When I became a fitness trainer, most of the trainees who joined my training class were overweight, and the first goal for them to follow those training courses was to lose weight. The trainees were surprised by the weight gain rather than its decrease, especially in the first weeks. They were complaining, what happens? Oh my God, I gained a few grams instead of losing them. And I was supposed to reassure my trainees that what is happening is a temporary result of exercising.
Here, a question popped up in my head: When does exercise become a cause of weight gain? To answer it, read this article, in which you will find the primary, secondary, and even psychological causes of weight gain after exercise. With a detailed plan of what can happen in your body after exercising. In addition to your insight into the most important choices of exercises suitable for weight loss, with an appropriate food list so that you get the full benefit so that exercise does not become a cause of weight gain.
In this Article
Organic Causes for Weight Gain after Exercise
Muscle Fiber Rupture
Pain is the first sign of sudden muscular effort after prolonged inactivity and laziness. This pain may extend from 24-48 hours after exercise. Its direct causes are simple rupture of muscle fibers. It’s a small but painful tear. The important thing is that after muscle recovery, the muscle becomes stronger. In order to recover, the body must store water in the muscles in preparation for the recovery process. It is known that the muscles contain 76% of water, then there must be a slight increase in weigh. Therefore, this will cause weight gain after exercise.
Inflammation may also occur to the body after performing strenuous exercises. And during the process of recovery and intensification of exercises, the body will return to water retention to treat inflammation after continuous stress in exercise. Thus this will be a reason for weight gain after sports.
On the contrary, exercises can eliminate infections if they are practiced regularly. Then exercises will not become a cause of weight gain.
1 gram of glycogen needs 3 grams of water for the muscles to store, and glycogen represents the energy that our muscles burn when we exercise.And the equation begins when we need to store more glycogen in the active cell, and so the amount of water will increase as the amount of stored energy increases. But that will not last long, with perseverance in exercise, muscles gain more efficiency in processing glycogen, and you will need to store a smaller amount of it – Hence less water and less weight gain.
All those who exercised for a few weeks felt a change in their body mass, and most likely felt an additional energy due to increased muscle growth and a decrease in accumulated fat. Assuming that the fat is lighter in weight than the muscles that have grown steadily, it will be difficult to notice a significant difference in weight. And you will scream I feel strong and energized as if I lost weight. But the scale will frustrate your hopes because of the growth of muscles that are heavier than fat. And you will read the same number on the scale if your weight does not increase slightly, so exercise becomes a cause of weight gain as you think.
Here, there were conflicting reports about whether exercise opens or increases appetite, or suppresses it, and delays meals due to preoccupation with exercise on the one hand, and because of the suspicion that exercise reduces hunger hormones, especially immediately after exercise.
Your son often returns from the playground, refusing food directly because his hunger signals are delayed. But throughout the day he will compensate for that delayed meal with successive meals, and exercise will not affect curbing appetite. It is unfortunate news for those who run, for example, to burn calories. When they re-compensate it with fixed amounts of food, then they will not feel a weight loss, but rather they will maintain the same weight or a small loss that will not be mentioned.
In my name as a trainer, I have heard many stories about the trainees who go out from the training hall to fast food restaurants and eat burgers and fries immediately after training, which they may not have had the luck to eat if they had not practiced the exercises.
What your body needs throughout the day is moderate amounts of good carbohydrates, healthy fats and protein. Eating a snack before training may keep you from gorging on a large meal of hot dogs and sausages that are full of saturated fats. Eating a light meal will give you the strength to continue your workout without falling into the moaning of hunger.
Also read: How to Control Your Appetite
Water Retention after Completing Exercise
Water makes up about 65%-90% of the body of the human being. Oh my God, I almost swim in the water. That is not important, but the important part is that the body losing some of this water will be noticed on the scale, while exercise works to retain water and fluids in the muscles and the body. This stems from the answer to our question, when does weight gain occur after exercise?
I often advise my trainees to stay away from supplements. When some female players start taking supplements after exercising, such as: walking or running, as the percentage of glycogen decreases after those exercises.
During exercise, glycogen is consumed, and the trainees try to compensate for the deficiency by drinking supplements because they contain carbohydrates.
1 gram of glycogen being stored in the body causes 3 grams of water to be retained, which explains the weight gain after exercise.
The increase caused by taking supplements or extra meals is temporary, it will go away after continuing the exercises.
Eat Foods Rich in Fiber
After exercising, we need to eat a diet rich in fiber to feel full. These fibers will lead to exercise becoming a cause of weight gain. How? It is simple. When you eat food rich in fiber, this will work to collect fluids in the intestines, thus increase the weight temporarily. As my neighbor says when they tell her that she has become obese! She smiles and says, “This bloating is just water and it will go away after a while. Therefore, this is not a direct reason for weight gain after exercise.”
