Message Boards » General Diet and Weight Loss Help

TOPIC: Why do I weigh more after working out?

 
Ic_disabled_photos
Topic has been inactive for 30 days or more and images have been disabled.
Display All Images
January 11, 2010 3:50 PM
This may be a weird question but I've noticed lately that I weigh more after working out. I'm not even talking about RIGHT after working out, but even within the next day or two. For example, I may work out for four days and I'll notice my weight going (and staying) up. Then I'll have a rest day and weigh myself the day after that, only to see my weight's gone back down again.

Is there a reason for this or am I just totally crazy?

EDIT TO ADD:

I really only weigh myself once a week, and that's the only weigh-in I 'count', but I do weigh myself every morning under the same circumstances, just to better understand/track patterns as they emerge....
Edited by MercuryBlue On January 11, 2010 3:51 PM
  303443
January 11, 2010 4:01 PM
Well during the course of a normal day, your weight can fluctuate up to 3 lbs naturally. So if it's just a small shift you're seeing, I wouldn't even give it a second thought. Also, after you work out, your muscles are all fired up and actually cause a small increase in weight. Again this shouldn't be more than a pound or two at most. However, this shouldn't last into the next day as well. It's entirely possible that you're just building muscle as well. All in all, if this is the natural rhythm for you, and you're still seeing a general downwards weight shift - I wouldn't worry about it. Just ensure that you're getting all your nutrients and drinking plenty of water.
January 11, 2010 4:17 PM
I know about daily fluctations- it's why I only weigh myself in the morning, under the EXACT same circumstances every day. The reason I do it every day is to track patterns (such as this) and try to better understand my body. When it comes to tracking actual weight loss, I only have one weigh-in per week that 'counts'.

That's not the question, sorry if I wasn't more clear.

I've just noticed that if I've been working out a lot, even if I'm drinking a LOT of water during workouts (I don't drink Gatorade), I always show a weight gain in the day(s) that follow. If I take a rest day after working out a lot, my weight generally will dip back down. My theory is that it has something to do with my muscles retaining water, and I guess I just wanted confirmation that I'm right/wrong. I'm also curious about why this happens.

I'm not necessarily upset/concerned about the actual number, since I'm more focused on losing inches than pounds (and my jeans are fitting MUCH looser ;) ). The question is based more on a desire to know than any actual concern.
  303443
March 10, 2011 9:12 AM
Aloha Carrie,
I too have the problem. It is a bit discouraging....but the way I feel after a good run makes up for those numbers on the scale. I just wish the scale would reflect my progress. One thing I have started doing is taking monthly pictures to track my weight loss/body transformation. I lose very little weight, but a lot of inches. Perhaps your body is similar.
March 10, 2011 9:19 AM
The onld gym I used to go to did monthly weigh ins. They always told us to weigh in BEFORE your workout because afterward your muscles would swell with fluid and blood from being worked out and you would weigh more.
  2626827
March 10, 2011 9:36 AM
OK, Blue, I'm gonna take a shot at this from my own thought process and the horrifying amount of research I've done on human anatomy, I've never actually seen the answer to this one in any of my reading.

So I'm going to walk through this logically, see if you guys can follow (and remember, this is kinda an educated guess here).

-so muscles use glycogen for energy.
-Glycogen is a water/glucose "slurry" that is mostly stored in the liver, but also some in the muscles.
-Water is heavy, whether or not there's glucose in it.
-When we exercise hard, we deplete the glucose in the glycogen
-We don't do anything particular with the water that comes along with that glucose. It's just reused by the many things that the body requires water for.
-Some is removed via sweat, some via urine, but the body now perceives a need for extra energy because you burned extra.
-so you have a little bit of extra water in the body, mixed with the body's need for extra energy and thus more glycogen production (and even more water).
-that could probably add up to 2 to 3 lbs.
-Plus, when we wake up in the morning, we are usually in some form of dehydration (6 to 10 hours of no water intake will always mean you're low on your hydration levels) so if you weigh yourself in the morning before drinking water, then weigh yourself during the day, guess what, you're probably going to have a few lbs difference anyway.
Edited by SHBoss1673 On March 10, 2011 9:36 AM
March 10, 2011 9:53 AM
I've seen this pattern as well with my runs. If I weight myself the day after a hard run, I weight sometimes up to 2 lbs more. If I wait and rest a few days, then weigh in first thing in the morning, my weight actually sometimes goes down.

I did my own research a little bit, but there's not too much out there. What I *think* from what I've read is that when you work your muscles pretty hard, they obviously tear slightly, and during the rebuilding process they retain excess water/fluid, almost like swelling.
  2840076
August 3, 2011 1:42 PM
QUOTE:

I've seen this pattern as well with my runs. If I weight myself the day after a hard run, I weight sometimes up to 2 lbs more. If I wait and rest a few days, then weigh in first thing in the morning, my weight actually sometimes goes down.

