Weight gain makes no sense

I'm confused. For the past three weeks, my weight has fluctuated 3-5 lbs. over my goal weight. I set myself a range of 3 lbs. and, for the past two years, I have moved comfortably in that range. If it goes over, I get right back on track with fewer calories until it is where it needs to be. These past three weeks of dubious gain make no sense. My calories are where they always are, and, sometimes, less than my daily allotment of 1500 - 1800 plus gym calories earned. My activity level remains the same: 4 gym days, weights and cardio, and lately I have added one day of Integrated Pilates with reformer among other things. It has been really hot here and sometimes my legs feel bloated, but I just wonder if I think they do because I want water retention to be the easy answer. I watch salt intake pretty carefully. Any ideas???

Replies

  • capaul42
    capaul42 Posts: 1,391 Member
    If you've added new exercise than water retention is the most likely explanation.
  • nowine4me
    nowine4me Posts: 3,986 Member
    Can't help with question, but I will say that Pilates reformer is awesome. Builds strength so fast and feels great to stretch. Enjoy!! Expensive, but worth it.
  • jrwms714
    jrwms714 Posts: 421 Member
    @capaul42, very curious as to why you would say new exercise would cause water retention? Have been doing the Pilates for only about 3 - 4 weeks and only once/week. I do believe that what is going on for me is water retention because last night I noticed that my ring was really tight and that only happens with hot weather and when I'm bloated. Also this AM, I weighed in my usual range, losing 3 lbs. overnight, and that has to be water. Is there a scientific reason why new exercise would cause water retention? Really really interested.
  • Russellb97
    Russellb97 Posts: 1,057 Member
    Usually it's water weight but it could be metabolic adaptation. Whenever I want to drop a couple of pounds I go a bit more extreme in daily energy balance.
    I'd take your 1500-1800 daily calories and break it up for a week. You have around 12,000 calories for the week.
    Day 1 - 3,000 calories (high carb)
    Day 2 - 500 calories (in the evening so you'd fast from the night before until 6pm)
    Day 3- 2,000
    Day 4 - 1,200
    Day 5 - 2,000
    Day 6 - 1,200
    Day 7 - 2,000

    The above works wonders.

    Make sure you avoid processed foods on days 2-6 and focus on natural fats, especially coconut oil.

    I hope this helps!
  • Russellb97
    Russellb97 Posts: 1,057 Member
    *Don't workout on Day 1, you want to have a small calorie surplus
    It's a full day off
  • capaul42
    capaul42 Posts: 1,391 Member
    New exercise (or very intense exercise) causes water to be retained to help in repair of muscle. It generally goes away after a few days
  • RoxieDawn
    RoxieDawn Posts: 15,491 Member
    jrwms714 wrote: »
    @capaul42, very curious as to why you would say new exercise would cause water retention? Have been doing the Pilates for only about 3 - 4 weeks and only once/week. I do believe that what is going on for me is water retention because last night I noticed that my ring was really tight and that only happens with hot weather and when I'm bloated. Also this AM, I weighed in my usual range, losing 3 lbs. overnight, and that has to be water. Is there a scientific reason why new exercise would cause water retention? Really really interested.

    You answered your own question...

    Your workouts can easily cause some water retention and this is normal especially if volume or intensity has changed.

    I will just add for context, a person could very easy have a perfect storm of things going on like 1) for women two there is times a month women will retain water during their cycle around ovulation and menses 2) hydration and electrolyte balance 3) carb intake 4) excess sodium in the diet 5) muscle repair. Also if you have undigested food in gut/waste not eliminated (sorry TMI) will also be a factor on the scale.

