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TOPIC: Working so hard, gained 4 pounds

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April 23, 2012 7:08 AM
Ugh, I've been working so hard. I worked my booty off yesterday and still gained weight. I've gained 4 pounds over the past 4 days. I am so bummed. I stay in my calorie limit. I don't even eat my exercise calories. I walked 4 miles yesterday and was right at 1200 calories. Why oh why did I gain weight?
April 23, 2012 7:11 AM
What's your sodium intake like? Too much sodium can add on lots of water weight.

*Edit, do you wear a HRM when exercising? Curious how you burned over 1600 calories walking?
Edited by 81Katz On April 23, 2012 7:18 AM
April 23, 2012 7:11 AM
Why aren't you logging your exercise? If you are only eating 1,200 calories and not eating back any exercise calories you are not giving your body the nutrients it needs to function. Also, if you worked out yesterday then you will be retaining water today. Do not weigh the day after working out. Remember, if you are sore, you will weigh more.
  11450401
April 23, 2012 7:15 AM
I agree...eat some of those exercise calories. Most of all...Stop Obsessing! You will only make yourself feel bad and it's for nothing. Those 4 lbs will be gone too...be patient with yourself! Most of all don't starve yourself by going down on calories.
Drink a little more water and you'll be fine. Best of Luck! :)
  11527426
April 23, 2012 7:15 AM
because your body thinks you are starving it to death so it is holding onto every last ounce of fluid and fat it can. flowerforyou
April 23, 2012 7:15 AM
From Chalene Johnson (and another MFPeep)

An amazing article I had to re-post that one of my favorite fitness celebs posted – Chalene Johnson. For me, it was my “ah-ha” and for others that I’ve shared this with, it re-settled their discourage and kept them charging forward with their respective workout program and goals. DON’T GIVE UP and get some great insight from this fitness expert:

Probably the most common question I get when I release a new exercise program is, “Help! I’m gaining weight! Am I doing something wrong?” This is a common phenomena with any new exercise program, Turbo Kick, Turbo Jam, Hip Hop Hustle, you name it! It’s especially common (and temporary) with intense strength training programs like ChaLEAN Extreme or Tony Horton’s P90X.

The motivation to start a new exercise program is almost always to lose weight loss. However, what most personal trainers know and most at-home exercisers do not, is that a new exercise program often can cause an immediate (and temporary) increase on the scale. (Notice I didn’t say weight gain! I’ll explain.) This common increase in the scale is also the reason why perhaps millions of people start and then quickly quit their resolution to get fit.

The temporary weight gain explained:

When someone starts a new exercise program, they often experience muscle soreness. The more intense and “unfamiliar” the program, the more intense the muscle soreness. This soreness is most prevalent 24 to 48 hours after each workout. In the first few weeks of a new program, soreness is the body trying to “protect and defend” the effected or targeted tissue. Exercise physiologists refer to this as delayed-onset muscle soreness, or DOMS.

This type of soreness is thought to be caused by tissue breakdown or microscopic tears in muscle tissue. When this happens the body protects the tissue. The muscle becomes inflamed and slightly swollen with fluid retention. This temporary retention of fluid can result in a 3- to 4-pound weight gain within a few weeks of a new program. Keep in mind that muscle soreness is not necessarily a reflection of how hard you worked. In fact, some people feel no signs of muscle soreness, yet will experience the muscle protection mechanisms of water retention and slight swelling.

Most people are motivated enough to put up with this temporary muscle soreness. Yet, many, especially those who really need immediate weight loss to keep them motivated in those first couple of weeks become discouraged and quit!

When I worked with a group of 70 test participants during the development stages of ChaLEAN Extreme, this happened. Who was the most upset and discouraged? You guessed it… the women! I’m happy to report with absolutely every single woman (and man) in our group, the weight increase was temporary and never lasted more than 2 weeks before they started to see a major drop in the scale. However, these people had the advantage of working with someone who was able to explain to them why this was happening and assure them the weight would come off if they stuck to the nutrition plan and stayed true to the program.

For those of you who are following the ChaLEAN Extreme phase plan, keep in mind that when you start each phase, your body will be “in shock” again. Don’t be surprised or discouraged if you experience a temporary gain on the scale the first week of each phase.

My own personal example of this is running 10K’s. I don’t do it very often, maybe 1 or 2x a year. Even though I run on a regular basis, when you run a race you push much harder. It’s natural for me to be “insanely” sore the next day. It’s also very common for me to see the scale jump 4 pounds the next day from forcing fluids post race and the resulting DOMS. Even though I know the cause of it, it’s still a bummer. We’re all human and hard work should mean “results”. Hard work equals results, but our bodies are amazing machines and they know how to protect us from hurting our selves. Soreness forces you to give those muscles a break Ultimately you will lose the weight and you will change your metabolism in the process.

