Doing Cardio Causes Weight Gain?

brandigyrl81
brandigyrl81 Posts: 127 Member
edited April 2018 in Fitness and Exercise
On a radio show this morning, it was said that doing more cardio causes weight gain, not weight loss due to stress on the body. The stress from the workout causes cortisol to be stored and that makes it hard to lose weight, especially in women. What are your thoughts?

Edit: I also want to add, that they said that due to the heart rate constantly going up, this is what is causing the stress on the body.
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Replies

  • jemhh
    jemhh Posts: 14,273 Member
    My thought is that "cardio causes weight gain" is a phrase taken out of context. @jnapier44077 gave a good explanation.
  • stanmann571
    stanmann571 Posts: 5,736 Member
    On a radio show this morning, it was said that doing more cardio causes weight gain, not weight loss due to stress on the body. The stress from the workout causes cortisol to be stored and that makes it hard to lose weight, especially in women. What are your thoughts?

    Edit: I also want to add, that they said that due to the heart rate constantly going up, this is what is causing the stress on the body.

    Yes, It causes WATER weight gain that is generally temporary. Fat loss is generally fairly slow and happens based on creating a caloric deficit.
  • MeanderingMammal
    MeanderingMammal Posts: 7,870 Member
    On a radio show this morning, it was said that doing more cardio causes weight gain, not weight loss due to stress on the body. The stress from the workout causes cortisol to be stored and that makes it hard to lose weight, especially in women. What are your thoughts?

    Edit: I also want to add, that they said that due to the heart rate constantly going up, this is what is causing the stress on the body.

    Wasn't a comedy show was it?
  • heybales
    heybales Posts: 18,829 Member
    edited April 2018
    As you start to train, your body will learn to store more desired glucose in the muscles, with attached water.

    So strictly speaking it is a water weight gain, it is super minor, probably up to a lb difference in increase. That is going to pretty much top out though.

    The cortisol increase from cardio is during the workout though, and that's the useful nature of it, spikes.

    You can get more increased cortisol from being stressed out mentally, and physically - by taking a big deficit in a diet that your body doesn't like. Upwards of 20 lbs slowly that way have been reported.


    But in either case above - it's water weight, spread throughout the body (though constant elevated stress cortisol water weight is known to start at belly) - so while it would show up on the scale if you weigh at just the wrong time - no one would be able to see it.

    I think this speaks more to what are you truly concerned with - number on a scale that isn't a measurement nearly as useful as others, or body health and look?
  • JBApplebee
    JBApplebee Posts: 488 Member
    On a radio show this morning, it was said that doing more cardio causes weight gain, not weight loss due to stress on the body. The stress from the workout causes cortisol to be stored and that makes it hard to lose weight, especially in women. What are your thoughts?

    Edit: I also want to add, that they said that due to the heart rate constantly going up, this is what is causing the stress on the body.

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  • Fitwithsci
    Fitwithsci Posts: 69 Member
    There is so much mis-information out there in the field or fitness. I would argue it stems from the fact that any Tom, Dick, or Harry can go online and take a personal training or nutrition certificate. It gives real educated professionals a bad name and causes a lot of mistrust in the profession.

    Exercising is a form of stress (albeit good stress) placed on the body. To negate the effects of this "stress" the body must burn calories to restore homeostasis (balance, normalcy) which is the bodies preferred state. As Heart rate increases, so does the level of stress the body experiences. Exercise in general(Cardio and Strength Training) causes increased levels of a stress hormone called Cortisol. Cortisol has been shown to increase fat storage, and I believe (although I cannot say for certain) that steady state, or longer duration cardio causes greater increases in cortisol levels. I am guessing the radio people took this information and ran with it.....However the longer you do your steady state cardio, the more fat the body will metabolize, using less of other energy substrates. Plus you will likely "net negative" meaning you will burn more calories than the cortisol will cause the body to store in the form of fat. I will also add that women tend to utilize fat more readily than men, some publications have even suggested that women could "fat load" instead of carbo-loading in preparation for long endurance events. (I'm not recommending this, just thought I would share it.)

