Weight and Resistance Training - Can weight training cause this??




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oxymoronica
08-28-2011, 09:24 AM
I am utterly confused and frustrated. This is going to take some background explanation...

I have been calorie counting for the past several months with some success; I was able to steadily lose doing this and my normal cardio routine. I realized I was starting to get "skinny fat" though, so I added weight training and HIIT to my routine about two and a half or three months ago. It seemed to be working great for the first month - I didn't lose any weight, maybe even gained a pound or two from water, but my measurements and estimated body fat percentage dropped slightly.

Then I went on vacation and ate myself into oblivion. I was still getting plenty of exercise, but by the time I got home I had gained eight pounds. I lost five of those pounds pretty easily over the next few days so I'm assuming it was mostly water from all my salty snack indulgences over vacation.

I've been working ever since to get rid of the last three, and then continue on with my weight loss from there (I still want to lose another 20 or 30 pounds). But now, weight lifting and HIIT aren't giving me results! The scale has been creeping back UP, I have gained an inch around my waist and two around my chest. At first I chalked it up to the fact that I had measured before my TOM, but now that that's over, it's STILL THERE.

I have been calorie counting long enough to know when I'm estimating too much or being too lax in general, and I really don't think that's the case. I have stayed perfectly within my calorie range for the last three weeks, lifted weights and did my HIIT religiously, and even tossed a few steady cardio jogs in there for good measure.

I've read numerous times that women don't gain muscle nearly fast enough to cause this kind of weight gain (but I have PCOS with a little more testosterone than the average woman, so please tell me if this would make a difference). Even so, muscle gain wouldn't account for why my freaking gut keeps expanding like someone blowing up a balloon. I would also think that water weight would A) not account for the extra seven pounds that I am above my pre-vacation weight and B) not cause my measurements to be larger.

This seems like a lot of rambling but I guess my question is twofold: first of all, can weight lifting and HIIT cause this for any reason, and second, what do I do about it? Normally my reaction would be, as common sense dictates, to decrease my calories a little and step up the exercise, but I would really like to avoid adjusting my calories because I had success with this calorie range just two or three months ago, at a lower weight than I am now, and have no logical reason why it would not be working for me now... And, if we are throwing logic to the wind, if I increase my exercise, might I keep gaining?

By the way, just in case it matters for anyone's answer, I weighed 178 before vacation, I'm 185 now, and I eat between 1600-2000 calories daily (big range I know, but I get a lot of exercise and this has never given me a problem before).

ANY and all help would be appreciated.


JessLess
08-28-2011, 09:37 AM
My suggestion is going to be very boring, but have you seen your doctor for a check up lately? I don't know much about PCOS but maybe get your thyroid tested? I weight train and I do get LONG stalls, but I don't actually gain.

runningfromfat
08-28-2011, 09:46 AM
My guess would be the PCOS. I know you're calorie counting but when you're dealing with PCOS the types of calories do matter. Are you getting those calories from a lot of white carbs/fruit? Also, how are you handling your PCOS? Are you on any type of medication or BCP?

Are you going to the bathroom regularly? Do you have any food intolerances that could cause bloating? Do you feel like you gained those inches or could it be bloating?

I real doubt it's the weight lifting and HIIT, especially since you're talking about adding inches to your waist. That makes me think it could be bloating (have you been eating a lot of salt lately?). Also, are you measuring right after a workout? Because that CAN definitely cause water retention so that you appear bigger temporarily.


gmailjunkie
08-28-2011, 12:23 PM
I know that this is unlikely with PCOS but any chance at all that you could be expecting?

oxymoronica
08-28-2011, 03:20 PM
A lot of good suggestions, thanks guys.

I got my thyroid tested a few years ago and it was normal. I doubt if that would have changed just in the last couple of months?

I am on both metformin and birth control pills for the PCOS. It's very unlikely I am expecting, although I have had weird hormones ever since I hit puberty, and I have often wondered if my body thinks it's pregnant when it's really not... I know that makes absolutely no sense, but I had morning sickness, after I hit about thirteen years old and well before I was sexually active, for several years before I got diagnosed with PCOS. It could be my "mystery baby" acting up again, haha. Actually, now that I'm thinking about it, my metformin prescription was delayed in getting refilled so I didn't have my pills for about a week... I wonder if that caused hormonal weirdness that could be causing this?? You've got me thinking now...

