There are so many factors that influence your body activities for gaining and losing weight. You hit the gym either for gaining muscles or burning out the excess amount of fats from your body. Have you ever got the complete opposite results? For instance, you’re working out and gaining weight instead of losing.

Do not worry, you’re not the only one getting such different results. You may be wondering why you’re gaining weight after working out for a month already. Don’t worry though there are reasons this could be the case so read on to see why.

overweight lady doing exercise with a personal trainer

If you are working out and gaining weight but you really do not know why then maybe it is something simple you can resolve. Sometimes, you can face such issues because of a lousy lifestyle, not following a proper diet, low or high intensive working out, etc.

If you follow these simple steps and keep them in mind while working out, you can get your body on the right track and lose weight again.

7 reasons you could be working out and gaining weight:

Low or high water intake

In our bodies, we have a high ratio of water. So of course, water plays a vital role in total body weight fluctuation. While working out, you consume more water than usual, this of course is to keep hydrated but is it also being retained?

When you’re working out, there is a high amount of water retention this is because your body retains water around your muscles to protect them. Whilst this initially means you weigh more your body will soon get used to it and that water will be lost again.

It is a short-term gain in your weight while you’re working out, and you should always keep the water intake balanced. Don’t reduce your intake just because you are scared of water retention. If you are not drinking enough it can cause more problems.

Weight gain from water retention is temporary as your body gets used to exercise, or gets used to those muscles being worked out which have not regularly been worked previously. When exercise becomes regular those muscles will retain less water and your weight will steady.

Investing in a bottle you like can also help encourage you to keep drinking.

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glass of water

Weight gain from muscle

People usually misunderstand that muscles weigh more than fat. Practically speaking, both of them weigh the same. A pound of muscle weighs a pound and a pound of fat weighs a pound! That said, the volume of the muscles is denser than the volume of fats. By volume, I mean space it takes up in your body.

An easy way to picture this is that an amount of fat, for example, may take up the same amount of space as an apple in your body whereas the same weight of the muscle closer to that of a satsuma. Does that make sense?

It means that while working out or in strength training, your body starts to build muscles, and on the other hand, the fat percentage starts to decrease. So, even if you’re hitting the gym, the fats are burning anyways.

The scales may not show a change but your body will be losing fat and toning up. In time you will see the changes on the scales too as you burn more fat than you make in muscle!

Next time someone suggests that the weight of muscle and fat is linked to your weight you can now explain this to them. Is this the temporary reason why you are working out and losing inches but gaining weight?

overweight lady working out but looking unhappy as working out and gaining weight

Intensive workout out and gaining weight

The day you have done an intensive workout, you might see a sudden gain in your weight. You could be wondering how a HIIT workout can cause a scale-up in your body weight?

Your increase in body weight depends on multiple internal factors as well. For instance, if you’re doing an intensive workout, it will lead to mass, various inflammation, and tissue repair. The water intake, urine, blood volume, and air in the lungs are the factors equally involved in the change in your total weight.

Do not worry. Try to keep your intensive workout regular, and you will see a normalisation in your weight soon! Remember if you stop working out you will soon end up back where you started!

Remember even if you are doing other kinds of training, such as training for a marathon, this still could cause these issues if you do not run regularly!

HIIT workout on a board saying high intensity interval training

Unhealthy lifestyle

Following an unhealthy lifestyle and making bad choices is the most common reason for an increase in your weight. Even if you’re working out properly you can not possibly continue eating junk food, takeaways etc and expect to lose weight.

All these foods contain bad calories and fats and increase your weight, as they say, you can’t outrun your fork! You need to constantly eat three meals a day and not miss your breakfast!

Try to avoid that oily and fast food to get the outcome you want. It won’t happen overnight but making these changes as well as starting exercise will give you the weight loss you are hoping for. If you want to treat yourself as a reward for exercising, make sure it is something other than food!

eating junk food will cause working out and gaining weight

Not working out properly

Sometimes, people are either lazy or not serious enough even after joining the gym. To get a proper transformation, you should hit the gym regularly, going once will never be enough, nor will pinning exercise routines and not actually doing them!

Try to work out seriously, stick to your routine and plan your time to ensure you have time for working out regularly. If you don’t do this then how can you expect to lose weight?

If you consume more calories daily than you burn then it is quite simple, you will gain weight.

Track your exercise

If you track your exercise then it can help you stay motivated and exercise more regularly. Sign up below for my free download to track your exercise and keep going.


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Pinterest app on a smartphone because you could be working out and gaining weight because you are not doing the exercises you Pin.

Even if you’re doing proper exercise, following a diet, and avoiding unhealthy food with enough sleep daily, you can shockingly see that you’re gaining weight. This of course is so disheartening. Don’t panic though there could still be a reason for this.

This might be a health-related problem then, such as multiple medications or thyroid issues. If you’re following a proper diet and exercising, you will see an increase in your weight at times with these conditions.

If you feel this is the case, you can visit a doctor instead of freaking out and worrying about your weight. It may be that your medication needs adjusting slightly, especially if you have already lost some weight.

Could this be why you are working out and gaining weight instead of losing it?

doctor patient consultation to discuss why you are working out and gaining weight

Pre- and post-workout meal/snacks

The food you consume before and after a workout is crucial in seeing body weight changes. As your workout intensity increases, the capacity to consume food also gets high. After your post-workout, instead of covering your hunger by eating chips, sweets, crackers, etc., you should have fruits, green veggies, and high protein-containing food.

You should always follow proper timing while having pre and post-workout meals. If you had a small meal one hour before going to the gym, try to avoid eating extra calories after a workout. It will add up and remember if you are eating more than you are burning you will gain weight.

Try to balance your meals during workout days and make sure the timing of your meals works with your workouts. Drink plenty because after a workout if you are thirsty you are more likely to eat more too. Eating more will lead to working out and gaining weight!

vegetable sticks in a jar on a wooden table

Working out and gaining weight – a summary

From the first day of your gym, you should reduce all the unhealthy foods, and remove them completely if possible to burn calories without gaining more weight. Your body needs to burn more calories than you consume to effectively lose weight. That said you can not safely exercise if your body is starving so do keep up those regular meals.

Do these ideas help you see why you are working out and gaining weight instead of losing it? Do comment and let me know below.

Keeping track of your goals is really important

If you need a little help with keeping on track of your weight loss then this freebie could make all the difference. Simply sign up to receive it by email and use it to help you stay motivated.


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