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Exercise + Maintenance = frustration

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  • ItsAStrangeLoopItsAStrangeLoop Member, Premium Posts: 14 Member Member, Premium Posts: 14 Member
    I will invite myself in for a tiny bit and share my rant as well.

    I was running while losing and it was actually going pretty well, even on days with long distances. Gradually, I moved into maintenance territory and everything was perfectly fine.
    The moment I added weights to the mix (I do a 2 days weights - 2 days runs - 2 days yoga weeks) , everything went to hell. I am starving all day and I cannot control my hunger. It is insane.
    I have no idea how to regulate my calories with this regime because my stomach is constantly growling and I am exhausted all day.
    I tried to go with the "If your body needs the fuel, you give it to it" and obviously put on 2kgs.
    So back to deficit and eat the estimated workout calories, which did not work and I keep seeing upwards trend.
    (I highly doubt it's muscle gains cause it has only been a month and it's only twice a week.)

    I am so deeply annoyed with this situation but I am trying to be patient and not freak out completely.
    For the next couple of weeks I will try to not eat my gym calories and hope I don't end up chewing on my desk to curb my hunger.

    I am done ranting. If you find any solutions to your problem OP, please share them.
  • heybalesheybales Member Posts: 18,169 Member Member Posts: 18,169 Member
    I will invite myself in for a tiny bit and share my rant as well.

    I was running while losing and it was actually going pretty well, even on days with long distances. Gradually, I moved into maintenance territory and everything was perfectly fine.
    The moment I added weights to the mix (I do a 2 days weights - 2 days runs - 2 days yoga weeks) , everything went to hell. I am starving all day and I cannot control my hunger. It is insane.
    I have no idea how to regulate my calories with this regime because my stomach is constantly growling and I am exhausted all day.
    I tried to go with the "If your body needs the fuel, you give it to it" and obviously put on 2kgs.
    So back to deficit and eat the estimated workout calories, which did not work and I keep seeing upwards trend.
    (I highly doubt it's muscle gains cause it has only been a month and it's only twice a week.)

    I am so deeply annoyed with this situation but I am trying to be patient and not freak out completely.
    For the next couple of weeks I will try to not eat my gym calories and hope I don't end up chewing on my desk to curb my hunger.

    I am done ranting. If you find any solutions to your problem OP, please share them.

    Have you examined and tested different meal timings, macro's, or other?

    And how are you counting the calories for your weights?
    What is the lifting program, sets, reps, rests, ect?

    I wouldn't skip the workout calories and make the deficit bigger - that's the wrong response.
    Great way to just make the workouts suck, in which case no repair, so indeed likely won't be as hungry.
    In which case why waste the time doing them.

    How big a deficit are you attempting now?
  • kcmcbeekcmcbee Member Posts: 169 Member Member Posts: 169 Member
    Curious as to why you’re set to sedentary (I know you said desk most of the day) amd running/walking regularly would seem to not = sedentary overall. I’m almost the same physical stats (and geographical) as you. ??
  • OrphiaOrphia Member Posts: 7,004 Member Member Posts: 7,004 Member
    durhammfp wrote: »
    sijomial wrote: »
    Is your weight trending downwards?

    It's near the bottom of my range this week.
    9z7j85x9xow0.png

    sijomial wrote: »
    A weekly view of your calorie allowance is another way to make it less restrictive and more in tune with lifestyle and hunger cues.

    Besides my running (which I've been doing a little less than a year now) I really do sit a lot, so 1920 calories seems right to me as a sedentary person. So far, for the past 2 years, using the formula "sedentary calories + pedometer calories" has worked out OK for determining what to eat on a day-to-day basis.

    I think I'll start looking at the weekly numbers as you suggest. For most of the time I have been doing this, I've felt good about zeroing out the books, so to speak, every day. But since my stronger hunger cues now seem to be offset from the days when I'm exercising more, the weekly view is probably the more sane thing to check.

    I've lost, maintained, run, and kilojoule-counted for 5 and a half years.

    My runs added to MFP from my Garmin are 1.5 times higher kilojoules (or calories) than my walks. Those take into account the MFP activity level and my basal metabolic rate (BMR).

    @sijomial's comparisons of runs to walks gel with mine.


    I was also thinking, that all this runger might be affecting your non-exercise activity thermogenesis (NEAT) and metabolism.