I think, runningfromfat, you also may have a point about the bloating. I will say that I haven't really been eating more carbs or salt than usual, but I also concede that my usual isn't really all that great... I make a conscious effort to reach for protein before carbs, but that's really all of the thought I put into the carb/fat/protein ratios... One thing you mentioned that I hadn't thought of was fruit. I mentally tend to group fruit into the "healthy" category and don't really try to limit it even though I know they are carbs and sugar. We just bought a bunch of juicy, delicious peaches during the last grocery run and I have been eating one with at least one or two meals a day. Could be that.

I weigh/measure myself in the mornings before working out or eating anything so I don't think it's post-workout bloat, but it definitely could be some other kind of bloat. Especially since I measured my arms after I posted this morning and noticed they were each easily a half inch smaller since last month's measurements.

Correct me if this is just wishful thinking, but I figure it would be more likely that my midsection is bloated but I am actually losing fat rather than somehow having the fat around my arms migrate to my belly...

Lucky72
08-28-2011, 10:46 PM
I got my thyroid tested a few years ago and it was normal. I doubt if that would have changed just in the last couple of months?

It can totally change within a few months time. Mine was fine for years and then from one physical to the next (less than a year apart) - low thyroid.

runningfromfat
08-29-2011, 09:20 AM
A lot of good suggestions, thanks guys.

I got my thyroid tested a few years ago and it was normal. I doubt if that would have changed just in the last couple of months?

I am on both metformin and birth control pills for the PCOS. It's very unlikely I am expecting, although I have had weird hormones ever since I hit puberty, and I have often wondered if my body thinks it's pregnant when it's really not... I know that makes absolutely no sense, but I had morning sickness, after I hit about thirteen years old and well before I was sexually active, for several years before I got diagnosed with PCOS. It could be my "mystery baby" acting up again, haha. Actually, now that I'm thinking about it, my metformin prescription was delayed in getting refilled so I didn't have my pills for about a week... I wonder if that caused hormonal weirdness that could be causing this?? You've got me thinking now...

I think, runningfromfat, you also may have a point about the bloating. I will say that I haven't really been eating more carbs or salt than usual, but I also concede that my usual isn't really all that great... I make a conscious effort to reach for protein before carbs, but that's really all of the thought I put into the carb/fat/protein ratios... One thing you mentioned that I hadn't thought of was fruit. I mentally tend to group fruit into the "healthy" category and don't really try to limit it even though I know they are carbs and sugar. We just bought a bunch of juicy, delicious peaches during the last grocery run and I have been eating one with at least one or two meals a day. Could be that.

I weigh/measure myself in the mornings before working out or eating anything so I don't think it's post-workout bloat, but it definitely could be some other kind of bloat. Especially since I measured my arms after I posted this morning and noticed they were each easily a half inch smaller since last month's measurements.

Correct me if this is just wishful thinking, but I figure it would be more likely that my midsection is bloated but I am actually losing fat rather than somehow having the fat around my arms migrate to my belly...


Maybe try cutting back on the fruit a bit then? If it is bloat it could be that a certain type of fruit is bothering you? If you're gut is what's getting bigger and your arms are getting smaller than it really sounds like it could be bloat. Also do you eat a lot of beans? Because that could be affecting you too.

If I were you I'd first talk to a doctor get your thyroid checked amongst other things and then start looking at your food choices and see if there is anything that is causing extra bloat (like maybe eliminate an item for a week or two and see if that helps).

mkroyer
08-29-2011, 12:09 PM
Normally my reaction would be, as common sense dictates, to decrease my calories a little and step up the exercise, .

^^^
this is the EXACT OPPOSITE of common sense... and its a vicious, viscious trap women fall into that results in linfelong yo-yo dieting and awful metabolisms...... you can Lower your cals OR you can up the exercise, OR you can lower than cals AND LOWER the exericse.....

