It happens to all of us at some point: our exercise routines get thrown off by an injury, a work project, or general chaos at home.
When you have to reduce your exercise time for any reason, it can be easy to pack on the pounds.
When you’re not exercising, the body is not demanding as much energy, and over time, your appetite and hunger will likely decrease, just as your appetite increases when you’re more active, said Rebecca Scritchfield, Washington D.C.-based registered dietitian, and host of Body Kindness podcast. “The body goes for balance - homeostasis - where it tries to maintain weight based on energy demands.”
Despite this, many people tend to see their weight rise when they exercise less. Some people err on the side of caution, and concerned about weight gain, try to severely restrict calories, said Scritchfield. This is never a good idea. “In the short term this can cause people to eat uncontrollably later in the day or week if they are not taking in enough food consistently,” she said. And in the long run, “if someone is not consuming adequate amounts nutrition this can put them at higher risk for injuries once they return to their normal exercise routine.”
Other runners go overboard in the other direction. Without the grounding of their regular exercise routine, and the stress release that exercise provides, they eat with abandon. “People fall into the 'black and white' mindset, where they feel if they aren't able to do their regular exercise their eating habits fall off the wagon too,” Scritchfield added.
An exercise break doesn’t have to lead to weight gain. With a few simple steps, you can stay healthy and fit during your down time, and come back strong. When your mileage numbers go down, here’s how to keep the numbers on the scale from moving upward.
Read the tips HERE!