Exercising, eating healthy and GAINING WEIGHT after back injury

I was at my target weight of 125 at the beginning of December. Then I hurt my back which had me barely able to walk or even stand for long to be able to cook a healthy meal for 2 1/2 months. After zero exercise and non-healthy eating for 2 1/2 months, I was afraid to get back on the scale. But, I did and was pleased to find I had only gained 7 pounds weighing in at 132. Ok, I can deal with that.

Back to the gym - 45 minutes each morning fast walking (can't run due to doctors orders to keep it low impact to my back workouts) 2 miles and 15 minutes of weights. 6 days a week. Back to my healthy eating - clean eating (pretty much paleo with an exception here and there) and counting calories.

Now 1 1/2 months later, I stepped on the scale this morning and weight 140! What ?!?!?! How can this be?

Anyone have any thoughts?

Replies

  • janejellyroll
    janejellyroll Posts: 25,878 Member
    I can't see your diary, but are logging errors a possibility (using measuring cups instead of a scale, wrong database entries, generic recipes, etc)?

    If you're gained eight pounds in a month and a half, you're either eating more than you think you are or your calorie goal is set too high. Another possibility is that you've got some temporary water weight hanging around due to exercise or TOM (if that's a factor for you) and you weighed yourself at a high point. That is, your weight is kind of hanging out between 132-140 naturally and you caught yourself on the high end. Is weighing yourself more often over the next few weeks a possibility so you can try to figure out a consistent trend?
  • quiksylver296
    quiksylver296 Posts: 28,325 Member
    Do you use a food scale?
  • collectingblues
    collectingblues Posts: 2,540 Member
    So water weight from new exercise can certainly do that -- although that does seem like a bit of a jump, and I'd certainly be concerned, too, because usually that sort of thing resolves itself in six weeks or so. (At least for me, and I'm of similar stats.)

    How are you counting and tracking calories? Are you weighing everything? Are you in a calorie deficit?
  • Saaski
    Saaski Posts: 105 Member
    edited March 2018
    I third the possibility of logging errors. I also agree that you have to take weight fluctuations into account. Water retention, TOM, etc can definitely account for a 5lb fluctuation. If you started at 132 and are having logging issues on top of that, then 140 isn't unreasonable.

    Also--are you eating back all of your exercise calories? Eating back some is important but don't forget that a lot of things are overestimated.
  • tinkerbellang83
    tinkerbellang83 Posts: 9,058 Member
    Is that the first time you have weighed in 6 weeks? Because one data point is not really enough to establish that you've gained fat. I can gain upwards of 5lbs overnight if I eat a carb-heavy/sodium-heavy meal or if it's around shark week.

    Check your food logging is accurate and check your weight again a couple of time over the coming weeks to establish a trend and you'll be in a much better position to judge if you have actually gained that much or if it's just water retention and adjust your eating accordingly.
  • GJ7072
    GJ7072 Posts: 16 Member
    Thanks everyone. I do use a food scale. I log my calories via MyFItnessPal and my exercises are auto imported from FitBit. I eat the calorie allowance that MyFitnessPal tells me I should (although I have had about a handful of "bad days" due to a crazy appetite those days but still ate healthy food). Here is my typical day...

    Wake up 5:30 - ONE cup of coffee with one tablespoon of creamer and one tablespoon of sugar free flavoring. 39 calories

    Arrive at gym 6:30 - 45 minutes of walking (2 miles) followed by 15 minutes of free weights (drink 20 oz water). Typically burn around 300 calories.

    Smoothie at 9:00 - consists of (8) ounces of Vanilla Almond Milk, (8) ounces of Keifer, 1-2 cups of spinach, 1/2 banana, (2) tablespoons ground flaxseed. 443 calories.

    (1) Hard Boiled Egg around 11:00 - with salt and hot sauce. 78 calories.

