You may need to lose weight for your health, plan to run a 5K or marathon, or want to improve your fitness for cross-country skiing or impress the beach. Whatever reason; Why do you gain weight when you exercise.
Whatever reason, expect to gain a few pounds in the beginning. But do not panic. The pounds will not hang around if you keep on.
The critical point here is that weight, and muscle mass changes will occur. To begin with, they are not all that some people may perceive as heading in a positive direction – because you may gain some weight in the beginning.
Why do you gain weight when you exercise?
Your body naturally goes through several changes during the first few months after starting an exercise program.
- A new exercise program puts stress on your muscle fibers. This causes small micro-tears, also known as microtraumas, and some inflammation. These two conditions in your muscle fibers are why you can gain weight.
- Your body responds to micro-tears and inflammation in two ways that cause temporary weight gain in water.
The first is a healing response
That stress and micro-tear damage to the muscle fibers induces water retention in the body, and there may be a slight inflammation around the microtear, and your body retains fluid there to try to heal it. These are short-term changes in the muscle.
You will also most likely experience delayed muscle soreness within 24 to 36 hours after exercise. It is the body’s natural response to these micro-muscle tears and the breakdown in muscle tissue.
So please do not overdo it. Eat right and give your muscles the right amount of rest so they can heal and rebuild.
Increased muscle fuel also gives some weight gain
The way your body energizes your muscles can also add weight in the beginning.
Glycogen that your muscle cells convert to glucose is the energy source for your muscles. When exercising regularly, your body stores more glycogen to provide energy for your workout.
Glycogen bind with water as part of the process to provide energy to the muscle. That water also gives a small amount of weight.
When your muscles become more accustomed to training and more efficient, they begin to need less glycogen to maintain the same energy level. Thus, the water retention is reduced so that the weight will decrease.
You will begin to lose the first weight gain a few weeks or a month after starting an exercise program.
Secondary weight gain from lean muscle mass
It is another source of weight gain that people often misunderstand. You will gain weight from muscle mass by building muscle with exercise or weight lifting. But this will not happen right away.
After a month or two, you will add muscle mass that shows up in your weight. Then, you will probably experience a good weight loss trend due to the workout.
People may not consider the early changes in the body to be positive. Later, there will be positive changes, so you need to stick to your exercise program.