Working Out to Lose Weight

Evie Katahdin, ND, MSOM, LAc

Many athletes both male and female come to my office in frustration because they started rigorous exercise routines in order to lose weight, but then they end up gaining 10 pounds in the process of training for that marathon.

There are lots of simple tricks to fueling your body so that it works as a well oiled machine even under high pressure over months of training.

Eat protein with each meal
Eat 6 meals per day
Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables
Get high quality nutrients from your carbohydrates by making educated choices
Do not starve yourself
Make the calories you consume count
Don’t think that because you are training you can eat whatever you want

Marathon and Triathlon training are not good times to focus on the bathroom scale, and they are certainly not times to cut calories. You are setting yourself up for disaster if you starve while you push yourself athletically. Athletic ability is very sensitive to fuel deficiencies: You feel weak, slow and heavy very quickly if you haven’t eaten enough. Runners trying to lose weight are slower and less efficient if they don’t eat 60-70% carbohydrates while undergoing intense training.

You can eat and still create a negative energy balance, but you have to be smart about it with intentional meal planning. Get 40-60 grams of carbohydrate per hour during workout if you are active for more than one hour at a time.

Muscle really does weigh more than fat. You will notice that your clothes fit better, you lose inches even if you are gaining weight because muscle is more dense than fat. If you are doing resistance training (essential for everyone) make sure you have a routine that is appropriate for your goals‚some people get the results they want more effectively with pilates than they do with traditional weight training.

If you are still frustrated with body composition issues, it’s always a good idea to see a Naturopathic Doctor for a basic laboratory assessment of your metabolism to be sure there are no underlying problems.