Running to lose weight? Experts say it's all about balance - KPTV - FOX 12

Running to lose weight? Experts say it's all about finding right balance

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PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) -

As a 43-year-old mother of two running roughly 50 miles per week, Melissa Fryback, is in great shape.

She has been running marathons for the last few years, but in January she upped her game and challenged herself to run six marathons in a span of seven months.

Despite all her cardio work for the marathons, Fryback gained five pounds of weight.

"I just happened to find myself eating all the time because I was hungry and figuring out my fueling," Fryback said.

That's not all that out of the ordinary, experts said. Others who train hard for long runs also report gaining weight, as much as 15 pounds.  

Providence Family Practice Nurse Gillian Rosicky said that kind of endurance training requires more calories, but she also said many people overestimate the number of calories they need.  They also often reach for the easy, short-term way to refuel - carbohydrates.

"Carbohydrates are definitely part of that, but the carbohydrates are going to be the short-acting part of that energy source. You really need some fats and some proteins," Rosicky said.

In Fryback's case, she was either preparing for a marathon or recovering from one and she admits she probably ate more carbs than she should have. Now, she's concentrating more on what she eats. 

The bottom line, Rosicky said, is that runners should consume the calories they need to feel good when they run.

If you're looking for tips for the upcoming Hood to Coast race or the Portland Marathon, check the Providence website.

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