Why am I gaining weight during endurance training?
There are a few factors why….
When you start endurance training, your body changes into a “Survival mechanism”. Your body will now be able to store up to 60% more carbohydrates. Additionally you take in more water than normal because you are training more, so when you go on the scales a lot of the weight is the water retention and stored glycogen.
So when you do weigh yourself keep in mind that gained weight is not necessarily fat.
When you start endurance training don’t think you need to train more and eat less - this is not the case! People that don’t eat enough or eat at random times usually tend to get “food cravings” or a tenancy to “binge eat”.
I have tried nearly all diet fads over the years; 2 weeks each of paleo, gluten free, vegetarian and LCHF. They all have their different benefits and downfalls. For my training (Triathlon), and this will be the same for most endurance sports, I found that it was the NATURAL WHOLE FOODS that worked the best. This meant non processed meats, vegetables, fruits, nuts, brown whole grain breads etc. SIMPLE WHOLE FOODS.
Next to consider is when to eat…. Researchers have tested theories on mice. They compared two groups - the first group was having food available to them around the clock. The comparison group was given the same calorie intake but strictly rationed for a period of 8 hours. The second group did not experience the same blood sugar fluctuations and weight gain as the first group.
Keeping this in mind, try to have a similar eating time every day, stopping after dinner and even doing some exercise in the morning before breakfast.
This is one I feel strongly about. Athletes like to train hard. It’s in our nature to put everything into it. But when we train too hard too often, we are burning energy from a different storage and not teaching our body to burn fat.
Heart rate is the best way to train in the right training zones. When you sign up with Evolve triathlon coaching we will put you through some tests to find your right zones.
It will mean you will be going slow and easy, but this will significantly improve your ability to burn fat, get fitter and stay healthier!
Yes, sleep!! This is a key part of training, so take it seriously and get the right amount of sleep for you. We live very busy lives, and if we are sleep deprived, it affects our hormones which then causes food cravings, binge eating and then YES weight gain!
My advice to you, is to wake up the same time every morning, and go to bed early. This will give you a good routine, which then benefits the mind, and helps the body to get used to eating at a regular time each day.