Working Out and Gaining Weight? 5 Reasons You’re Not Seeing ResultsArticle posted in: Fitness
What. The. Heck. You’ve been eating right, exercising and drinking water like it’s your job. But the scale is going the wrong way. What’s going on? Why are you gaining weight when you’re supposed to be losing it?
Here are five likely causes you’re working out but gaining weight:
1. You’re Gaining Muscle.
If you’re strength training, there’s a good chance your body is building muscle and losing fat, which is why it seems like you’re gaining weight. How can you know for sure? Get off the scale and try measuring your waist circumference. Paying close attention to the way your clothes fit can also help you determine if you’re gaining fat or muscle. Whatever you do, don’t stop strength training because a scale tells you you’re heavier. Weights build muscle and help strengthen bones, helping you live a longer life, says Harvard Health. Strength training can also help prevent metabolic slowdown so you’re less likely to plateau.
2. You’ve Stopped Food Journaling.
It’s easy to forget, isn’t it? Once you get the hang of South Beach Diet (and that doesn’t take long), it’s easy to feel confident when making food choices and selecting portions. You think…I eat this every day, I know what three ounces looks like. Or, I’ve read the handbook: This pita equals one Good Carb. But…we’re busy. And our brains have A LOT to process and remember. By consistently recording what you eat, you can double your chances at weight loss success, according to a 2008 study published in Science Daily Journal. Just the process of reflecting on what you eat—whether you write on paper or in the notes on your phone—seems to promote self-awareness and success.
3. You’re Not Exercising…Enough.
South Beach Diet recommends exercising at least 30 minutes each day when you’re losing weight and at least 60 minutes per day to maintain a healthy weight. If your heart rate isn’t up during that time, you’re not burning enough calories. A fitness class is a great way to challenge your body and promote change. And, it gives you a chance to develop some camaraderie with fellow exercisers (and motivators). If you’re not a class person, try biking instead of walking or rowing instead of running. You can also add some weight training into your cardio routine. “The human body is a master at adaption and adapting to a fitness routine is no different,” says NSCA Certified Personal Trainer Robert Dugan. “Most programs, either cardio or strength, should be changed every six weeks to keep plateauing at bay.”
4. You’re Not Getting Your Protein In.
By increasing your protein intake, you can increase your lean muscle mass, which can help speed up your metabolism even when your body is at rest. Some variety in the types of proteins—and your overall diet—can also help jumpstart success. While there are no “magic” weight loss foods, some studies have shown that green tea and hot chiles temporarily boost metabolic rates. They’re worth a try, right? Of course, it’s all for naught if you aren’t watching your calories.
5. You’re Tired.
Your body needs seven to nine hours of sleep daily, according to the National Sleep Foundation. Without it, you’re more likely to start gaining weight and making poor eating decisions during the day. People who don’t get enough sleep also tend to skip exercising or taking the stairs instead of the elevator, says Harvard Health. Additionally, sleep affects mood. When you don’t get that magic number, sleep deprivation can influence your outlook on life, energy level, motivation and emotions. Make an effort to go to bed and wake up at similar times each day. Keep your phone and devices out of the bedroom. Avoid alcohol and caffeine before bed. Larger, protein-rich meals should be enjoyed at breakfast and lunch.