If you’re doing a lot of exercise, and gaining weight, then this article might give you ideas about how you can get back on track
I did a bunch of lactate testing last week (thread here), the testing gave me a nudge to reduce the intensity of my endurance sessions.
The tests also showed that my fitness is increasing faster than my fueling.
Let’s break the results of my summer program:
- My ability to fuel exercise with carbohydrate sources has improved significantly
- My ability to fuel exercise from fat sources has not improved as much
I’m in a typical position for a new endurance athlete:
- Increase in exercise
- Increase in eating
- Increase in sugar/sport nutrition intake
- Increase in body fat
It’s counterintuitive but common… exercise doesn’t imply weight loss
Now, I didn’t start my program to lose weight.
My weight’s been stable for years.
However, I don’t want to double my exercise and gain fat.
What to do?
My main intake of sugars is during my rides. I use sports nutrition on my longer bikes, where my output is ~700 kcal per hour.
The sports nutrition doesn’t fill me up, at all. I’m dumping liquid calories in me to fuel exercise.
If I drop my output by ~15% then I can cut my sports nutrition intake by 50%.
Reducing intensity starts a virtual circle of improved fat burning, eating primarily real food and, hopefully, improved body composition.
These changes do not leave me depleted because, at a lower heart rate, I can eat real food before, and after, working out.
Real food gives me something… I get full.
I wanted to pass this along because…
Many athletes gain fat when increasing exercise stress – the temptation is to work “harder”, which reinforces the cause of weight gain!
When I started my return-to-fitness campaign, I thought training my body to handle sports nutrition was going to be a limiter.
I got that wrong.
Re-training my body to use fat for fuel…
…that’s the key adaptation required for me to go long, again.