Home PageWeight LossHELP! Why Do I Put on Weight after Exercising?

Sep 17

HELP! Why Do I Put on Weight after Exercising?

It can be frustrating. You’re doing all this hard work and the numbers on the scale indicate you’ve put on weight. You ask yourself, “Is there something wrong with my workout routine?”

Don’t worry, a lot of people who exercise also have the same problem. Seeing an increase on the scale while exercising can be deceiving. We’re glad to let you know that this is normal and temporary.

Why Am I Gaining Weight?

Here are common reasons of weight gain even with exercise:

  • Water Weight

We need to stay hydrated when working out. If you’re slightly dehydrated, your body can go into survival mode and begin retaining water. A person’s weight is made up of 60 to 90% water. The amount of water in your system has a big impact on the number you see on the scale. Water can alter your weight by as much as 5 kg (or more).

  • Lack of Aerobic Exercise

Not all exercise routines are calorie and fat burning. We are recommended to mix in calorie or fat-burning aerobic exercises such as biking, brisk walking, climbing and jogging. Doing these exercises few times a week will ensure we’re burning more calories that we are taking in.

  • Exercise Routines

Your workout routines can influence your weight, especially vigorous exercise programs. However, that doesn’t mean you’ve put on weight. Our scale mass is a mix of blood, bone, brain, connective tissue, fat, intestinal gas, lymph, muscle, neural tract and the air we carry in our lungs. Instantly after we exercise, the percentage of mass in each of these groups alter as much as 15%. This can be because of – hydration status, DOMS (delayed on-set muscle soreness) and even the quantity of intestinal by-product or blood and urine volume.

NEWS FLASH! Muscle Weight Is DENSER than Fat

A lot of people believe muscle weighs more than fat, when in reality it does not. According to Jeffrey A. Dolgan (a clinical exercise physiologist), “A pound of fat weighs the same as a pound of muscle, however the volume of muscle is denser than the volume of fat, and therefore heavier.”

When we start making more dense muscle mass and decrease body fat, scale weight may increase while body fat percentage declines. These changes happen over weeks and months so using the scale is useless when tracking them.

Don’t Rely on Your Scale Too Much


Weight gain after exercise is possible but you MUST NOT rely on your scale to trace your progress as the scale basically doesn’t tell the whole story because:

  • Changes always transpire such as food and water intake.
  • It doesn’t factor in body fat.
  • It has no factual way of telling you what you’ve lost or gained.

How to Accurately Trace Your Progress

Using a scale as your “measuring stick” will only leave you depressed. We advise you to use these fool-proof techniques for gauging your progress.

(1) Take A Before and After Photo

Progress pictures offer you a visual record of the physical changes that is happening in your body. By comparing your before and after pictures, you can immediately notice the changes in your body.

Take one every 2 weeks in the morning before consuming any food or water.


Take Body Measurements (using a measuring tape)

  • Bust – measure all the way around your bust and back on the line of your nipples
  • Chest – measure directly under your breasts, as high up as possible
  • Waist – (Male) measured horizontally, at the navel
    (Female) measured horizontally, at the level of minimal abdominal width
  • Hips – (Female only) measure around the widest part of the hipbone
  • Thigh and Leg – measure around the fullest part of the thigh, and then measure the fullest part of the calf. Take measurements for both legs.
  • Upper Arm – measure above your elbows, around fullest part
  • Forearm – measure below your elbows, around fullest part
  • Neck – measure below the larynx with the tape inclined slightly downward to the front
When to Be Concerned

If you put on weight while working out and you don’t drop it fast after the second week, then the problem may be your eating habits. If you don’t watch what you put in your mouth, then no wonder you are gaining weight. Exercise, when not coupled with a healthy eating plan is pointless.

Seeing an increase on the scale after you exercise doesn’t really mean you’ve put on weight. Check your progress by taking pictures and body measurements. These give a more concrete assurance which will give you fulfilment since you know the hours you’ve dedicated working out are paying off.

Shoot us an e-mail if you have questions. We wish you the best of luck!

Rooting for you,

~ The HSO Team ~

Simply Awesome.

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