    Lunch around 1:00 - usually a green salad (no cheese or meat) with (3) tablespoons of fat free dressing OR cabbage and chicken feta sausage. Typically under 200 calories

    Typically drink 20 oz water during the day while at work

    Snack at 5:30 - 100 calorie pack of almonds, (5) prunes. 200 calories.

    Dinner around 7:30 - usually 4 ounces of some type of meat with 1 or 2 types of veggies. Typically between 400 -500 calories.

    Green Tea - several cups in the evening. No sugar or milk. Do add sugar free syrup often times.

    So, I usually average around 1400 calories or so per day. I burn approximately 300 calories per day.

    Other miscellaneous snacks include: air popped popcorn with no butter, sliced cucumber with salt, cucumbers, tomatoes and onion in a bowl (no dressing), roasted chickpeas, apples, kiwi, pickles.

    ** I eat no breads, pasta, or chips **
  • bogwoppt1
    bogwoppt1 Posts: 159 Member
    edited March 2018
    But do you weigh it all? DO you log every bite that goes in your mouth? DO you eat back those walking calories?

    WHen you are close to your goal weight you have to be very careful with logging properly.

    It does not matter if you are eating healthy or not.
  • MostlyWater
    MostlyWater Posts: 4,294 Member
    We get older. It happens. The important thing is to eat healthy and be active.
  • candylilacs
    candylilacs Posts: 588 Member
    Is swimming all right for you?
  • SCoil123
    SCoil123 Posts: 2,108 Member
    All of the above, and there is a possibility your calorie burn is not right. I weigh about the same as you and get approx. 125 Cals for 45 minutes of fast walking...closer to 150 if hills are involved. Weight training is great exercise but doesn’t burn many calories.

    TL, DR: Try eating back only 50% of those 300 calories your Fitbit is giving you. Good luck! :)

    I was wondering about the burn estimates too. Are you eating back all of your earned calories?

    I’m 5’8” and heavier than you. I burned approximately 250 calories running 5k on the treadmill today.
  • Spliner1969
    Spliner1969 Posts: 3,233 Member
    Some thoughts, but it sounds like you're already on the right track to me. If you truly are gaining then you're eating too much, it's a simple truth. So look for errors in logging, and look for errors in your calculations with MFP. Some random thoughts:
    GJ7072 wrote: »
    Wake up 5:30 - ONE cup of coffee with one tablespoon of creamer and one tablespoon of sugar free flavoring. 39 calories

    Is that a level tbsp of creamer? 1 tsp of the average powdered no-dairy creamer is 10cals, so 1 tbsp is 30 calories. Heap that sucker over and it can easily be 50 calories. I, personally, can't stand black coffee so I tend to use creamer and stevia. I used to log it as a tbsp then one day I grabbed an actual tbsp measuring spoon and leveled it off with a butter knife and added it to my coffee. I found I had to double and almost triple it to get it to the taste I liked. That meant every day thinking I was using a tbsp, I was actually lying to myself and putting in about 2.5 tbsp. or almost 7-8 tsp (70 calories) of creamer.
    GJ7072 wrote: »
    Arrive at gym 6:30 - 45 minutes of walking (2 miles) followed by 15 minutes of free weights (drink 20 oz water). Typically burn around 300 calories.

    Walking is great for your back, be careful with the weights, keep your core tight when walking, it does pay off. From someone with previous back injuries I can relate. Keep up the hard work, just don't lift too much weight incorrectly and injure yourself again.
    GJ7072 wrote: »
    Smoothie at 9:00 - consists of (8) ounces of Vanilla Almond Milk, (8) ounces of Keifer, 1-2 cups of spinach, 1/2 banana, (2) tablespoons ground flaxseed. 443 calories.

    Weigh that banana. Enter it by the gram. You can easily be off 20-25 calories that way. Weigh it all, but the banana is another item that is high in calories and easily misrepresented in the diary.
    GJ7072 wrote: »
    (1) Hard Boiled Egg around 11:00 - with salt and hot sauce. 78 calories.

