How Long Do You Gain Weight When You Start Working Out?

How Long Do You Gain Weight When You Start Working Out?

Written by Megan Ayala. Last Updated: April 22, 2022

When it is time to start working out, you are going to be thinking about getting fitter and losing weight. This is the most common expectation for those who go down this path and want to start working out the right way.

Unfortunately, it’s possible to end up going in the wrong direction and gain weight even though you are working out more.

This can be surprising to people when that should not be the case. The reason a person starts gaining weight when working out tends to include how much food they are eating within 24 hours.

This article will take a look at how long you gain weight when you start to work out and how to optimize your schedule for long-term results.

Why You Might Be Gaining Weight Even Though You’re Working Out

Gaining weight when you first start working out, is a common thing for most people. If this happens to be the case for you – as it is for many others – don’t freak out.

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There are a few reasons why this can happen:

  • You’re gaining muscle weight
  • You’re retaining water
  • Your body is adjusting

This temporary weight gain may last for up to a month before things start trending in the right direction [1]. If your goal is to lose weight, give it some time.

If you don’t start losing weight, even though you’re sticking with your workout plan, here are some additional tips you can take to get the scale moving in the right direction…

How To Stop Weight Gain When Working Out

meal planning for weight loss

1. Start Meal Planning

The best thing a person can do is start eating with a plan.

This is going to go a long way in organizing the number of calories you are eating within 24 hours. The more you start focusing on this, the easier it will become to rein in the weight gain.

This is why a lot of people struggle because they don’t take the time to think about what they are eating. Instead, they only focus on working out and end up gaining more weight than expected.

Remember, you are going to get hungrier when you work out more. This means you can easily overdo the eating if you don’t have a meal plan in place.

Get the meal plan ready and ensure you are prepping in advance. This is how you are going to see the types of results you are hoping for when working out.

Even basic meal planning will go a long way in pushing you towards your goal.

2. Count Your Calories

Calorie counting is one of the best things a person can do.

It’s easy to get lost in the world of working out and only focus on that part of your routine. You might want to think about targeting different muscles, using new exercises, and attempting to lift heavier weights in the gym.

Yes, all of those details do matter but that doesn’t mean you are on the right path. You have to think about what you are doing as much as possible.

This includes counting calories as patiently as possible.

You want to track how many calories you are eating and how it is impacting your health as time goes on.

The reasons include:

  • Helps Organize Your Eating
  • Helps Consistently Burn weight

This is one of the biggest mistakes people make.

If you are working out, you are likely going to burn 200-300 calories in the session.

You can easily end up eating 700-800 calories in one sitting depending on what is in front of you. This means you are immediately in a 300-400 calorie surplus even if you worked out hard.

This is why you need to understand how many calories are going into your body at any given moment. This is the only way you can remain in a caloric deficit and attain the results you are after.

3. Progress With Your Workouts

How are your workouts when it comes to progression?

It’s easy to make mistakes in this regard. You might end up in a situation where you are not progressing at all and not seeing the results that you are after because you have hit a plateau.

This goes for any type of workout that you plan.

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For example, let’s assume you are someone that is lifting weight every day. You are going to have a workout program in hand that you are following.

This is wonderful but that is only useful when you are adding to the workouts. This means if you were lifting 100 pounds during the first session, next time you are going to lift 105 pounds. If you can’t increase the weight, you can increase the number of times you lift the same weight.

Progressive overload is important and it is the best way to get the body to do more during the same period. This trains the body to get stronger, fitter, and healthier.

A lot of people don’t think about this and that is why they don’t progress at all. You have to think about this as much as you can.

4. Don’t Let Your Body Adapt Quickly

You have to adapt your body to what you are doing.

This is one of the biggest issues people deal with because they don’t take the time to focus on how they are working out, which leads to weight gain.

You don’t want a situation where your body begins to adapt. This happens in all sorts of ways. It might even be something as simple as the foods you are eating.

