Gaining Weight - Not sure why

I recently joined MFP because I reached a plateau. It really is true that you can't get rid of those last ten pounds. I lost all the baby weight from walking and eating well, as I was a very poor eater before. So when I reached my plateau, I started a vigorous exercise routine. I tried Turbo Jam and love it, so I do it every day. It's my "taking care of ME time" since I'm in pajamas all day as a stay at home mom. When I started working out, I dropped three pounds in six days and was feeling pretty awesome, then it started coming back just as quickly. Someone suggested that I wasn't getting enough calories since I was doing 40 minutes/day of cardio kickboxing, and my body was going into starvation mode. I joined this site so that I could make sure that I was getting enough calories, and losing weight in a healthy way. Since starting the site - last Thursday, I have gained three more pounds and it's frustrating. Is it water? I'm not sure what's going on, but I feel like I'm working so hard and going backwards. I'm sure that some of it is muscle, as I've added strength training, but I can feel the actual weight in the fit of my clothes - especially my mid-section. Do I just need to give it more time? Looking for advice, since I'm new to this. Thanks!

Replies

  • A couple things that may help.


    Don't let "starvation mode" dictate your life. As I'm sure you'll see soon on this site, it's a very controversial subject here, and tends to bring out the nasty sides of people around here.

    Two, if you really believe your down to the last ten pounds you want to lose, don't sweat it! As you continue to become more fit, your body is going to be building muscle, and muscle weighs more than fat. If you are living a fit lifestyle, feel better, etc. It starts becoming less about weight, and more about fitness/how you want your body to look.
  • weaklink109
    weaklink109 Posts: 2,831 Member
    As I understand it, if you are exercising really hard, your muscles hold on to water as part of the recovery process. Try taking a day of rest, or if you can't bear to not do something--maybe just do some walking or light strength training instead of the more intense workout. See if you drop some of what has shown up.

    Others may have some different ideas. I am posting based on having been on here for over a year and having read a lot of posts. I am not an extreme exerciser myself, but have noticed after a lengthy hike, it will take a day after returning home before a real loss seems to come about.
  • ashlee954
    ashlee954 Posts: 1,112 Member
    your body is going to be building muscle, and muscle weighs more than fat.

    Muscle does not weigh more than fat. A pound of muscle weighs one pound. Likewise, a pound of fat weighs one pound. Muscle takes up less room though so if you lose fat but gain weight you could be gaining some muscle. But because you stated that you can actually feel it in your clothes (tighte pants I'm assuming) then I am not sure that that is what's happening with you babe. Don't give up though. You are doing the right things. Maybe your body just takes longer to get jump started. Good luck!
  • Squash97
    Squash97 Posts: 84
    The "starvation mode" has concerned me, because as I dieted more and more, I had to eat less and less to see results and felt like I was beginning to get unhealthy about it. I wouldn't have anything but coffee until 4:00 pm, and then eat a salad and something small for dinner, like a 4 oz serving of chicken and some steamed veggies. I didn't want it to become a cycle or turn into somethng dangerous, so I was probably on the very low end of my calories and then added high exercise to my day. I became starving all the time once I started doing that, so I know that it changed my metabolism. I don't want to be that girl that eats like a bird and I want to set healthy habits for my kids. But I don't want to undo all the work I've done, either. I'm hoping if I just give it more time, then I'll start to see results. And with the exercise, I feel great. More energy, and I feel happier.
  • your body is going to be building muscle, and muscle weighs more than fat.

    Muscle does not weigh more than fat. A pound of muscle weighs one pound. Likewise, a pound of fat weighs one pound. Muscle takes up less room though so if you lose fat but gain weight you could be gaining some muscle. But because you stated that you can actually feel it in your clothes (tighte pants I'm assuming) then I am not sure that that is what's happening with you babe. Don't give up though. You are doing the right things. Maybe your body just takes longer to get jump started. Good luck!


    Facepalm.