The key is understanding that this is a normal and temporary and stick with the program!!

When to be concerned:

If you experience a significant weight gain (exceeding 5 pounds) which does not begin to decrease rapidly after the second week, guess what it is??? I’ll give you one hint… you put it in your mouth and chew it. You know it! You’re food (or calorie laden beverages). Newsflash friends.. exercise doesn’t make you gain weight. Consuming more food than you burn makes you gain weight!

So if after two weeks you are not losing weight, have gained weight that’s not coming off, it’s time to take a close and honest look at your food intake. It’s time to find out what your burning in calories each day. Have your RMR or BMR tested. This can be done for less than $50 and the information is invaluable. It takes out the guess work. Google “hydrostatic body fat testing _______ ” and insert the name of the big city you’re closest too. Companies that do HBFT also do BMR testing. Knowledge is king.

I’m gaining weight, but I’m sure it’s muscle:

Possibly, but if you’re following ChaLEAN Extreme correctly, you should be losing fat and gaining muscle and the fat loss should be much more substantial than the rate at which you can physically put on muscle. This is even true for the guys. Of the 70 plus people in my test group, every single one of them lost body fat and gained muscle and not one of them gained weight. I believe the average weight loss after 4 months was 28 pounds with many people losing 40 plus pounds. Even the men, who as you can see put on a lot of muscle, were seeing huge drops in the scale. We tested their muscle composition at the beginning and at the end and 100% of the participants maintained or gained muscle while achieving substantial weight loss. That’s the key to keeping weight off long term, i.e. muscle. Muscle burns fat. But you’ve heard me say that before.

Moral of the story:

Be patient young grass hoper. You’ll be lean and mean in no time!

This is one of the most useful articles I have come across that makes sense and enlightens one, as they prepare for their new program or are in the midst of it. Just having an understanding and a reason why we experience this temporary weight gain, makes the experience that much more enjoyable.. Thanks Chalene!
Edited by My1985Freckles On April 23, 2012 7:19 AM
April 23, 2012 7:18 AM
1. I am assuming you just started exercising. You will retain water weight.
2. More than likely you are not getting enough calories to feed your body. Search in the database for eating your exercise calories.
3. Not sure what you are eating.
4. You have unrealistic expectations.
5. I would have doubts your daily intake goals are set at a realistic threshold.
  271200
April 23, 2012 7:18 AM
Eat back your calories burned or at least most of them... show your sodium intake on the diary - it isn't only about eating within calorie limit is is about seeing the micros composition...
  13949341
April 23, 2012 7:21 AM
bump -
April 23, 2012 7:22 AM
Hang in there! You may not see all your hard work show on the scale but you will see it in how your body is changing.Don't count all your victories by the scale, I can't stress that enough. I haven't seen much movement on the scale lately, but I just found a favorite dress from 14 years ago and it fit!! So please don't give up, you'll get there.
  1056831
April 23, 2012 7:23 AM
QUOTE:

From Chalene Johnson (and another MFPeep)

An amazing article I had to re-post that one of my favorite fitness celebs posted – Chalene Johnson. For me, it was my “ah-ha” and for others that I’ve shared this with, it re-settled their discourage and kept them charging forward with their respective workout program and goals. DON’T GIVE UP and get some great insight from this fitness expert:

Probably the most common question I get when I release a new exercise program is, “Help! I’m gaining weight! Am I doing something wrong?” This is a common phenomena with any new exercise program, Turbo Kick, Turbo Jam, Hip Hop Hustle, you name it! It’s especially common (and temporary) with intense strength training programs like ChaLEAN Extreme or Tony Horton’s P90X.

The motivation to start a new exercise program is almost always to lose weight loss. However, what most personal trainers know and most at-home exercisers do not, is that a new exercise program often can cause an immediate (and temporary) increase on the scale. (Notice I didn’t say weight gain! I’ll explain.) This common increase in the scale is also the reason why perhaps millions of people start and then quickly quit their resolution to get fit.

The temporary weight gain explained:

When someone starts a new exercise program, they often experience muscle soreness. The more intense and “unfamiliar” the program, the more intense the muscle soreness. This soreness is most prevalent 24 to 48 hours after each workout. In the first few weeks of a new program, soreness is the body trying to “protect and defend” the effected or targeted tissue. Exercise physiologists refer to this as delayed-onset muscle soreness, or DOMS.

