Categories
Digital News

Hey, Health Coach: Why Am I Gaining Weight When I'm Working Out? – Forbes

Views: 2
0 0
Time to Read:23 Minute, 41 Second

The Forbes Health editorial team is independent and objective. To help support our reporting work, and to continue our ability to provide this content for free to our readers, we receive compensation from the companies that advertise on the Forbes Health site. This compensation comes from two main sources. First, we provide paid placements to advertisers to present their offers. The compensation we receive for those placements affects how and where advertisers’ offers appear on the site. This site does not include all companies or products available within the market. Second, we also include links to advertisers’ offers in some of our articles; these “affiliate links” may generate income for our site when you click on them.
The compensation we receive from advertisers does not influence the recommendations or advice our editorial team provides in our articles or otherwise impact any of the editorial content on Forbes Health. While we work hard to provide accurate and up-to-date information that we think you will find relevant, Forbes Health does not and cannot guarantee that any information provided is complete and makes no representations or warranties in connection thereto, nor to the accuracy or applicability thereof.
Fact Checked
Editor’s Note::In “Hey, Health Coach,” Sarah Hays Coomer answers reader questions about the intersection of health and overall well-being. Have a question? Send her a message (and don’t forget to use a sleuthy pseudonym!).

Send Your Question to Sarah Now

#footable_23121 { font-family: inherit; font-size: 14px; }#footable_23121,#footable_23121 table { background-color: rgba(255, 255, 255, 1) !important; color: !important; border-color: !important;}#footable_23121 thead tr.footable-filtering th { background-color: !important; color: !important;}#footable_23121:not(.hide_all_borders) thead tr.footable-filtering th { border : 1px solid transparent !important; }#footable_23121 .input-group-btn:last-child > .btn:not(:last-child):not(.dropdown-toggle) { background-color: !important; color: !important;}#footable_23121 tr.footable-header, #footable_23121 tr.footable-header th, .colored_table table.ninja_table_pro.inverted.table.footable-details tbody tr th { background-color: !important; color: !important;}#footable_23121 tbody tr:hover { background-color: !important; color: !important;}#footable_23121 tbody tr:hover td { border-color: !important;}#footable_23121 tfoot .footable-paging { background-color: !important;}#footable_23121 tfoot .footable-paging .footable-page.active a { background-color: !important;}#footable_23121:not(.hide_all_borders) tfoot tr.footable-paging td { border-color: !important;} #footable_23121.ninja_footable.ninja_table_pro tbody tr.nt_row_id_1620 {background: rgba(255, 255, 255, 1)!important;color: rgba(255, 255, 255, 1)!important;}#footable_23121.ninja_footable.ninja_table_pro tbody tr.nt_row_id_1620 .ninja_clmn_nm_compare_best_online_therapy_services {color : rgba(255, 255, 255, 1);}#footable_23121.ninja_footable.ninja_table_pro tbody tr.nt_row_id_1620 .ninja_clmn_nm_compare_best_online_therapy_services > * { color: inherit }.footable-parent-wrapper-gcw-2021.right-end::after { display: block; left: 0; width: 20px; background: linear-gradient(270deg, rgba(255, 255, 255, 0) -87%, #FFFFFF 217%);}#footable_parent_23121 .table { border-radius: 8px; border: none; font-family: EuclidCircularB, sans-serif;}#footable_parent_23121 .table tbody tr:nth-child(odd) { background: #F4F6FC;}#footable_parent_23121 .table tbody tr:nth-child(even) { background: #fff;}#footable_parent_23121 tr.footable-header, #footable_parent_23121 tr.footable-header th { font-weight: 600; font-size: 12px; line-height: 15px; text-transform: uppercase; color: #FFFFFF; vertical-align: middle;}#footable_parent_23121 tbody h1, #footable_parent_23121 tbody h2, #footable_parent_23121 tbody h3, #footable_parent_23121 tbody h4, #footable_parent_23121 tbody h5, #footable_parent_23121 tbody h6 { margin-bottom: 0;}#footable_parent_23121 tbody .compare_best_online_therapy_services { text-align: center; vertical-align: middle; font-size: 16px; line-height: 32px;}#footable_parent_23121 tbody .view-more-btn { vertical-align: middle; color: rgba(255, 255, 255, 1); background: #657e79; border-radius: 12px; margin-bottom: 0px; min-width: 180px; min-height: 50px; text-align: center; font-size: 20px; font-family: EuclidCircularB, sans-serif;}#footable_parent_23121 tbody .learn-more-below-text { font-size: 12px; line-height: 15px; color: #333333;}#footable_23121 td.ninja_column_0 { text-align: center; }#footable_23121 th.ninja_column_0 { text-align: center; }

Hey, Health Coach,
I’m training for a 10K race. I was hoping to lose weight in the process, but somehow I’ve managed to gain it instead. That was not the plan! Why am I gaining weight when I’m working out?
– Not Fast Enough
First, congratulations on your goal to run a 10K. Big objectives like that can help you create healthy habits that have the potential to extend well beyond race day, especially if you enjoy the training process.
You don’t mention if your pseudonym, Not Fast Enough, refers to not running or not losing weight fast enough, but I gather it might be a little of both.
You’re much more likely to stick with a workout routine if you’re getting the payoff you want. If you’re disappointed or don’t feel good, you could be tempted to quit as soon as you achieve your short-term goal—in this case, the 10K.
Lots of people gain weight when they first start a new workout routine, and there are physiological reasons for it. Fortunately, many of them are short-lived.
You May Also Be Interested In Weight Management Supplements From Our Featured Partners