  • VeryKatie
    VeryKatie Posts: 5,863 Member
    Did you replace a high calorie burning exercise with the pilates?
    Did your lifestyle at home change at all? As in, even with more exercise, are you actually sitting more at home than you used to?
  • Spliner1969
    Spliner1969 Posts: 3,233 Member
    I tend to do 90 minutes of mixed exercise (Cardio + Body Weight Training) throughout the week (Tu-Fri) but on Saturdays and Sundays I kick it up a notch and do more, usually 120 minutes or better plus household chores I don't do during the week. On Mondays I always see weight gain on my rest day, it's usually a combination of extra sodium on the weekend and the heavier exercise routine. A new or tougher workout can easily force your body to retain more water, it's your muscles trying to heal.
  • jrwms714
    jrwms714 Posts: 421 Member
    I tend to do 90 minutes of mixed exercise (Cardio + Body Weight Training) throughout the week (Tu-Fri) but on Saturdays and Sundays I kick it up a notch and do more, usually 120 minutes or better plus household chores I don't do during the week. On Mondays I always see weight gain on my rest day, it's usually a combination of extra sodium on the weekend and the heavier exercise routine. A new or tougher workout can easily force your body to retain more water, it's your muscles trying to heal.
    OK, my muscles trying to heal : that makes sense for water retention. Nothing else has changed except the addition of Pilates to my workouts. Although I did not have a rest day yesterday, I walked outside for an hour, which is minor exercise compared to what I do at the gym. But this weight gain or water retention or whatever it is, has been going on for the last 3 weeks or so. And, coincidentally, that is when I added Pilates once weekly to my exercise routine. I also noticed that last week, when the weight gain really showed, our instructor had really kicked it up for us.
  • CharlieBeansmomTracey
    CharlieBeansmomTracey Posts: 7,702 Member
    jrwms714 wrote: »
    I'm confused. For the past three weeks, my weight has fluctuated 3-5 lbs. over my goal weight. I set myself a range of 3 lbs. and, for the past two years, I have moved comfortably in that range. If it goes over, I get right back on track with fewer calories until it is where it needs to be. These past three weeks of dubious gain make no sense. My calories are where they always are, and, sometimes, less than my daily allotment of 1500 - 1800 plus gym calories earned. My activity level remains the same: 4 gym days, weights and cardio, and lately I have added one day of Integrated Pilates with reformer among other things. It has been really hot here and sometimes my legs feel bloated, but I just wonder if I think they do because I want water retention to be the easy answer. I watch salt intake pretty carefully. Any ideas???

    weight fluctuates nothing you can do about that.if you are gaining and its not water weight its possible you are eating more than you think, do you weigh everything on a food scale and measure liquids in cups? if not it can be a real eye opener how much more things weigh on a scale (its more accurate too).you may be overestimating your calorie burn too and eating too many exercise calories. as for heat that can cause water retention and bloating as well. drink more water to help flush any excess out.water retention does not always mean high sodium intake, it can be due to hormones,extra glycogen being stored, that TOM if you are female and so on
  • mrmeza123
    mrmeza123 Posts: 34 Member
    Tanning is a good way to sweat and look good. Yes, watch your sodium. Keep your meals simple.
  • RoxieDawn
    RoxieDawn Posts: 15,491 Member
    I think what a lot of us forget that our bodies are made up of what? 55-65 % water? Its different for men and women and can be age related, along with fat % as in fat does not retain as much water as lean tissue does.

    I guess I finally made peace with it and what I weigh today (or this morning) is what I weigh today. I am not that new to the to the weight range acceptance and I am glad I no longer use a spot on number any longer. I know how I I eat, how I exercise, what I drink or not drink is going to affect me the next day/and or the day after.. I like to tell people to trend their weight because when trying to loose or maintain it can be a bugger to say the least! :)
  • leejoyce31
    leejoyce31 Posts: 794 Member
    jrwms714 wrote: »
    @capaul42, very curious as to why you would say new exercise would cause water retention? Have been doing the Pilates for only about 3 - 4 weeks and only once/week. I do believe that what is going on for me is water retention because last night I noticed that my ring was really tight and that only happens with hot weather and when I'm bloated. Also this AM, I weighed in my usual range, losing 3 lbs. overnight, and that has to be water. Is there a scientific reason why new exercise would cause water retention? Really really interested.

