Weight Gain When Working Out

Why Are You Putting On Weight After Working Out? 

Why Are You Putting On Weight After Working Out?

Have you noticed that you're gaining weight after working out? If you're trying to lose weight, seeing an increase on the scale after you've been exercising can be discouraging.

However, there are several scientific reasons why you might gain weight after exercising. Muscle gain, water retention, post-workout inflammation, supplement use, and even undigested food are all examples of these. Weight gain after a workout is usually only temporary.

Gaining Muscle Mass

When you begin working out, you will most likely gain muscle. The amount of muscle you gain is determined by your diet and workout routine. 1 Any increase in physical activity, however, is likely to result in some gains in strength and muscle mass.

You're more likely to see significant increases in muscle mass if you do strength training workouts and eat enough protein. The amount of muscle mass you gain when you begin an exercise program is also influenced by your genetics.

Consider yourself fortunate if you gain muscle quickly. Muscles aid in the formation of a strong, healthy body. Some people build muscle faster than others. When you gain muscle, however, the number on the scale goes up.

In fact, even if you're losing weight, the scale may show an increase. Muscle has a higher density than fat, but it occupies less space. That means that if you gain muscle while losing body fat, your scale weight may increase.

Weight Gain Due to Water

Temporary weight gain is frequently caused by water retention. Due to hormonal changes, premenopausal women are especially prone to body weight fluctuations throughout the month.

If you have periods, you may experience some bloating in the days leading up to and during your period. It's important to keep up with your workouts because exercise can help reduce premenstrual symptoms.

Fluid retention peaks on the first day of menstrual flow, according to studies. It's lowest during the mid-follicular period (the middle of your cycle) and gradually rises during the 11 days leading up to ovulation. Increased sodium intake is another common cause of water weight gain. Consumption of high-salt foods can lead to weight gain. 

According to studies, most people increase their water intake after eating salty foods, but they do not necessarily produce more urine. The body's extra fluid adds up to pounds on the scale.

Remember that even if you don't add salt to your food, it could still be present in the processed foods and beverages you consume. Excess sodium can be found in even healthy, nutrient-dense foods like soup, cottage cheese, and canned beans.

Inflammation after a workout

It's possible that your workout is causing you to gain weight—at least temporarily. However, this increase could indicate that you're working out hard enough to see results. 

Simply put, muscle tissue is harmed by exercise (especially weight training). Muscles can grow and become stronger as a result of the repair process after exercise. Inflammation occurs in the tissues in the meantime.

Exercise damages myofibers (muscle tissue cells), causing inflammation as a result of a build-up of white blood cells in the damaged tissues. 9 After a workout, this inflammation and fluid build-up may manifest as temporary weight gain.

How can you tell if your body is suffering from EIMD? You might have DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness). As a result of the inflammation and repair that occurs in the body, you may experience increased soreness the day after or even two days after your workout.

Use of Supplements

Post-workout nutrition or supplement use can also contribute to weight gain after a workout. Exercise, especially long-duration endurance exercises like running or cycling, depletes glycogen stores in the body.

It's very common for trained athletes to consume carbohydrate-containing post-workout supplement beverages. Carbs aid in the replenishment of muscle glycogen. However, the body retains three grams of water for every gram of glycogen stored.

What's the end result? Following your workout, you may notice an increase in stored water and possible water weight gain. This post-workout effect, of course, isn't limited to carbohydrate supplementation.

Fiber-Rich Food That Hasn't Been Digested

If your workouts make you hungry and you refuel with healthy fiber-rich foods, the nutritious food you eat may cause you to gain weight as it passes through your body. Fiber helps the colon retain water, resulting in stools that are less dry and easier to pass. Stool weight is known to be increased by insoluble fiber in particular.

After your workout, you may notice an increase in weight before the stool is passed, but fiber also reduces colonic transit time. As a result, this is not a nutrient to avoid. So, how much of a difference is it going to make?

Other studies, on the other hand, claim that the average daily stool weight is around 106 grams per day, or less than a quarter pound. Other sources claim that for every 12 pounds of body weight, your body can produce up to one ounce per day. 16

Should You Be Concerned?

In many cases, there is no reason to be concerned about weight gain after exercise. In fact, if the weight gain is due to one of the above-mentioned common causes, you should consider it a sign of success.

Of course, there are a variety of other reasons for an increase in the scale. Some medications can cause weight gain, or your calorie intake and hunger levels after exercise may have increased.

Most basic bodyweight scales cannot distinguish between fat gain, muscle gain, and water retention. You can use a body fat scale (which is usually not very accurate) or take measurements at different parts of the body to track actual fat loss. (You're probably on the right track if you're losing inches.)

However, there are some advantages to not focusing on numbers when tracking your weight loss progress. Your overall strength and health, as well as how you feel mentally and physically, how your clothes fit your changing body, and how your clothes fit your changing body, are all important aspects of the process.

