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Doing more cardio and only gaining weight!

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I start doing cardio and gain weight (3 lbs). I stop for a day and lose it. What the heck is going on. How am I supposed to track weight loss when I'm exercising and gaining instead of losing? I'm not even lifting weights. Just doing the eliptical for 30 minutes a day and burning about 350 calories. What's going on?

Edited Oct 25 2013 23:33 by coach_k
Reason: locked to prevent unnecessary zombie bumps
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Have you changed your eating habits at all? Some people think that by working out, eating more comes with it...

I would stop weighing daily if I were you since scales don't determine how much of it is water, muscles, and fat. You may have lots of water weight on the higher days, that's why the extra pounds are there. It's not possible to gain 3 pounds of fat in a day. Nor lose it. That means you have to eat an excess of 10,500 calories a day. (That's about 20 western bacon cheeseburgers in addition to your regular diet...)

I do the same thing. I fluctuate a couple pounds here and there. I don't have a digital scale. I'm actually still living in the olden days with those cheap 10 dollar scales. (Ah well, works for me!) It's just water.

Keep an eye on your diet as well.
Your weight gain might actually be caused by an increase in blood volume as well...

During exercise, you're actually losing a small amount of blood volume in the form of sweat. To compensate for this loss, the body releases hormones which conserve water and salt in the body, therefore making you retain more water. More protein is also added to the blood from surrounding tissues. Both these have the effect of increasing your blood volume - which in turn, translates to "weight gain".

Bottom line, it's nothing to worry about. Minor fluctuations on the scale are normal.
I am totally been eating less than 1500 calories a day and tracking it. Thats why I was so surprised by the sudden loss after I didint' work out for 3 days and the sudden gain when I worked out again for the first time this week. Maybe I will weight myself after my day off once a week.
I have the same problem.  I have been sticking to this calorie counting.  Really watching what I eat.  AND working out 7 days a week.  Lots of cardio some weight training.  At first I saw a 2 lb weight loss really quickly.  Now my weight is kind of staying the same or increasing.  People have told me a more accurate way of gauging your fitness in the early stages is to measure with a tape measure around your waist, hips, upper arms and thighs.  They told me muscle weighs more than fat and it's possible I'm losing fat and gaining muscle, so the scale isn't budging.  I've been working out steady 7 days a week for over a month.  Prior to that I was working out 5 days a week and not seeing results (actually gaining weight??), that's when I stepped it up to 7.  I found this website a week or so ago and have been dedicated to watching calories as well (which is something I've never had to do before!)   I wish you luck also & keep it up.  It's hard I know but I think the results will come with time and determination!
You should also vary your routine. Most people reach a plateau and weight stops dropping because your body's adjusting to the change in diet and exercise so it adjusts by slowing down your metabolism and retaining fat.

Also, like Lisa did, it's good to change the duration, intensity, etc... once in a while. Technically, you should always change your routine every 3-4 months. Not only in duration, intensity, etc... but also with the type of exercises you do. Like try something you've never tried before. If you use a gym, try using equipment you've never used. If you do the treadmill a lot, try swithing to the ski machine, or the stationary... Your body will feel something new and metabolism will kick start again. Your body gets used to old things and likes to "kick back" after a while. :)

I know most females don't like lifting weights, but it's a great way of losing fat. Not only does it tone your muscles (it doesn't make you "buff" like most women think) but it also speeds up your metabolism to where you'll burn more calories while at rest. I'm honestly a believer in mixed training. (Cardio AND resistance) I think you should try a little resistance training as well.
Thank you everyone for the comments!
I'm having the same problem.!  I've been working out 4-6 days a week for over 8 weeks, increasing my cardio each week.  I even bought a heart rate monitor.  I'm burning approximately 600-750 calories per day working out.  You would think I could drop at least a pound.  Not happening!  I'm going to try intervals - work out at  65%-85% outside my target rate.  

Do you have a plan?  I've adjusted my calories, increased my cardio, hoping to fool my metabolism.    I can totally relate to your frustration.

OMG! ssndl1106 - you have the CUTEST kids!!!
haha, thanks babyd. :)

good post u guys.