    Am I missing something? You've lost the extra weight, right?
  • jrwms714
    jrwms714 Posts: 421 Member
    RoxieDawn wrote: »
    I guess I finally made peace with it and what I weigh today (or this morning) is what I weigh today. I am not that new to the to the weight range acceptance and I am glad I no longer use a spot on number any longer. I know how I I eat, how I exercise, what I drink or not drink is going to affect me the next day/and or the day after.. I like to tell people to trend their weight because when trying to loose or maintain it can be a bugger to say the least! :)
    Yes, I lost the extra weight. I think that @RoxieDawn made great sense to me. I have been on maintenance for two years and use the Happy Scale app, which should have helped me to put it in perspective since it has a moving average (so, a trend weight) and since I know enough to know that the scale lies or, at the least, goes up and down. I also know that my workouts and my eating habits do not change, and are mostly where they need to be. I just panicked because I was up at least 4 lbs. and that hasn't happened before. I never want to go back to where I was and I certainly want all the medical improvements to stay. I am not stuck on one number, but I have a range that I do not like to go over. When I go over, I make adjustments to get back to that range. But this time, it was around for about 3 weeks and just didn't go away until the other night, when it was quite clear that it was all water weight. I consumed a ton of water, more than usual, and it seemed to get rid of the excess I had. Thanks, @RoxieDawn, for saying it exactly how I needed to hear it!
    BUT I was really interested in what several people had to say about new exercise routines causing muscles to retain water ... anyone have a good link to that info? I'm always trying to learn and that also made sense.
  • RoxieDawn
    RoxieDawn Posts: 15,491 Member
    jrwms714 wrote: »
    RoxieDawn wrote: »
    I guess I finally made peace with it and what I weigh today (or this morning) is what I weigh today. I am not that new to the to the weight range acceptance and I am glad I no longer use a spot on number any longer. I know how I I eat, how I exercise, what I drink or not drink is going to affect me the next day/and or the day after.. I like to tell people to trend their weight because when trying to loose or maintain it can be a bugger to say the least! :)
    Yes, I lost the extra weight. I think that @RoxieDawn made great sense to me. I have been on maintenance for two years and use the Happy Scale app, which should have helped me to put it in perspective since it has a moving average (so, a trend weight) and since I know enough to know that the scale lies or, at the least, goes up and down. I also know that my workouts and my eating habits do not change, and are mostly where they need to be. I just panicked because I was up at least 4 lbs. and that hasn't happened before. I never want to go back to where I was and I certainly want all the medical improvements to stay. I am not stuck on one number, but I have a range that I do not like to go over. When I go over, I make adjustments to get back to that range. But this time, it was around for about 3 weeks and just didn't go away until the other night, when it was quite clear that it was all water weight. I consumed a ton of water, more than usual, and it seemed to get rid of the excess I had. Thanks, @RoxieDawn, for saying it exactly how I needed to hear it!
    BUT I was really interested in what several people had to say about new exercise routines causing muscles to retain water ... anyone have a good link to that info? I'm always trying to learn and that also made sense.

    Ahhhh you got this! And your are welcome! :):)
  • leejoyce31
    leejoyce31 Posts: 794 Member
    jrwms714 wrote: »
    RoxieDawn wrote: »
    I guess I finally made peace with it and what I weigh today (or this morning) is what I weigh today. I am not that new to the to the weight range acceptance and I am glad I no longer use a spot on number any longer. I know how I I eat, how I exercise, what I drink or not drink is going to affect me the next day/and or the day after.. I like to tell people to trend their weight because when trying to loose or maintain it can be a bugger to say the least! :)
    Yes, I lost the extra weight. I think that @RoxieDawn made great sense to me. I have been on maintenance for two years and use the Happy Scale app, which should have helped me to put it in perspective since it has a moving average (so, a trend weight) and since I know enough to know that the scale lies or, at the least, goes up and down. I also know that my workouts and my eating habits do not change, and are mostly where they need to be. I just panicked because I was up at least 4 lbs. and that hasn't happened before. I never want to go back to where I was and I certainly want all the medical improvements to stay. I am not stuck on one number, but I have a range that I do not like to go over. When I go over, I make adjustments to get back to that range. But this time, it was around for about 3 weeks and just didn't go away until the other night, when it was quite clear that it was all water weight. I consumed a ton of water, more than usual, and it seemed to get rid of the excess I had. Thanks, @RoxieDawn, for saying it exactly how I needed to hear it!
    BUT I was really interested in what several people had to say about new exercise routines causing muscles to retain water ... anyone have a good link to that info? I'm always trying to learn and that also made sense.

    I feel the same way as you. For years, I didn't weigh myself because I couldn't handle the fluctuations. As a result my weight got completely out of control. I was one of those people who feared the scale. But this time, as I learned the different things that impact the scale, I took the plunge in January and purchased a scale for the first time in almost 13 years. I was nervous at first that I would have the same reaction. But I weigh everyday anyway. Sometimes, it's still frustrating even when I know the root cause, but it's easier to get over it now. I have learned so much about how things impact my weight. It's been an eye opener. I just remind myself that the scale can play major head games. So, I just put the numbers in my Happy Scale app and monitor the trends. I also have a separate spreadsheet where I do 15, 10, and 7 day moving averages just for comparison.
  • trigden1991
    trigden1991 Posts: 4,659 Member
    Water weight..................