It’s actually very common for to see an endurance athlete gain weight during their training. Has this been you? Are you training more than ever and gradually putting on weight?
You’re not alone, it happens. How is this possible? Let’s dive in and talk about why this can happen.
Diet Mentality – Fear of Athlete Weight Gain
Losing weight is as simple as “exercising more and eating less”, RIGHT?
No. That’s a big no.
When you combine high-volume training with food restriction the result is:
constant ravenous hunger,
uncontrollable food cravings,
low energy levels (and struggling to want to train more)
and eventually leading to binge eating in the later hours of the evening. And the food choices during that binge are not aligned with lowering that body fat percentage.
Under fueling for weight loss typically doesn’t work well in the long run when in a high-volume training block.
Eating balanced meals and snacks throughout the day will encourage high energy levels, prevent muscle breakdown, maintaining a high metabolic rate, these are all things you want to see to help you get leaner!
With busy schedules, it’s easy to focus solely on fitting in your workout for the day. I get it, I’ve been there.
But, recovery efforts are just as important as the training itself.
Things like over-training, sleep deprivation, under fueling, dehydration. These are all major stressors on the body. Stress leads to hormone imbalances and can easily lead to weight gain (and not the good gains, it’s mostly going to be body fat gains).
Do yourself a favor. When you make the commitment to train for a big event. Also commit to taking care of your body every week with: Rest days. Establishing good sleep habits. Making nutrition throughout the day a priority so that you’re well fueled. Hydrating consistently.
These little actions make a big difference!
Ok, so I’m not an athletic trainer, but in talking with run/tri coaches and experts in exercise physiology, the recommendation for endurances athletes is to strength train twice a week, at minimum. I can not stress enough how important strength training is for runners, triathletes, cyclists.
Building more lean muscle will significantly increase your metabolic rate because maintaining muscle requires over 2x the calories as fat does.
Plus, it prevents sports injuries.
Changing your body composition the RIGHT way takes 2-3x as long as you think it will.
When you join my nutrition coaching program, the first few things that we focus on are making simple behavior changes within your eating pattern and we’ll review the composition of your meals and snacks to supply your body with the nutrition it needs for muscle gains and encouraging body fat loss.
This takes time to establish these habits consistently, but it’s the long-term habits that create the long-lasting results.
Want to avoid the athlete weight gain as you train for that next big event and fuel yourself to your best body yet? Send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and let’s talk more.
If you’re looking to work with a dietitian on your nutrition, you’re in the right place. I’m so honored that I get to coach endurance athletes on improving performance and body composition through a flexible eating style that allows them to stop restricting and start thriving!