This type of soreness is thought to be caused by tissue breakdown or microscopic tears in muscle tissue. When this happens the body protects the tissue. The muscle becomes inflamed and slightly swollen with fluid retention. This temporary retention of fluid can result in a 3- to 4-pound weight gain within a few weeks of a new program. Keep in mind that muscle soreness is not necessarily a reflection of how hard you worked. In fact, some people feel no signs of muscle soreness, yet will experience the muscle protection mechanisms of water retention and slight swelling.

Most people are motivated enough to put up with this temporary muscle soreness. Yet, many, especially those who really need immediate weight loss to keep them motivated in those first couple of weeks become discouraged and quit!

When I worked with a group of 70 test participants during the development stages of ChaLEAN Extreme, this happened. Who was the most upset and discouraged? You guessed it… the women! I’m happy to report with absolutely every single woman (and man) in our group, the weight increase was temporary and never lasted more than 2 weeks before they started to see a major drop in the scale. However, these people had the advantage of working with someone who was able to explain to them why this was happening and assure them the weight would come off if they stuck to the nutrition plan and stayed true to the program.

For those of you who are following the ChaLEAN Extreme phase plan, keep in mind that when you start each phase, your body will be “in shock” again. Don’t be surprised or discouraged if you experience a temporary gain on the scale the first week of each phase.

My own personal example of this is running 10K’s. I don’t do it very often, maybe 1 or 2x a year. Even though I run on a regular basis, when you run a race you push much harder. It’s natural for me to be “insanely” sore the next day. It’s also very common for me to see the scale jump 4 pounds the next day from forcing fluids post race and the resulting DOMS. Even though I know the cause of it, it’s still a bummer. We’re all human and hard work should mean “results”. Hard work equals results, but our bodies are amazing machines and they know how to protect us from hurting our selves. Soreness forces you to give those muscles a break Ultimately you will lose the weight and you will change your metabolism in the process.

The key is understanding that this is a normal and temporary and stick with the program!!

When to be concerned:

If you experience a significant weight gain (exceeding 5 pounds) which does not begin to decrease rapidly after the second week, guess what it is??? I’ll give you one hint… you put it in your mouth and chew it. You know it! You’re food (or calorie laden beverages). Newsflash friends.. exercise doesn’t make you gain weight. Consuming more food than you burn makes you gain weight!

So if after two weeks you are not losing weight, have gained weight that’s not coming off, it’s time to take a close and honest look at your food intake. It’s time to find out what your burning in calories each day. Have your RMR or BMR tested. This can be done for less than $50 and the information is invaluable. It takes out the guess work. Google “hydrostatic body fat testing _______ ” and insert the name of the big city you’re closest too. Companies that do HBFT also do BMR testing. Knowledge is king.

I’m gaining weight, but I’m sure it’s muscle:

Possibly, but if you’re following ChaLEAN Extreme correctly, you should be losing fat and gaining muscle and the fat loss should be much more substantial than the rate at which you can physically put on muscle. This is even true for the guys. Of the 70 plus people in my test group, every single one of them lost body fat and gained muscle and not one of them gained weight. I believe the average weight loss after 4 months was 28 pounds with many people losing 40 plus pounds. Even the men, who as you can see put on a lot of muscle, were seeing huge drops in the scale. We tested their muscle composition at the beginning and at the end and 100% of the participants maintained or gained muscle while achieving substantial weight loss. That’s the key to keeping weight off long term, i.e. muscle. Muscle burns fat. But you’ve heard me say that before.

Moral of the story:

Be patient young grass hoper. You’ll be lean and mean in no time!

This is one of the most useful articles I have come across that makes sense and enlightens one, as they prepare for their new program or are in the midst of it. Just having an understanding and a reason why we experience this temporary weight gain, makes the experience that much more enjoyable.. Thanks Chalene!


Thank you for this! I definitely needed to read that!
  16931071
April 23, 2012 7:23 AM
You need to drink alot of water today. It is water retention that caused your gain. You would have had to eaten 14,000 calories to actually "gain" 4 pounds. I "gained" 3 pounds last week in 2 days. Drank tons of water, skipped working out that day and it was off the following day. Good luck!
April 23, 2012 7:28 AM
Also, I peeked at your food diary. Add Sodium to your trackers. I think you will be very surprised. Too much sodium will cause you to retain water. How to fix it? DRINK MORE WATER! :-)

ETA: You may be underestimating your caloric intake. The Chili's Fajitas calories don't include the fajita shells, sour cream, or pico de gallo. They include only what is in the meat/veggie mix.

