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TOPIC: Stopped working out, now I'm losing weight.

 
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May 23, 2013 9:06 AM
Serious question: I haven't worked out in about a week and a half (I've been swamped with work and school), but I've been losing more weight than I was when I was working out 3-4 times a week. I've still been watching my calories, though... I want to keep up this weight loss, but I'm certainly not going to quit working out. Should I focus more on cardio and cut out the little bit of strength training that I had been doing for now? I'm thinking I may have been gaining muscle, and that's why the scale wasn't moving as fast. I'm not really looking to gain muscle at all... I'm already pretty muscular. Any suggestions or advice would be greatly appreciated!

Also, I know that strength training is important. If I did cut it out, it would only be temporary.
May 23, 2013 9:12 AM
A full rest week is recommended evry 5 or 6 weeks when weight training so you are doing your body good taking a week off.

I would say don't stop, but make sure you are not overdoing it - 2 to 3 times per week is perfect for a weight training plan. You will retain water if you have sore muscles, so my guess is the weight loss during your rest time is that water going away.
Edited by jzammetti On May 23, 2013 9:12 AM
  25040222
May 23, 2013 9:13 AM
When you stop working out your body requires less water and glycogen stores for muscle repair. It's primarily water you're dropping. When you work out you retain water and glycogen for muscle repair...it's a good thing...it means your body is having a training response which means your workouts are working...if you didn't have a training response and aren't retaining water and glycogen it means your workout is pretty much a worthless heap of ****.

Keep working out...and by no means should you stop resistance training...it burns more calories over a 48 hour period of time that your cardio session does and also preserves your lean body mass. People who fail to do resistance training while dieting end up at some arbitrary goal weight but with a higher relative BF% for that particular weight and generally have body composition issues and just want to keep dieting and doing more cardio...i.e. they end up skinny fat.
May 23, 2013 9:15 AM
It's unlikely it was muscle because there is simply no way even a man could gain muscle at the same rate that fat can be lost. This is a common myth but the truth is if the scale isn't moving down, you're not in a caloric deficit.

So the question is what has happened?

Have you taken in less calories due to simply being busy? Quite possibly, even probably.
Have you been more active generally in your day-to-day life? (NEPA: Non-exercise physical activity is a big part of the "metabolism") Probably.
Normal fluctuations in hormones, water weight, etc....


Honestly I would just keep doing what you were doing. Caloric deficit provides the weight loss, and resistance training helps you keep some muscle and thus you look better and better, not just like a smaller version of your self.
May 23, 2013 10:05 AM
QUOTE:

When you stop working out your body requires less water and glycogen stores for muscle repair. It's primarily water you're dropping. When you work out you retain water and glycogen for muscle repair...it's a good thing...it means your body is having a training response which means your workouts are working...if you didn't have a training response and aren't retaining water and glycogen it means your workout is pretty much a worthless heap of ****.

Keep working out...and by no means should you stop resistance training...it burns more calories over a 48 hour period of time that your cardio session does and also preserves your lean body mass. People who fail to do resistance training while dieting end up at some arbitrary goal weight but with a higher relative BF% for that particular weight and generally have body composition issues and just want to keep dieting and doing more cardio...i.e. they end up skinny fat.


Excellent post!

Let the way your clothing fits be your fat loss guide NOT the scale.
May 23, 2013 10:24 AM
@tomg33- Honestly as far as my calorie intake, I've been eating about the same as when I was working out, but less clean. Busy=Junk food.

Thanks everyone for the wonderful advice. Keep it coming!
Edited by felicityrhode On May 23, 2013 10:25 AM
May 23, 2013 11:34 AM
QUOTE:

When you stop working out your body requires less water and glycogen stores for muscle repair. It's primarily water you're dropping. When you work out you retain water and glycogen for muscle repair...it's a good thing...it means your body is having a training response which means your workouts are working...if you didn't have a training response and aren't retaining water and glycogen it means your workout is pretty much a worthless heap of ****.

Keep working out...and by no means should you stop resistance training...it burns more calories over a 48 hour period of time that your cardio session does and also preserves your lean body mass. People who fail to do resistance training while dieting end up at some arbitrary goal weight but with a higher relative BF% for that particular weight and generally have body composition issues and just want to keep dieting and doing more cardio...i.e. they end up skinny fat.



I stopped working out 3 weeks ago because of tendinitis in my rotator cuff. Had a cortisone shot, and been to a few physical therapy sessions.

In the 3 weeks since I stopped exercising, I've lost 15lbs. Prior to the injury I had been working out 6 days a week for the last 7 weeks straight.

