Nicole loves to run, and has recently upped her training to include half and full marathons. While she has never run with the goal of weight loss, she has noticed that when she trains for longer races she has a tendency to gain unwanted fat around her midsection that she isn’t happy about.
Nicole’s hypothesis is that the extra fat is a result of the additional refined carbohydrates (e.g. bread and pasta) that she eats during training periods. She said that she has tried to fuel her workouts with foods that contain fewer carbs, but that she notices a negative impact on her performance.
After some investigating of her training and eating habits, Nicole and I conclude that this theory is inaccurate and that most likely culprit isn’t the pre-workout carbs but the post-workout hunger and subconscious overeating that results from intense training.
Extensive training both increases the body’s calorie demands and hunger, while weakening willpower and normal social constraints on overeating. The end result is a subconscious tendency to eat more calories than you actually need to refuel and subsequent weight gain. Achieving balance in this case is uniquely challenging.
This leads to a detailed discussion of the optimal ways to fuel her workouts and plan her post-training meals and snacks so that she doesn’t inadvertently eat more than she needs to recover and feel satisfied.
Wish you had more time to listen to the podcast? I use an app called Overcast (no affiliation) to play back my favorite podcasts at faster speeds, dynamically shortening silences in talk shows so it doesn’t sound weird. It’s pretty rad.
Better Than Before by Gretchen Rubin
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