The reasons include:

  • Can Slow Down Caloric Burn
  • Makes It Harder To Lose Weight

You have to mix things up and make sure you are staying healthy with a purpose. This means if your workouts are becoming stagnant then you need to attempt new exercises to keep the body guessing.

This is a useful way to ensure the body doesn’t train itself to make the task easier. After all, this is a big reason why the body tends to do well in strenuous situations.

It learns to adapt and that is when you lose out.

You will gain weight because the body isn’t going to use as much energy after a few months to complete the same workout.

Just imagine you run three miles per day. If you continue to run three miles per day for the next year, by the end of the year you will find this to be as easy as a stroll through the park.

It’s essential to not let the body adapt to the point it doesn’t help you stay fit. You are going to start to gain weight because the caloric burn will go down per session.

5. Track Everything

It is important to track everything you are consuming during the day.

This is a big part of weight gain. If you are not tracking how many steps you are taking, how many calories you are burning, and/or how many calories you are eating, you will struggle.

Even the best find it difficult to manage this because it is not easy to know how many calories you are burning during a day without tracking it. The same goes for the foods you are eating.

To the surprise of many people, they end up eating a lot more than they originally guess. This happens because you don’t realize how many calories are in the portions that you are eating. You tend to overeat easily and this gets worse as you start working out.

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A lot of people gain weight immediately after working out because they overeat too much. It gets to the point where they gain more weight than they did before workouts were a part of their lifestyle.

It is important to avoid this and make sure you are on top of what is going into your body right away. The more you think about this, the better your results are going to be.

This is a detail you need to account for when it is time to start working out.

6. Target Different Muscle Groups

a couple works out with weights

It is critical to think about your workout sessions and how they are planned. Sometimes, it is easy to get into a lull where you are hitting the same muscle groups during the month.

This means each workout session looks the same even if you are progressively overloading the sets.

The body will still learn the adapt if you are doing this and it will also lead to inefficiencies in your body as a whole.

The reasons include:

  • Helps Build A Well-Rounded Body
  • Assists With Caloric Burn

The best thing a person can do is take a step back and plan workouts in detail. This means you mix things up even if you are targeting the same muscles.

Try new exercises and see if this makes it a lot easier to get the body to grow. When you do this, you will feel fitter too.

The body knows how to adapt and that includes handling the same types of exercises during the week. You have to keep it guessing and that includes how you are working out.

7. Eat Denser Foods

What types of foods are you eating?

You need to make sure to suppress your appetite and the best way to do this is to eat denser foods. A lot of people don’t do this and they eat junk food.

These are high in calories and don’t make you feel full at all. As a result, you eat even more to fill up.

The best thing a person can do is eat foods that are heavier and don’t have a lot of calories in them. This can include fruits, vegetables, and/or meats.

You have to take the time to eat denser foods because they will ensure you don’t feel hungry during the day.

Final Thoughts

As you are thinking about eating the right way, it is important to understand the value of meal planning. This is how you are going to start to control your weight gain when you work out.

Most people will gain a few pounds when they start working out. This happens because you don’t know how to control the number of calories you are eating when you are hungry after a workout session. This creates a situation where you eat more than you burn during the session.

The best thing to do is rein in what you are eating and eat foods that are lower in calories. This is going to make it a lot easier to fill your stomach without overdoing the calories.

It is the calories that are going to cause you to gain weight rapidly.

It is also important to note that muscle weighs more than fat. This means the more muscle you gain, you might get heavier on the scale. This is why it’s also important to look into the mirror to see how you are progressing.

If you are getting broader, stronger, and fitter then the weight gain might not be a bad thing. It might be a sign that your workout sessions are working out for the better and will lead to great results aesthetically.

This is why numbers are not the only thing to account for.

Resources

  1. https://health.clevelandclinic.org/just-started-exercising-gaining-weight/