There are some ways your workout can cause weight gain. It takes a lot of effort and willpower to finally get into the swing of a regular workout regime. Whether you are going to the gym every day or you are simply jogging or cycling through your local park, the endorphin rush that comes along with regular exercise is something that can have a really positive impact on your life.
However, this positivity can easily be wiped out when you step on the scales after weeks of constant exercise only to discover that you have actually put on a little bit of weight. The first thing to do is not to panic. There are good reasons why your workout can cause weight gain, and they aren’t necessarily bad. Here are four ways your workout can cause weight gain.
1. Water Retention
Did you know that water in your body can alter your weight by as much as 10 pounds depending on when you step on the scale!? Don’t be disheartened if you step on the scale right after spin class with a 4-pound weight loss, only to find the next morning that it has all come back. This weight loss was purely down to the all of the water that left your body via sweat. It was a ‘false’ loss, almost, in the immediate aftermath. These types of weight changes thanks to sweating profusely might look good on the scales, but they won’t alter your body shape or composition in any meaningful way, and that weight will always return. Water weight is one of the biggest ways your workout can cause weight gain.
2. Post Exercise Gain
The same thing can be said for an immediate post-workout weight gain of a few pounds and it’s nothing to worry about. This generally happens because your muscle mass is at its most pumped and inflamed after exercise, and that can add up to a little extra on the scale. Slight weight gain on the scale can even be explained by things like a full bladder or blood volume at any given time, so don’t take slight fluctuations to heart!
3. Muscle Doesn’t Weigh More than Fat
It’s a common misconception that muscle weighs more than fat. A pound of fat is obviously as heavy as a pound of muscle, but the difference comes in the fact that muscle is actually much denser than fat. To put in plainly, through working out, your muscle mass may increase while your body fat decreases, but the scale might end up actually increasing. This isn’t something to worry about, because at the end of the day your body is changing and your body fat percentage is going down.
4. Body Composition is More Important
As alluded to above, it’s the composition of your body rather than the simple scale number that is what matters. For example, a typical rugby or American football player might weigh much more than the average man, but because they are lean in terms of body fat and strong in terms of muscle mass, they come out on the higher end of the scale while also being athletic and healthy.