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Why do I Gain Weight While Exercising?

woman with a scaleThere is nothing more frustrating than taking part in regular exercise and eating right, but still finding that you put weight on. You probably feel like you have lost an inch or so here and there, but when you step on the scale, it tells you something completely different. However, this is not the time to panic. When the pointer on your scale goes up, it is possible that you are being misled, particularly if you are doing everything you should be doing not to put weight on. Let’s take a look at the four most important things to know about weight changes, because that is actually what we are talking about here.

Water Weight
Your weight can alter by as much as 10 pounds through water alone. That is why, if you were to step on the scales after half an hour of Zumba, you will probably be quite a bit lighter straight away. Remember that as much as 85% of your body is made up of water. This is why so many people turn to diuretics, as they flush the excess water out of your system, leading you to lose weight for a short period of time. However, your body composition would remain exactly the same.

Workouts and Other Factors Are of Influence
Many people find that for a few days after a workout, they actually put on weight when they check the scales. This is because there are so many things that make up our body, and going on a workout can change the percentage of mass in all these different things (blood, muscle, urine, gas, tissue and so on) by as much as 15%. This is particularly true after intense workouts, where your hydration status will change as well, your muscles will become inflamed for a few days and you will produce more urine and blood.

Muscle and Fat Have Different Weights per Density
A lot of people say that muscle weighs more than fat, which is true, but not when worded that way. After all, one gram of fat is exactly the same weight as one gram of muscle. What matters, however, is the density. So, if you have burned all your fat and are building muscle, you will actually put weight on, simply because the density of muscle makes it heavier than fat.

How to Get an Accurate Reading
It is impossible to get an accurate reading of scales and you should only use them as a guideline. This is why you should also be very consistent with your scales. Try to weigh yourself no more than once a week, and do it at the same time and on the same day every time. This will give you a far clearer indication of whether you are actually losing weight. It would be even better if you were to get rid of the scales altogether and worked on your measurements alone. This will give you a clear indication of whether you are actually losing fat, which is what you are trying to achieve.

Also, particularly if you are carrying a lot of fat, you may notice that once you start losing weight, you will find yourself hugely hungry. This is your body wondering whether something serious is going on causing you to lose weight, such as a starvation situation. It is very much possible that you put on weight for a short period of time because your body is protecting itself from a perceived danger.

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