Why You Gain Weight When You Start Exercise

You increased your exercise regimen, working out several days in a row, and started eating a balanced diet rich in wholesome foods. Even though you believe you are close to tipping the scale, when you actually step on, the numbers contradict your perception.

So pay attention: You’re not alone.

According to research, while some people do lose weight from exercise alone, the majority do not. When it comes to weight loss, there are many variables at play, including some lifestyle and health habits that can make you gain weight even when you’re working hard. You might not be getting the results from your workout for the following reasons:

1. You’re placing too much faith in the scale’s reading.

There are several reasons why you shouldn’t be too concerned with the scale’s reading. There are days when your eating and drinking habits change, you perspire more due to your workout or the weather, you experience stress-related insomnia, etc. The list continues. All of these factors could cause the weight on the scale to tip.

Instead, take a step away from the scale and consider any other advantages your new exercise regimen may have brought you. Do you possess more vigor? Are your clothes a little looser fitting? Do you feel stronger putting a suitcase in an overhead bin or carrying groceries? Do you generally feel more motivated, happier, or less stressed? Did your general health get better? These are the advantages of exercise that should motivate you even if you haven’t lost any weight.

According to Jason Machowsky, RD, CSCS, clinical supervisor of performance services at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York City, “it’s ultimately about how you’re feeling.” Weight is not the only indicator of exercise success, so look for other indicators as well.

2. You take in more calories than you expend.

According to Torey Armul, RD, a spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, it’s very common for your appetite to increase right when your fitness is at its peak. In fact, a study published in the Journal of Clinical Nutrition in June 2019 found that an increase in appetite and an increase in energy intake are the main reasons why people tend to lose less weight after exercising than they might have anticipated.

Armul says, “When you start exercising, your body starts burning more calories. And when you burn more calories, your body instinctively tries to make up for it by wanting to consume more calories.

Additionally, people often overestimate the amount of calories they burn during a workout. Armul advises keeping track of your food intake as well as the number of calories you burn while working out. While weight loss apps like MyFitnessPal make it simple to record food intake, fitness trackers like the Apple Watch and Fitbit will tell you how many calories you burn while exercising. You don’t necessarily need to record these figures for months, but you might try doing so for a week or two to see how your stats match up.

Additionally, Armul warns against exercising solely to allow yourself to eat more. She responds, “That’s a good theory, but you don’t want to use eating as a justification for exercising.” “Make getting healthy, fit, or improving athletic ability your goal, not doing it so you can eat more,” said the author.

3. A health issue could be affecting you.

You might want to see a doctor, advises Machowsky, if you’ve been exercising consistently, eating healthfully, and getting enough sleep but notice that your weight keeps increasing.

No matter how much time and effort you spend eating well and exercising, thyroid issues and some medications can make you gain weight. So don’t be afraid to talk to your doctor if you’re feeling particularly frustrated. They can rule out more severe medical issues.

Also Read About How Swimming Can Help You Lose Weight and Get Stronger

4. You’re not choosing the healthiest pre- or post-workout snacks.

According to Armul, it’s simple to reach for prepackaged and processed foods that contain simple sugars as your appetite rises as a result of burning more calories. But choose healthy post-workout snacks, such as fruits, veggies, lean protein, and healthy fats, so you get filling nutrients and probably in smaller portions, rather than satisfying your hunger with chips, cookies, or crackers.

You don’t always need to eat something after a workout in order to recover and rebuild your body. For no other reason than they’re attempting to eat a snack within 30 to 60 minutes of their workout, according to Machowsky, many people consume too many extra calories. You probably won’t need anything after working out if you had lunch or a small meal an hour earlier.

On the other hand, if you skip a meal in favour of waiting for the post-activity refuelling window, you might find yourself utterly ravenous after working out. That’s also a surefire way to put on weight. Keep your satiety levels under control to avoid reaching an extreme state of hunger, advises Machowsky.

5. You consume too much protein or carbohydrates.

Although marathon runners may need to carbo load before the big day, if your runs are shorter than an hour, you may not need to eat much protein or carbs. According to Armul, the majority of Americans actually consume enough protein in their diets, so you don’t need to concentrate as much on consuming more of it—even if you’re doing more weight training or HIIT. People often discuss protein because it is so important, but she warns that eating too much of it can make you gain weight because it contains extra calories.

6. You don’t get enough water.

You should make sure you’re keeping up with your liquid needs, says Armul. “I think people forget how much more fluid they need for exercising,” she says. Plan to increase your water intake as you intensify your workouts because we frequently confuse thirst with hunger.

7. You don’t use weights.

Weight training offers a powerful way to counteract the increased metabolism that comes with cardio, which spikes hunger levels. Additionally, she adds, “you actually burn more calories at rest when you gain muscle from lifting.” “Lifting weights increases resting metabolic rate by accumulating lean muscle mass and tends to not increase appetite as much as cardio.” Better yet, concentrating on strength training can extend your life, which is a better reward than losing a few pounds.

8. You only move when you’re working out.

The most typical error, according to Machowsky, is for people to exercise, then stop doing their other daily forms of exercise. You could essentially keep your daily calorie burn hovering at the same level as before your workout routine picked up if you place so much emphasis on your gym time but spend the rest of the day sitting at a desk—or maybe you pushed it so hard that you don’t have energy to move for the next 24 hours. Take breaks to go for walks or use the stairs instead of the elevator to keep moving throughout the day. Your overall calorie burn is influenced by more factors than just the time you spend working out on a set schedule.

Also Read About How Swimming Can Help You Lose Weight and Get Stronger