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Why am I putting weight back on with exercise?
krisanne1970 posted:
I started my diet 6/18/12. I am 5'3" and weighed 282 lbs. I got down to 235 by Christmas. I got a Golds twist & step as a gift and LOVE it!! I'm up to 2200 steps and 300 calories burned. I have not changed my eating habits which is an intake of about 1300 cal. per day, but I have GAINED 3 lbs since starting exercising!!! I should add that I did no exercise before. This is very discouraging. Any idea why I'm gaining??
Rich Weil, MEd, CDE responded:
Hi krisanne,

First off, congratulations on your weight loss. It must feel great. And no, you should not be discouraged. This is a very common occurrence, and it happens because as you break down muscle tissue it repairs by fluid that enters the muscle carrying the compounds that help it heal like protein. Water is heavy and when it stays in the muscle it shows up on the scale. And then when it clears, and you have bigger muscles, that also contributes to the weight gain because muscle is 75% water. And the greatest gains go to the most sedentary people. So you've really shocked your sedentary body and the muscles are responding as they should.

But here's the thing. This is all good because muscle is the organ that burns the calories and helps keep your metabolism elevated. When you lose weight you can lose up to 35% of the weight from muscle (instead of fat), and exercise that builds muscle prevents that from happening. If I could give you 5 pounds of muscle all in one shot, and you would weigh 5 pounds more, you'd be foolish not to take it because it's that muscle that will help you keep your weight off in the long run, and in fact, may help you avoid, or reduce the time of any weight loss plateau you might experience.

I also want to say that you should weigh yourself under the same conditions all the time, and I recommend first thing in the morning, nude, before breakfast and after going to the bathroom. That's the real weight.

Don't be hard on yourself. What's happening is perfectly natural and you're not going to continue to gain lots of weight from it. Instead, pat yourself on the back. You're doing everything you can to lose weight and it's working. And by the way, exercise is the single best predictor of keeping your lost weight off, so indeed you're doing all the right things.
Feel free to post back if you have more questions.

Keep up the good work.
krisanne1970 replied to Rich Weil, MEd, CDE's response:
Thank you! I feel fantastic and it makes me wonder why I haven't gotten started sooner. It definitely helps to have Web MD as a tool!!
Rich Weil, MEd, CDE replied to krisanne1970's response:
You're very welcome. It's never too late to start, and as we like to say sometimes in our program, you're on the dance floor! Keep up the good work. Rich

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