If you have started exercising with the idea of losing weight and to your surprise, the scale says that you have gained a few kilos, do not panic! It is something totally normal and temporary. We tell you the reasons why you gain weight when you start training, below.
Few things can cause you more discouragement than seeing that your effort does not produce the expected results. Many people leave the gym early because they see that, far from losing weight, exercise makes them gain weight. If this happens to you, do not think that your metabolism is backwards or that you are not working well. Gaining weight in the first weeks of training is common, and it is also a good thing, because it indicates that your body is responding, as it should, to exercise. Knowing the causes of this weight gain, which you do not explain to yourself but which the scale reflects without margin of error, will make you feel much calmer in those first months of training.
Why do I weigh more than before I started training?
The explanation why you gain weight even if you exercise, which can induce us to throw in the towel and give up our goal, is quite simple if we take into account several factors:
- Our body needs a period of adaptation to go from a sedentary life to another in which sport becomes a regular practice. In this period, the assimilation of nutrients and energy consumption vary considerably to adapt to the new situation and temporary imbalances may occur caused by the change in the rhythm of life itself.
- Muscle development implies weight gain. Especially if you include strength sessions in the first months of training, you will probably gain a few kilos, because those muscles that you are developing weigh more than the ones you had before you started exercising. With your workouts, you will begin to lose fat, so you will look leaner, but the scale does not reflect a loss of weight due to the gain of muscle mass.
- Dietary changes. Any increase in physical activity implies a necessary increase in fluid intake. Water is not only essential for you to hydrate and replenish electrolytes lost through sweat, but also for your muscles to grow. The muscles “feed” on water, they retain it and it also has a weight that we must not forget.
How to control weight gain in the first months of training
When talking about exercise and weight gain there are some considerations to make. In the first place, not all people gain kilos when they start in the sport nor do they do it in the same proportion.
Adding a couple of kilos in the first months of training is normal for the reasons mentioned, but after 8-12 weeks, exercise should translate into weight loss. If this does not happen, the problem may be in a diet that is not adequate. To lose weight, the energy balance must always be negative, that is, you must spend more calories than you eat on a daily basis. If when you start doing sports you excessively increase the presence of carbohydrates and fats in your menus (sports whet your appetite), the weight gain will not be the “fault” of the development of your muscles, but of the extra calories.
If you follow a healthy and varied diet, combine aerobic and strength exercise and respect the rest periods after exercising, you should not worry about not losing weight in the first months of training. Your body is regulating its own metabolism to respond to new nutritional and energy needs, and your muscles are gaining strength and volume. Everything is going well. You just have to continue with perseverance and a little patience. Thus, in a few months, you will see the good results of your effort.