Is Weight Gain after Exercise Cause for Concern?
- A question that comes to every trainee’s mind, am I at risk of gaining weight after exercise?
There is no need to worry at all. This is a natural weight gain mechanism for building and repairing muscles after exercising in all its forms.
The injury to minor tears or even repeated infections due to exercise may not require more than 24 to 36 hours to recover after undergoing training during the day.
In order to avoid anxiety, do not monitor your weight after each exercise. Rather, take time that may extend for months before measuring your weight to ensure the feasibility of the exercises that you implement.
Additional Causes for Weight Gain after Exercise
Here are some additional possible causes that inevitably cause weight gain after exercise:
1- Choosing the right time to carry out exercise is very important, because doing it immediately after eating will lead to weight gain. So it is recommended to separate it from a meal for at least three hours.
2- When I accomplish something, I like to reward myself with some sweets. Are you one of those who reward themselves when completing the required exercises? Is the reward limited to eating some chocolate bars, for example, or some banana? This is good for your stomach. But they are high-calorie foods that may rebuild body fat lost after exercise.
3- Any work that is not done diligently and consistently will not give good results, make sure to continue burning fat tirelessly.
4- The response of muscles and bodies to exercise varies, just as the nature of each body differs. Thus the increase in muscle mass differs from one body to another.
5- Training on the same devices for long periods of time can increase the cholesterol hormone, because the body does not understand the great pressure of training. At which time it becomes clear that the weight will increase after exercise.
6- It is noted that weightlifting athletes have heavy weights, unlike expected. This sport causes weight gain due to the steadily growing muscle and fat mass.
7- The positive aspect of water must be mentioned in all areas of life. Here, water increases the rate of fat burning. Drink 1.5 to 2 liters of water per day, equivalent to 8 cups. This amount will help you burn fat well.
8- Do you love sleeping? Here you have to exchange love with it, because lack of hours of sleep leads to difficulty in rebuilding cells, and difficulty in burning fat. Sleep is an important factor in losing weight, building muscle, and treating injuries quickly.
9- Be beautiful, you see existence as beautiful, this is how the poet Michael Naima sees beauty. Don’t be pessimistic even while exercising, as feelings of frustration cause your body to fail and prevent you from losing weight.
When You Loss Weight after Exercise
Burning extra calories means definite weight loss, with the condition that you do not compensate for more calories through food, and choosing exercises that are appropriate for your abilities. Draw a table showing the extent of your calorie needs after you exercise, and pay attention to the health damage that may befall the body with the wrong exercises.
Achievement will not happen since the first week of exercise, which may invite you to give up and get frustrated. This may continue in the second week. And it seems that the body needs to adapt to the changes in the daily food plan.
Weight Loss after Exercise Stages
According to the publications of the Healthy website, you can get rid of excess weight and obesity when you exercise, according to the following stages:
The first month of exercise
Success always occurs in the beginnings. And in the matter of exercising, the foundations of a diet and an appropriate exercise schedule must be laid. And stay tuned at the end of the month for weight loss and increased flexibility and muscle strength.
You will be able to burn belly fat and muscles in a short time from two to four weeks after regular exercise. After which you can move on to other advanced stages.
After four months of exercise
Good news that the fourth month of regular exercise will bring you. Your body will leaf like a flower blooming in the spring, and you will notice the following:
- The evolution of your body’s fitness.
- Increased flexibility and strength of the body’s muscles.
- Losing weight through metabolism and burning accumulated fat.
- Fat loss from the body.
After seven months of exercise
Seven months is sufficient to reach the stage of stability in weight. While the decline may continue for some people. At that time you need a well-thought-out food plan to follow the metabolism process in your evolving body.
The Link between Weight Loss and Public Health
You will reap the long positive results of waiting with multiple benefits, from the appearance of physical changes to definite weight loss after exercise.
However, there are some areas that need more time to obtain these desired physical changes, especially the abdomen and hips.
Losing 5 to 10% of your weight helps you adjust blood pressure and cholesterol levels for the better, and lower blood sugar levels. In general, it supports the health of the body at all levels.
It also contributes to keeping the risk of heart disease at bay, even if the weight loss is partial.
It has become known that adhering to a healthy diet and continuing to exercise is an excellent advantage for melting the fat that is naturally present in the lower layers of the skin and surrounds the digestive system (the abdominal area) and the rest of the body. While this accumulated fat increases the risk of chronic diseases like diabetes and cardiovascular disease, people with fat stomachs often develop type 2 diabetes.
So do not hesitate to reduce the percentage of those fats in your body. And keep the specter of diseases away from you.
Choosing the Right Exercises for Weight Loss
There is no doubt that the type of exercise that you carry out also has a role in achieving the desired results. And in terms of weight loss, there should be harmony between a low-calorie diet program and effective exercises in losing weight.