I did my own research a little bit, but there's not too much out there. What I *think* from what I've read is that when you work your muscles pretty hard, they obviously tear slightly, and during the rebuilding process they retain excess water/fluid, almost like swelling.

that was simple and right to the point :)
  6975169
February 21, 2012 10:39 PM
I'm hitting a wall now myself but there may actually be some merit to weighing more after a good hard workout than when you first weigh yourself in the morning. Lactic Acid building up in the muscles as they swell may also contribute for all I know. I'm probably wrong but would like to think that this train of thought and logic can explain why we weigh more during the day than when we first wake up.
  15016696
February 22, 2012 12:33 AM
I know exactly how you're feeling. Now, close to my goal, it is very difficult to make the scale budge. I was very frustrated and didn't/didn't want to understand why. All this talk about starvation mode was too bad and to easy an explanation. Also I didn't believe in eating more to lose because of my age and slower metabolism. I found this her in an other thread. Warning: it is a very long read but I promise: after having read that you will be happier, you will understand and won't be to scared of the scales any more.
Let me know what you think about the article. I've even printed it out.

http://body-improvements.com/resources/eat/
  12206019
February 22, 2012 12:51 AM
It is very common. I think the simple answer is WATER.

Your muscles flush with water after strain to help them repair. You then see a drop a few days later. Nothing to worry about and I always look at it as a good thing - shows I've worked hard.

Was showing the below chart on another thread yesterday talking about weighing in every day. I do because it shows me how I am performing with my diet as well as my exercise. I can put this next to my training schedule and can see the day after my biggest workout (sometimes over 1000 in 1 day) will be a spike and then a satisfying drop over the following days.

Each of those spikes is pretty much the morning after a big work out! Seems to work, lost 18lbs since Jan 1st.

Image not displayed
February 22, 2012 12:55 AM
Interesting...I run and I usually weigh less.I thought it was dehydration
  13356753
February 22, 2012 1:01 AM
I have the exact same process! The answers here were very helpful, I did suspect water, but did'nt want to use water as an excuse for weight gain. I think that happens a lot on mfp, so I was unsure if I should go there in my thinking. But I'm so glad you asked the question, it's made me feel like I'm not doing something wrong.
  13495427
February 22, 2012 1:55 AM
I have no creditials to back this up, just that I read a lot and retain a lot of random trivia. So I could be wrong because I can't remember where I read this and therefore can't give sources but:

When you work out you get little "micro-tears" in your muscle and these can pool with blood or other bodily fluids. As these micro-tears heal they are repaired with muscle tissue thus growing your muscles.

So I think you are on track with the fluid thing. I think I read this in "marathon training for dummies". It's why the author suggested cold baths, showers after runs instead of warm ones, warm ones encourage blood to pool making "micro bruises" and increasing the soreness factor.
  16763260
May 11, 2013 7:59 AM
bump.
  41152158
May 15, 2014 10:57 AM
I know exactly what you are talking about! This holds true for me too! It doesn't matter if it is a 3 mile brisk walk or a long set of weight lifting. All of the same circumstances with diet and water consumption along with the weight fluctuations have nothing to do with it but more with the accumulation of acids in the muscle and the retention of water in my long muscles and limbs. It definitely lasts 2-3 days for me but as long as I continue to be diligent with food and exercise it will pay off. Just as soon as it comes it drops within 2-3 days with a positive affect. This has always been true for me and I've come to accept it. I've recently lost 72 lbs and it is still true as I try and finish my last 50 lbs. DO NOT let it discourage you it is just how our bodies work. It became a trap for me I'd work my butt off and my food was on and then the scale would say up 2-4 lbs. I would be like what!!!! Then I would over eat and go on the crazy cycle. Good Luck! Stay Focused !
Edited by latishaz On May 15, 2014 11:01 AM
  53828950
May 15, 2014 11:02 AM
so true!!!!!!
  53828950
May 15, 2014 11:06 AM
QUOTE:

This may be a weird question but I've noticed lately that I weigh more after working out. I'm not even talking about RIGHT after working out, but even within the next day or two. For example, I may work out for four days and I'll notice my weight going (and staying) up. Then I'll have a rest day and weigh myself the day after that, only to see my weight's gone back down again.

Is there a reason for this or am I just totally crazy?

EDIT TO ADD:

I really only weigh myself once a week, and that's the only weigh-in I 'count', but I do weigh myself every morning under the same circumstances, just to better understand/track patterns as they emerge....


When you exercise, especially resistance training, your muscle uses up stored energy in the form of glycogen. Upon rest your muscles begin to recover which means an influx of glycogen (which comes with a lot of water). The glycogen/water is to refuel and additional water sheathing the muscle is for repair to the tissue which becomes inflamed from exercise.

You aren't crazy, its perfectly normal. Another thing to note is a lot of people confuse this swelling due to water retention in the muscles with muscle growth. Your muscles will feel harder, they will look bigger, but if you are dieting you aren't adding muscle so that perception just comes from the swelling due to water retention.
  60911203
May 15, 2014 11:07 AM
Dammit...2010 post.
  60911203

Reply

Message Boards » General Diet and Weight Loss Help

Posts by members, moderators and admins should not be considered medical advice and no guarantee is made against accuracy.