If you struggle with weight gain while running, your problem may not necessarily be overeating.
In fact, you need all the nutrients you can get during high volume training. Cutting calories might be the worst thing you can do for your recovery.
Your culprit is not how much you’re eating, but the type of food you’re eating. For most of us, the easiest and most readily available form of satisfying food is processed. It comes out of a box or package. It’s either ready to eat or cooks quickly. It was chemically engineered in a lab and factory to taste good.
This food is high in sodium and a variety of additives. The organs’ struggle to process and coexist with these (non-)”nutrients” inflames your entire body and leads to your prime culprit: Water retention.
Water has weight. Drink a 16 oz glass of water and guess what? You just gained one pound. Ideally, your body urinates, sweats or evaporates this newfound pound out at some point soon.
But when your body is inflamed, it responds by retaining water to surround and protect your organs. The more processed food you eat, the more often you eat it, the more water your body continously retains to buffer your organs from all the chemical byproducts of the garbage you’re eating.
This is why when people try to diet, or clean up their diets, they lose a bunch of weight early on. A cleaner diet eliminates the inflammation and the need to water-protect organs. Your body begins to flush the excess retained water out. Whoosh!
(And yes, you may notice you’ve got to pee a lot more after you start a cleaner diet. There goes all that retained water!)
This is also why people on diets see their weight loss slow after an early surge of lost weight. They weren’t losing fat early on. They were losing retained water.
Back to the point: If you’re gaining weight as a runner, you almost certainly are eating an excess of processed food. You may have your reasons for eating as you do. Your body is the ultimate scoreboard and won’t lie about what you’re eating and drinking.
Simply put, you can stop and reverse your weight gain by eating more unprocessed whole and natural foods. Eat for the whoosh, get yourself back on track, and stay back on track.