A reason why some people are interested in running a marathon is because they think that they can lose weight in doing so. This is a draw especially for females who may want to shed a few kilos. They believe that when training for a marathon, they’ll lose weight because many long hours of running are needed.
But contrary to popular belief, some marathon runners find that they actually gain and not lose weight during training. If you are one of these runners who are putting on the kilos you must be wondering why.
Here are some of the reasons.
The weight gain is muscle mass
If you have been eating healthily and avoiding junk food, then the weight gain could be due to you gaining more muscles, which is good because it will make you stronger as a runner. But muscles weigh more than fat though. So the numbers will creep up on the scale, but you are getting more muscles. So do not panic – it could mean good news and a much healthier you.
You find yourself craving for food
Since you are burning more calories during your marathon training, you will require more calories to make up for this. Consequently, you will sometimes feel so ravenous that you’ll crave for food and start eating lots of it. If you continue with this food intake, the kilos may follow.
Try to stop your body giving in to such cravings, by not leaving that packet of cookies or potato chips on the bench or table. Try and stop buying them too. But if you insist on it occasionally, hide the junk food inside the cabinet rather than displaying it in full view on the dining table where you can easily snack on them.
You are eating more food as a reward
You have just been for a 20-kilometre run and you are happy with your progress. So even though you know you are not particularly hungry, you may still drop by the nearest McDonalds outlet and immediately order a Big Breakfast meal with coke. And then when you reach home, you may even gobble down some more chocolate biscuits, simply to reward yourself on your good run.
But have you thought about how many calories you are actually burning during your run and the number of calories in the meal that you have just eaten? Most likely, if you are putting on weight, your food intake is probably due to having more calories than what you’re burning during the run.
So to avoid unnecessary weight gain during marathon training, try and stick to your diet programme.
You are rewarding yourself with fatty foods
You may be eating too much fatty foods such as fried kway teow, laksa or even fried oyster omelettes. These may lead to some weight gain.
Look towards the healthier stuff such as soup noodles and yong tau fu, if you want to maintain or lose weight.
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