On the Sarapopfit website, you can choose the appropriate exercises for your condition. And we will provide you with the necessary advice. So, write to us.
Tips for Getting the Most out of Your Workout
These tips are dedicated to you to know the link between food and exercise. Follow us:
You need to know what to eat and when to eat it because this combination of food and exercise is likely to work for you.
The connection between eating and exercising is close, and it is not possible to differentiate between them. So rely on these foundations to get the full benefit, without harm to public health:
1. Eat a healthy breakfast
The habit of waking up early has become familiar to most people, especially the elderly. And to those friends who love early morning exercising, I recommend them to eat breakfast an hour before the start of the exercise. Eat your food well and do not forget your share of carbohydrates before going to training, because serious exercises need to be done after eating food rich in nutrients.
The trainee who goes to exercise before breakfast becomes weak, dizzy, and has poor resistance.
In short, when you do not want a full breakfast, try to eat a light breakfast. And do not forget the carbohydrates to get the full mark of energy before training.
Here are some suggestions for a good breakfast:
- Some low-fat milk.
- A satisfying meal of breakfast cereal or brown bread.
- A glass of juice.
- Some full-fat yogurt.
It is useful to mention that your morning coffee will be before exercise. When you are not used to eating before exercise previously, your stomach will get upset if you eat it directly before training.
2. Watch the portion size
Breakfast before exercise does not mean eating a large amount of food. And if you want to, follow these general safety steps:
If your meal is small and you eat light foods, make it at least 1-3 hours between it and your gym class.
When your appetite is high and you want to eat a big meal, try to postpone your workouts for at least 3-4 hours before exercising.
Filling your stomach with a large amount of food will make you feel lazy and heavy in performing exercises, and eating light food will not give you the energy you need to continue the exercise with sufficient strength.
3. Snack well
Snacks between main meals before exercising may help you fill your hunger, save you from hungry stomach aches and cramps, and give you the ability to focus if your workout lasts less than 60 minutes. This choice is open to you, without being embarrassed by it. Do what you see fit. You may benefit from the energy generated by food and drink rich in carbohydrates. Here are suggestions for snacks:
- Chocolate bars
- Fresh fruits such as bananas, apples, or the like.
- A cup of fresh milk.
- Soft fruity mix
- Any kind of whole wheat muffin or crunch.
- Fat-free granola piece
- A small sandwich of peanut butter
- A cup of nutritious juice.
Snacks are important when you have a long workout before you have a chance to eat your main meal.
4. Eat after you finish your workout
One of the trainees asked me, smiling: What are the suggested meals after the training?
Dear, in order for your muscles to recover and replace glycogen stores, it is recommended to eat a meal of protein and carbohydrates within two hours of leaving the exercise hall, and it is recommended to eat a snack again if you are at least two hours away from the main meal. Here are the suggestions for a meal after exercise:
- A sandwich of peanut butter.
- A cup of low-fat milk mixed with chocolate.
- Salted rings or fingers.
- Smoothie to gain energy back.
- Pieces of turkey meat and wheat bread with crust or vegetables.
It is very important to have clean drinking water.
5. Drink fluids
The body has a constant need for water. Do not deprive your body of it before and after exercising. Especially since athletes lose large amounts of water, which exposes the body to dehydration.
Here are tips for staying hydrated for a long time:
- Drink 2 to 3 cups of water two to three hours before you start training.
- Drink half a cup to a cup of water every 15 to 20 minutes while training. Increase the quantity according to your body’s needs and weather temperature.
- Drink about two to three cups of water after training for every pound (0.5 kg) of weight. Check it after each workout.
These tips come from the American College of Sports Medicine, which confirms that water is generally the most appropriate drink to provide you with fluids lost during exercise. But some types of sports drinks that contain carbohydrates are useful in maintaining the balance of your body and provide you with the necessary energy if you exercise for more than sixty consecutive minutes.
Do not be afraid of weight gain after exercise, because this increase has temporary causes. It will gradually disappear after continuing.
The activity and its intensity will determine the number and type of eating and drinking times. Long running races need more energy than those short distances or walking for a few miles. So it is not preferable to increase the amount of food when the sports activity is not long. And you have to gain experience and learn to determine the amount of your food and drink.
Do not try to imitate others in their diet and training, as each body has its own nature. Long practice and monitoring your body’s interaction with main meals and snack foods between them will give you the necessary experience to develop the right diet and exercise for you. Stay safe.
Frequently Asked Questions about Weight Gain after Exercise
When does the body shape change after exercise?
It takes about eight weeks.
When is the weight measured after exercise?
The best time to weigh is in the morning, after going to the bathroom and before breakfast.
Is sleeping after exercise gain weight?
Sleeping after exercise may stimulate weight loss.
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