    When you feel starving, you don't have the energy to run around the house doing cleaning and gardening, or walking to the shops, etc. Have your daily steps reduced over a while?
  • ItsAStrangeLoopItsAStrangeLoop Member, Premium Posts: 14 Member Member, Premium Posts: 14 Member
    heybales wrote: »
    Have you examined and tested different meal timings, macro's, or other?

    And how are you counting the calories for your weights?
    What is the lifting program, sets, reps, rests, ect?

    I wouldn't skip the workout calories and make the deficit bigger - that's the wrong response.
    Great way to just make the workouts suck, in which case no repair, so indeed likely won't be as hungry.
    In which case why waste the time doing them.

    How big a deficit are you attempting now?

    I have tried playing with different rations of protein and carbs for lunch and pre-gym snack but my dear stomach refuses to acknowledge my effort. Every day, around 16:30, the growling starts. I wonder if it's a battle-cry to encourage me to work out :P

    The part I admit I may be super wrong is how I estimate the calories because I went for generic "strength-training" which banks me around 200kcal in an hour. But if I can burn 200kcal from walking for 60', it feels like it should not be overoptimistic.

    My deficit is rather small at the moment, around 200kcal from maintenance. I don't know, it may very well be a weird reaction to the change of fitness regime because the pandemic had kept me away from weights for a while. Is that a thing or am I making it up?
  • heybalesheybales Member Posts: 18,169 Member Member Posts: 18,169 Member
    Weights is a small calorie burn and that is true.
    Now, that entry is for sets and reps 5-15 and rests 2-3 min because of going heavy for you.
    If doing more reps and less rests, like circuit training, that is bigger calorie burn and has it's own entry.

    Could your daily activity outside of exercise be set to Sedentary (not very active), but you are not actually a bump on a log outside of exercise 7 days a week - like you have kids or pets, household duties, busy on weekends, ect?

    Many who get trackers discover that even with sedentary job 8 hrs x 5 days, are not actually sedentary rest of the hours and 2 weekend days a week averaged out. They are easily lightly Active or more.
  • durhammfpdurhammfp Member Posts: 445 Member Member Posts: 445 Member
    ahoy_m8 wrote: »
    Lietchi wrote: »
    Are you sure it's the walking that's making you hungry? I find I am hungrier the day after my runs, which in your case probably coincides with walking days?

    I used to eat back my calories on the day I earned them, but since starting to run, I've switched strategies a bit. I've started eating back my running calories (mostly) the day after.

    You could experiment with eating a bit less on running days and a bit more on days after you run/walking days?

    FWIW, OP, this is what I also experience. Day after hunger.
    My calorie burn difference running (9 min miles) vs. walking (12 minute miles) isn't much. Is it for you?

    Still trying to figure that one out. Pacer seems to show running miles as burning more cals per mile than walking but I have not figured out how much more.
  • durhammfpdurhammfp Member Posts: 445 Member Member Posts: 445 Member
    heybales wrote: »
    If I don't leave the bulk of carb calories for after the run the same day, I indeed end up hungrier the next day unless I do normal IF meal the following day.

    If I do eat earlier it's like the carbs eaten are just shot off to the muscle glycogen stores and my blood sugar drops too much, leaving me hungry.

    This seems like a good strategy--maybe half a Clif bar before the run and half after I'm done... especially on low mile days.

  • durhammfpdurhammfp Member Posts: 445 Member Member Posts: 445 Member
    kcmcbee wrote: »
    Curious as to why you’re set to sedentary (I know you said desk most of the day) amd running/walking regularly would seem to not = sedentary overall. I’m almost the same physical stats (and geographical) as you. ??

    B/c I would rather have my exercise calories measured separately and added back in. I eat my exercise calories.
  • durhammfpdurhammfp Member Posts: 445 Member Member Posts: 445 Member
    Orphia wrote: »

    I was also thinking, that all this runger might be affecting your non-exercise activity thermogenesis (NEAT) and metabolism.

    When you feel starving, you don't have the energy to run around the house doing cleaning and gardening, or walking to the shops, etc. Have your daily steps reduced over a while?

    On rest days I keep my walking up--at least 5 miles. My partner also tracks steps and sometimes we can get a little competitive. :-)

    On days that I am running, if it is a really short run (say 3 miles) then I make up my steps with walking up to 5 miles total. If my run is 5 miles or more then I do not go out of my way to exercise additionally, although I do live near a city center and like walking around so it is bound to happen a little.

    edited October 2
  • heybalesheybales Member Posts: 18,169 Member Member Posts: 18,169 Member
    So it sounds like you are keeping your walking up on non-running days, and even on running days.