    Good source of protein! Unless it's an XL egg, I'd say this one is probably correct.
    GJ7072 wrote: »
    Lunch around 1:00 - usually a green salad (no cheese or meat) with (3) tablespoons of fat free dressing OR cabbage and chicken feta sausage. Typically under 200 calories

    Use the scale. Watch the dressing, it's another way you can be off by quite a bit. Weigh everything.
    GJ7072 wrote: »
    Snack at 5:30 - 100 calorie pack of almonds, (5) prunes. 200 calories.

    If you're buying 100 calorie packs, weigh the ingredients. Manufacturers are allowed to be off on weight by a percentage. I've seen a protein bar be 30% heavier or lighter than what is printed on the package. You'd be better off buying in bulk and weighing out 100 calorie batches yourself.
    GJ7072 wrote: »
    Dinner around 7:30 - usually 4 ounces of some type of meat with 1 or 2 types of veggies. Typically between 400 -500 calories.

    Not much to say here, weigh it, bout all you can do. Watch condiments closely. Cooking oils are a big offender, every tbsp is 120 calories added. Even cooking sprays have calories, they are allowed to say 0 because if you were to actually spray it for 1/10th of a second like the stupid label says it is under 5 calories so they are allowed to say 0. Trust me, everyone uses those liberally. I tend to log 25 calories minimum when using cooking sprays.
    GJ7072 wrote: »
    Green Tea - several cups in the evening. No sugar or milk. Do add sugar free syrup often times.

    Is that a 0 calorie sugar free syrup? Sugar free doesn't mean 0 calories. It really means <5 calories. Food for thought.
    GJ7072 wrote: »
    So, I usually average around 1400 calories or so per day. I burn approximately 300 calories per day.

    Other miscellaneous snacks include: air popped popcorn with no butter, sliced cucumber with salt, cucumbers, tomatoes and onion in a bowl (no dressing), roasted chickpeas, apples, kiwi, pickles.

    Look closely at your logging. My guess is you probably can find the errors if you look hard enough. For someone who's very tall or very heavy it doesn't matter as much, heck my TDEE is something in the 2100 calorie range without adding exercise. But I'm tall, and male. When you have less calories to work with being more accurate is a necessity.
    GJ7072 wrote: »
    ** I eat no breads, pasta, or chips **

    Chips are probably bad because they are a trigger for most people. Betchya can't eat just one! But nothing wrong with bread and pasta. Fit it into your calories and enjoy them. They won't make you gain weight. Don't fall for the 'carbs are bad' that you hear. Everything is bad in excess. Practice moderation and eat what you want. Try re-calculating your macros and calories with other sites and compare them to what MFP gives you. I use iifym.com to calculate mine and it's pretty darn close for me. Other sites give me hundreds more calories a day and I tend to gain weight if I listen to them.

    The way I've always calculated my macros is based on my activity without exercise first. Then I add in exercise. Since I have a desk job I calculate my activity as sedentary, then add in my exercise. I've seen a lot of people choose 'active' for their activity level when in fact they simply stand in one spot for work all day and it likely should be sedentary or close to it.

  • Francl27
    Francl27 Posts: 26,373 Member
    Could be that you've stepped back on the scale a day when you're retaining water too. You'll have to do it more regularly to see what your weight really is.

    I'd double check your entries as well. And log those 'bad days' because it's very easy to overeat by 1000 calories or more if you're not logging.

    I agree that it shouldn't matter if you're really only eating 1400 calories, but you're not burning 300 calories walking 2 miles in 45 minutes and doing 15 minutes of weight. I'm 150 lbs and burn 300 but that's walking at an incline at 2.9 mph.
  • ladyreva78
    ladyreva78 Posts: 4,080 Member
    How are the batteries on those scales?

    I get really wonky readings when the batteries are starting to get low.