So what can I expect once I start working out again?
Edited by trifona On May 23, 2013 11:47 AM
  19871874
May 23, 2013 11:51 AM
Happens to me all the time . Most recently this week . Had a family death and very busy . Was eating more junk etc due to funeral and no gym for 8 days . I dropped 5lbs in a week . But I expected it as it always happens me . I take a week off about every 8 weeks as I simply get fatigued and I was actually due a rest so it fitted in . Every time I take a rest week I take a drop . It's the only time I actually see weight loss which is ok because I am maintaining . In fact 3 times this week I was told I am getting a bit thin as I am only 5ft 3 5lbs is a lot . It's water from the muscles from not working out I presume .
May 23, 2013 12:02 PM
QUOTE:

QUOTE:

When you stop working out your body requires less water and glycogen stores for muscle repair. It's primarily water you're dropping. When you work out you retain water and glycogen for muscle repair...it's a good thing...it means your body is having a training response which means your workouts are working...if you didn't have a training response and aren't retaining water and glycogen it means your workout is pretty much a worthless heap of ****.

Keep working out...and by no means should you stop resistance training...it burns more calories over a 48 hour period of time that your cardio session does and also preserves your lean body mass. People who fail to do resistance training while dieting end up at some arbitrary goal weight but with a higher relative BF% for that particular weight and generally have body composition issues and just want to keep dieting and doing more cardio...i.e. they end up skinny fat.



I stopped working out 3 weeks ago because of tendinitis in my rotator cuff. Had a cortisone shot, and been to a few physical therapy sessions.

In the 3 weeks since I stopped exercising, I've lost 15lbs. Prior to the injury I had been working out 6 days a week for the last 7 weeks straight.

So what can I expect once I start working out again?


Almost impossible to say...depends on the individual and intensity of the workout. When I take a rest week I usually drop about 5-8 Lbs of water...when I start back up I put 5-8 Lbs of water back on. I'm maintaining, but it's not static...I always have fluctuations due to water retention/release due primarily to my work load, but also sodium intake, etc.

15 Lbs over 3 weeks...I'd wager that at least 8-10 Lbs of that loss is water given the math and science of weight loss (i.e. 3500 calories per week deficit from maintenance = 1 Lb per week actual fat loss).
May 23, 2013 12:02 PM
QUOTE:

Happens to me all the time . Most recently this week . Had a family death and very busy . Was eating more junk etc due to funeral and no gym for 8 days . I dropped 5lbs in a week . But I expected it as it always happens me . I take a week off about every 8 weeks as I simply get fatigued and I was actually due a rest so it fitted in . Every time I take a rest week I take a drop . It's the only time I actually see weight loss which is ok because I am maintaining . In fact 3 times this week I was told I am getting a bit thin as I am only 5ft 3 5lbs is a lot . It's water from the muscles from not working out I presume .


Sorry for your loss to your family.

Do you gain any of the weight back when you start working out again?
Edited by SuziQNC On May 23, 2013 12:04 PM
  6752502
May 23, 2013 12:25 PM
QUOTE:

QUOTE:

Happens to me all the time . Most recently this week . Had a family death and very busy . Was eating more junk etc due to funeral and no gym for 8 days . I dropped 5lbs in a week . But I expected it as it always happens me . I take a week off about every 8 weeks as I simply get fatigued and I was actually due a rest so it fitted in . Every time I take a rest week I take a drop . It's the only time I actually see weight loss which is ok because I am maintaining . In fact 3 times this week I was told I am getting a bit thin as I am only 5ft 3 5lbs is a lot . It's water from the muscles from not working out I presume .


Sorry for your loss to your family.

Do you gain any of the weight back when you start working out again?


Yes...that is the point that she and I are trying to make. It's water...your muscles need water to repair when you exercise. It's a good thing...don't sweat it, it's water...and it means your exercises are working. Concern yourself with fat loss, not water loss or gain. That is why it is invaluable to use other tools besides the scale...scale only tells a little tiny part of the story.
May 23, 2013 12:26 PM
QUOTE:

QUOTE:

QUOTE:

When you stop working out your body requires less water and glycogen stores for muscle repair. It's primarily water you're dropping. When you work out you retain water and glycogen for muscle repair...it's a good thing...it means your body is having a training response which means your workouts are working...if you didn't have a training response and aren't retaining water and glycogen it means your workout is pretty much a worthless heap of ****.

Keep working out...and by no means should you stop resistance training...it burns more calories over a 48 hour period of time that your cardio session does and also preserves your lean body mass. People who fail to do resistance training while dieting end up at some arbitrary goal weight but with a higher relative BF% for that particular weight and generally have body composition issues and just want to keep dieting and doing more cardio...i.e. they end up skinny fat.



