Couch to 5K
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Feeling frustrated, gaining weight!

Hi all

I just wondered whether anyone else had found this when they first started the program...

Basically, after losing 6 stones and maintaining that weight for 2 years, it was 8 weeks ago that I started c25k to get fitter. I am currently at wk 8 run 3 and am now 5lbs up from where I was when I started!

My diet is the same as I've learnt how to maintain it, I eat healthily and monitor treats so always know where I am.

Has anyone else had this and how long did it take to balance out? I'm not sure whether it's because I'm drinking more water now that I'm active and I'm holding it (I do hold it from past experience).


5 Replies

Muscle. It's denser than other tissues you may have been made up of and you probably have a higher proportion of that now!


No, I am afraid it is not muscle. You do not put on muscle by running. Not ever. Also, even if you are doing significant amounts of resistance training, putting on 5lbs in 8 weeks would be pretty unheard of, and if it were possible it would require a huge caloric surplus.

If your caloric intake and macros have defnitely not changed in any way then water retention can be the only explanation.

What about your measurements? have you gained corresponding inches? And how are you weighing yourself? My weight can fluctuate +/- 4 or 5 lbs on any given day, probably due to differing water intake on workout and heavy lift days. If I need to gauge my scale weight I weigh myself every day for a week at exactly the same time of day then divide the result by 7.

Don't worry. It will sort itself out. Running does not result in weight gain.


Hi Rignold.

I weigh once a week at a Slimming World class so know that the scales should be fairly accurate.

I have continued with the same diet as I have been following for the last 4 yrs, the only possible other thing I can think of is that I may have been eating more carbs as I struggled to run on a salad for lunch when I first started and found eating carbs at lunch instead seemed to help the run be easier! So, today I have not had the carb lunch but instead had more protein - i'm hoping it may help?!

I do definately hold water and know from previous experience that when I upped the water in my diet, I gained on those weeks when I weighed so it would make sense but 5lbs seems rather excessive.

I don't take measurements tbh but my clothes don't feel any tighter and I can normally tell when I have gained by the clothes being tighter, even with a couple of lbs.

I will carry on and see what happens, it can't last forever!


Well, I am rabidly anti-carbs, so may be a little biased - although bias based on nutrition science, lol. The increase in carbs would be the big flashing light to me though. It is true that a lot of runners fuel with carbs and they do provide an instant glycogen hit. In the absence of carbs though the body will turn elsewhere for fuel - either converting protein into glycogen or directly burning fat stores. If you are always repleninshing your carb stores your body becomes a sugar burner and doesn't burn the fat. Any excess carbohydrate gets laid down as fat because the body has produced extra insulin to control blood sugar and insulin is a fat storage hormone.

Whew! enough already!

Whilst I agree a plate of iceberg and celery is apt to leave you a tad depleted for a run, if you chuck a steamed chicken breast and a coupl of hard boiled eggs on your salad you should have no fuelling issues. I scorched off my body fat (from 28% to 8%) eating low carb , high protein, moderate fat and actually increasing my calorie intake, and had a much higher work capacity.

I would suggest having a close look at your macros and reducing carbs and upping protein and see how that goes. I'm sure someone will be along shortly to say carbs are wonderful and "we are all different". But we're not, in fact.

Keep up the good work though. It sounds like you have a very good handle on things and it is just a mater of tweaking the details.


Haha, wow thats a lot of info there! :-)

But it makes perfect sense and i'm definitely going to lay off the carbs! I'll eat the salad but make sure I have the protein there too, which is great on my eating plan anyway.

Thanks so much for such an informative and helpful post. I knew someone on here would have some ideas and make sense of my ramblings hehe


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