Here’s Why You Gain Weight After Exercise

Have you ever gotten mad at how the weighing scale doesn’t reflect your ideal weight even after you have been hitting the gym? It is true, the weighing scale doesn’t lie and it can be extremely disheartening why we find ourselves weighing heavier. But don’t lose heart, before you get desperate and look for desperate measures like liposuction procedures, here are a few reasons why you are gaining weight and fret not, gaining a pound or two when working isn’t always a bad thing!


Water Retention

If you have been paying close attention to your weight, even stepping on the weighing scale right after you step off your bike during your spinning class. Those two or three kilograms that are added to the scales when you weigh yourself back home is not because of your heavy dinner. It could actually be because of how the weight that you have lost right after class is all water weight. That is when the water in your body is lost when you perspire and sweat. In our body, water makes up around 65 to 90 per cent of our weight and did you know that the water content in our body could actually fluctuate within a range of around 5 kilograms each day. This is exactly how diuretics are used as a way to lose weight. Since they help rid water out of your system, you might find yourself weighing lighter, but there’s a reason why diuretics are known as short-term weight loss options since your body quickly regains those water back as the day progresses.


Bulking After Workouts

A reason why you might find yourself gaining weight after hitting the gym could be those slips that you make at dinnertime after your workouts. Because of how our brains run on a reward system, you would find yourself more compelled to reward yourself for that intense workout that you had just got out of. That could mean treating yourself with sinful treats like fried oyster egg, prawn noodles and even fried chicken since you have “earned” it. Unfortunately, weight loss doesn’t quite work like that and it only happens when your daily expenditure of calories for the day exceed your caloric intake. On certain occasions, those satisfying treats might just put you over your daily caloric count if you decide to add a carbonated beverage, an additional side dish and a dessert to your main dish. Because of how you are under the illusion that you are working out and losing weight, that mistake is one that is very easily made.

Not to mention, exercise actually causes the release of ghrelin, a hormone that actually promotes hunger. If you do not look out for the portion sizes of your meals, you might be eating more unknowingly. To prevent that from happening, be strict with your diet, especially on your days of exercise. If a treat is what you crave for after your workout, ensure that it is a healthy choice and one that is small enough to ensure you do not go over your daily caloric count.


Your Intense Workouts

While it might seem like you are gaining weight in a day or two right after your intense workout, don’t worry too much. It doesn’t exclusively mean that you have gained weight. This is because a person’s overall mass includes our muscles, fat, bone, blood, urine and all the air that we hold in our lungs. Right after working out, your mass could shift quite drastically because of a number of reasons like how hydrated you are, inflammation from muscle damage repair and even the amount of urine in your body. On the other hand, it could also be because of how your intense workouts are changing your body composition. This often happens during strength training when you build dense muscle mass and drop the amount of body fat. Unfortunately, the weighing scale doesn’t include this information, other than just telling how much you weight. If you are trying to improve your fitness, perhaps something that you can do is to skip the daily weigh-ins and instead pay more attention to your diet to assure your weight loss results.



Exercise can be a stress-reliever, allowing us to toughen us up and build up our body and mind’s ability to look after ourselves in the face of stress. Ideally, this is done by pairing exercise with a nutritious diet and enough time of rest and recovery. While we believe exercise to be a stress-reliever, it doesn’t always work that way. Unfortunately, exercise could bring about more stress to you when you are facing a lot of stress in other areas of your life or when you work out beyond your limits. In these cases, the exercise would then add to your overall stress load and wind you up even more. This would then encourage the release of the stress hormone cortisol and that would cause fat accumulation. Especially when you feel sore from an existing injury, you should definitely steer clear away from exercise till you recuperate.