Anyone else gain/hold on to weight when exercising?? Very discouraging.

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In a nutshell, I find that whenever I start an exercise program I end up quitting because I swear, I weigh more when I exercise. I realize this is going to happen at first because of DOMS (I get sore easily) but I've been working out regularly a solid month and my weight is staying up. To verify, I work out 20-30 mins at least 5 days a week, so I'm not killing myself with it. I drink more water now than I've ever done. Because my workouts are not hardcore, I don't eat my small amount of calories back. Yet my weight is not budging. I'm confused and discouraged...yes, it's only been a solid month but I was hoping for at least a half a pound loss per week. Obviously I know that working out is not really hurting me, so I'm going to keep it up. I guess I was just wondering if this happens to anyone else. I always remember after the fact that this is why I stop working out, it doesn't seem to assist my calorie deficit. Help anyone?
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Replies

  • dragon_girl26
    dragon_girl26 Posts: 2,187 Member
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    ..and just to get the usual questions out of the way, are you measuring your food with cups, or are you weighing it on a food scale? Are you double checking entries in your diary against package info to ensure you're choosing correct entries? What is your calorie goal, current height/weight, and how much are you looking to lose?
  • butterfli7o
    butterfli7o Posts: 1,319 Member
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    I weigh with both and try to overestimate to allow a little wiggle room. Yes, I am good about double checking packages and entries in the system as I know they can be wayyyy off. Right now I have my calorie goal set to 1,270-1,300 (again, I try to allow for some wiggle room if I am not on point that day) I'm 5'3, 144lbs and almost 43. I'm trying (trying being the key word) to just lose 15 pounds, although even 10 at this point would thrill me.
  • dragon_girl26
    dragon_girl26 Posts: 2,187 Member
    edited October 2020
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    All right, thanks for all of that. :smile:

    So, with that little to lose, first thing to know is that its going to come off slooooooowwwwlllly. You have a lot less of a calorie deficit to work with and .5 a lb might end up being more .25 lb a week for awhile (which was the case when I did .5 a week a few years ago...frustrating but I was like, well, I guess its better than nothing..lol). Another thing that happened to me at that point was that my weight loss was never showing up weekly like clockwork...oftentimes I'd have a "whoosh" about once a month or so (after my cycle most of the time) and drop 2-3 lbs, then another solid month of nothing. If your exercise routine is fairly new, you might even be having the case of your DOMS and your cycle timing (assuming that applies to you) working against you to mask weight loss.
  • Theoldguy1
    Theoldguy1 Posts: 2,454 Member
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    Keep up the exercise but to be honest 20 minutes a day is not a lot, guven that and measure error on food intake and calories burned any difference may be lost in rounding/meaning error.
  • butterfli7o
    butterfli7o Posts: 1,319 Member
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    Theoldguy1 wrote: »
    Keep up the exercise but to be honest 20 minutes a day is not a lot, guven that and measure error on food intake and calories burned any difference may be lost in rounding/meaning error.
    Thank you, if I do 20 minutes it's a 20-min HIIT class so at least it's better than nothing. I also don't adjust my calories for that, I'm just using that more as inspiration or to give me a "push" as I really do feel better exercising than doing nothing at all.
  • butterfli7o
    butterfli7o Posts: 1,319 Member
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    sijomial wrote: »
    It's not only inflammation that can mean you hold on to water weight, the greater need of someone exercising for glycogen (which is stored along with 3 or 4 times as much water) can mean that weight cancels out your weight lost through fat loss.

    But surely you want to lose fat and not just water?
    If you are in a deficit over time you are losing fat and getting leaner, even if for a while (even a long while) you stay the same weight.

    Not only do you know exercise isn't hurting you you also know it's making you more healthy - you are barely doing the minimum but even that is hugely advantageous for your long term health. Giving up what should become a healthy habit for life just becasue your bathroom scales show a disappointing number is a real shame.

    Have a serious think about what exercise is really for.
    Thank you so much, I really feel that doing 20-30 mins of HIIT or strength in the early morning is better than doing nothing (what I was doing). I have no intentions of stopping, but when I wasn't exercising I was losing .25 pounds a week or so, so it's discouraging to see the number on the scale actually go up when I start working out.

    I'm going to keep it up, again just trying not to get discouraged.
  • Diatonic12
    Diatonic12 Posts: 32,344 Member
    edited October 2020
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    Tiny steps for tiny feet. It all begins with one step so make it a small one. Patience and consistency for the WIN.

