How Come When I Workout I Gain Weight?

Learn how working out can affect your weight and what you can do to avoid gaining weight when working out.

Reasons why you may be gaining weight

It may seem counterintuitive, but it is possible to gain weight while trying to get fit. There could be several reasons why you are gaining weight, such as not getting enough sleep, having an unhealthy diet, or not following an effective exercise routine. Let’s look at some of these reasons in more detail to understand why this may be happening.

Water retention

Water retention is a common cause of weight gain and weight fluctuations while exercising. The amount of water your body retains at any given time is dependent on several factors, including hormones and electrolytes like sodium, calcium and potassium. During intense exercise, the body will naturally retain more water to hydrate cells faster and help cool down your core temperature. This causes your muscles to become fuller and heavier, leading to an overall increase in body weight.

Other factors could include consuming too many carbohydrates due to increased hunger due to intense exercise—this can quickly add up in calories and fat storage if not managed properly when coupled with lot of energy being burned by exercise. In some cases, a person may be overly hydrating before or after working out which can cause increased bloating from excess water intake that is not used directly for workouts but stored as extra weight in the body instead. Lastly, changes in hormones such as cortisol caused by frequent changes in physical activity levels could also have an effect on water retention in the body.

In order to avoid gaining excess weight from water retention due to exercise it would be important for an individual exerciser focus on regularly eating balanced meals with enough fat protein and carbohydrate calorie sources with adequate amounts of electrolytes like sodium potassium magnesium etc. Eating 5-6 smaller meals throughout the day as opposed 3 large ones would also help maintain more even levels of hormones which could reduce water retention associated with frequent physical activity changes as well as minimize feelings of hunger between meals. Furthermore managing muscle soreness through light stretching foam rolling dynamic warm ups before workouts should help aid recovery preventing increases bloat & inflammation resulting from excess muscle damage due excessive strain during hard workouts lastly Proper amounts drinking fluids & electrolyte replacements before during & after exercise individuals looking reduce excessive weigh gain related frequent rigorous exercising.

Muscle growth

Gaining weight does not always mean adding fat to the body. Depending on your workout intensity, you may actually be increasing muscle mass, which will result in a higher overall weight. This is a positive effect, although at first it may feel discouraging after working out hard.

The human body is designed to strive for balance and the process of building muscle causes the body to store more energy or calories as fat than normal in order to balance out strength and endurance levels. This is why it’s important that when beginning an exercise routine, people pay close attention to building up muscles gradually and eating adequate nutrients that provide fuel to build muscles.

During a strenuous workout or while lifting weights, small tears occur in muscle tissue — this is why your muscles hurt after a workout — as well as new proteins start forming around these tears creating larger and stronger muscle fibers than before; these forms of exercise are known as resistance training. Because this increased amount of proteins require more energy or calories than before, you may find yourself gaining what appears to be excess weight in the form of extra fat. Muscle growth from resistance training typically occurs over the course of weeks or months with regular exercise sessions coupled with proper nutrition; when combined with physical activities such as running and swimming specifically used for calorie burning, you should expect an overall loss in body fat due to increased muscle-mass gain not seen immediately on scales used for measuring weight.

Increased appetite

When you begin to workout regularly, it can increase your appetite. This is especially true if you are engaged in strenuous exercise. As you build muscle, your body is increasing its demand for fuel and nutrients, which means higher caloric intake needs to be met to keep up with your increased energy expenditure.

The National Institute of Health suggests that when exercising you should focus on eating a balanced diet that includes whole grains and other nutritious foods. Adding more carbohydrates and proteins to your diet will help provide the necessary energy and nutrients for muscle building, but be sure not to over indulge as this can add calories that will ultimately leave them on stored as fat. Try to focus on eating the right portion sizes in order to meet your daily caloric needs. Additionally, avoid junk food after workouts or when feeling extra hungry as these foods provide little nutritional value. Consuming ample amounts of water between meals will also help curb cravings brought on by increased hunger as it may make one feel fuller while providing hydration benefits.


Proper nutrition is key to seeing results from your workouts. Working out is an important part of managing your weight and staying healthy, but if you don’t have the right diet, you may be setting yourself up for failure. In this section we’ll explore the connection between your nutrition and your workout and how to ensure you’re getting the most from each.