And MEASURE everything. 3/4 of a cup doesn't come close to fillling my cereal bowl even though it is a "serving."
Edited by My1985Freckles On April 23, 2012 7:32 AM
April 23, 2012 7:30 AM
I know how you feel. Don't be discouraged though. Like you I walk, I also do yoga and pilates, cardio and strength training for exercise, plus I log my daily consumption of foods. Thing is, when you start any new program or change your exercise program or increase it, you are changing your muscle usage as well. Don't give up. Keep up your good work. Nine pounds lost! That is so cool! You are making a lifestyle change and making it work. Keep a level head and stay with where your at exercise wise. Give it another week. You may be pleasantly surprised. I changed my exercise program by increasing reps and minutes walking the dog, I too gained a whopping 3 pounds. Also, try to cut your sodium, watch your fats and continue drinking lots of water. Green tea helps with curbing your hunger a bit too. Keep goin' girl, you're kickin' butt!
  8499344
April 23, 2012 7:32 AM
:) drinks lots of water so your body can flush itself its more then likely just water weight
April 23, 2012 7:35 AM
awesome nancy! i haven't lost weight in a few days, but I did go down a dress size. That feeling is incredible!
  8499344
April 23, 2012 7:37 AM
QUOTE:

What's your sodium intake like? Too much sodium can add on lots of water weight.

*Edit, do you wear a HRM when exercising? Curious how you burned over 1600 calories walking?


I walked 4 miles and I cleaned house for 5 hours. ;-)
April 23, 2012 7:38 AM
QUOTE:

QUOTE:

What's your sodium intake like? Too much sodium can add on lots of water weight.

*Edit, do you wear a HRM when exercising? Curious how you burned over 1600 calories walking?


I walked 4 miles and I cleaned house for 5 hours. ;-)


Unfortunately, if you went by MFP's calories burned, they are notoriously overstated.
April 23, 2012 7:38 AM
QUOTE:

Why aren't you logging your exercise? If you are only eating 1,200 calories and not eating back any exercise calories you are not giving your body the nutrients it needs to function. Also, if you worked out yesterday then you will be retaining water today. Do not weigh the day after working out. Remember, if you are sore, you will weigh more.


I do log my exercise. I walked 4 miles yesterday. I also cleaned house for 5 hours. It's there. :)

I didn't know about the retention after working out. That would mean I would never weigh. I try to walk at least 2 miles a day.
April 23, 2012 7:41 AM
I agree that a lot can be attributed to water gain. But I also think you might need to rethink how you are tracking your exercise. I see exercise as additional burning of calories. You show a large burn of calories based off of doing "light/moderate cleaning". If this is a normal activity for you then I wouldn't track it. If I do something significant, for instance I had a spring cleaning day and was going up and down a ladder washing windows, scrubbed all the floors on my knees, that kind of stuff then I track it. But part of my daily routine is cleaning the kitchen, picking up the house, and doing laundry, so I don't get bonus calories for that. Just a suggestion though, I don't know what you did that day and what you normally do. Good luck, you look like you're on the right track.
  18164009
April 23, 2012 7:42 AM
eat your exercise calories - eat your exercise calories - eat your exercise calories!!! You will lose weight initially by eating the 1200 but then your body freaks out and starts holding on to EVERYTHING - thereby making it impossible for you to lose. Eat clean, make good choices, move more! Good luck!!!
  11743674
April 23, 2012 7:43 AM
Fantastic!! Keep up the great work! And be sure to "allow yourself" to feel proud of yourself. happy
  1056831
April 23, 2012 7:44 AM
QUOTE:

You need to drink alot of water today. It is water retention that caused your gain. You would have had to eaten 14,000 calories to actually "gain" 4 pounds. I "gained" 3 pounds last week in 2 days. Drank tons of water, skipped working out that day and it was off the following day. Good luck!


Thank you! I think you're right.
April 23, 2012 7:46 AM
give it a couple of weeks but i would suggest you eat your exercise calories back, at least some of them, don't net below 1200 calories a day.

i recently upped my calories to netting 1500 a day and just since yesterday i lost 1.2 pounds :-) but i had gained a couple to start out with, just don't net below 1200 a day and you'll start to lose weight. and if you're sore you are probably retaining water.
  12290966
April 23, 2012 7:46 AM
QUOTE:

Also, I peeked at your food diary. Add Sodium to your trackers. I think you will be very surprised. Too much sodium will cause you to retain water. How to fix it? DRINK MORE WATER! :-)

ETA: You may be underestimating your caloric intake. The Chili's Fajitas calories don't include the fajita shells, sour cream, or pico de gallo. They include only what is in the meat/veggie mix.

And MEASURE everything. 3/4 of a cup doesn't come close to fillling my cereal bowl even though it is a "serving."


I only ate the fajita meat, grilled veggies and a mini corn tortilla. :)

I do measure my cereal and soy milk. I use a small bowl too.

Drinking water right now!!!

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