Weight Gain Due to Exercise: Should You Worry?

Is it normal to gain weight when you start working out? Contrary to popular belief, it’s very much a possibility. Let’s tell you why it happens.  

When you start your exercise regimen, you put stress on your muscles which causes muscle tears, which can be the reason behind your weight gain. But there are several other reasons like water weight gain, undigested fiber-rich food, or supplement use. Exercise helps to reduce fat only if you follow the right procedure that helps you burn calories which reduces your body fat and builds muscles. While it’s normal that your weight increases due to exercise in the beginning if you gain weight even after several months then it’s a problem. Log on to https://bariatricbrooklyn.com/ and schedule your appointment.  

If that happens, ask your trainer or healthcare provider why this is happening. And how to counter it? Doral Health and Wellness has an advanced bariatric clinic that offers laparoscopic surgeries in bariatrics including Gastric sleeve surgery, Gastric bypass surgery, and Sleeve gastrectomy.

Causes of weight gain due to exercise 

There are several reasons behind your weight gain due to exercising: 

Muscle weight gain:   

Your weight is not only determined by body fat but also by the weight of organs, bones, and muscle mass. And exercising helps to build muscle mass. As you go to the gym, follow a workout plan, it puts stress on your muscles to perform the exercises. This stress on the muscles affects their fibers, and they start to break when you put a load on them, and these tears of muscle fiber are known as micro-trauma or muscle inflammation.  

At night, these tears in the muscles start to repair themselves. Your body parts also have some memory of their own. So, muscle memory starts to adapt to the new lifestyle you are starting to build. At the time of repair, it increases its size to ensure that you perform better next time. And that cycle goes on. Building muscle is good as it builds your strength and keeps you fit and healthy. So, weight gain can happen as you build muscles. If your diet has less fiber and nutrients, your muscle growth will be slow, and your weight gain will be slow.  

Water weight gain:  

Water retention, also known as temporary weight gain, can be the reason behind your weight gain. It can happen due to two reasons. 

    • First, if you’re experiencing pre-menopause- due to hormonal changes. In your periods, you can notice some bloating before and during your period. Exercise is not amazingly effective on this type of weight gain. It will reduce some of the symptoms, but it is not noticeable on the weight scale. This can vary from person to person, some people get an increase while some do not.  
    • Second, due to the high intake of sodium- in the form of salt. Salty food can increase your water retention, and that extra fluid stored in the body increases your weight. So, reduce your sodium intake as much as possible.

Undigested fiber-rich food:  

This is quite common as your body is not able to digest all the fiber you consume. It is a good thing that after your workout you consume healthy fibrous food that will keep you healthy and fit. But this fibrous food also increases weight (not too much but enough) that can easily be noticed on the scale. Undigested fiber also can store water in it which can lead to weight gain.  

Supplement use:  

After workouts or during workouts, people take post-workout or pre-workout supplements which can increase weight, as these supplements contain lots of carbs, sugar, creatine, and preservatives. Carbs help to restore the glycogen in muscles that you lost in your workout. And each gram of glycogen contains 3 grams of water which can easily increase your weight. Creatine is an amino acid that increases muscle mass and increases your weight.  

Should you worry?  

Well, it depends. In most cases, it’s normal to gain weight in the beginning because you build muscles and strength and then, slowly start losing weight as you start to lose body fat.  

But in rare cases, your weight gain can be bad as if you are not able to build muscle and strength but increase your body fat. This can happen when following some of these steps:  

  • Consuming more calories than you need 
  • Eating food that contains saturated fat or a high amount of salt.  
  • You only do cardio, not weight training that can build muscle and strength.  
  • You drink less water.  
  • After workouts, you keep yourself mostly in a resting position.  
  • You are not pushing yourself enough as you should.  
  • Getting less sleep.  

These reasons are the ones that do not let the benefits of exercise take effect. Exercising alone cannot reduce your weight. You need to adjust your diet and lifestyle to get results.  

And in the beginning, don’t focus too much on these scales as they do not tell how much fat you lose or how much muscle is growing. To measure actual fat loss, use the body fat scale, and measure your body parts (in case you lose some inches, then congratulations you are on the right track!), if your clothes get loose, you feel good mentally and physically and feel that you can build strength.  

These all are the signs that you are on the right track on your weight loss journey to make you fit and healthy.  

Weight gain due to exercise is normal in the first few weeks or months. It happens due to several reasons mentioned above. Understand the fact that the weight scale does not accurately show you the progress you make because your weight consists of several factors like body fat, muscle mass, organs, and bone weight. To notice your progress, you should focus on whether you can build strength or not; your clothes start to loosen up or not; notice the improvement in your sleep and mood. These are the indicators that tell you that you are on the right track.  


Want a weight loss program that is customized for you?

Call us at 1-347-384-5690 to schedule a consultation, or walk in for an appointment at 1797 Pitkin Avenue, Brooklyn, New York 11212. If you want extra services that include a lifetime plan, fat loss check, diagnosis and treatment of any problem related to weight gain, etc., call us to know more. 


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