Okay, you’re probably thinking immediately after reading the title that exercise always results in weight gain – which can be quite counter-productive since most people go to the gym to lose weight – but the truth is that not everyone puts on extra pounds when they first start working out, so don’t think of it as an excuse to not exercise!
However, even if you are one of those few people who gain weight after starting a new fitness program, don’t worry, it’s only temporary.
The extra numbers on the scale are most likely due to inflammation or bloating than fat gain. While there isn’t much you can do about bloating but simply wait for it to pass in a few days’ time, there may be a few other reasons behind your sneaky weight gain that can easily be fixed – let’s have a look.
If the number on your scale has been creeping up lately even though you’ve been eating well and exercising regularly, odds are that you’re suffering from inflammation because of tiny tears forming in your muscle fibers. This commonly occurs when you start a new exercise routine which explains why you feel so sore the next day. However, this inflammation is temporary and your muscle will heal from the tears and be even stronger after recovery through a process called muscle adaption.
To repair the muscle tissues caused by microtrauma, your body releases a number of chemicals and white blood cells to flush out the toxins from the blood vessels and start the healing process. One of the most common side effects of adaption is inflammation which often goes away in a matter of days with a good diet and rest. If you’ve only recently started working out, your body will take longer to overcome the period of adaptation which means that you’ll put on some weight initially but the inflammation will subside in a few weeks.
Building muscle is much easier and faster than losing fat which is often why people gain weight after getting on a new workout routine or progressively overloading (adding more weight or resistance to their workouts with time). Fitness experts say that for someone who is new to exercising, it is quite natural to put on up to 2 pounds of muscle mass in a month, but this number depends on various factors including height, weight and nature of the exercise.
Most women find the weight gain after starting a new exercise quite frustrating and often complain that resistance training is making them look ‘bulky’. However, the truth is that muscles take up less space in your body than fat and give you an overall leaner and fitter look. The process is a little tricky in the beginning since you gain muscle quickly but not lose fat fast enough, making your thighs appear larger than before you started working out, but once the fat burns off, it’ll give way to a toned pair of legs that you’ve always wanted.
Your Diet Isn’t on Point
Exercising alone is not enough to help you lose weight – you also need to pay attention to what you eat. Most people think that just because they’re working out, they can get away with eating whatever they want but not everything you put inside your body can be burned off in the gym.
People often struggle to control their appetite while on an exercise program because breaking a sweat in the gym promotes the release of a hormone called ghrelin which makes you feel ravenous after exercising. If you’re eating less but still gaining weight, it may have something to do with your food choices that can lead to number of hormonal issues and fat gain.
Even if you are gaining some weight despite exercising, you shouldn’t think about quitting because fitness is more about your overall health and wellbeing than just a number on the scale. Stay consistent in your routine and remember to pay attention to your diet. The period of weight gain will quickly pass, and you’ll soon be on your way towards achieving your weight-loss goal.