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Weight Loss
Moderators: spoiled_candy, Mollybygolly, devilish_patsy, nycgirl

Does working out help you lose weight, or does it just add muscle to your fat?

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I have been working out very regularly for the past few weeks and now my clothes are just getting tighter. This is the opposite of what I want to happen. My diet is the same as it was before I started working out. Mind you, I usually give up on workouts early on because they make me bigger instead of smaller. FYI I'm just doing a bit of cardio every day.

I do not like this! Should I keep going?  

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Excercise helps me gain muscle and lose weight.

Cardio is good for you, but maybe you would have better success combining it with strengthening (weights)?

=^..^= MOLLY

If you are burning more than you are eating you should lose weight --regardless of what exercise you are doing -- the difference is how fast and if you are truly eating enough to fuel your body.  If you are not eating enough, the body will hold the weight until it feels the "famine" is over

If you are focusing on strength training you may not lose as much, but you may increase your percentage of lean body mass.  Muscle burns calories more efficiently than fat does -- so eventually you can eat more.  Calorie restriction while on a muscle gaining routine is generally not effective

NB:  There are exceptions to EVERYTHING 

if you are worried about getting bigger then i would just focus on cardio right now, at least until you feel like you are not getting bigger.  it is important to do strength training, but at first i think it's better to work on cardio to get down to a size you want to be, then to start toning more.  of course, that is just my opinion, and it works for me.  :)

I am the same way, I swore away exercise because I can immediately gain muscle...its called Memory Muscle.  So for the last 3 and a half months i haven't exercised and i have continued to drop pounds.  My husband and I joined a gym about 2 weeks ago and I haven't lost any weight, but i have maintained.  The one thing I try really hard to do is keep my heart rate between 90-120, that is the fat burning stage.  If you are above that you are into the cardio stage, which doesn't necessarily burn your fat off.  It can use the fuel form your muscles, rather than your fat.  right now i swim, because it keeps my heart rate lower than say the treadmill or elliptical machine, but still burns calories.   Don't forget you have to eat back what calories you burn, which i think is ridiculous.  Another reason i hate exercising. 

Anyway, i would keep working out but doing something that doesn't explode your heart rate but still burns the calories. You can still walk or do the elliptical, just use the heart rate monitor on it and go slow, keeping it in the fat burning area.   Good luck and stay positive.  Even if you do gain the weight you are getting healthier and in time it will go the other way and you will start to look great.

I go to the gym everyday if possible (usually 4-5 days a week) and do 1 hour on the treadmill (running/walking at a 6-13 incline) then weight train either arms or legs depending on the day.  I also vary my 1 hour of cardio each day - if it isn't a treadmill day then I am doing 30 minutes on the treadclimber and 30 minutes on the stairmaster (grueling)... I have gained 7 pounds and have lost nothing.  The fact is - I am ultra frustrated too, but my husband says that I am definitely firming up.  I am 5'10 and was 152 I am 159.   I spoke to a few trainers and they said that usually if the muscles are being built up then you will initially gain weight or get bigger... but this will eventually stop and the weight will come off.  I am now counting every calorie and have managed to stay around 1300 calories a day... at this point, I am unsure as to whether or not that is TOO little or too much. 

Bottom line.... never stop working out --- once you lose the weight you will look fabulous if you have been working out this whole time - why wait until you reach your goal weight?  My advice to you - implement weights but start low.  I only use 10 pound weights and do multiple reps instead of moving up to the 15 pound weights.  I also recommend you do 1 plank per day for your entire core... try and hold it for 45 seconds if you can.  YOu will see a huge difference within a few weeks if you do them daily.

Good LUck!

Yeah, I guess that's what I wanted to know. So if I keep on exercising, eventually it will help me burn fat? For me, there's no point of exercising if it just makes me bigger. I will keep doing it if it's just a matter of time.

It is not uncommon to first gain weight when starting a work out program. Your body must do two things to adjust to the sudden activity.

1. Increase the amount of blood platelets to accommodate the need for more oxygen (and removal of carbon dioxide) to your muscles and other cells. This allows your body to efficiently burn calories while exercising.

2. Increase fluid (water) level to carry the extra blood and enhance cooling.

So need to fret about the initial extra weight, it is your body getting ready to burn off the excess fat and develop lean muscle.

7 Replies