Running: Appetite Killer

I used to eat a lot before we started running. It wasn’t that long ago that both my hubby and I could pack it in like it was our last meal on death row. We were eating far too much. Huge portions were the answer to everything. “Why eat one burger when we could each have two?” For some reason eating reasonable amounts of food was impossible.

photo courtesy of pixabay
Open buffet…. My former best friend. Photo courtesy of pixabay

Last night we had a night off from running, but we went to the park anyway for an impromptu picnic since the weather had cooled off a bit, offering us a temporary reprieve from the Summer heat and humidity.

We sat down and prepared the food, napkins, forks, etc. While it was a lovely evening with a cool breeze and the sound of families nearby also partaking in the glorious weather, I was rather surprised when we didn’t eat but half the food we had brought. I had packed what I thought was just enough for both of us. Instead, the remaining half will be dinner tonight.

When I was doing research about running, around the time we first hit the pavement in running shoes, many websites and so-called “experts” warned against running as a method to lose weight. Many claimed that the high-intensity of running would actually entice us to eat more, thereby making running a bad choice if we wanted to lose weight.

I weighed this carefully in my mind. What didn’t make sense to me was that all exercise makes you expend more energy, so why single out running as a sport that will make you want to eat even more than the rest? Wouldn’t all exercise do that?

Despite what people say about running and its effectiveness for losing weight, we are sticking with it and the scale seems to contradict what the “experts” say.

What is surprising me on a daily basis is how little we eat. We aren’t trying to starve ourselves. Sure, we watch our caloric intake, but we are not intentionally skimping on meals. We are eating less because we physically don’t want it, and in some cases can’t eat more. It’s a weird scenario for 2 former chubbies who used to eat, until very recently, way too much at most meals.

I don’t know why running has suppressed our appetites, I just wish it would suppress cravings for pizza and chocolate, too. We may eat less, but I still sometimes just want to eat the things we aren’t supposed to eat.

How does running affect your appetite? Do you eat more or less?

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14 thoughts on “Running: Appetite Killer

  1. Running absolutely kills my appetite. However, I do find that I’m hungry an hour or so after breakfast – I tend to eat a bowl of muesli around 7am, and by the time I hit the office I’m ready for something else. I try to hold off until at least 11am though, then have some fruit. If I’m running a long one in the evening, I’ll have a larger lunch, either leftovers from dinner the night before, or to my local cafe for a plate of fries and a baguette.

    I eat very healthily, apart from the odd plate of fries, and don’t need to worry about my calory intake, or other things such as blood pressure or cholesterol. Coolrunning.com has some great calculators, if you’re interested (http://www.coolrunning.com/engine/4/4_1/index.shtml)

    On a side note – Dark chocolate (the darker the better) is actually very good for runners (explained why here: http://www.runnersworld.com/nutrition-for-runners/the-best-foods-for-runners ) 🙂

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    1. I also find that i need to eat more in the mornings as opposed to a big dinner. I am running at night and eat dinner after, but i really can’t eat much then. Even on non-running days I haven’t got much of an appetite. I will check out that web address. Thanks!

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    1. That’s so interesting. I’m just running 7.5 km 4x a week, but every week I increase the running time and I don’t get any hungrier. I think I could almost say I’m eating less and less each week. But, marathon training is something else completely. I guess it doesn’t surprise me that your body demands more food.

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    2. This is how I am. I’m knee deep in my 2000 mile goal running 40-50 miles a week eating everything in sight. But I still track my calories as I could see myself gaining weight, more water weight but still, from the higher amts of food I need to fuel my runs since every run is a long run! Lol
      I think y’all are doing great! You’re mindful and keeping track! Keep it up! 😀

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      1. 40-50 miles a week is way beyond my comprehension at this point. That is incredible!! Good for you. It just goes to show that no matter the distance you run, you have to be careful about how much you eat. Happy Running!

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  2. I’m always hungry. I call it my “2-hour feeding schedule”. Like anything, though, I think it’s what you eat as opposed to the amount you eat. You might find you’re eating less and making healthier choices because you feel better when you run when you do that! I know if I pig out, the next day’s run won’t be much fun. Keep up the good work!! 🙂

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    1. So you are like a newborn babe with your feeding schedule 🙂 cute! You are right about eating bad food and feeling worse later. We are really trying to eat healthy. But it can be boring at times. Sometimes I just want pizza.

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      1. I really am! LOL! My husband and I keep a few thin crust “healthy-ish” frozen pizzas in the house, so that when I’m craving the grease, I don’t binge on delivery. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t… but when it works it saves come calories! Maybe that’ll work for you too!

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