  • sijomial
    sijomial Posts: 19,811 Member
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    sijomial wrote: »
    It's not only inflammation that can mean you hold on to water weight, the greater need of someone exercising for glycogen (which is stored along with 3 or 4 times as much water) can mean that weight cancels out your weight lost through fat loss.

    But surely you want to lose fat and not just water?
    If you are in a deficit over time you are losing fat and getting leaner, even if for a while (even a long while) you stay the same weight.

    Not only do you know exercise isn't hurting you you also know it's making you more healthy - you are barely doing the minimum but even that is hugely advantageous for your long term health. Giving up what should become a healthy habit for life just becasue your bathroom scales show a disappointing number is a real shame.

    Have a serious think about what exercise is really for.
    Thank you so much, I really feel that doing 20-30 mins of HIIT or strength in the early morning is better than doing nothing (what I was doing). I have no intentions of stopping, but when I wasn't exercising I was losing .25 pounds a week or so, so it's discouraging to see the number on the scale actually go up when I start working out.

    I'm going to keep it up, again just trying not to get discouraged.

    Yay!
    Great news.

    :flowerforyou:
  • janejellyroll
    janejellyroll Posts: 25,763 Member
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    CeeBeeSlim wrote: »
    The weight will come off! My stats are similar to yours - 5’3, but older - 56 - approximately the same hours of exercise and also did not eat all my exercise calories to allow wiggle room and logging errors.

    I was at 145 in September 2020, and now 117 - a weight I thought I’d never see - below my high school weight. My original goal was 135. Sometimes for weeks my weight would stay the same - to the tenth of a digit - then a minor loss of .25 lbs. Soooooo sloooooooow. I was though losing inches - I had a pair of pants I’d put on weekly and that kept me motivated. Are you losing inches?

    What did help me was increasing my NEAT - in any way I could. I’d keep ear phones in and dance while washing dishes, cleaning, would get up from tv watching during commercials and do leg lifts - anything. Once I did three loads of laundry and took ONE single piece of laundry from the basement to the third floor and back down to increase my steps - one towel, one sock, one sheet at a time - (not sure if I’ll do that again!)

    But the weight will come off. I know that scale is the devil 😀 but don’t get discouraged!

    I think there might be a typo in the date . . . do you mean September 2019 was when you were 145?
  • CeeBeeSlim
    CeeBeeSlim Posts: 1,255 Member
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    @janejellyroll - 😂. Thanks for the catch! Yes, a big typo! If only my weight loss was that fast...(not a good thing, though, as I’ve learned). Thanks again. Apologies for the confusion.
  • janejellyroll
    janejellyroll Posts: 25,763 Member
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    CeeBeeSlim wrote: »
    @janejellyroll - 😂. Thanks for the catch! Yes, a big typo! If only my weight loss was that fast...(not a good thing, though, as I’ve learned). Thanks again. Apologies for the confusion.

    Amazing results!

    I used the same trick with pants when I was losing weight (I went from about 155 to 110). It can be a great motivation when you haven't seen a loss that week and want something else to focus on.
  • xxzenabxx
    xxzenabxx Posts: 935 Member
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    In a nutshell, I find that whenever I start an exercise program I end up quitting because I swear, I weigh more when I exercise. I realize this is going to happen at first because of DOMS (I get sore easily) but I've been working out regularly a solid month and my weight is staying up. To verify, I work out 20-30 mins at least 5 days a week, so I'm not killing myself with it. I drink more water now than I've ever done. Because my workouts are not hardcore, I don't eat my small amount of calories back. Yet my weight is not budging. I'm confused and discouraged...yes, it's only been a solid month but I was hoping for at least a half a pound loss per week. Obviously I know that working out is not really hurting me, so I'm going to keep it up. I guess I was just wondering if this happens to anyone else. I always remember after the fact that this is why I stop working out, it doesn't seem to assist my calorie deficit. Help anyone?