Eating too much

When we exercise, it is important to fuel our body with the proper nutrition in order to maintain a healthy weight and achieve our goals. It can be easy to go overboard on calories, leading to weight gain even when we are working out regularly. Exercising does require extra energy, but not necessarily the number of calories that many people assume it does; after all, any calorie consumed will be stored as fat if not burned off. Eating too much can make us feel sluggish and drowsy which reduces our exercise performance.

In order to lose weight or maintain a healthy weight while exercising, it is important to keep track of how much food you are consuming. Eating at least an hour before each workout so that your food is digested properly and your body has enough energy will help prevent overindulgence. Make sure you consult a doctor or nutritionist if you are uncertain about what amount of food would supply the right amount of calories needed for your activity level and goals. Proper fueling prior to workouts is essential for reaching any fitness level as well as avoiding miscalculated caloric intake while exercising.

Eating the wrong foods

Eating the wrong foods and the wrong amount of food can be a reason why many people gain weight when they workout. Even if you exercise regularly, if you’re not consuming the correct balance of calories, your body can actually hold onto weight, rather than letting it go. Swapping out calorie-dense snacks for healthier options like fruits and vegetables is a great way of getting your body to lose weight instead of gaining it. Additionally, keeping track of your food intake and making sure that you are consuming enough protein will help fuel your workouts and optimizeyour gains.

If you’re looking to lose weight after exercise it’s important to make sure that you’re not just eating processed or heavily refined food like sugars, white breads, snacks and fast food as these are full of empty calories that can lead to fat gains in your body rather than muscle growth or any type of performance increase. Additionally staying hydrated is vital for helping the body perform correctly during exercise as it helps ensure muscle fibers are working correctly when contracting during exercise sessions.

Finally ensuring that portion sizes are being monitored properly is highly beneficial for healthy living and gaining weight when exercising can potentially be a sign of portion sizes being overestimated or underestimating how much we’re actually eating throughout our day.

Not eating enough

Although it may seem counterintuitive, not eating enough is one of the primary reasons you might be gaining weight when you are exercising. When you do not consume enough calories due to setting caloric goals that are too low for your current activity level or by severely restricting or skipping meals altogether, your body will start to draw from your stored energy reserves and make up the difference through increased hunger and cravings.

It’s important to ensure that you are leaving room in your diet for healthy eating habits while also allowing yourself sufficient fuel to support the intensity of your workouts. When implementing new eating habits, it’s best to start with an attainable goal that is moderate in terms of portion size as well as macronutrient composition. Additionally, don’t forget to factor in sufficient “flex” calories — extra calories specifically built into your daily nutrition plan — so that when healthier meal options aren’t readily available, you still have wiggle room without compromising progress.

The combination of regular exercise and a nutrient-dense meal plan will keep you energized and help ensure steady progress toward the goals you desire, regardless if those goals are for health benefits or aesthetics enhancement. Ultimately, adequate nutrition fueled by mindful food choices will support a sustained quality performance during workouts which over time can manifest favorably in form of improved body composition and/or improved sports performance metrics such as stamina or speed demonstration under given conditions.


Exercise is a great tool to get healthy and improve physical fitness, but it can be confusing when you start to gain weight instead of losing it. There are many factors that can lead to weight gain, even when you are exercising regularly. Let’s discuss the different reasons why you might be gaining weight when you work out and what you can do to counteract it.

Not enough intensity

When you’re working out, one of the most important factors for successfully shedding those pounds is creating a workout plan that has enough intensity. Intensity is measure by the perceived level of difficulty in your workouts. Generally speaking, if you’re not focusing on high intensity interval training, then you need to be pushing yourself out of your comfort zone. Otherwise, progress will be slow.

The level of intensity also increases as your fitness level improves. Incorporating exercises such as high-intensity interval training (HIIT) into your workouts will help keep your heart rate at a vigorous level and help increase calorie burning capabilities long after you have finished exercising – up 90 minutes after a workout session according to recent studies. This higher calorie burn should lead to weight loss over time if it’s coupled with a balanced diet and proper rest days throughout the week.

