If you’re becoming more conscious about your health and wellness, you may have asked yourself “why do I weigh more after I work out?” more than a couple of times. Sometimes, the notion that tough exercise and losing calories should make your body weigh less will let you down, because your weight is affected by a variety of factors. But don’t be discouraged by this, it’s actually normal. Allow us to spell it out for you.
Yup, you heard that right. One of the factors which make you ask “Why do I weigh more after I work out?” is simply muscle gain. It’s the most common reason for weight gain post-workout. Muscles are comprised of small dense fibers, while fat has larger and less dense droplets. So, with that in mind, you may burn all the fats but gain muscle in the process (considering that you’ve done some strength training on a regular).
Again, it’s all in the calories - keep in mind that it’s hard to gain muscle weight if you consume less calories than you’re burning. However, consuming roughly the same number or exceeding it could add some muscle weight. Roughly a pound per week of muscle weight gain is a typical scenario.
After some intense cardio and strength training, you may sweat out a lot and feel a bit woozy, which would naturally make you think that you’re losing a bit of weight but totally not the case. A minor case of dehydration would cause your body to retain lots of fluid and your weight may increase a bit. But after replenishing your lost water stores, your weight may get normal.
Micro Tears of Your Muscles
Micro tearing of muscles during your workout (especially when you’ve been heavy on the strength exercises) will allow your muscles to retain fluid as part of the healing process. Also, aside from this usual feat, your muscles store extra glycogen as they heal, which in turn attract more fluid retention. This causes a temporary shift in weight, which you should not worry about.
Asking yourself “Why do I weigh more after I work out?” may be a valid concern, particularly if you’ve been using different scales to monitor your weight. Also, a less expensive home scale may be the cause, so switching to gym-grade balance scales (similar to ones used in doctor’s clinics and hospitals) may give you a much more accurate reading. Instead of focusing yourself on the scales, you can take measurements of your waist, hips and arms to find any changes that may occur on you.
When you begin exercising, your body may feel deprived and start feeling more and hungrier. Grabbing more munchies or eating a bigger meal portion without much thought may contribute to increase weight. If you do this every day, you’ll gain unnecessary weight overtime.
Calorie Equation: Do the Math!
With respect to appetite changes, having an imbalanced calorie equation can give you unnecessary weight gain. Exercise is supposed to burn calories. But in order to lose weight, burning extra calories is not enough if you continue to increased caloric intake. Identify your weaknesses in your daily diet to make a change - cutting on an excess of 200-250 calories a day could make you lose weight.
More Glycogen and Water
So, with all the stress and strain your body goes through during exercise, there is no doubt that your muscles have some reactions to these activities. After strength training, muscle fiber will undergo tears which cause it to retain water. Cardio also triggers glycogen storage in your muscles (in the form of carbs that fuel aerobic activity). Both of these substances attract water, which cause the tip in scales.
Too Much Stress
Just the thought of exercise and hitting the gym could be a stressor...but kidding aside, when you begin an exercise program, you may have the tendency to lose some hours for snooze and other activities, which increase your waking hours. With this picture, a significant stress response will take place.
In this process, your adrenals can increase cortisol production – a kind of hormone which is responsible for your ‘fight or flight’ responses. It’s an evolutionary adaptation which enables your body to increase your heart rate, sweating, blood pressure and/or body temperature, depending on the situation. With all the schedule changes and increase in activity, your body may be running constantly with bouts of stress, which can overstimulate your adrenals and increase your cortisol levels. By way of sodium retention and fluid retention, cortisol makes your blood pressure increase. Unnecessary blood pressure increase and fluid retention will being weight gain to you! So, try to relax, and breathe, and de-load yourself. Don’t overdo it.
Lastly, one of the many factors which may make you ask yourself “Why do I weigh more after I work out?” is ineffective exercise, especially when you’re sort of a newbie in the gym. In order to achieve your goal, you had better coordinate with a personal fitness trainer who’d help create a personalized routine just for you. Or else you may not lose weight but get serious injuries and body pain, if you’re doing the wrong techniques.