good rule of thumb is to be aware of how many calories you burn while running and make sure that number is greater than what you consume after each run. Cut back on treats like desserts and alcohol until your weight loss goal is reached!
You want to lose weight fast running
Running is a fantastic way to lose weight fast.
It burns calories, tones your muscles, and helps you develop endurance. But you probably have some questions about how much weight you can expect to lose if you start running regularly.
How much weight can I lose from running?
For overweight people or those who haven’t been active for years, beginning an exercise routine will help improve your health and strengthen your heart—and that’s good for life!
To lose weight quickly and keep it off, running alone won’t be enough. You’ll need to do other things as well, like eating healthy foods in moderation and getting enough sleep every night (6-8 hours).
Running will make these changes easier because it releases hormones called endorphins. They make us feel happier and more energetic throughout the day. This makes it easier to stick with our diet plan or get out of bed when we don’t feel like exercising!
Another bonus, it increases lean muscle mass so that we look better naked (or at least less fat).
Running But Not Losing Weight
If you’re running, but not losing weight, it could be because you’re not exerting enough energy.
If you’re not pushing yourself hard enough, all those calories will be burned off as heat, instead of fuel. This is why it’s important that you run at least 30 minutes at a time or at least five times per week.
There are lots of ways to increase the intensity of your workouts without having to add more time.
Here are simple ways to burn extra calories:
- Try doing hill sprints instead of jogging on flat ground.
- Run stairs instead of walking up them.
- Increase the speed at which you run around your neighborhood.
Remember, it doesn’t have to be fast—you want it to be faster than your normal pace.
Running and Eating Healthy, But Gaining Weight?
You’re running, eating healthy, and you still gain weight. Why?
Your body is in a state of confusion.
It’s trying to figure out what to do with this new information you’ve given it.
It’s not sure how much energy to spend on building muscle or storing fat. In the beginning, will err on the side of storing fat because that’s what it knows best.
Gaining some weight when you start running is fine!
Your body needs fuel for all that hard work anyway.
This weight gain will be temporary. Continue working and eating healthy. It’s a process.
Make the carbs or fats you eat good ones. Whole grains and lean proteins are best for runners!
Is there a way to speed up weight loss?
Yes! Here are some tips you can do to speed up weight loss and get back in shape.
Track your calories
Pay attention to the calories you eat and make sure that you’re burning more than you’re consuming.
Eat foods high in fiber
A diet high in fiber will fill you up faster so that you eat less overall.
Drink plenty of water
Make sure you are drinking water throughout the day in order to stay hydrated and avoid bloating.
Build those muscles
Increasing muscle mass from lifting weights will dramatically boost fat burning.
Muscle mass causes your body to burn more calories at rest. And even though running is an aerobic activity that burns fat, your body still needs energy—so it’ll use those calories from your muscles instead.
How many calories are burned running
Calories in food vs. calories burned.
If weight loss is your goal, it’s important to understand how many calories are in the food you eat—and how many of those calories get burned off.
For instance, if you were planning on eating a plate of pasta for dinner tonight (about 1,000 calories), because you planned to go for a run after dinner (about 500 calories), then running actually caused you to consume an additional 500 calories.
I recommend keeping track of what you eat and drink every day. This should be done until you have a great understanding of the number of calories you consume.
A simple journal book works fine, but I really like MyFitnessPal. It’s an app for your phone, that allows you to scan in the label of the food you are preparing, or manually enter it. Not only is it free, but it also allows you to set goals and track macros.
Is Running The Best Exercise for Losing Weight?
Yes. The best exercise for weight loss is running. When you run, you burn calories and fat. It burns more calories than any other form of exercise.
Running also helps to build muscle, which can further increase metabolism and help you lose weight.
It has many health benefits such as lowering blood pressure and cholesterol levels while improving heart health overall. It also helps reduce stress and anxiety by releasing endorphins that give you a natural high that helps improve moods as well as lift spirits when feeling down or depressed about a bad day at work or school.
Watch out for emotional eating
Eating habits are very important. Emotional eating is one of the biggest challenges to healthy habits that people face when they’re trying to lose weight.
It’s so easy to turn to food when you’re feeling stressed, anxious, or lonely—but that doesn’t mean it’s a good idea!
You need to be aware of what you’re doing when you reach for food when you’re not hungry and learn how to combat those urges before they get out of hand.
Establish a baseline
Before starting your weight loss journey, it is important to record where you are.
Some of the items to write down include:
- Absolute weight
- Fitness level
- Physical activity and training progression plans
- Amount of sleep you get each night
- Healthy diet plans
Unrealistic Weight Loss Expectations
Set realistic expectations for weight loss. and don’t compare yourself to others who have lost more weight.
Weight loss from running does not happen overnight, and not seeing immediate results is frustrating.
Remember you’re doing something amazing just by being active and making healthy choices. Don’t get discouraged if the scale doesn’t move as quickly as you’d like—keep at it!
Rick Huey is a fitness writer who has dedicated his life to living an active lifestyle. With more than 30 years of experience in the fitness industry, Rick is a respected contributor for FitFab50.com, where he shares his wealth of knowledge with a wide audience. His dedication to promoting the benefits of living an active lifestyle has inspired many people to pursue their own fitness journeys with enthusiasm and dedication.