Ok
why dont you TRY backing off the exercise, weightlifting, and "HIIT" for a week, and see what happens?? You might WHOOSH water like no tomorrow

WATER WEIGHT and BLOATING DO CAUSE INCHES TO INCREASE. Hello?!@? its a PHYSICAL THINIG in your tummy, and skin and cells, etc etc

Also, DO NOT get your Thyoid checked whiule you are in a caloric deficit.. BADBADBAD.. the results are going to be INCREDIBLY skewed and wrong, because your hormone levels fall when you diet down


"Note: This is very important. Dieting down dramatically affects thyroid levels and lowers them even in healthy individuals. It is important that you are in a feed state for at least 2 weeks before getting a test, otherwise your results will be skewed."
http://www.leighpeele.com/blood-tests-for-diet-training-and-sanity

Lastl;y, our bodies dont run on 24 hour clocks.. what you eat TODAY does not show up on the scale tomorrow, so to speak... id be wiling to bet you are still just holding onto water from a FABULOUS vacation of xtreme overindulgence. Ive had re-feed weeks where ive gained 14 LBS--> in ONE WEEK of eating above maintenance. *Most* of the bloat was gone in 2 weeks, the rest took about a month and you have to allow, you MAY HAVE gained a pound of fat, or 2...... ya know? Give it more time... just more time...and then itll be yout TOM and youll continue to stay bloated, and then itll all whossh off..... so mentally prepare yourself to feel ucky for at least a couple more weeks

ITll be ok :)
I hope you enjoyed your vacation... Whered ya go?

oxymoronica
08-29-2011, 10:12 PM
Hmm, more good points.

I didn't know that I shouldn't cut back calories while adding more exercise, thanks for pointing that out. I mean, I do know not to take either of those to an extreme, but I figured a little of both was okay.

And yes, I do think I will back off on the exercise a little bit this week. I have been hitting it pretty hard and I think I will be paying for it in more ways than just bloat. I will also probably try experimenting with replacing or eliminating different foods to see if that makes a difference.

As for my thyroid, that's just going to have to wait because of insurance reasons I think. I'll keep it in mind though.

I do feel a lot better just getting ideas from you all that aren't just pointing to fat gain as the culprit... I'm really heavily considering the hormonal issues I mentioned in my last post in addition to my leftover vacation weight.

As for my vacation, I *did* have a lovely time (as you can tell from the consequences I'm dealing with now, hehe). I went to the Outer Banks in North Carolina. Very sunny, very beachy, very... food-filled.

Anyway, thanks again to everyone who answered, I feel relieved that I'm not just some sort of genetic freak that gains fat with diet and exercise and burns muscle for energy, as it is sooo tempting to believe sometimes :P

bronzeager
09-10-2011, 08:22 AM
Hi, I just wanted to add one more possibility (although I think those above who know about PCOS probably have good points). You have lost quite a lot already according to your stats. As I was losing my first 30lb my fat deposits first came off pretty evenly all over, but my belly was the last to go -- I never thought it would! And it got amazingly flat, and my hip bones poked out in front, although I still had quite a lot of padding in places like my upper arms.

Then a couple months into maintenance I suddenly began leaning out in my upper arms and I got some fat deposits in my belly and thighs again, although I had not changed my exercise routine or diet at all. My fat deposits actually shifted around my body. I thought I was nuts, but then I came across a discussion of it in one of Lyle McDonald's articles, where it had happened with some of his female clients. He suggests that the abdomen/thighs are the "last resort" deposits for females (which makes sense from a thrifty evolution standpoint -- before modern food oversupply, women have to have some fat reserves to protect themselves and potential children in case of famine.) He calls it "stubborn fat."

brillmama2
09-13-2011, 11:46 PM
just curiouse about the thyroid checking... how is 1600-2000 calories a calorie deficate.. isnt that the recomended norm????

PrimoBaby
09-18-2011, 03:21 AM
I scanned through your replies, and did not see this, so my apologies if anyone has posted it and I missed it.

Along with PCOS is usually insulin resistance. As a matter of fact, some experts regard PCOS as a symptom of insulin resistance, hence the prescription for Metformin to attempt to increase insulin sensitivity. A sign of insulin resistance is incorrigible abdominal fat. A hallmark sign of poor tolerance to grains is a bloated, distended abdomen.

All cereals, breads, pasta and any other foods containing any grains are removed for this time period (includes wheat, barley, rye, oats, spelt and even rice and quinoa (tho' technically a seed). Soy is best avoided during this test period as well.

Clients can have meats, fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds, as well as small amounts of dairy if they tolerate it well. Also allowed are avocados, coconut oil, coconut milk and olive oil. I've seen remarkable things happen, very quickly for some clients by removing grains. Do not worry about missing fiber and nutrients by cutting grains. Fruits and vegetables provide tons of natural fiber and nutrients.

In a week or less, provided you are 100% compliant, you will most assuredly know if it is working for you. Worth trying.