Are you trying to get in shape but finding your regular exercise routine is backfiring? If you have been faithfully hitting the gym or pounding the pavement, but you can’t seem to understand why you’re gaining weight, you’re not alone. This article will explore the various reasons why increased exercise may lead to packing on the pounds. Read on to learn why you might be gaining weight after all that hard work.
1. Exercise: The Unintended Side Effect
Consistent Exercise Improves More Than Health
Exercise isn’t always associated with tremendous physical changes. It can create incredibly meaningful changes in life too. After all, physical activity brings with it an opportunity to break routines and mindless habits, while teaching discipline and awareness. Hence, a single session of exercise can help open up paths to self-improvement and creativity.
One of the most valuable side-effects of consistent exercise is enhanced mental clarity and productivity. After a fulfilling workout, the brain becomes more receptive to problems, ideas, and projects. It processes information faster, resulting in more time for creative tasks. Exercise is also a fantastic way to process stress, clearing the mind and freeing up potential. This is reflected in creative work, as it allows a more natural flow of ideas and inspiration from within.
2. Understanding Your Weight Gain After Exercise
Gymming and exercise are important to helping you reach your fitness goals, and to sustaining a healthy body. But what often happens is a sudden weight gain after the workout – even though you’re doing all the right things. Don’t be fooled. It’s not something you’ll have to live with forever and it’s important to understand why it’s happening so you can properly address it.
Reason 1: Glycogen Replenishment
- When you workout, your body expends energy from the stored form of glucose in the liver and muscles, called glycogen.
- The natural inclination is for the body to replenish the lost glycogen, notably with the help of carbohydrates.
- Carbohydrates are stored in the body in the form of glycogen, and hold onto water molecules with them.
Glycogen replenishment often results in a rapid weight gain due to the accompanying water retention. The best way to counter it is to replenish carbohydrates in your diet after your workout.
Reason 2: Muscle Growth
- Exercise stimulates an increase in muscle fibers, leading to a muscle growth process.
- Muscles can weigh more than fat, so even with the same body mass index you’ll see an increase in the scale.
- Ideally, combine exercise with a calorie-controlled healthy diet to make sure you don’t gain excess fat.
In the long run, a well-rounded crossfit program divided into strength, endurance, and flexibility exercises, combined with healthy nutrient-rich foods can help you steady your weight gain from exercise.
3. Investigating Dietary Habits & Exercise Routines
It is often said that in order to live a healthy lifestyle, it is essential to keep track of our dietary habits and exercise routines.
To better understand our diet, let’s start by breaking it down into its components. When creating your own diet, there are a few things to consider such as:
- Protein – Protein is an important part of any diet and there are many different sources such as fish, poultry, eggs, beans, and nuts.
- Carbohydrates – Carbohydrates are the main source of energy that the body needs, and they can be found in rice, fruits, vegetables, and grains.
- Fats – Fats should be limited in the diet, but some healthy sources of fat are oily fish, avocado, nuts, and seeds.
- Vitamins – Vitamins are essential for the proper functioning of our body, and they can be found in fruits, vegetables, and dairy products.
To ensure you are getting the necessary nutrients, combine a balanced diet with plenty of exercise. Exercise should be done in moderation, incorporating both aerobic activities, such as running and swimming, and strength exercises, such as weight lifting and Pilates. Pay attention to how your body responds to exercise to make sure that you are not overtraining or straining yourself.
4. Adapting Habits to Reducing Voluntary Weight Gain
Weight Gain That Doesn’t Feel So Voluntary
It’s true that our habits can affect our weight, but sometimes they don’t feel like voluntary choices. Think back to when you used to have an unlimited supply of energy, but it seemed like your responsibilities got bigger and bigger, creating a slower pace of life. Perhaps due to your newfound workload, you found yourself noshing on a snack for energy – and those snacks ended up creating weight gain.
To combat this, it may be time to rethink certain habits. Here are a few changes to keep in mind:
- Limit snacking, especially ones that are high in sugar and saturated fat
- Prioritize healthy eating, as well as nutrient-dense food that is full of fiber, complex carbs, and proteins
- Make sure to get at least 8 hours of sleep to give your body enough time to rest and recover
- Engage in some physical activity throughout the day, even if it’s just a casual walk or jog
- Stay hydrated by drinking at least 8 glasses of water a day
These changes can help to reduce voluntary weight gain, as well as promote a state of healthy eating. With the right habits in place, you can stop feeling like your inevitable weight gain came about due to choices outside of your control.
Eating well and exercising can help keep your body healthy, but it’s important to keep a close eye on how your body responds. If you are gaining weight after working out, take the time to see what might be the cause and take steps to find a healthy balance that works best for you. Numerous solutions exist to help guide you in your journey towards a healthier you, so don’t be afraid to experiment and keep an open mind.