    Are you logging that as exercise then?

    I know steps doesn't equal calories rather the distance and mass and pace from those steps - but it's a rough guideline to activity levels to know if in ballpark.

    If you do NOT log those walks on rest days, what is your step count?

    Can you do the math if you do log them, rest day total steps minus logged walk steps?
  • durhammfpdurhammfp Member Posts: 445 Member Member Posts: 445 Member
    ahoy_m8 wrote: »
    My calorie burn difference running (9 min miles) vs. walking (12 minute miles) isn't much. Is it for you?

    A 12-minute mile is 5 mph. I thought the cutoff between walking and running was somewhere between 4.5 and 5 mph. If you are walking 5 mph then you are pretty dang fast! :-)

  • seagrifseagrif Member Posts: 1 Member Member Posts: 1 Member
    I will invite myself in for a tiny bit and share my rant as well.

    I was running while losing and it was actually going pretty well, even on days with long distances. Gradually, I moved into maintenance territory and everything was perfectly fine.
    The moment I added weights to the mix (I do a 2 days weights - 2 days runs - 2 days yoga weeks) , everything went to hell. I am starving all day and I cannot control my hunger. It is insane.
    I have no idea how to regulate my calories with this regime because my stomach is constantly growling and I am exhausted all day.
    I tried to go with the "If your body needs the fuel, you give it to it" and obviously put on 2kgs.
    So back to deficit and eat the estimated workout calories, which did not work and I keep seeing upwards trend.
    (I highly doubt it's muscle gains cause it has only been a month and it's only twice a week.)

    I am so deeply annoyed with this situation but I am trying to be patient and not freak out completely.
    For the next couple of weeks I will try to not eat my gym calories and hope I don't end up chewing on my desk to curb my hunger.

    I am done ranting. If you find any solutions to your problem OP, please share them.

    If you're doing weights, then you're gaining muscle which weighs more. So if you're gaining weight, it's probably because you're gaining muscle mass. If you have a way to do a BMI (Body Mass Index) to let you know what percentage of fat you're carrying, then you can see if you are losing or gaining fat. Another thing - if you are increasing your workout i.e. burning more calories, and you are constantly hungry and feeling weak, you probably need to up your calories some. Try to find out how many extra calories your workout is burning and add them back into your diet.
  • durhammfpdurhammfp Member Posts: 445 Member Member Posts: 445 Member
    heybales wrote: »
    So it sounds like you are keeping your walking up on non-running days, and even on running days.

    Are you logging that as exercise then?

    I know steps doesn't equal calories rather the distance and mass and pace from those steps - but it's a rough guideline to activity levels to know if in ballpark.

    If you do NOT log those walks on rest days, what is your step count?

    Can you do the math if you do log them, rest day total steps minus logged walk steps?

    I keep my phone on my person at all times, partly so the Pacer app can record all my running/walking. It ports this data over to MFP automagically.

    So. Just recently (since my original post) I figured out that I need to manually switch on Pacer's GPS mode every time I want it to record runs. Otherwise it assumes I'm walking and it undercounts calories burned. I believe Google Fit, which I used to use, could figure out the difference between running and walking in the background. (Google Fit started acting really tweaky and I had to remove it from my phone.) Since I have been switching Pacer to GPS for runs, I have become less hungry. :-)

    Here's a link to an old MFP thread regarding calories burned by running. I thought it was pretty interesting:

    https://community.myfitnesspal.com/en/discussion/134478/accurate-formula-to-determine-calories-burned-jogging/p2

    edited October 2
  • durhammfpdurhammfp Member Posts: 445 Member Member Posts: 445 Member
    Also I want to thank all the people who have responded to this thread. This is such a helpful community.
  • heybalesheybales Member Posts: 18,169 Member Member Posts: 18,169 Member
    durhammfp wrote: »
    heybales wrote: »
    So it sounds like you are keeping your walking up on non-running days, and even on running days.

    Are you logging that as exercise then?

    I know steps doesn't equal calories rather the distance and mass and pace from those steps - but it's a rough guideline to activity levels to know if in ballpark.

    If you do NOT log those walks on rest days, what is your step count?