    This used to be my issue- I would start and stop exercise which meant I kept getting DOMs and so the water weight continued plus I had a small deficit too. Once I stuck to it the weight suddenly came off after 8-9 weeks, and I dropped 4 lbs. Plus I would stop giving the scale so much importance because exercise will help you in so many other ways! Fatloss is more about your food than exercise.
  • Daisy_Girl2019
    Daisy_Girl2019 Posts: 209 Member
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    My weight tend to do the same thing.. it fluctuates more whenever I work out, when I don't workout for a week but stay on my cal restrictions my weight steadily drops. Don't be discourage, I vent on my page sometimes, just cause. 😝 Just continue killing it, you will reach your goals eventually.
  • AnnPT77
    AnnPT77 Posts: 32,056 Member
    edited October 2020
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    Increasing exercise increases water retention. So do other things. Against a backdrop of a slow loss rate (that half a pound a week thing), the scale is a really, really poor guide to what's actually happening to fat levels, in anything less than multiple MONTHS. That doesn't mean nothing is happening.

    I'm in year 5 of maintenance now, after losing 60 pounds, so I really trust my process (details of calorie counting, what my maintenance calories are, effects of exercise and more). Over about the past year, I've been losing a few vanity pounds ultra-slowly, averaging half a pound a week or less. (I like painless, especially for vanity pounds.)

    I'm going to share my recent Libra (weight trending app) chart, then add a few comments after the image. The horizontal to downhill-ish connected line is my weight trend (just a statistical thing, kind of a rolling average). It's supposed to dampen out the effect of daily fluctuations. The little vertical lines connect my daily weigh-ins to the trend line. (More comments below.)
    u7b7aevzkqkb.png

    Over this period, mostly nothing much changed. There are occasional over-goal days in there (which account for some of the high daily weigh-ins, mostly from water weight & digestive contents changes). But clearly, over the overall timespan, the overall trend is very slow loss.

    Now, look at July specifically. The trend starts about 129.5, ends up just a tiny bit lower. The first 2-3 of weeks look like gain, in the trend line. The daily weights are crazy-fluctuate-y. I didn't change much of anything in July . . . except for one small thing. I (re-)started a strength training routine. We're not talking long sessions, daily sessions, or heavy weights. We're talking a li'l ol' lady doing some basic conditioning with lighter weights, 3 times a week, for maybe half an hour each time: Not dramatic.

    From experience, I know I can add around 2 pounds of water weight when I resume strength training, and I'll hold that weight until I stop strength training: Just how my body behaves, others may differ. But look at August: That slow fat loss starts showing through the fog of water weight (. . . and then I eat some crazy salty carby things, plus it's hot, and all of that drives the water weight up again. 🤣 )

    That's how really slow weight loss looks in real life. In mid-April, I was around 132-133. SIx months later, in mid-October, I'm around 125-26. Sounds like about half a pound a week, maybe a tad more, of fat loss, on average. But a roller coaster ride along the way!

    If you think you've got your process working right, hang in there for longer. You have a source of variation (I suspect) that I don't, since I'm in menopause so don't have monthly hormone cycles that do crazy things to water weight. If you don't see results over a much longer time span (2-3 months), be aware that calorie needs calculators are just estimates, so you may need to adjust. (I think that's probably not it, if your numbers are accurate.)

    Slow weight loss is painless in some ways (eating! energy!) but the scale can be stressful, if you allow it to be.

    Best wishes!
  • briscogun
    briscogun Posts: 1,135 Member
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    Just a side note, but I use a digital scale, and whenever it seems to not be budging for a while, I take out the batteries and reset it. It will usually show a different number after that. Mine seems to have a "memory"...
  • butterfli7o
    butterfli7o Posts: 1,319 Member
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    CeeBeeSlim wrote: »
    The weight will come off! My stats are similar to yours - 5’3, but older - 56 - approximately the same hours of exercise and also did not eat all my exercise calories to allow wiggle room and logging errors.

    I was at 145 in September 2020, and now 117 - a weight I thought I’d never see - below my high school weight. My original goal was 135. Sometimes for weeks my weight would stay the same - to the tenth of a digit - then a minor loss of .25 lbs. Soooooo sloooooooow. I was though losing inches - I had a pair of pants I’d put on weekly and that kept me motivated. Are you losing inches?

    What did help me was increasing my NEAT - in any way I could. I’d keep ear phones in and dance while washing dishes, cleaning, would get up from tv watching during commercials and do leg lifts - anything. Once I did three loads of laundry and took ONE single piece of laundry from the basement to the third floor and back down to increase my steps - one towel, one sock, one sheet at a time - (not sure if I’ll do that again!)

    But the weight will come off. I know that scale is the devil 😀 but don’t get discouraged!

    Definitely needed to hear this!