I'm Exercising but Gaining Weight: What Happens?

People exercise to achieve different goals – some do it to increase strength while others do it to lose weight. Whatever your goals are, it takes time to get the results you desire. The same thing holds true for anyone trying to lose weight. You are not going to lose weight overnight. It feels devastating when you put in some serious effort for weeks and then step on the scale only to find out that you have gained weight instead of losing it.

I'm Exercising but Gaining Weight, Why?

Gaining weight even after strenuous workout sessions may be the result of a number of factors. Here are some of the possible explanations to why you are gaining weight instead of getting rid of it.

1. You Get Inflammation

When you lift weights or do strenuous exercise, you cause micro tears in your muscle fibers. These tears make you feel sore on the next day of your workout. When your body heals these tears, those fibers become bigger and stronger. During the healing process, your body also goes through the inflammation phase which takes place when you sustain any injury.

That inflammatory response can make your muscles to swell up a bit, which may show up on your scale. However, this increase in weight is temporary because your body will eventually deal with inflammation and everything will come to normal again. Just be sure to pay attention to your diet and include protein and other essential nutrients in your meals to speed up recovery.

2. You Gain Muscle

You may feel stronger and leaner after working out for a few months but it is still possible to see no change in your body weight. That happens because you have lost fat but now have more muscle mass. The weight of these lean muscles will show up when you step on the scale.

It is also possible to see your legs or arms increase in diameter, which happens because of increased muscle size under adipose tissue. Just be sure to stick to your workout program and stay consistent to get positive results.

3. You Do Not Eat Healthy

You may end up gaining weight if you start a new exercise but do not pay attention to following a proper diet. You may be burning calories in the gym, but you are likely to feel hungry after your workout session, which is due to the release of a hormone called ghrelin. If you start eating anything to deal with your hunger, you are likely to gain more weight. It is therefore important to watch portion sizes and make good food choices.

4. You Are Under Stress

"I'm exercising but gaining weight, what is wrong?" You ask. The answer may depend on how stressed out you feel after your workout sessions. Exercise offers many benefits but it puts your body under serious stress, depending on the volume and intensity of your workout. It is not a bad thing so long as you do things right and pay attention to your diet and get plenty of rest to promote recovery. However, you are not going to get any results if you are already under stress in your life and then put your body through additional stress in the gym. Strenuous exercise may increase your total stress load, which is not going to help you lose weight or get fitter.

5. You Are Not Exercising Properly

Aerobic workouts really help burn calories and lose weight, but you need to pay attention to how intense your workouts should be. Sometimes, you can get better results by increasing the intensity of your aerobic workouts. Similarly, you may continue to gain weight if your rest intervals during strength training are a little too long. You may not get any results if you do not lift enough weight.

How to Lose Weight Efficiently by Exercises

If you complain, "I'm exercising but gaining weight", here are some suggestions for you about how to lose weight efficiently through exercises.

1. Do More Aerobic Cardio

Any aerobic activity that allows you to talk but makes it hard to keep talking for long can really help lose weight. You can perform these activities for a long time to help burn more calories. It means that if your main aim is to lose weight, you should spend 60% of your gym time on aerobic cardio and 40% on other stuff.

2. Work Harder

Do not fool yourself just by hitting the gym and not actually doing some real work. If you use momentum while performing any exercise, you are not going to get maximum results. The intensity of any exercise plays an important role in raising your metabolism, which is going to help you burn more calories. Try to push yourself hard and move faster but do not go any faster if you start feeling winded.

You can actually change intensities during a workout – you can try fast-paced aerobic exercise for some time and then switch to exercises that are hard to perform for more than a minute. This helps keep your metabolism working at its best even hours after the workout.

3. Work on Different Muscle Groups

"I'm exercising but gaining weight, so what should I do?" You ask. To maintain a higher level of intensity for long enough, you can try a technique called cross training that involves targeting a specific muscle through an exercise. It means that if you have put your leg muscles to maximum use through lunges, you should switch to overhead presses instead of taking rests and waiting for your legs to feel better.

Note: Always keep in mind that you cannot lose weight simply by training hard in the gym. You have to pay attention to your diet as well. Include fresh fruits and veggies in your diet and eat more whole grains. You should also choose lean proteins and go for complex carbs. Limit the intake of salt to help lose weight effectively. And of course, do not overlook the importance of keeping your body hydrated.

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