When you're trying to lose weight, there are 7 reasons why you might gain weight.

1. You're compensating excessively.

When you start ramping up your routine, this is simple to do. "I ran 16 kilometers; I can eat whatever I want," you reason, which turns out to be far more than you require. You don't have to count every calorie, but keeping a loose track of what you burn and what you consume during your runs can help you avoid overeating. Keep track of your pre-run snack, mid-run fuel, and what you throw down the hatch when you're finished. That number shouldn't be higher than the amount of calories your GPS says you've burned. Then eat normally for the remainder of the day.

2. You're a swole swole swole swole

I mean, seriously. You're a little swollen from working out's micro trauma, especially if you've just started or recently increased your intensity. Hard runs and/or heavy lifting sessions in the gym put stress on your muscle fibres, resulting in micro traumas that cause inflammation, which is an important part of the healing and repair process. As a result, your body retains fluid. It isn't permanent, but it can last until you get used to your new schedule. Make sure you take advantage of your rest days so you can fully recover and return stronger.

3. Your muscles are stockpiling energy.

When you start ramping up your runs, such as when training for your first marathon, it's not uncommon to gain a few pounds. Your muscles respond to increased effort by storing more glycogen, which binds with water in your muscle cells to keep you fueled and allow you to gain one or two kilograms.

To do the same amount of work, you'll need less stored glycogen as you get fitter. It's easier said than done, but be patient and concentrate on the long-term goal rather than what the scale says right now.

4. You've put on some muscle.

Your muscles grow bigger and stronger as a result of the stress of hard training on the run and in the gym. And here's something you might not know: muscle tissue is denser than fat tissue. As you gain muscle and lose fat, your overall body composition changes, which can lead to a higher weight, but a smaller figure and improved health.

5. You do high-intensity interval training (HIIT) too frequently.

Though high-intensity interval training can help you lose weight and improve your fitness, doing too much of it can put too much stress on your body and have the opposite effect.

"People forget that exercise is a form of stress," says Elsesser. "Stress is generally positive, but when you add excessive physical stress to an already stressed system, such as high-intensity exercise, your body interprets it as negative, and cortisol production increases." rises." "High cortisol levels can cause insulin resistance, lower thyroid stimulating hormone levels, and depression of testosterone and progesterone production in men and women," he says.

Elsesser claims that if left unchecked, it makes losing weight extremely difficult. Limit your eye-popping efforts to about 20% of your total training volume to keep things under control. If you train five days a week, for example, that's only one HIIT day per week.

6. You're not getting enough rest.

Training entails pushing your body harder than usual, then pulling back and allowing it to recover. This allows you to bounce back even stronger and more resiliently, and you can repeat the process to achieve your best performance. Too many people focus on the first part of the process (the intense training) while neglecting the second (the pulling back and recovering). Chronic inflammation and hormonal disruption can result, both of which can stifle weight loss or even lead to weight gain.

The good news is that there are now tools available to assist you in staying on track with your recovery. Many Garmin products provide recovery time estimates based on your heart rate training to help you figure out how long you should rest before starting your next workout. Alternatively, you can buy a heart rate variability (HRV) strap, which measures the difference in time between successive beats in the morning. Higher variability indicates that all systems have recovered and are ready to go, while lower variability indicates that you are under-recovered. "I like heart rate variability because it shows how you're reacting to and recovering from all of your daily stress," says Elsesser.

7. You aren't consuming enough calories.

It may seem counterintuitive—eating less to lose weight, right?—but that isn't the case. "You can either exercise more and eat less, or exercise less and eat less, but not both." "It's just not working," Elsesser says. Certainly. this does not imply that you should abandon all restraint. Excessive eating, especially of nutritionally deficient processed foods, is never a good idea. However, in order to recover and make progress—including weight loss—you must match increased training with appropriately increased fueling.

When you go without food, your body not only doesn't fully recover, but it also goes into low-power mode (much like your phone when the battery runs out), which causes your metabolism to drop and your workouts to suffer. Throughout the day, eat whole foods like lean proteins, complex carbohydrates, healthy fats, and plenty of fruits and vegetables to fuel yourself and satisfy your hunger.

Last word

Exercise has numerous physical and mental advantages. If you start and stick to a workout program, you'll likely notice an increase in energy, a better ability to move through daily activities with ease, and improved fitness levels. You're also likely to feel more proud and confident. These are genuine advantages that should take precedence over the scale's numbers.

Assume you've assessed yourself in a variety of ways and believe you're heading in the wrong direction. In that case, consult a qualified trainer or registered dietitian, or speak with your healthcare provider, to determine if there are any other factors contributing to your weight gain following your workouts. However, in many cases, it's just a sign that you're on the right track.

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