With the spring running season ending, you’re probably reducing your mileage (something physiologists call “detraining”) and burning fewer kilojoules. That means you might gain extra weight – especially if you overindulge during the holidays. Detraining also causes surprising changes in the body that make it even more difficult to keep the weight off.Here’s what happens during detraining – and how you can avoid putting on unwanted kilos.
Running less can actually make you hungrier. Studies show when lab animals stop running, they eat more than before starting exercise. Detraining may cause metabolic shifts (in hormones or enzymes, for example) that boost appetite, though this needs more research. The body may also be trying to restore energy reserves.
....SO EAT BREAKFAST: Skipping it will make you ravenously hungry, prompting you to overeat. Avoid long stretches of time without eating to keep your appetite under control. To curb cravings, run before holiday meals; research shows exercise blunts your appetite for at least an hour.Find a running event to train for in 2011
Eating more than your body needs causes a spike in levels of fat-producing enzymes, prompting your body to store those extra kilojoules as fat. In one research study, women swimmers took a two-month lay-off from intense workouts, during which time they cut back on kilojoules but still ate more than they could burn, resulting in nearly a 4.5-kilogram gain of body fat.
...SO KEEP EXERCISING: You’re running less but you need to keep burning kilojoules to avoid putting on fat. So try something new, like aerobics or a cycling class. Treat yourself to new strength-training equipment, and squeeze in walk breaks whenever possible to keep burning kilojoules.