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Avatar universal

working out and gaining weight?

I am a 28 year old female 5'4", now 181 pounds.  I have been very faithful working out for 2 months now buring 500 kcal or more at least 4 days, usually 5 weekly.  The only diet modification I have made is I started eating oatmeal and salad regularly, whereas I never did before.  My workouts have been cardio/aerobic in nature and I workout within my target heart rate.  Problem is I have gained 6 pounds in the time I have been trying to LOSE it.  

Any thoughts?
22 Responses
Avatar universal
Well, congratulations on your new plan.

Muscle weighs more than fat, probably the best judge is,...how do your clothes feel, are they tighter?
I have gained weight in the past when trying to lose, and what I discovered is that I was really eating more than I realized.
Salads can be very high in calories when they include cheese, croutons, creamy dressings, etc. Something else I didscovered was that eating 4 or 5 small meals a day instead of 1 big one made a huge difference. If you have done any starving of yourself lately to lose weight, what you have done is caused your body to go into what is no less than a "survival" mode. That's where your metabolism comes all the way down to nothing to conserve the little energy it is being fed, then when you eat a normal amount, it just stores it as fat for the next starvation period.
It can be a real yo-yo affect. Continue to work out, eat sensible, (not late at night) drink lots of water, and watch as the weight rolls off.(women also carry alot of water weight, causing ups and downs in weight)
Avatar universal
Don't count on the estimates of your burned calories.  Cut back other things you eat, not all, but the higher calorie ones at least.  How much oatmeal and how big a salad ?  Did you eliminate something else in those meals, hopefully more calories than you added ?

What are your sin foods, the ones that give you the most calories that would be best to give up ? Give them up, it'll losing weight a lot easier. Every 3500 calories a week you cut out of your diet is about a pound off.  But diet too much, your metabolism will drop. That is why you wnat to do some strengthening activities.

See about getting a scale (Tanita) that gives you your body fat and weight in fractional increments.  Weigh yourself daily, same time of day.  You want to at least see the B.F. starting to creep down.

Target heart rate depends on conditioning.  If you are starting, just walk until you can walk fast for a long time.  Then get into running or jogging because you can't walk any faster.  This should take you at least a month.
Avatar universal

I have been experiencing the same problem that you have and am the same height and weight.  I exercise apx 8 hours per week and I do not drop weight; rather I gain weight.  I have had extensive Thyroid testing done as I have had hypothyroidism most of my life.  But, everything appears to be normal and there is no explanation for my weight gain. Recently I have seen some improvement when I have added a boot camp class 2 times per week to my 8 hours of cycling. I have not yet lost weight but can notice a small difference in inches.  While exercising I use a Polar heart rate monitor with Own Cal and this seems to be the most accurate as compared to other monitors. Good luck!
Avatar universal
Hey hows everyone doing?
Ok recently i have been doing a pyramid style work out lifting weights to gain muscle mass. i think it might be working. for some reason i have gained a few pounds in the past two weeks that i have been doing this pyramid style work out. I do not eat a ton of food and i also do cardio each time i work out, which is about 5 times a week.
I was just wondering if anyone had an incite as to why i might be gaining this weight, i really dont want to gain weight, but i guess if its muscle weight then that is different from fat weight. so if anyone could offer some advice that would be great.
Avatar universal
as long as your working and not eating to much then your probly making mussle which is mor dense than fat so go to your docter and get a body fat test and then next time u go after than get another one and see if uv lost any bodie fat and a lot of times u will go down a few sizes in close but you will still be ganing weight its is because the fat is turning into mussle
172023 tn?1334675884
You have to eat enough to support your workouts.  Be sure you shake up your workouts every now and then, too.

Your body gets very good at conserving energy if you always do the same things.
Avatar universal
I used to be 200lbs...5'4.  I am now 122lbs.
The first few months are the most frustrating....you feel as though you're gaining and not losing anything. keep at it and dont give up.

Some tried and true tips of my success.

Start with diet.
I cut my fat to 20-25grams a day on 3 full meals.
for breakfast I made a full fruit smoothie - frozen strawberries/bananas and a cup of low cal cranberry juice.  No yogurt or anything...kept it fat free.

for lunch I would have a salad and some protein.  Only low fat/fat free dressing (raspberry/balsamic etc) no croutons, lots of veggies, spinach, a little bit of feta cheese and tuna/chicken/salmon.
I would also have a piece of fruit.

I would snack on grape, watermelon, cantalope, strawberries twice a day.

for dinner I would have a piece of salmon with salad and a vegetable.  No oils.
or chicken/shrimp strifry with fat free sauce.

I would switch it up every now and then but would find foods that i liked that fit in my fat allowance.  I also made sure that the calories were between 1000-1500 a day.

I kept a food journal.  I memorized fat/calorie contents and I would write down everything that i ate.  At first I was shocked by the 'extra' calories I was consuming, but after about a month I was into my new routine.

As for working out, I worked out 5-6 days a week for 2 hours a day.  I would use the cross trainer for an hour and burn approximately 600-700 calories.  I would then do 1/2 hour of abdominal workout (1000 crunches, bends, twists etc) and then 1/2 hour of strength training.  I was able to lose the weight in less then a year.

Losing weight is not about introducing a bit of exercise and cutting a few things from your diet.  It is a complete lifestyle change.  You must have the frame of mind and keep persevering.  I had days when I fell of the wagon..we all do, but you just get back on and keep going.

