Workout and Weight Gain: Why Exercising Makes You Gain Weight

Photo by: Bigstockphoto
Photo by: Bigstockphoto

Most people work out to shed unwanted weight. And there are so many cases wherein exercising did the exact opposite: it made people gain weight. It seems that no matter how careful you are about the food you eat or how disciplined you are about working out, you still can’t get it right. But don’t panic. Gaining a few pounds is misleading if you are doing everything to maintain a healthy body. In today’s post, we are listing down possible reasons why exercising is making you gain weight:

Water Weight

The body is made up of 60 to 70% water. It makes sense that the bulk of your weight is from water in the body. If say, you started working out and saw a significant result, don’t get excited. You just lost weight because you perspired a lot.

The body’s water weight will differ from one person to another. Sometimes, this can move the scale by as much as ten pounds from day to day. That’s why you see weight fluctuations every day. Losing water weight will not change your body composition, but it won’t lead to long-term weight loss either. The body does not magically burn calories and lose weight rapidly from one spin class. It’ll take continuous and regular exercise to reduce weight.

Your Workout Routine

Ever noticed how you weigh more after working out? This doesn’t mean you’ve put on weight. This is a normal occurrence rooted in your workout routine.

Your scale mass is comprised of organ weight, intestinal gas, the air you carried in your lungs, urine and blood. And after working out, the mass of tissues, organs and other body parts will shift 15%. The shift is caused by a number of things including hydration status, muscle inflammation, and intestinal by-products. It could be caused by urine or blood volume too. So when you step on the scale and see a shift in your weight, don’t be alarmed. It’s just your body recovering from one intense workout.

Muscle and Fat Weight

One of the most persistent misconception about working out and weight gain is that “muscle is heavier than fat.” The thing is, this is a myth. A pound of fat weighs the same amount as a pound of muscle. However, the volume of muscle is much denser than that of fat. This is the reason why muscle seems heavier than fat.

Working out increases muscles and decreases body fat. And this causes a shift in the numbers you see on the scale. These changes will occur over weeks or months, not hours. So stop tracking your weight every hour or even every day. We recommend tracking your progress on a weekly basis to get a more accurate reading on your scale weight.

The Scale is Not an Accurate Measurement of Body Composition

Ignore what you see on the scale, it will not present an accurate reading of your body composition. Body composition is the most important aspect of exercising. And your scale gives a poor reading because it does not measure body fat, fitness level, muscles, etc. The decreased scale weight doesn’t mean you are reaching your fitness goal. It just means you got lighter.

We recommend paying more attention to your body measurements instead. Before starting any fitness routine, measure yourself. Continue with your fitness plan and try to achieve your goals. Every two weeks, measure yourself. From there, you will get an accurate reading of your progress.

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