6 Reasons Exercise Can Lead To Weight Gain

The words exercise weight gain are every dieters’ worst nightmare. But if you’ve seen an increase in your weight, and you’re working out regularly, there are some key reasons and possible solutions for fixing them!

1. Water Retention

Why: Preventing dehydration is critical during exercise. Even if you’re only slightly dehydrated, your body can going into survival mode and start retaining water. While you may be drinking, if you fall behind you may still send your body into retention mode. Once you do, it’s difficult to reverse that process.

Solution: Monitor your hydration by weighing yourself before and after exercise. Lose weighting signals dehydrated. Observe how frequently you urinate and the color. Dark, frequent urination is another sign of dehydration. Slow down your workout and pump up the fluids.

2. Muscle Weighs More Than Fat

Why: With strength training exercises, it is possible to lower body fat and lose inches, yet still see your weight increase. Since muscle mass weighs more than fat, you could be producing muscle faster than you are losing fat, causing you to gain weight.

Solution: Don’t be discouraged by the numbers on the scale–the fat will eventually come off, and muscle does weigh more than fat.

3. Exercise Can Increase Appetite

Why: A good workout isn’t a license to eat. With increased exercise, your body will need more energy to burn fat and stay active. Your appetite may increase to answer those needs.

Solution: Be sure to eat nutritious foods that are high in lean protein and low in fat and sugar. Eating empty calories, even when you are exercising, will still put on the pounds.

4. Energy Bars and Drinks Can Pack on the Pounds

Why: Energy bars, sports drinks, and fruit juices you consume during exercise to keep you hydrated and fueled can be loaded with calories. While they may be nutritious, consuming too many of them will contribute to weight gain.

Solution: Read labels and choose low fat, low calorie bars and drinks. Avoid fruit juices and sodas during exercising–that tend to dehydrate and add empty calories. Instead, choose water whenever possible and lean proteins for energy.

5. A Lack of Aerobic Exercise

Why: Not all exercise is equal in calorie burning. While strength training and toning (like weight lifting) are great for overall fitness, they don’t pack the same calorie/fat-burning power as aerobic exercise that raises your heart rate.

Solution: Make sure to mix in calorie-burning aerobic exercise with your workout schedule. Choose:

  • biking,
  • climbing,
  • brisk walking
  • jogging

Perform these exercises a few times a week to ensure that your burning more calories than you’re taking in.

6. Medical Conditions

Why: Some medical conditions and medications can interfere with normal body processes. A hormone imbalance or a thyroid condition will cause you to gain weight, even if you’re dieting and exercising properly. Medications like Prednisone have weight gain as a side effect, regardless of a healthy diet.

Solution: Consult your physician to make sure your weight gain isn’t medically linked, and receive necessary treatment.

In most cases it isn’t the exercise itself the leads to the weight gain. It is the circumstances and your response to them that can produce either a weight gain or a perceived weight gain. Don’t be discouraged though. By process of elimination, you can identify the possible factors, make adjustments, and even see a physician if necessary. But don’t give up–sometimes it’s just a matter of consistency before you’ll see results.


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Posts By Sequoia
  • Friend

    A pound is a pound. A pound of muscle does NOT weigh more than a pound
    of fat. It’s denser and a smaller amount of muscle can equal the same
    as a larger amount of fat. That’s the point you were probably trying to
    get across.

  • Rebecca Candler

    It’s not really about weight loss though, it is to a point but it’s more about feeling better than living healthier. I’m doing the ethosien diet, lost 34 LBS in about four months but it’s my body shape that changed more dramatically. I’ve been doing yoga twice a week answering 3 to 4 times a week.