“Marathon Training Made Me Fat”

Becki Ledford gained 25 lbs over the course of three years

Before and after

Still not convinced that the dogma “eat less, run more” is outdated? Well, here is more anecdotal evidence that it just doesn’t work.

A few women laced up their shoes and started marathon training in belief that it would help them lose weight. To their surprise, the complete opposite happened… they gained a lot of weight, while running for hours per day.

New York Post: Marathon Training Made Me Fat

It’s a clear illustration of the fact that you can’t outrun a bad diet. But how is it possible to actually gain weight?

Awful advice

Unfortunately, the recommended diet for athletes is often atrocious. Even the article above keeps it up, with a few old and very, very bad pieces of advice near the end:

  • Eat carbs before exercise,
  • eat more carbs right after exercise,
  • and don’t forget to eat some “runner candy” while you exercise.

I suspect that’s precisely how these women ended up gaining weight in the first place. This obsession with eating carbs all the time – even when we’re not hungry – is likely exactly the wrong advice. Unless you do want to gain weight.

Exercise is good, of course. But it’s not a reason to constantly eat bad carbs. There’s a better way (check videos below).

Top videos about exercise

  • Cereal Killers
  • Run on Fat – Cereal Killers 2
  • Fat Chance
  • Is low carb bad for exercise?

A better way

Low Carb for Beginners

How to Lose Weight

Earlier

Study: Wearable Fitness Trackers Result in Weight GAIN!

New Study May Show Why Exercise Is Useless for Weight Loss

Does Exercise Promote Weight Loss?

10 Comments

  1. Christine
    I have ran 3 marathons, and only ever lost around 4 pounds during training for the first. That was via a very strict "myfitnesspal" detailing of intake, which led to a drop in my processed food eating. Always a "healthy eater" (bagels, pasta, tons of fruit, wholemeal bread, quinoa, barley, low fat meats and dairy etc) I had a binge problem with sugary "treats", which I found incredibly hard to control. Marathon training gave me the calorific space, and the emotional permissions to keep eating really badly, yet query why I was still around 11stone at 5foot4. I'm now nearly a year into low carb eating (via Zoe Harcombe's diet), 2 stones lighter and almost fat adapted. Also, running a lot faster! Love low carb, love your site. It's my daily must read.
  2. Christine
    My experience of marathon training is that I didn't gain weight, but I certainly didn't reduce my weight or inches, as one would expect from such high intensity exercise. I have ran 3 marathons, and only ever lost around 4 pounds during training for the first. That was via a very strict "myfitnesspal" detailing of intake, which led to a drop in my processed food eating. There was a lot of gel blocks, and carb fuelling before and after runs. Re-carbdrating, I called it.
    Always a "healthy eater" (bagels, pasta, tons of fruit, wholemeal bread, quinoa, barley, low fat meats and dairy etc) I had a binge problem with sugary "treats", which I found incredibly hard to control. Marathon training gave me the calorific space, and the emotional permissions to keep eating really badly, yet query why I was still around 11stone at 5foot4. I'm now nearly a year into low carb eating (via Zoe Harcombe's diet), nearly 2 stones lighter and *almost* fat adapted. Also, running a lot faster! Love low carb, love your site. It's my daily must read.
  3. bill
    Pictures reversed?
    Reply: #4
  4. Peter Biörck Team Diet Doctor
    No, she became fat from running...

    Pictures reversed?

  5. bill
    I thought it meant "before and after" LCHF
    as per your usual. Carry on.
  6. Camilla
    Im a low carb eater myself but this headline I genuinely do not care for at all, it actually makes me a bit mad actually. Its not the running but the carb that made her gain fat. The text reflects that but the headline should reflect that based on the fact that you're a professionally internet site not a populistic paper trying to gain readers based on the SHOCK headlines.

    I visit the site several times a week and was contemplating supporting this site based on the quality that I experience but this headline makes me think I have to see how this evolves.

    We have the typically paper I speak off like vg and dagbladet in Norway but you also have the likes of them in Sweden like Expressen and so on.

    Hope to see that this site stays on the quality side and not the tabloid side:-)

    Best wishes

    Camilla

  7. Tim
    ...the headline should reflect that based on the fact that you're a professionally internet site not a populistic paper trying to gain readers based on the SHOCK headlines.

    Uh, that was the New York Post headline...

    Reply: #8
  8. Camilla
    I must of not read the whole article properly. I didn't understand that this was based on here blaming the running and that New York post ran this story.

    Thank you for clearing that up Tim. Ill read the articles more careful next time:-)

    Camilla

  9. Tim
    Well, I think it quite obvious the running made her constantly hungry due to the diet she was eating.
    The running made her fat, since she wasn't fat prior to running and eating the same diet. :-)
  10. Pieter
    OK, so Sunday will be a big day for me, testing my LCHF strategy on a marathon :)

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