Thursday, September 30, 2010

I exercise yet my Scale keep reading high!

A client expressed disappointment that she seemed to be adding more weight even though she is on a controlled diet and constant exercise regime.

She is having her worst nightmare! (Whisper)

But if you’ve seen an increase in your weight, and you are working out regularly, there are some key reasons and possible solutions for correcting them. 

First, a reality check: You may not have gained as much weight as you thought. It is normal for the body weight to fluctuate by several kilograms a day depending on fluid shifts in your body, and the time at which you weigh yourself. Stepping on the scale first thing in the morning when you have not eaten in 12 or more hours will give you a slight different number than in the day when you may have had plenty fluids and several meals.

If you did gain weight, let us explore the possible reasons and solutions.

1. Water Retention
Preventing dehydration is important during exercise. The body can go into survival mode and start retaining water when you are slightly dehydrated. Once this happens, it is difficult to reverse that process. The solution is to monitor your hydration by weighing yourself before and after exercise. Observe how frequently you urinate and the color. Dark, frequent urination is another sign of dehydration. Slow down your workout and pump up the fluids.

2. Appetite may increase with Exercise.
With increased exercise, the body will need more energy to burn fat and stay active. Your appetite may increase to answer to those needs. The solution is to eat nutritious foods that are high in lean protein, low in fat and sugar. Rewarding yourself with extra food will be a wrong move; a good workout is not a license to eat.

3. Muscle weighs more than Fat
A problem some people may experience when they start exercising is building muscles faster than they loose body fat. With strength training exercises, it is possible to lower body fat and lose inches, yet still see your weight increase. Since muscle mass weighs more than fat, you could be producing muscle faster than you are losing fat, causing you to gain weight. The solution is to stay focused, do not be discouraged by the numbers on the scale.
Genetics could also be playing a role here. Some people put on muscle more easily than others, if that is the reason in your own case, do not stop exercising, and adjust your programme to ensure that you are getting enough Aerobic exercise(biking, brisk walking, jogging, climbing) to promote weight loss.

4. Eating more or less.
If you have measured yourself in different ways and realized that you are gaining fat, take some time and go through the following possibilities. You may need to make changes in your diet to see improved outcome. Many who are doing only short workouts for only a few days per week easily eat more calories than they are burning, and gain weight as a result. If you exercise long and often enough, eating extra is necessary to replace energy stores.
Eating more calories than you burn causes weight gain. After you start exercising, you may start eating more without being aware of it. Keeping a journal and monitoring portion size can help. When you are about to eat or snack, pause and ask yourself whether you are really hungry. Sometimes, people mistake thirst for hunger and eat when their body is really longing for more fluid.
On the other hand, if there is a severe restriction in calories, the body may fight this reduction by slowing down its metabolism. The solution is to eat enough calories to sustain your body if you’ve increased your activity. Eat regular meals so that you do not get too hungry, and eat plenty of fruits and vegetables so as to have enough fiber and bulk to feel full.

5. Give your body time to adjust
Increased activity and new eating habits require the body to make adjustments. The body will not respond immediately and will require weeks and sometimes months adjusting to the new change. Give your body time to make adjustment.

Consuming too much energy or sports drinks and fruit juices can keep you hydrated and will contribute to weight gain. Choose water whenever possible. Pay a visit to your Doctor and rule out any medical condition that may be contributing to your weight gain. Some medical conditions and medications can interfere with normal body processes. Thyroid problems and some medications can make weight loss difficult.

Whatever the cause of your weight gain, do not give up on exercise. It is not only your ticket to weight loss, it is also important for your health.

Two hours at the Gym yesterday got me feeling slow and drained this morning. I expected so because I skipped my workout for two weeks. I got my reward. I guess!