    Can you do the math if you do log them, rest day total steps minus logged walk steps?

    I keep my phone on my person at all times, partly so the Pacer app can record all my running/walking. It ports this data over to MFP automagically.

    So. Just recently (since my original post) I figured out that I need to manually switch on Pacer's GPS mode every time I want it to record runs. Otherwise it assumes I'm walking and it undercounts calories burned. I believe Google Fit, which I used to use, could figure out the difference between running and walking in the background. (Google Fit started acting really tweaky and I had to remove it from my phone.) Since I have been switching Pacer to GPS for runs, I have become less hungry. :-)

    Here's a link to an old MFP thread regarding calories burned by running. I thought it was pretty interesting:

    https://community.myfitnesspal.com/en/discussion/134478/accurate-formula-to-determine-calories-burned-jogging/p2

    easier to confirm with this - which is referenced in one of the replies but the formula given - rather unneeded way of doing it.

    Use NET for what would get logged manually or corrected of a synced in workout.

    https://exrx.net/Calculators/WalkRunMETs

  • The_EnginerdThe_Enginerd Member Posts: 3,898 Member Member Posts: 3,898 Member
    durhammfp wrote: »
    Wow such great insights from all of you. Thanks so much. Here are my takeaways...

    1) As far as TDEE, I have never used that to calculate my calories, so I may try it out and see how things go.
    2) I run in the southern US and it is freaking humid and hot when I run and I sweat buckets so it may be that dehydration and/or an electrolyte imbalance is impacting my hunger cues.
    3) Also I did control CICO pretty tightly on a day-to-day basis before I started running a lot; I guess now I have to figure out how running 5 days a week is affecting my hunger cues and calorie burn. For example, the pedometer I use tracks the same calories per step count whether I'm running or taking a slow walk. And I know basically that is right but I would have thought it would correct for an after burn with the running. Is that not a thing? Anyway, I will just keep logging and trying to learn how to fuel my body as I go along.

    If you know roughly how many miles per week you are running, you can use that to figure out what your average calories per day are. I eat more on my high mileage running days, but my net calories are lower, so I end up doing something in between tracking to daily net calories and eating the same amount each day. Tracking weekly also gives me flexibility for eating more on the weekends or for going out occasionally or special events.



    durhammfp wrote: »
    ahoy_m8 wrote: »
    Lietchi wrote: »
    Are you sure it's the walking that's making you hungry? I find I am hungrier the day after my runs, which in your case probably coincides with walking days?

    I used to eat back my calories on the day I earned them, but since starting to run, I've switched strategies a bit. I've started eating back my running calories (mostly) the day after.

    You could experiment with eating a bit less on running days and a bit more on days after you run/walking days?

    FWIW, OP, this is what I also experience. Day after hunger.
    My calorie burn difference running (9 min miles) vs. walking (12 minute miles) isn't much. Is it for you?

    Still trying to figure that one out. Pacer seems to show running miles as burning more cals per mile than walking but I have not figured out how much more.

    The numbers I've used, that were based off some studies of energy expenditure when walking and running, is:
    Net Walking Calories = 0.30 * (weight in lbs) * (distance in miles)
    Net Running Calories = 0.63 * (weight in lbs) * (distance in miles)

    This has worked well for me and tracks pretty closely to my Garmin averages for the past 5 years with weekly mileage ranging from 0 (injured) to 60+ I've been maintaining my desired weight for close to 9 years now, through many different activity ranges, and deliberate changes in weight such (bulking and cutting and dropping down weight to reach my optimal weight for marathon performance.
  • AnnPT77AnnPT77 Member, Premium Posts: 17,098 Member Member, Premium Posts: 17,098 Member
    durhammfp wrote: »
    ahoy_m8 wrote: »
    My calorie burn difference running (9 min miles) vs. walking (12 minute miles) isn't much. Is it for you?

    A 12-minute mile is 5 mph. I thought the cutoff between walking and running was somewhere between 4.5 and 5 mph. If you are walking 5 mph then you are pretty dang fast! :-)

    I believe the cutoff between walking and running is something more like whether there's always one foot on the ground (walking) or not (running), more or less. I can only walk at just a bit over 4mph if I want to do it for long, but I'm betting I could run that slowly, too. 😆
  • heybalesheybales Member Posts: 18,169 Member Member Posts: 18,169 Member
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