Finally, taking some time to evaluate how much rest and recovery you are doing can also be beneficial in increasing overall effort levels while working out. Making sure to always warm-up before exercising and stretching afterwards can keep muscles from being tight or sore from overuse or strain during exercises like running or weight lifting where increased resistance may lead underexertion — resulting in more fat being stored than lost.

Doing too much

It is possible to exercise too much, which can cause you to gain weight instead of lose it. Over-training leads to an increase in cortisol and other hormones associated with stress that can lead to fluid retention and make it more difficult for your body to burn fat. Additionally, exercising too intensely or frequently may make you feel so exhausted that you reach for high-calorie snacks or meals as a means of recovering energy afterwards.

Here are some tips to ensure your exercise regimen is not causing weight gain:
-Incorporate rest days into your schedule so that you are giving your body the time it needs to recover
-Avoid doing long sessions of the same type of workout; instead, switch up exercises and focus on varying muscle groups
-Make sure your workouts are balanced so you don’t have one muscle group working harder than others
-Start slowly and build up intensity at a steady rate over time
-Consume plenty of healthy carbohydrates and proteins before and after exercising

Not enough rest

One of the most common reasons why people gain weight when they exercise is simply not allowing enough rest time between workouts. When you don’t give your body enough time to fully recover from your workouts, you can end up overcompensating with additional calories and carbohydrate intake post-workout in order to replenish glycogen levels. If the increase in calories is greater than the energy output of a workout, then weight gain may occur.

In general, one day of rest for each body part which has been worked out is recommended; for example, you should take two days off after a leg workout followed by a second leg workout on the third day. Additionally, it is important to get adequate sleep as this helps improve recovery and prevent overeating which can cause weight gain. Finally, make sure that your diet is mostly comprised of nutrient-dense whole foods rather than processed snacks; this will help ensure that your calorie intake matches workload.


The body can react to stress in a variety of negative ways, one of which is weight gain. This is because stress makes the body produce hormones that cause the body to store fat. When people are stressed, they tend to eat more, which can also lead to weight gain. In this section, we will discuss how stress can affect your body and how it can lead to weight gain.

Stress hormones

High levels of stress can cause difficulties in managing weight. This is because the production of stress hormones, such as cortisol, have been linked to weight gain, especially in the abdominal area. When cortisol levels become too high for a long period of time, it can lead to increased fat storage and typically causes a decrease in metabolism.

Additionally when we experience frequent or long-term stress our bodies also experience an increase in ghrelin (an appetite hormone) and a decrease in leptin (a hormone that signals when we are full). This combination can not only lead to excess fat storage but also continual feelings of hunger even after eating which further complicates the issue. Furthermore when we experience higher levels of stress, our bodies often respond by producing comfort foods that contain higher amounts of calories than what’s considered healthy (i.e., unhealthy carbs, sugar and simple carbohydrates).

When dealing with high levels of stress it’s important to prioritize taking measures to reduce your stress and anxiety. Techniques such as practicing mindfulness meditation,, journaling, getting enough restful sleep or engaging in some leisure activities like Yoga or Tai-chi may help reduce your cortisol levels overtime which then helps keep your weight healthily regulated. Additionally making sure that you eat regular balanced meals with plenty of healthy fruits and vegetables may further assist with maintaining weight loss goals while helping you to stay healthy mentally and physically too!

Lack of sleep

One of the most common causes of weight gain when you’re exercising regularly is lack of sleep, or more importantly, poor quality sleep. Getting six to eight hours of sleep every night is the minimum your body needs to recover and repair itself. When you don’t get enough rest, your body doesn’t have time to properly digest what you eat throughout the day. A regular exercise program can trigger hormones that can make it more difficult for your body to relax and fall asleep at night. Prolonged periods of stress due to a lack of sleep can also lead to elevated cortisol levels which causes increased fat storage and appetite stimulation. If your workouts are becoming increasingly difficult due to exhaustion and fatigue, then make sure you prioritize a good sleep routine and look for ways on how to reduce stress in your life.

