Working out and gaining weight instead of losing: your initial reaction to this question was probably “absolutely not!” While this seems like a simple problem, there is actually more to this question than most people think.
If exercise allows you to burn calories, then how can you make this heavier?
As you may have guessed, it’s not the exercise itself that can make you gain weight.
Instead, the problem stems from people overestimating the number of calories they burn while exercising.
Although we believe otherwise, we are all very bad at estimating accurately. This has been confirmed over and over again in a wide range of studies.
One of the areas where this trait can impact people is how they choose to eat after exercising.
After sweating during a 30 to 90-minute workout, most people believe they have burned a ton of calories.
As a result, when a friend calls them and asks them to go out for lunch or dinner, they have no problem eating a large meal.
In fact, there’s a good chance they actually say something like, “I just exercised, so it’s okay to eat this up.”
Working out and gaining weight instead of losing why it’s happening.
How many calories are you really burning?
Is pampering yourself with a delicious cheeseburger after a good workout really that bad? If your goal is to lose weight, then the answer is yes.
Depending on where you eat, an average cheeseburger will have between 400 and 700 calories.
Add a side of potato chips to that, and now you potentially have over 1,000 calories.
And even if you think you’re on the healthy path by choosing a salad instead of fries, if you’re not careful about the dressing you use, you can still end up with over 1,000 calories.
Now, you may be thinking, “Even though it’s in the 4-digit calorie range, it’s on the low end.
Also, I burned enough calories during my workout to make up for it.” While that is a common thought process, it is also the one that slows down the weight loss of so many people.
While you may think you’re burning tons of calories during your workout, the truth is, you’re probably only burning 400 to 500 an hour.
This is a problem for several reasons. First, if you only exercise for 30 to 45 minutes, chances are you’re burning even less.
The other big problem comes from how this affects what you eat.
Once you realize that you are not burning more calories than you are consuming, you may think, “But I’m cutting the impact of the hamburger’s calories in half, so I’m only getting 500.” Although that is true, it overlooks an important fact.
To really lose weight, you need a calorie deficit. This means that you need to burn more calories than you consume.
Because one pound of fat equals 3,500 calories, this is the calorie deficit you must create over the course of 7 days to lose one pound weekly.
While this is definitely feasible, it won’t happen if you’re eating foods that significantly increase your calorie intake.
Even though you are reducing the impact of your calories, you are still not going down enough to really move toward your weight loss goal.
If you want to avoid the pitfall of exercising regularly without progressing in weight loss, you should focus on two keys:
Burn more calories during your workouts
Since most people burn less than 500 calories during their workouts, you may be wondering how some people lose at least seven pounds a month without constantly exercising.
The first part of the answer is that it is possible to burn more calories in less time.
There are two main factors that can help you increase the number of calories you burn during a workout.
# 1 Your focus
To burn as many calories as possible, you must focus 100% on your training.
If you’re watching TV while doing cardio or taking long breaks between sets, you can forget about increasing the impact of your workouts.
# 2 Variety
The best workouts are those that incorporate a combination of cardiovascular and resistance exercises.
Not only do you want to do a combination of exercises, but you also want to regularly change the specific exercises you do.
By changing what you do, you will keep your body guessing and make sure you cannot exercise fewer calories by adjusting to your workouts.
Eat to Support Your Weight Loss– Working out and gaining weight instead of losing
While the impact of increasing the number of calories you burn during your workouts can quickly add up, you still won’t see the results you want if you consume too many calories on a daily basis.
To be successful in losing weight, you need to make sure you don’t sabotage the hard work you do in the gym.
There are several strategies you can use to keep your calorie intake under control.
One option that works well is simply to focus on reducing the amount of processed food you eat.
When you primarily consume vegetables, lean meats, and fruits, you can keep your daily calories at a reasonable level without worrying about recording every bite you take.
An added benefit of focusing on quality food is that it will give you a significant amount of energy.
Another way to improve your eating habits is to focus on portion control.
When you eat 4 to 6 small meals or snacks a day, it will have a big impact on how many calories you eat.
This strategy is ideal for situations like eating out. Instead of eating all the dinner served to you, depending on your size, only take one-third to one-half.
This will allow you to continue eating well without interfering with your weight loss.
I hope you may have found the reasons why you working out and gaining weight instead of losing so do you plan to make a change in your exercise and / or eating habits?