Clean Burn

Skinny Bird

Skinny Greens

Fasting Shake
(Note: Product details and pricing are accurate as of the publication date and are subject to change.)
When you first begin exercising or start a new sport, your muscles often feel sore for 24 to 48 hours after a workout due to tiny tears created by healthy strain on muscle fibers. As those tears heal, the muscle gets stronger, which is a good thing. However, in order to heal, your body needs to retain extra water. Muscles are already approximately 76% water, so that healing process can make a noticeable difference on the scale.
That same process of stress and recovery can also create inflammation after an intense bout of exercise. Again, water retention helps your body heal after a hard workout, but research shows exercising regularly can reduce inflammation in the long run.
Glycogen is the energy our muscles use for power. When we exercise more, we need to store more of it in our cells. Glycogen also needs water to fuel the muscle. Each gram of glycogen is stored with at least 3 grams of water. However, with consistent exercise, muscles become more efficient at using glycogen, so they need to store less of it—and less water as well.
A month or two after you start exercising, your body composition may begin to change. You will likely gain muscle mass and may begin to lose some fat mass. Muscle weighs more than fat, but it also burns more calories. Closely tracking your weight during this window can be confusing—your clothes may feel looser while the number on the scale stays the same or even goes up a few pounds. How strong or energetic you feel could be a more meaningful measure of your progress at this stage than your weight.
Research is mixed on whether exercise increases appetite, but many studies show that exercise actually decreases hunger hormones, especially in the immediate aftermath of a workout. The result is a delay in hunger cues, but over the course of a day, calorie intake often remains the same regardless of whether people exercise. This news may be motivating if your goal is to lose weight. If the amount you’re eating is stable and you’re burning extra calories by running, you could see slow, steady weight loss over time.
However, I do have one note of caution on appetite. Anecdotally, as a coach, I’ve seen lots of people follow long run days with burgers and fries they wouldn’t have eaten otherwise. Lots of factors influence appetite—physical, environmental and psychological. If you’re exercising more than usual, make sure to fuel your body regularly with high-quality carbohydrates, protein and healthy fats. A little goes a long way. You might find a small snack before or after running could help curb overeating later in the day and even give you more power for your workouts.

You May Also Be Interested In Diet Plans From Our Featured Partners

WeightWatchers

Eat Smarter With Noom

Perfect Body

Factor Meals

Found Weight Loss Program
(Note: Product details and pricing are accurate as of the publication date and are subject to change.)
If the purpose of training for this 10K was weight loss exclusively and you’re gaining instead, I can see how staying motivated could be tough.
I hope the information above makes it clear that your body is functioning exactly as it should. It’s adapting to increased demand, and it needs extra water to do that.
So, what can you do about it?
Drink lots of water, eat frequently to be sure you’re getting all necessary nutrients and prioritize rest and recovery. Our bodies adapt beautifully—if we give them time. Within a few months, your muscles will be stronger and more efficient, and, if your weight is still higher than you would like, you’ll be in a solid position to adjust your diet, stress levels or anything else that could be contributing to the number on the scale.
Take note of other reasons you decided to train for this race. Maybe you wanted better cardiovascular health, mental clarity, a sense of accomplishment, time alone or with a running buddy or structure in your days and weeks. Maybe you were just curious to see how far and fast you can run.
As your body acclimates to your new workout routine, don’t forget to measure success with a variety of metrics—not just the number on the scale. If you can do that, you’ll have a lot to keep you going while you wait for your body to catch up with your new lifestyle.
In the meantime, I’m cheering you on. Thanks for sending such a great question. You very well may have inspired some readers of this column to lace up and hit the road, too.
“Hey, Health Coach” is for informational purposes only and should not substitute for professional psychological or medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions about your personal situation, health or medical condition.
By submitting your letter to [email protected], you agree to let Forbes Health use it in part or in whole, and we may edit the letter for length and clarity. All submissions remain anonymous.

Weight Loss For Real Life

Cookie-cutter programs don’t cut it—customization does. Get a weight-loss plan fit for you.

Join Now

On WeightWatcher’s Website

Weight Loss For Real Life
Cookie-cutter programs don’t cut it—customization does. Get a weight-loss plan fit for you.
On WeightWatcher’s Website
Get the Forbes Health newsletter for helpful tips, news, product reviews and offers from a name you can trust.
Information provided on Forbes Health is for educational purposes only. Your health and wellness is unique to you, and the products and services we review may not be right for your circumstances. We do not offer individual medical advice, diagnosis or treatment plans. For personal advice, please consult with a medical professional.
Forbes Health adheres to strict editorial integrity standards. To the best of our knowledge, all content is accurate as of the date posted, though offers contained herein may no longer be available. The opinions expressed are the author’s alone and have not been provided, approved or otherwise endorsed by our advertisers.
Sarah Hays Coomer is a Mayo Clinic and National Board Certified Health and Wellness Coach, certified personal trainer and author based in Nashville, Tennessee. She has spent nearly 20 years helping individuals and groups build personalized systems to ease chronic stress with self-selected, concrete behavioral changes. She has contributed to many publications, spoken at organizations and universities nationwide, and written three books: The Habit Trip, Physical Disobedience and Lightness of Body and Mind. You can find her on her website, LinkedIn or Instagram.
Alena is a professional writer, editor and manager with a lifelong passion for helping others live well. She is also a registered yoga teacher (RYT-200) and a functional medicine certified health coach. She brings more than a decade of media experience to Forbes Health, with a keen focus on building content strategy, ensuring top content quality and empowering readers to make the best health and wellness decisions for themselves.

source

Happy
Happy
0 %
Sad
Sad
0 %
Excited
Excited
0 %
Sleepy
Sleepy
0 %
Angry
Angry
0 %
Surprise
Surprise
0 %