    Obviously a pound of muscle = the same weight as a pound of fat. But pound of muscle is much more DENSE than a pound of fat. So while you may become thinner, you can still be "putting on weight." She mentioned she had added a weight circuit to her routine. This means that while she is burning fat, she is building muscle at the same time, which typically means an increase in body weight, but a decrease in body fat percentage.

    Not to sound like a whiney baby, but I'm not sure what your point of contention was.
  • islandnutshel
    islandnutshel Posts: 1,143 Member
    Two, if you really believe your down to the last ten pounds you want to lose, don't sweat it! As you continue to become more fit, your body is going to be building muscle, and muscle weighs more than fat. If you are living a fit lifestyle, feel better, etc. It starts becoming less about weight, and more about fitness/how you want your body to look.

    I agree with this reasonable approach, the last ten are meant to be hard. You are becoming more fit, and persistance will give you results.
    I've seen starvation mode first hand, it doesnt take a great increase to get you dropping again though. I reccomend weighing only once a month one week after TOM. It's the same principle as weighing early in the morning. Weekly could just be hormone fluxes.
    Your diet isn't open to view, the type of food you eat is as imortant as how much. Calories are not created equal, and you need nutrients for muscles to burn. Might be worth a look.
  • islandnutshel
    islandnutshel Posts: 1,143 Member
    The "starvation mode" has concerned me, because as I dieted more and more, I had to eat less and less to see results and felt like I was beginning to get unhealthy about it. I wouldn't have anything but coffee until 4:00 pm, and then eat a salad and something small for dinner, like a 4 oz serving of chicken and some steamed veggies. I didn't want it to become a cycle or turn into somethng dangerous, so I was probably on the very low end of my calories and then added high exercise to my day. I became starving all the time once I started doing that, so I know that it changed my metabolism. I don't want to be that girl that eats like a bird and I want to set healthy habits for my kids. But I don't want to undo all the work I've done, either. I'm hoping if I just give it more time, then I'll start to see results. And with the exercise, I feel great. More energy, and I feel happier.

    This is a dangerously unhealthy cycle. Breakfast is a must to start your motabolism. Some one smart please post that link to how to get out of starvation mode for her. I know there were several good reads on this site with examples of people who did the same thing.
  • Firebranda
    Firebranda Posts: 19 Member
    How many calories are you eating in a day? and are you eating your exercise calories as well?? This is very important because if you're eating too far below then you will STAY in starvation mode. Eat all or most of your daily calories including exercise. It may take time for your body to feel that it's okay to shed weight but it'll eventually go.
  • Squash97
    Squash97 Posts: 84
    Yes, I am eating all of my exercise calories. So I think I'm gaining weight because it will take time for my body to readjust to all the new calories and balance it with my exercise. I wasn't expecting results too quickly because I am down to the last ten pounds and working more toward getting lean, but seeing the numbers go up was very discouraging. I'm going to give it more time and see what happens... It's just hard to be patient when you see all your hard work being undone, but I'm sure that it'll all balance out soon. Thanks to everyone for your help!
  • Firebranda
    Firebranda Posts: 19 Member
    Your hard work isn't being undone. Your body is getting balanced, healthy, and used to a reasonable amount of calories. In the end you will be healthier! Then no more yo-yo-ing... I don't look at MFP as a 'DIET' but a lifestyle. :)
  • Yes, I am eating all of my exercise calories. So I think I'm gaining weight because it will take time for my body to readjust to all the new calories and balance it with my exercise. I wasn't expecting results too quickly because I am down to the last ten pounds and working more toward getting lean, but seeing the numbers go up was very discouraging. I'm going to give it more time and see what happens... It's just hard to be patient when you see all your hard work being undone, but I'm sure that it'll all balance out soon. Thanks to everyone for your help!

    This is entirely possible. If you were eating very very little and suddenly increased your calorie intake then your metabolism, which was slowed from eating so little will have a hard time at first handling the increase. But it will adjust.