Moderators: melkor

I started lifting weights and now I'm gaining weight???

Quote  |  Reply

After reading all the great results from pumping iron, I started lifting 3x week for 30 minutes.  After 4 weeks of this, I'm gaining weight and I'm hungry all the time. What am I doing wrong?

I'm 5'5", small frame. 22% body fat. Was at 132 pounds headed for my goal of 125-130, but now I'm back up to 135. I play competitive ice hockey 1-2x a week; cardio workout 40-60 min, 4x a week; and lift weights for 20-30 min, 3x a week.

I'm obviously missing a critical piece here... Any advice?


12 Replies (last)

My guess:

1. gained more weight at beginning due to sore muscles holding water

2. You didn't add more food when you started burning more calories and your body went into starvation mode because your deficit was too big

You gain muscle you gain weight since it weighs alot more than fat. It also increases your metabolism and therefore your apetite since you have to sustain them. But otherwise more muscle equals more fat burn.. which is a good thing.

You're not doing anything wrong.  You're challenging your muscles which is making them:

  • retain water (making you temporarily heavier) and
  • need more energy/nutrients (making you hungrier than normal)

It's highly unlikely that you've actually gained muscle unless you are eating at a surplus.  The water weight will go away in a few weeks.

So does the water weight stay away if you keep your routine up? I am in the same boat lharmata.

Started a weight routine 2x a week (for an hour) in addition to my reg cardio and definitely sore. Continuing with same deficit but seeing no loss and occasional 1-2 lb gains. I am 5'6" with GW of 135 -STUCK at 141 ish.

Also if you see new muscles, but can't be gaining muscle without a surplus is it that the muscle is taking the place of fat?


Ah, this totally happened to me a few weeks ago.  I added in an increased weight routine, and I ended up gaining 2 lbs.  I was sooo annoyed.  I increased my food intake to adjust to the new exercise as well, so I wasn't sure what I was doing wrong.  Turns out, I was doing nothing wrong, everything right.  Wait it out, don't worry, trust the process, ensure you're eating enough, getting enough water and fibre.  When I added my weights, I plateaued for two weeks, and saw weight gain during that time as well.  Then, in the last week, I've dropped 3 lbs (I know more than you're supposed to).  I didn't change anything I was doing, I stuck to it, trusted the process, and eventually my body adjusted.  Yours will too!  Keep the faith and keep up the good work!!!

This is soo totally normal! When you lift weights you have an increased metabolism and your body needs more food for energy. I have been going through this as well. My trainer mentioned that it is important to remember to eat every two and half to three hours (small portions of course) because you are training your muscles and your body needs the food. Remember to stick to the lean proteins, etc. and the proper daily calorie intake for yourself.

Keep it up, you are doing everything right.

Yeah the same has happened for me. I've been lifting 3x a week, cardio 2x a week, and in a month I've gained about three pounds. I was freaking out until I actually took my measurments and found everything was the same, except I've managed to lose a half inch from my calves. And I found a pair of pants a friend left at my house months ago which were always small to the point I couldn't button them all the way, and they fit great now. So seriously, stop paying attention to the scale and just take your measurements.

I totally agree. I started an intense circuit training cardio/strength weights routine about a month ago. I weighed myself last week and I gained two pounds. But I measured myself, and I had lost - 2 inches off waist, 0.5 inch off thighs, 1 inch off hips, and 3/4 inch off upper arms.

So, you just have to wait it out. Weigh yourself every so often (once every week or so) always weigh yourself around the same time of day, in same clothes (so that you know the three pounds extra aren't just  because you're weighing in after a big meal wearing sweats when last time you were wearing shorts).

Take the measurements as more important than the weight for awhile. The fat will burn off.

I've also heard that it's helpful to take pictures of yourself. So you can compare. When I'm feeling super fat or something I look at pictures of myself from a couple years ago and I feel much better, lol.

Cool. Makes me feel tons better. Well maybe a couple of pounds betterWink

I was going to stop lifting til I got to my GW but then I thought -Don't be a wuss!

Thanks for all the feedback. SO nice to have input from people with experience. I'll hold the course, weight once a week and keep track of measurements. You guys really helped me stay motivated.  MUCH appreciated!

Original Post by future214:

Also if you see new muscles, but can't be gaining muscle without a surplus is it that the muscle is taking the place of fat?

Nope.  It probably means that your muscles have swelled up a bit while retaining water.  They'll look smaller again once they're used to the exercise and stop retaining water.  The other possibility is that you've lost some of the fat that used to be covering the muscles so they've become more visible (though not actually bigger).  Or a combination of the two.

12 Replies
Recent Blog Post
Lisa was once the self-proclaimed queen of yo-yo dieting. She tried everything, but always gained the weight back.  After a family hiking trip, she realized she needed to make a lifelong change to her eating habits, and start treating her body better. Lisa lost over 50 pounds by logging her foods, holding herself accountable, slowly incorporating exercise into her routine, and not beating herself up over plateaus and bad days.

Continue reading...