It is frustrating when you are trying so hard to lose weight, but no loss is reflected on your scale; in fact, it shows you have gained a pound or two. Why does that happen?
Believe it or not, this is usually a good weight gain. Of course, if you are eating more then this could be the cause. But if not, you can expect the weight to come off over time, so be patient and stay the course.
When first starting an exercise program, your body goes through many changes. One of them is called adaptation. If you have gone from a sedentary lifestyle to an active one now that you are exercising, your body might be storing more glycogen which it uses as energy to fuel your cells.
Glycogen is made up of glucose and water. In fact, one-part glucose and three parts water. So what effect can this have on your weight? The average person carries about 15 grams of glycogen per kg of body weight. If we do the math, we see that a 200-pound person would carry about three pounds of glycogen.
However, when you bring exercising into the mix, the actual amount of glycogen stored can increase quite a bit which means carrying more weight. As your body adjusts to its new lifestyle, this excess weight will come off.
Another part of adaptation that can cause weight gain are the small tears which occur in muscle fibers as a result of exercising. These small tears are called micro-trauma and while small, they cause inflammation in the body. As part of the healing process, blood vessels open up and white blood cells are directed to the affected area. This can cause swelling until the tears are healed. These small tears are what cause you to be sore after your first few exercise sessions.
Contrary to popular belief muscle does not weigh more than fat. If you put 5 pounds of fat on a scale and 5 pounds of muscle on another scale to compare, both scales will read 5 pounds. As you lose fat and gain muscle, your weight might actually show more on the scale, but in reality you are getting healthier. The number on the scale is only one indicator you should watch.
Most people put way too much faith in that number. It can fluctuate a lot on a daily basis depending on what is going on inside your body.
My best advice is continue to eat clean, exercise regularly and be patient, your desired outcome is on its way.
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