Why Am I Gaining Weight instead of Losing?
When we work hard, we expect to see some results from all our effort. If you’re lifting weights at the gym, doing cardio, or changing up your diet to try to lose weight, you may be wondering why you’re gaining weight instead of losing it.
This can happen with people who are working out, trying to live a healthy life, and even being careful about what they eat. It’s frustrating for sure, but if you understand why it might be happening, that can help you to make the changes necessary so that you start losing weight again.
The Muscle Weight Dilemma
Why am I gaining weight instead of losing it? You might be doing the wrong kinds of exercise, and this is a common problem that people run into. What happens is that they bulk up with muscles and don’t realize how that’s affecting their weight.
What you may not know is that muscle is heavier than fat. If you’re losing fat but gaining muscle, you may end up with more weight than you started with. You may wonder why you’re not losing weight, and that could simply come down the amount of muscle that you’re building.
If you’re trying to hit a specific weight, you may want to change up your exercise routine and do less powerlifting or other strength building exercises. You may also want to watch your diet carefully and consume less protein and fewer muscle building foods.
For most people, this isn’t a problem, and they don’t mind that they’re gaining muscle as long as they’re losing weight. It is important to know what’s happening, though, if you’re exercising but gaining weight instead of losing it. Instead of getting frustrated and wondering what you’re doing wrong, you need to realize that your muscular development could be the real issue.
Here’s another common problem that people run into when they’re trying to lose weight. They spend a lot of time exercising and living an active lifestyle, but they don’t make the necessary changes to their diet. You can often lose more weight just by controlling what you eat than you can by exercising regularly.
So, what kind of food should you eat or not eat when you’re trying to lose weight? The short and simple list is like this:
Eat less of these:
- Fried foods
Eat more of these:
- Unsaturated fats
If you’re changing up your diet along these lines, you will definitely see results. Foods like fiber and protein help you to feel full for longer. If you’re cutting back on your sugar and fat, you’ll have more energy for workouts and be able to make greater gains, and you’ll also have fewer hunger cravings.
Losing weight by changing up your diet is not just about eating different foods. You also need to eat less food, in many cases. You should also eat slower so that you don’t eat past the point of where you feel full. Another thing that can help is to eat smaller portions throughout the day, eating more often but overall eating less food. This helps to nip cravings in the bud and activate your metabolism so that you burn more fat even when you’re at rest.
Poor Sleep Schedule
Why else might you be exercising and gaining weight instead of losing it? It could come down to your sleep schedule. If you’re working out and dieting and yet still not seeing a decrease in your weight, it may be attributed to a lack of sleep or to oversleeping. Both of these sleeping habits can result in unwanted or unexpected weight retention as well as unexpected weight loss.
If you want to control your weight and make your workouts and dieting more effective, you need to get on a standardized sleep schedule. That means choosing a time to go to sleep and to wake up that is around the same time every day. Getting onto a regular sleep schedule does wonders for your body, establishing a proper rhythm and ensuring proper hormone production.
Your body will be less stressed, and you’ll be more motivated, energetic, and emotionally stable. You may need to ensure that you’re sleeping properly throughout the night by cutting out distractions, sounds, and lights that could interfere with your sleep. You also want to ensure that you’re getting enough sleep, between 6-8 hours of sleep a night. If you are working out extensively, you may need to sleep for longer to recover from your workouts and ensure proper muscle growth and recovery.
If you look back on when you were younger, do you remember when you were losing weight in college instead of eating about the same amount of food? Maybe you were eating whatever you wanted and hardly exercising at all. That’s not uncommon at college age. Many teenagers and people in their early 20s have a fantastic metabolism and feel like they can eat anything and not gain weight.
That can change in the late 20s and early 30s as the body goes through a metamorphosis. Your metabolism will tend to slow at that point in your life, and the foods you used to eat that had no impact on your waistline will start to make fatty deposits there and create trouble areas where you have stubborn fat.
Part of the reason you could be gaining weight rather than losing it, even though you’re doing the same activities you used to, could simply come down to your age. As you get older, your metabolism does tend to slow down, but you can make changes in your diet and exercise routine that reactivate your metabolism and give it a boost.
High Stress Levels
Another factor that could lead to weight retention is stress. When you feel anxious, worried, fearful, or stressed out, that can cause your body to hold onto weight. It’s kind of a survival instinct that happens, as your body tries to protect itself. When you’re stressed, your body makes changes that can affect you in a number of ways. One of those is that it holds onto your energy reserves.
Stress makes it difficult for your body to operate at its peak, and that means it will be difficult for you to workout properly or for your food to metabolize like it should. When all of these different functions are not working the way they ought to, then that can have an impact on your weight loss results and your waistline.
There could also be an underlying medical condition that’s causing weight retention. If you’re working hard to lose weight, eating right and exercising regularly, but you’re still not seeing the results you want, there could be a medical problem at work.
There are several different medical conditions that could make it difficult for you to lose weight quickly. Insulin resistance, thyroid disease, and food intolerance can all cause weight gain problems. If you think you may be suffering from one of these or another medical problem that might be making it difficult for you to lose weight, you should talk to your doctor for professional assessment.
No matter what the issue is that’s causing you to gain weight rather than lose it, there’s probably a treatment for it or a change you can make that will help. Once you understand what’s causing the problem, you can do something about it.