Can Running Make You Gain Weight?
That weighing scale must be wrong!
No, your poor weighing scale is actually telling you the truth! While your first reaction might have been that running cannot possibly make you gain weight because after all, weight loss is in fact the whole point of running for most people, you will be surprised to know that some people do gain weight from running. Now before you throw your running shoes out of the window in horror calm yourself for a few minutes and take a look at the reasons why some people gain weight from running. While a few of the reasons have biological roots, others are entirely in the hands of the runner and can be controlled. So if you are worried that you will gain weight if you continue running, take note of the controllable reasons and reflect upon your own habits. Maybe a change in habits will be the cure to this undesirable weight gain!
Reasons for the Extra Weight # 1
If you gain weight from running, chances are that the weighing scale is reflecting your increasing muscle mass. Your body is not stocking up on fat, so you can breathe easy! Running helps your body build up high density muscle tissue which gives your body that toned, shapely look that you started running for. Since muscle mass is heavier than fat tissue, it adds on to your absolute weight immediately. However, your absolute weight is not a true reflection of the effects of running on your body. If you still have doubts look in the mirror. You won’t see any signs of extra fat, but you will notice that your body is taking on a more toned appearance.
Reasons for the Extra Weight # 2
You may gain weight because of your body’s tendency to store water and carbohydrates as additional energy reserves when you start running. Your body reacts in this way so that it can cope up with the vigorous exercise, provide adequate fuel to the muscles, and repair the muscle fibers without any delay. So don’t panic when you see a slight spike in your absolute weight; your body is simply responding to the increased physical stress.
Reasons for the Extra Weight # 3
Now this is one of the aforementioned controllable reasons, so if you feel that you can work on bringing this reason under your control then you can easily prevent the ‘gain weight from running’ phenomena! Some runners unfortunately end up consuming more calories than they burn. Did you know that to lose one pound of fat, about 3600 calories have to be burned? So if you eat more than you burn while running, you will surely see the pounds pile up! Yes, granted that post-running snacks are important but running does not give you a free pass to eat all the high calorie, fat infused food items in your kitchen. Stock up on nutritious, high energy and low calorie food items to snack on when the post running hunger hits you with full force!