When you’re hitting the gym most days of the week, how can it be possible that you’re gaining weight from exercising? After all, you’re being good! You’re not skipping those workouts. Even more, you’re pouring your heart and soul into completing them at your best possible performance level. Shouldn’t that be sending your bathroom scale numbers through the floor, not up through she ceiling?
There’s More to Your Weight Loss than You Think
For most people who find that they are gaining weight from exercising, there are certain very specific issues at play. They often seem to be invisible, which is why it can look as though you’re doing everything right and still making backward progress.
Consider some of the following extremely common reasons that you are gaining weight from exercising when your goal is to lose.
- You’re eating more calories than you’re burning. You need to combine workouts with a great healthy diet, or you can easily find yourself gaining weight from exercising
- Your workouts are making you hungry, and you’re choosing the wrong post-workout snacks
- You’re actually burning fat, but you’re also gaining lean muscle. So, you’re reducing your size, but it doesn’t register on the scale because of your body composition shift
- You’re using the calorie counter on your gym machine or fitness tracker. This feature is notoriously inaccurate on almost every device and tends to make you think you’ve burned more than you really have.
- You’re rewarding yourself with food. “I can have this burger because I did my walk today” is among the most destructive attitudes in a weight loss program.
How to Stop Gaining Weight from Exercising
Here are some great tips to reverse the trend and stop yourself from gaining weight from exercising:
- Track your calories. Get to know how much you’re eating. If you find that you’re consuming more than you’re likely burning all day, then it’s time to make some adjustments to what you eat.
- Pay close attention to your post-workout snacks. Don’t fall victim to the shakes they sell at the gym. They may make your wallet slimmer, but they are not likely doing your waistline many favors.
Reward yourself with non-food treats. Whether it’s buying a new book, getting your nails done, relaxing in a bath or another enjoyable activity or experience you love, make sure that you reward yourself for meeting short-term and long-term goals with something that doesn’t involve food. This stops you from working against your progress and helps to keep a healthy relationship between yourself and your food.