Reduce running to gain weight?

Livingstrongx
Livingstrongx Posts: 15 Member
So I've been debating on how much to scale back on running to gain back alot of weight I lost. I'm a long distance runner who normally runs 5 times a week 45-55 miles sometimes more and I love it but the last few weeks I've increased my mileage and well..that resulted in a huge weight loss that was way unintentional so now I'm VERY underweight.

I'm not one to weigh myself ever but this last time I was shocked to see the number so low and now I'm thinking about reducing my running and increasing calories but I'm not sure how much I should reduce it to? Just need some opinions/suggestions
Just for reference, I'm 20 years old, 5'1 and weight is below 76 :( so yes I'm super underweight but I dont mind gaining weight or increasing calories like I've mentioned. I'm just looking for reasonable suggestions.
Thanks!
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Replies

  • ccsernica
    ccsernica Posts: 1,040 Member
    You love running, so run. You just need to eat enough to keep up with your calorie burn. This is an issue for endurance athletes in general. For instance, cyclists in training or in competition need upwards of 6,000 cal/day just to keep up.

    You aren't going to need that much, of course. According to the runnersworld.com calculator, If you're running 10 miles at an 8 min/mile pace, you're burning around 600 calories. Use that calculator to figure out your burn using your actual distance and pace (I put in 80 lbs for the weight since that's the lowest it will go), take that result, then make sure you eat at least that much more on top of your NEAT expenditure.
  • Chieflrg
    Chieflrg Posts: 9,081 Member

    I ran a little more on average while playing baseball, working construction, lifting at then age 46 at 210-220lbs with a low body fat.

    I just would eat more of the foods laced with higher calories like peanut butter & ice cream which can be your friends. I needed up to 8-12k in cals just to keep the weight. Find high calories food that fits your goals.
  • Keto_Vampire
    Keto_Vampire Posts: 1,679 Member
    Technically, your BMI is only around 68-74% of ideal weight (don't know if you are male or female); below 80% in considered very underweight (ED). Not sure what your goal(s) are, but you seem built for endurance athleticism with your low bodyweight. Consider at least getting to 80% ideal weight for health purposes though
  • HilTri
    HilTri Posts: 378 Member
    MFP calculates your calories for you. Make sure you eat back your exercise calories. Nutrition is so important for our bodies as we work them hard with exercise. I was in the same boat where I was ok with my weight and one day I weighed myself and was surprised to see that I had lost more weight than I ever intended to. I have increased my calories and feel so much better. Good luck.
  • Mithridites
    Mithridites Posts: 594 Member
    Fuel your runs with calorie-dense meals. You obviously love this activity . So no need to give it up if you eat back the calories you burn. Bring in the peanut butter, bananas, avocados, nuts, e.t.c. You choose your favorite energy-rich fuel. Have fun!
  • bioklutz
    bioklutz Posts: 1,365 Member
    I think a reasonable suggestion would be to talk to your doctor about this. You are saying you are under 76 lbs? If you were 76 lbs that would put your BMI at 14.4 - that is severely underweight. I think you need to stop all exercise until you have been cleared by a doctor.
  • psuLemon
    psuLemon Posts: 38,086 MFP Moderator
    edited August 2018
    I'd probably start here so you can ensure you are getting enough calories. And if you want to gain some muscle along with your weight gain, i would start here.

    At this point, I'd probably stop running if you can't keep up with the calories.
  • fb47
    fb47 Posts: 1,058 Member
    As everone says, you can keep running if that's what you enjoy, but the price to pay is that you will be eating more food in order to be in a surplus. The maintenance + 250 calories still applies here for a lean bulk, but because you're running a lot, chances are that your maintenance is quite high.
  • TavistockToad
    TavistockToad Posts: 35,731 Member
    Is there a reason you haven't been fueling your runs so far?
  • singingflutelady
    singingflutelady Posts: 8,738 Member
    I'm surprised you can still run with a bmi of 14.4 or how you didn't realize you were so underweight. Gaining weight should be your priority right now. Also you should go see your doctor.
  • collectingblues
    collectingblues Posts: 2,540 Member
    Like everyone else said, it's OK to keep running -- with the caveat that you eat more, and you fuel those runs. (AKA: Ignore all of the threads about not eating your exercise calories.)

    Please see your doctor, and ask for a referral to a dietitian. You're extremely underweight, and you need help eating and gaining safely.
  • Livingstrongx
    Livingstrongx Posts: 15 Member
    Is there a reason you haven't been fueling your runs so far?

