Monday, March 7, 2016

Exercise & Weight Gain

You started a new exercise routine with the goal of losing weight. You're 2 weeks in and you've gained weight.
What is up with that? 
There are a few things that could be the culprit, but if I had to put my money down, I'd say it's one, or all, of these:
You expect results too soon.

Your body is still adjusting and recalibrating to your new routine.  

It can take a few weeks for your body to adapt to the change you’ve placed on it – beginning an exercise program doesn’t always result in immediate results.
Remember the rule of 4's: 
  • 4 weeks to FEEL the difference
  • 8 weeks to SEE the difference
  • 12 weeks to HEAR ABOUT the difference
You're not working at a high enough intensity (or not doing enough cardio).

Focus on increasing the time spent on cardiovascular exercise and be sure you are working at a moderate intensity. You should be able to speak in sentences but not carry on in a conversational tone.
150-250 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity per week is associated with modest weight loss.
250+ minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity per week shows a clinically significant weight loss.

Once you hit your goal, you can scale back down to 150-250 minute to maintain your weight loss, as long as you are not...

Eating too many calories.

Often these are compensatory calories. When we begin an exercise program it is common for the following 2 things to happen:
  • hunger increases
  • we overestimate calorie burn
Exercise alone doesn’t do a lot to reduce weight. It is important to look at your nutrition habits and caloric intake to make sure they are balanced & appropriate for your body weight and activity level. 
You can find out your caloric needs by using this calculator: {HINT: Most people with a sedentary job and planned exercise should use the 2nd Activity Level from the Left}

Sometimes these extra calories come in the form of pre-workout snacks, which aren't always necessary for a standard workout**. Your body still needs proper fuel, however, so eating a balanced meal 1-3 hours before activity is recommended.* If you prefer a snack, make it light: a whey shake (with water only), low-fat yogurt with berries, or a banana. 

 *For specific nutrition questions and concerns, please consult a Registered Dietician or other health care professional.
**For workouts lasting longer than 90 minutes this advice is not considered accurate.

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