    Suffice it to say that cardio will not make you gain weight but it may cause you to store a little more fat (although probably not noticeably so) due to the fact that the body's preferred fuel source for longer duration bouts of cardio is fat. Its the bodies way of making sure it has the proper fuel source for what it has to do on a regular basis. higher intensity, shorter bouts of cardio and strength training are fueled by carbs and thus will cause the body to store and crave more of this energy source.
  • Jthanmyfitnesspal
    Jthanmyfitnesspal Posts: 3,080 Member
    Scanning the replies, I agree 90% that cardio exercise will not cause you to gain weight. Except when it does-- temporarily.

    The day after a really big workout (e.g., all day hiking) I am almost always a few pounds heavier. Within another day, it's gone, and I may be even lighter than I started. This has happened to me for even somewhat lesser efforts, particularly in the heat.

    In the long run, I have found cardio to be essential in controlling my weight, because it curbs my appetite, raises my energy level so I'm more active overall, and burns a few extra calories that I enjoy eating back.
  • DancingMoosie
    DancingMoosie Posts: 8,461 Member
    I did cardio the whole time I was losing weight, so no...
  • Michael190lbs
    Michael190lbs Posts: 1,510 Member
    I do Cardio to relieve stress that would typically cause my body to store cortisol-lots of ways to look at it.. Cardio to counteract excessive calories you will maintain, Over 100lbs lost because I learned what my TDEE was without Cardio and then did Cardio.. 500 calories a day times 365 days is 52 lbs gone a year.. Now my metabolism is so fast I just eat everything I like ( Paleo) and have maintained for years..
  • goatg
    goatg Posts: 1,401 Member
    edited April 2018
    You might want to google "cortisol production cardio exercise academic journal." There's a lot of information out there. I would stick to academic articles. This also looks like something you might find useful:

    http://main.poliquingroup.com/ArticlesMultimedia/Articles/Article/1191/Ten_Simple_Rules_for_Balancing_Cortisol_to_Get_Lean_&_Muscular_for_Life.aspx


    I'm not a medical professional but yes, large amounts of cardio can increase cortisol production. This is not generally applicable to most people who are engaged in low-moderate amounts of cardio (e.g., 30 min run).
  • Chieflrg
    Chieflrg Posts: 9,081 Member
    edited April 2018
    Hence why I wouldn't take anything from a radio, tele, or youtube channel. People putting out info out of context to bring in more $. 99% of those people have absolutely no qualifications to give any advise. It's ratings.

    Yes exercise such a cardio causes weight gain the same way when you eat a meal...you gain the weight of food before you digest it. The same way people sweat during cardio causes temporary loss until you know...they drink water to replenish the sweat loss.

    People should be mindful weight gain does not equate to fat gain, as weight loss does not equate fat loss.
  • JeromeBarry1
    JeromeBarry1 Posts: 10,187 Member
    edited April 2018
    Whudathunk? I did cardio, stayed in a calorie deficit, lost weight, and didn't listen to radio shows pretending to be about health. Nor did I watch Netflix or youtube videos, nor did I watch television. OK, I've watched television, but not any 'health' programming.
    Cortisol is an important hormone.
  • KANGOOJUMPS
    KANGOOJUMPS Posts: 6,479 Member
    muscle gain.
  • singingflutelady
    singingflutelady Posts: 8,738 Member
    edited April 2018
    muscle gain.

    Nope, no significant muscle gain from cardio. Not enough to make you gain weight
  • JeromeBarry1
    JeromeBarry1 Posts: 10,187 Member
    muscle gain.

    Not much of that from cardio.
  • ninerbuff
    ninerbuff Posts: 46,032 Member
    Cortisol ISN'T a bad thing. Excessive cortisol is. When you lift, cortisol goes up. When you stress on an argument it goes up. It's part of physiology. The problem is people don't balance out their lives and secrete more than need to. LOL, if you're doing cardio and worrying about the statement in the OP, then you'll get excessive cortisol. Relax.

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