I’ve heard this a few times in the past months. Friends gaining weight following the inception of a regular running program. It’s all true. I too have gained two pounds after running 250 miles last year.
I know, two pounds seems insignificant. For me it is the difference of a dress size. And the stranger fact is that in gaining the two pounds, I dropped a dress size and my thighs no longer rub together when I’m in a swimsuit.
For years I’ve heard that the number on the scale is not a measure of fitness or clothing size and I can’t say I truly believed it until recently. This year, I added only nice weighty muscle. Don’t worry, I still have my post babies gut, which may never go away, but my overall fitness level has increased dramatically.
Here’s the dirty little secret of running and weight loss: you don’t burn as many calories as you think. Vance found this link for me that has a net calorie calculator towards the bottom. Based on this calculator, if I run for 40 minutes (standard Stroller Warriors workout), roughly 4 miles, I burn 350 calories.
That’s one egg mcmuffin OR five donut holes OR one breakfast burrito. Each with a small coffee with cream. That’s it! Then you’re back to ground zero. You can’t eat like crazy all day, unless you are genetically blessed or chasing toddlers (I give myself some leeway on those really difficult days).
Calorie counting is a real pain in the backside, but the only way to find out just how much you are actually eating. Invest in a small kitchen scale, do it for a couple weeks and you’ll be amazed at the findings.