Sweating off 750 cals a day would require some fairly substantial exersise from what i have read. Perhaps its a combo of eating too many calories and gaining muscle mass is why you are not losing weight.

but i can almost guarantee you that you are losing fat and gaining muscle. Check out the 'Body for Life' on a search and you will see it for yourself.............
Speaking of the gaining weight compared to building muscle....I've been keeping track of my weight loss over the past month and am typically losing 2lbs per week but this past week I only lost .6 lbs.  I'm also checking my body fat % at the same time I'm weighing myself so I can see how much fat poundage is lost too (pretty simple math formula).  Anyway, even though I only lost .6lbs overall, I calculated that I lost .96lbs of fat which tells me that I put on about .4lbs of muscle.  Makes the small .6lbs of total weight loss a bit more bearable mentally knowing I lost nearly a pound of pure fat. :)
Hi , ya its funny you should say that, but its true.

I am doing straight cardio until im within 10lbs of my goal. Then i am switching off the zone to the 'body for life' 90 program .
I'll have to check out that Body for LIfe. 
EVERYONE is talking about it.  

Here's an excercise plan...that I've been doing for the last two weeks.  

After work, I put on my heart rate monitor.  It tracks HR, calories burned, time, etc.,  It's a Polar F6.  Its a real kewl motivator gadget.  =)

Tonight, I spent 45 minutes on the Treadmill running/walking.  I did 3.25 miles and burned 530 calories.  Afterwards, I still had some energy, but I was a bit sweaty.  Need to keep some dignity here, I'm in a public gym.  hehe.  My goal is to run for an entire 30 minutes.  My running speed is approximately 4.5-5 miles per hour.  Heart rate when running is 5 mph, a whopping 92% HR.  When I'm that high,  I'm not completely out of breath, kind of in a zone.  =)  Then after I tire, I'll slow down to a walk/run of abt 4 mph or until my HR drops back down.  Usually drops down in abt 2 minutes.  Here's what I see happening.    I'm getting faster and covering more ground....when I first started I could barely run for 15 seconds.  haha!

Tomorrow night, I'll run/walk for 30 minutes with my eyes set on 300 calories - no matter how long it takes me.  Then, I'm going to curves.  I usually burn 250 - 280 calories doing there circuit training. 

The next day, I'll return to the gym and run/walk for about 45 minutes - burn about 500 calories. 

Perhaps this exercise plan will shake off some of the weight.
Prior to that, I was exercising on elliptical (300 cals) and stairclimber (250) then down to curves.  Perhaps, I just need to adjust my exercise routine? 

The best thing, no shin splints!!!  Doing the happy dance!!!
where do you get one for thoughs heart rate monitors? how much do they cost? it sound really great but my budget is kind of limited.
I got mine at Big 5 for about $99 bucks.  A friend of mine got hers on Amazon for $75 but I think she had a gift certificate or something.  They are neato!   Its sort of fun to watch your heart rate.  =)
yeah it sounds really cool. kind steep for me though. maybe i can save back some money and not tell the hubby until i have it saved up, heehee
 I am doing 20- 30 minutes of free wts 2 times a week as well as the cardio 45 mins 3 x a week and swimming laps 1 hr 2 times a week. Counting calories big time and I am always about 700 calories below the activity level.  Been doing this since November. Gained 7 pounds. I thought I was the only one!
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Well I am in the same boat as you jmoselen. I feel like I eat healthy, do weights about 3 times a week, and cardio about 5 to six times a week for 45-60 mins. Counting calories, and I keep gaining. I am so frustrated, because the weight gain has been constant over the past year.

YOU GUYS ARE NOT EATING ENOUGH!!!! No matter how healthy you eat, you need to eat more, and even more if you workout 5x a week! If you burn that much calories, your body will be in starvation mode, which means it holds on the the calories that you eat instead of burning them because you eat so little... try to eat more (even on rest days) and see what happens... Your body needs fuel guys!

Original Post by alexiapetit:


Specifically, you're not eating enough braaaaiiiiins!

Over 7 1/2 years between posts. This has to be some kind of record.

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