Weight Gain with Exercise?

Why does my weight go up when I exercise more frequently?
trainerAsk The Personal Trainer

A: Weight gain with exercise may be disheartening. But before you hang up your running shoes, take heed. Exercise has not betrayed you—this weight gain is short-lived.

In the short term, exercise causes some bodily changes that may temporarily bump up your body weight. Your muscles not only get bigger and stronger, but their chemistry changes too. That is, you increase certain types of enzymes that cause your muscles to store more carbohydrate in the form of glycogen. Glycogen is a "hydrophilic" compound, which means it attracts water. So that extra glycogen in your muscle cells includes extra water. This can add some weight.

Over the long term, however, if your weight continues to go up, it's very unlikely that you gaining because you are exercising too much. It is more likely that you are eating more and/or exercising less than you think.

Bottom line: You want to see the number on the scale drop, but give it time. As you continue with your exercise routine and begin losing fat, you will see a drop in both body weight and clothing size. And you'll benefit in the long run: Building muscle increases your metabolism, allowing you to burn more calories during exercise and at rest.

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