Good luck to all of you.
Avatar universal
Muscle weighs more than fat??? In my world a pound of muscle and a pound of fat weigh a pound. The only difference is that the fat is bigger and puffier than a nice lean piece of muscle. Quit using that old excuse people.
Avatar universal
I exercise 6 days a week, and keep control my diet around 1500 - 1800 cal per day. I am a active woman in 41 & 165cm.   I have started my exercise and diet plan almost 3 years, at the first six months, I lost from 140lbs to 118lbs (all time low).  And I keep working hard but my weight is going back and off, around 120 - 125lbs.  Recently I start the wii game (Active), and do more weight/resistant training in my daily exercise.  my size is being down, especially my problem zone, the lower body, but my weight is going to and stays at 126-127 lbs.  I can see my body is being lean and tone, but my weight is going up.  What can I do to keep the weight to 115lbs?
Avatar universal
I don't think you understand what the saying means.  Muscle does weigh more than fat.  You are comparing to pieces the SAME SIZE, not the same weight.  If you take a piece of muscle and a piece of fat that are idenitcal sizes, the muscle will weigh more.  Obviously, a pound is a pound.  Nobody said, a pound of muscle weighs more than a pound of fat.  That's just crazy.  Think about it and maybe do a little research!!!
Avatar universal
You are fine with 120 pounds also with your 165cms and we would suggest to you not to worry as you are in an healthy BMI range. If you want to lose that 5 pounds there should be more of output, increase your calorie burning by doing an extra cardio for 30 minutes 5 times a week for a month and you will lose.
We would advice you to stay healthy in the BMI range and that would be fine. Take care!
Avatar universal
Some of the advice you got helped me because I'm in that same boat as you for the moment I do however feel my problem has to do with my hormones I'm 36 and I weigh 184 I wore a size 8 even after I had my both kids now I'm in a size 12 and I hate it but  I'm not giving up my exercise program or my eating lifestyle it's pretty health actually...good luck to us both.
Avatar universal

Yes, if your vitals are not normal and if your weight gain is large in a short time span you can suspect medical hormonal problems. Increase in hunger and increase in dietary intake due to hormonal imbalance and decrease in metabolism can be due to hormones and steroids.

But as such without increasing your input or without decreasing your output you cannot gain weight. So with regular exercise and healthy diet you will always stay fit without any medical problems.

So in these conditions it is always good to get screened and diagnosed for endocrine or hormonal disorders.

Take care!
Avatar universal
Are you saying that a small piece of muscle may weigh the same as a large piece of fat?  
Avatar universal

Fat occupies more space than muscle. A pound of fat will occupy more space than a pound of muscle. Even if you lose 10 pounds of fat and gain 5-6 pounds of muscle you will look better if you are overweight.

If you want to lose fat then cardio is the best activity to concentrate. If you also want to build muscle then it is advisable to also do some weights.

Take care!

Avatar universal
We all must realize that it easy to put the weight on and it's even harder to take it off. So keep up the good work and the weight will fall off.
Avatar universal
trying to increase muscle mass will also increase how much your calorie burnig
Avatar universal
I am a 49 year old female - weight 184 - height 5'3.5"  I have been dieting for 5 weeks - calories around 1200.  I work out almost every day.  I lost 5# very quickly but now seem to not be able to lose anymore.  I do Zumba cardio, sculpting/toning, abs as well as freestyle dancing and weightlifting on my machine.  I have done the math and I should be losing 3 1/2 - 4# a week.  I have lost 12# total.  

I do have hypothyroidism, fibromyalgia, CFS, and some auto-immune issues.  I take an ample amount of vitamins so everything's ok there.  Am I fighting a losing battle?  I have noticed the few days I take off from exercising, I stay the same or gain weight even though my cals are still restricted.  
Avatar universal
I am 5"11" and weight a whopping 208 right now. I have been gaining weight this past week even thought I started to exercise again. (car accident 4 months ago) I am eating the same (and I was not gaining or losing then)  and I am only gaining after adding in exercise 4 days a week! I suck and I would start to starve myself if only I knew it woudl work. I have done it before but when I was forced to eat again i gained all the weight back and more. I do NOT want to be 250 pounds so I am scared of doing that. I have thrown up but that is something I hate doing and I know my teeth will suffer for it. So no to that. I had a friend who died from lax overdose and I have 3 beautiful babies to take care of and so I need to live. I just don't know what to do!!!
1764776 tn?1313528126
So I keep reading people say a pound of muscle weighs the same as a pound of fat. This is true, however you need more fat to add up to the weight of the muscle. so per square inch muscle would weigh more. A feather weighs less that a piece of steel. It's common sense. The density makes it weigh more.
Avatar universal
I'm a 16 year old girl and I am 5'4". I weigh 13st 13 lbs. for the past 2 months I have been taking part in an intense fitness regime. and I also have reduce my calorie intake to 1200kcal daily. I work out 2 times daily 7 days a week for 2 and a half hours in each session. but I am not losing any weight. does anyone no what I am doing wrong or no what I should do to lose weight??
Avatar universal
you are working out too much! recovery is just as important as the actual workout.  stop working out seven days a week. and you will start to see some actual weight loss. lift 3-4 days per week, and do cardio no more than 5x per week.

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