I stopped working out 3 weeks ago because of tendinitis in my rotator cuff. Had a cortisone shot, and been to a few physical therapy sessions.

In the 3 weeks since I stopped exercising, I've lost 15lbs. Prior to the injury I had been working out 6 days a week for the last 7 weeks straight.

So what can I expect once I start working out again?


Almost impossible to say...depends on the individual and intensity of the workout. When I take a rest week I usually drop about 5-8 Lbs of water...when I start back up I put 5-8 Lbs of water back on. I'm maintaining, but it's not static...I always have fluctuations due to water retention/release due primarily to my work load, but also sodium intake, etc.

15 Lbs over 3 weeks...I'd wager that at least 8-10 Lbs of that loss is water given the math and science of weight loss (i.e. 3500 calories per week deficit from maintenance = 1 Lb per week actual fat loss).


I can guarantee you it was water. 15lbs in 3 weeks, 11lbs in the first 11 days.

After taking the month of February off and restarting my program in March I didn't notice any weight loss or gain during that cycle. I'll hope for the same this time around as well.
Edited by trifona On May 23, 2013 12:29 PM
  19871874
May 23, 2013 12:35 PM
The same thing has happened to me. I ended Stage 1 of NROL4W last week and didn't want to start Stage 2 yet because I'm moving next week and have a ton of things to do in the mean time. I've dropped about three pounds of water weight in the last week and a half so it's nice to finally see that my efforts have paid off even if they were masked by water retention. Good luck to you!
  34746769
May 23, 2013 12:43 PM
Starting an exercise regimen often causes weight gain--you see threads about that here all the time. "I've started going to the gym and I gained 5 pounds!" The reasons are explained above--muscles retain water when stressed by exercise.

Conversely, taking a break from exercise often has the opposite effect, weight loss. If it's sudden, it's almost certainly water, but it might also not come back. Eating more after dieting (up to and including maintenance levels) can have the same effect. The reasons are complicated and not well understood, but at least one theory is that it has to do with cortisol levels. To simplify a lot, when you switch from a diet-and-exercise regime, your body's initial reaction is to get out of panic mode and release some of the water that has been stored in your fat cells.

Obviously, if you stop exercising completely, the honeymoon will eventually end and you might regain some weight.

Here is a more elaborate version of what I just said:

http://www.bodyrecomposition.com/fat-loss/the-ltdfle.html
Edited by bumblebums On May 23, 2013 12:44 PM
May 23, 2013 1:35 PM
I could gain back 3 of the 5 lbs but who is counting really as that could vary daily either way . I don't weigh in that often anyway and as i am the same weight give or take a few pounds maintaining the last 3 years i pretty much don't worry about what i eat as its a way of life to me and i tend to eat low gi and non processed but if i want something i have it . I do stronglifts so in my case 100 per cent sure it was water weight due to the time off . Went back yesterday well rested and felt great .I listen to my body and take a rest week when it needs it .
May 23, 2013 5:37 PM
QUOTE:

Starting an exercise regimen often causes weight gain--you see threads about that here all the time. "I've started going to the gym and I gained 5 pounds!" The reasons are explained above--muscles retain water when stressed by exercise.

Conversely, taking a break from exercise often has the opposite effect, weight loss. If it's sudden, it's almost certainly water, but it might also not come back. Eating more after dieting (up to and including maintenance levels) can have the same effect. The reasons are complicated and not well understood, but at least one theory is that it has to do with cortisol levels. To simplify a lot, when you switch from a diet-and-exercise regime, your body's initial reaction is to get out of panic mode and release some of the water that has been stored in your fat cells.

Obviously, if you stop exercising completely, the honeymoon will eventually end and you might regain some weight.

Here is a more elaborate version of what I just said:

http://www.bodyrecomposition.com/fat-loss/the-ltdfle.html


Bingo This is it!!!

After I stopped my daily workout regimen, where I was getting up @ 4:30Am every day, I reduced calories to compensate but also started eating more carbs (primarily fruit), and then I started to shed a pound per day for nearly 2 weeks. Prior to this I had been lamenting to a friend as to how I felt like I was carrying a lot of water weight that I could not figure why it wasn't going away.

Knowing about this mechanism now, I'll probably try to take advantage of it after accomplishing 4-6 weeks of hard exercise just to make sure that I don't retain too much water anymore!!!

Mystery solved!
Edited by trifona On May 23, 2013 5:42 PM
  19871874

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