Why Do People Gain Weight Training For a Half-Marathon?
It's pretty simple: "running can make you hungry," said trainer and exercise physiologist Nicole Zachwieja, ACSM, of the Northwestern Medicine Delnor Health & Fitness Center. It's natural to want to eat more during training.
On top of that, "many people 'reward eat' after running workouts, believing that since they have burned calories, they have 'earned' the right to consume more," said exercise physiologist and Bowflex fitness adviser Tom Holland, MS, CSCS, author of The Marathon Method. You burn roughly 100 calories per mile, Tom said. It's easy to overestimate that and consume more than you burned, leading to weight gain.
And if you're a new runner, you may not know which foods are best to fuel your runs, keep you satisfied, and prevent weight gain, said registered dietitian Kristin Kirkpatrick of Cleveland Clinic Wellness. "Some new runners may rely too much on sugary options for 'energy,'" she told POPSUGAR, or may refuel with energy gels or bites during runs of under an hour, which isn't typically necessary.
It's important to remember that weight gain can be caused by a number of factors beyond what you eat and how much you exercise, including your age, hormones, and how much you sleep, Nicole said. We'll go over a few ways to train and eat to help you avoid weight gain when prepping for a half-marathon, but if you're still seeing extra pounds, consult a weight loss doctor or registered dietitian to explore other causes.