    I quit counting calories a while back and thought I would just eat intuitively but its backfired on me and now I plan to track again to make sure I'm fueling for my runs+gain weight.
    The other day I calculated everything I had been eating throughout the time I was trying to intuitively eat and only came out to 1300-1400 max so it's no wonder I lost all that weight. I will have to increase from here on out
  • Livingstrongx
    Livingstrongx Posts: 15 Member
    HilTri wrote: »
    MFP calculates your calories for you. Make sure you eat back your exercise calories. Nutrition is so important for our bodies as we work them hard with exercise. I was in the same boat where I was ok with my weight and one day I weighed myself and was surprised to see that I had lost more weight than I ever intended to. I have increased my calories and feel so much better. Good luck.

    Did you increase slowly or just jump into bigger increases(ex: 250-500)? I hadn't realized my calories were so low before and I only hit around 1300-1400 so I'm not sure how high of an increase to start with
  • TavistockToad
    TavistockToad Posts: 35,731 Member
    Is there a reason you haven't been fueling your runs so far?

    I quit counting calories a while back and thought I would just eat intuitively but its backfired on me and now I plan to track again to make sure I'm fueling for my runs+gain weight.
    The other day I calculated everything I had been eating throughout the time I was trying to intuitively eat and only came out to 1300-1400 max so it's no wonder I lost all that weight. I will have to increase from here on out

    I'd start with a rest week and a check up at the doctors personally
  • Livingstrongx
    Livingstrongx Posts: 15 Member
    Like everyone else said, it's OK to keep running -- with the caveat that you eat more, and you fuel those runs. (AKA: Ignore all of the threads about not eating your exercise calories.)

    Please see your doctor, and ask for a referral to a dietitian. You're extremely underweight, and you need help eating and gaining safely.

    Someone actually told me to reverse diet since my calories were so low before and that a sudden huge increase is not good. Should I ignore that too? Not very certain whether that's true or not
  • Livingstrongx
    Livingstrongx Posts: 15 Member
    You don't have to stop running, you just need to start eating A LOT. I am always envious of those who need to gain weight rather than lose and I think many of us here wish we had your concern. Not to make light of your situation in any way; the struggle is real for those who are chronically underweight too.

    I would start by researching calorie dense foods then add those to your diet so that you are not overwhelmed by the increase in volume of food. Make sure you get your protein and a good level of micronutrients in, then indulge in what most others would consider treats: ice cream, cookies, chocolate, that sort of thing. I have a terrible sweet tooth though. If you don't, there are plenty of calorie dense foods out there. Nuts are a good example but you can find lots of things depending on what appeals to you most.

    Of course you could reduce your running to reduce your CO but, if you enjoy it, why deprive yourself?

    Just to add: a TDEE calculator will help you decide how much you should increase your calories. They are readily available online and there is one on MFP as well. I note you have only 2 posts and are quite young so you might be very new to this and still learning--if I'm preaching to the converted, my apologies.

    Thanks for the info :) I will keep all of it in mind but I do have a question, is it bad idea to increase calories so suddenly? I was told that increasing calories so rapidly is a bad idea since I had been only eating very low calorie before (1300-1400) and that I should reverse diet?
  • Livingstrongx
    Livingstrongx Posts: 15 Member
    Is there a reason you haven't been fueling your runs so far?

    I quit counting calories a while back and thought I would just eat intuitively but its backfired on me and now I plan to track again to make sure I'm fueling for my runs+gain weight.
    The other day I calculated everything I had been eating throughout the time I was trying to intuitively eat and only came out to 1300-1400 max so it's no wonder I lost all that weight. I will have to increase from here on out

    I'd start with a rest week and a check up at the doctors personally

    I'm on a waiting list for a new doctor since I switched from my old one so it will be quite a while to go for a checkup.
  • TavistockToad
    TavistockToad Posts: 35,731 Member
    Is there a reason you haven't been fueling your runs so far?

    I quit counting calories a while back and thought I would just eat intuitively but its backfired on me and now I plan to track again to make sure I'm fueling for my runs+gain weight.
    The other day I calculated everything I had been eating throughout the time I was trying to intuitively eat and only came out to 1300-1400 max so it's no wonder I lost all that weight. I will have to increase from here on out

    I'd start with a rest week and a check up at the doctors personally

    I'm on a waiting list for a new doctor since I switched from my old one so it will be quite a while to go for a checkup.

    What's more important, your health or running?
  • singingflutelady
    singingflutelady Posts: 8,738 Member
    How long habe you been underweight? You didn't drop from 18.5 to <14.4 in a few weeks