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  • I gain weight after exercising

    I've been watching this for a while, and now I'm pretty sure about it: in the immediate 2-3 days after rigorous exercise, my weight goes up. I'm not even slightly concerned about it...it drops back down again after that little rise, and I'm at a weight I'm very happy about.

    I'm pretty sure it's not because I'm eating more in response to the exercise. So what's the mechanism? Is it the body hanging on to extra fluid as it works on recovery? My impedance body fat doesn't seem to change, which I might expect if it was a fluid issue, but I know that measurement is inaccurate.

    I'm tracking this partly so that when someone posts on the board complaining that despite working out really hard yesterday, they are 2lbs heavier today, I can share my experience. Would be nice to have a logical explanation for it though!
    Liz.

    Zone diet on and off for several years....worked, but too much focus on exact meal composition
    Primal since July 2010...skinniest I've ever been and the least stressed about food

  • #2
    When you exercise you create micro-tears in your muscles which fill up with fluid as they heal. Thus, weight gain. I gained 2 pounds after my last marathon

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    • #3
      Since I'm still addicted to my scale (I know I know!!!!!), I've noticed the same thing. I did some intense arm workouts the other day and I weighted myself the next morning, I was up almost 2 pounds! Concerned if it's "muscle-fluid" or fat...... not sure if it's dropped down or not, but i'm determined not to hop on it for a month! We'll see how that goes.

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      • #4
        It seems to be fairly well accepted that muscle tissue retains more water after exercise, but I'm not sure of the reason. A good guess would be that it's something to do with repair.
        My primal journal
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        • #5
          mine does too....if i do something to the point of sore muscles the next day or work some part i forgot existed...im rather swollen feeling and definitely add some extra weight to the scale. but as its not something i do chronically i think it benefits in the next few days as the body repairs the growing muscle....just my idea at least lol
          Get on my Level
          http://malpaz.wordpress.com/

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          • #6
            I actually use this as a psuedo gauge of how hard I've worked- if I don't gain at least a little then I know I didn't work hard enough to create the required trauma/rebuild I want.
            Stats: 5'6" female, 21 years young
            Starting Weight: 187 lbs (March 2010)
            Current Weight: 143 lbs (Oct 2011)
            Goal BF: 20%

            Super D Omega 3 daily & BCAAs preworkout

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            • #7
              Thanks for this. I was up 1.5 pounds this a.m. Yes, I ate a tortilla on Thursday, but really 1.5 pounds! I worked out hard yesterday. Post workout gain makes more sense.
              Meghan

              My MDA journal

              Primal Ponderings- my blog- finally added some food pron :P

              And best of all my Body Fat Makeover!!

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              • #8
                I'm actually quite glad I grew up never having access to scales, it saves obssessing over menial things like this.
                I have no idea how much I weigh, and could care less, cause it's not really important in the grand scheme of things.
                Are you eating right? Yes. Are you exercising regularly? Yes. Are you quite clearly overweight? No.
                Then you have nothing to worry about.
                Here's my resolve.

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                • #9
                  Are you doing primal workouts or more endurance-based workouts? I've never actually observed this, but I've known a couple other women who are endurance athletes and claimed to experience slight gains in weight after endurance events. They said the reason for this is that endurance sports can increase estrogen levels. I have no idea if this is even remotely valid.
                  Subduction leads to orogeny

                  My blog that I don't update as often as I should: http://primalclimber.blogspot.com/

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by AmyMac703 View Post
                    Are you doing primal workouts or more endurance-based workouts? I've never actually observed this, but I've known a couple other women who are endurance athletes and claimed to experience slight gains in weight after endurance events. They said the reason for this is that endurance sports can increase estrogen levels. I have no idea if this is even remotely valid.
                    No endurance...I notice this after just an hour of dance aerobics/low weight work or, in this particular case, an hour of intense primal-ish strength work.
                    Liz.

                    Zone diet on and off for several years....worked, but too much focus on exact meal composition
                    Primal since July 2010...skinniest I've ever been and the least stressed about food

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                    • #11
                      I have thought this was because of the muscle tears filling with fluid as well.

                      I stopped by my gym the other day to say hi to a workout buddy that I haven't seen for a few weeks and we got to talking about our difference in appearance after we workout. After strength training I feel mushy and he feels tight. I am unclear on the difference and he didn't know either. I don't weigh myself after working out to see if there is a difference because I can weigh myself 5 times a day and get 5 different answers. My mushy feeling only lasts from a few hours until the next morning but I can feel it and apparently it is also visible. LOL

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                      • #12
                        I'm so thankful you started this thread.
                        I have gained 7 pounds since I started exercising about 8 weeks ago.
                        The weight gain is not noticeable.
                        My weight is up several pounds after a cardio exercise day.
                        I honestly have thought about taking a break to get the weight back down.
                        I'm sure it's water but don't understand why.
                        I'm also going to lower my carbs and see if that helps.

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                        • #13
                          All variables aside (increased fluid and food intake following exercise etc.) recovery, like most processes in the human body, requires water so this is the most likely cause of any minor weight increase.

                          And, in the words of one of the greats, pardon his language:

                          A 2 pound weight gain doesn't count, since it is the size of an average turd. Mark Rippetoe
                          Sandbag Training For MMA & Combat Sports
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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by uniquelymade View Post
                            I'm so thankful you started this thread.
                            I have gained 7 pounds since I started exercising about 8 weeks ago.
                            The weight gain is not noticeable.
                            My weight is up several pounds after a cardio exercise day.
                            I honestly have thought about taking a break to get the weight back down.
                            I'm sure it's water but don't understand why.
                            I'm also going to lower my carbs and see if that helps.
                            That's actually a little different than the weight gain I was referring to. I was talking about a temporary 1-2lb gain in the day or two after intense exercise, which then goes away again. So my average weight over a month is stable.

                            A steady gain of 7lbs over 8 weeks is different, and far more likely to be due to food than exercise. Over an entire year that will add up to 46lbs! So I'd recommend you re-evaluate your diet, and particularly whether exercise is making you reach for extra food that isn't ideal (eg. cheats rather than good primal food).
                            Liz.

                            Zone diet on and off for several years....worked, but too much focus on exact meal composition
                            Primal since July 2010...skinniest I've ever been and the least stressed about food

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                            • #15
                              Agree that a 7 lb gain is not due to exercise. And agree that a 2 lb gain over a day is nothing, and I love Rippetoe's quotes.

                              I find there is no rhyme or reason to my weight fluctuations over the course of a week. I'd say I have a 3-4 lb range within which I generally stay. doesn't seem to bear any relation to anything i do the day before.

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