Poor lifestyle choices

Poor lifestyle choices such as consuming excess calories, eating unhealthy foods, and engaging in sedentary activities can lead to weight gain. Stress can also make it difficult to lose or maintain a healthy weight. Stress increases our cravings for “comfort” and “rewarding” foods that are high in sugar and fat content. When these cravings are combined with reducing your daily physical activity due to stress-related fatigue, this can lead to an increase in body weight. Further, managing Stress is made more challenging during situations of uncertainly or change associated with things like COVID-19 which can have an impact on our nutrition, physical activity and overall health.


It can be disheartening when your hard work in the gym results in an increase in your weight. But don’t give up, there are solutions to this problem. Today, we are going to discuss some of the most common causes and solutions of this issue. So if you are feeling frustrated, by the end of this article you will hopefully have some ideas of how to fix the problem you are facing.

Adjust your diet

Whilst exercise is important for boosting metabolism, maintaining overall health and countering weight gain, it should not be done without attention to diet. If you’re exercising and still gaining weight it may be because the diet you are following is not the right one for you. When exercising, your body requires a certain level of protein, carbohydrates and fat to fuel it. If your diet is improper in its balance of nutrients, it will lead to inefficient fueling of your workout sessions resulting in sub-optimal benefits.

In some cases, overexercising can cause an imbalance in hormones leading to an increase in appetite which can continue even after your workout. To prevent this from happening, you should aim at working out more often but with shorter intensity levels as both too much and too little activity can prolong this effect on your hunger levels.

Additionally, it’s important to understand how calories work; when trying to lose weight through exercising or dieting, many miscalculate how many calories their body needs on a daily basis resulting in either taking in too few for their training or too many that results in unwanted weight gain due to caloric surplus. It’s best practice to determine the correct balance by taking into account how hard you work out and how long every training session lasts so that the ideal amount of calories needed are taken into account when forming a healthy eating plan that works effectively with your level of activity.

Increase intensity

Increasing the intensity of your current workout may be just the solution for you if removing weight has become a challenge. To maximize the number of calories you burn, your exercise routine should include both aerobic and strength training exercises. Aerobic exercises are those that require consistent movement over a period of time, and can include activities such as running, swimming, cycling, or various forms of dance-inspired workouts. You will want to ensure that you reach an intensity level where you can still carry on a conversation, yet still feel your heart rate elevate significantly.

When it comes to strength training exercises, additional attention should be given to progressive overload — where the muscles are challenged more than they were during the previous session. This could be done by increasing the weight resistance or number of sets/reps performed but can also include modifying body position (for example adding pauses or extended leverage), manipulating tempos and variations in rest periods between sets/exercises — these can all add complexity to your regimen without necessarily increasing the weight being used. A well-rounded routine should include movements that target all major muscle groups including arms (biceps & triceps), shoulders (deltoids) core (abdominals), as well as legs (quads & hamstrings) and back muscles (lats). By consistently training at higher levels each time you work out will prevent plateaus from occurring so making sure you are working hard enough is key.

Get enough rest

Getting enough rest is key to seeing results from your workouts. When you don’t give your body adequate time to rest and repair itself, it will burn out and won’t be able to keep up with the demands of your workout routine. That’s why it is important to get a minimum of 7-8 hours of sleep per night. Additionally, an active recovery day during your week can help give your body an extra break from the intense exercise and allow it to correct any imbalances that could be contributing to weight gain or holding you back from reaching your goals. Every body is different so make sure that you are listening to yours and giving yourself the recovery time you need.

Manage stress levels

It may be surprising to hear that when you workout, you can gain weight. This can happen for a number of reasons, and often times it is due to stress. Stress leads to weight gain because of the hormones it releases into the body. These hormones cause your body to hold onto fat and store energy for future use. To combat this, one must manage their stress levels as much as possible and take steps to alleviate tension in their life.

One way to do this is through exercise itself! Exercise releases endorphins which help reduce stress levels and make you feel more relaxed. Additionally, prioritizing stress-relieving activities like yoga or meditation can be extremely beneficial for managing your stress levels over time. Practicing mindful eating habits can also help minimize any potential anxiety associated with eating nutrient-dense foods that are necessary for maintaining an active lifestyle and healthful weight management goals. Finally, if your sleeping patterns become disrupted due to exercise or any other factor, taking further measures to ensure adequate rest will be paramount in managing your stress levels.

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