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exercise and weight gain

(26 Posts)
Yourface Thu 25-Feb-16 12:39:27

Turned a new leaf since Christmas and from doing nothing have become an exercise addict... Running, boot camps, netball and badminton, most nights of the week. I was in the lower to mid half of my bmi when I started.

Since all this, I have eaten tonnes more, put weight on...up to half a stone, probably now higher end of bmi but as far as I can tell I have lost at least 2 inches from thighs, waist and hips. It's a bit hard to tell for certain as obv skin is squishy rather than hard, when measuring!

I started all this more to get in shape, and get physically strong, work my body and heart, etc rather lose weight. I don't want to gain weight tho!! I know everyone says muscle weighs more than fat but I can't help but feel freaked out when I see the scales saying I am half a stone heavier. I am eating more but some days I just really, really need the fuel.

Not sure what I am asking. Just maybe some reassurance?

Katenka Thu 25-Feb-16 12:49:22

You have answered it yourself.

Muscle weighs more that fat and takes up less space.

The only option is to monitor your food closely. So you aren't over eating, if you are.

Or stop the exercise.

Weight is just a number. Try and concentrate on how you look and feel.

Easier said than done, really.

longdiling Thu 25-Feb-16 12:56:44

Have you tried using one of those fancy scales that measures your body fat? Boots often have them. It may reassure you that your weight gain is indeed muscle. Which it kind of must be if you're losing inches. I am a greedy pig, I do tonnes of exercise but still gain weight, I very noticeably gain inches too though.

Yourface Thu 25-Feb-16 13:17:36

Thanks for the replies. I really like being fitter and feeling more physically powerful. Am 44 and although I go through phases of exercising am enjoying it a lot more this time. Pushing myself etc. I am eating good and bad stuff.

I should probably stop weighing myself. It's a bad lifelong habit.

I do have one of those fancy scales but don't know how to use it for fat measure ment and no instructions. That said the boot camp trainer said they aren't v reliable/trustworthy!!

Equiem89 Thu 25-Feb-16 13:26:07

To put on half a stone in pure muscle would be impossible for a woman. Women do not have the levels of testosterone to build that amount of muscle. To put on anywhere near that you would have to be lifting very heavy and eating correctly

Yourface Thu 25-Feb-16 13:51:19

Really? Fuck!!

Katenka Thu 25-Feb-16 14:09:27

Sorry missed the half stone bit.

Most women (and men) would struggle to put on that much muscle so quickly.

It can't be all muscle. Assuming you would have lost some fat at the same time, it would be about 10lbs of muscle possibly more.

Yourface Thu 25-Feb-16 14:18:27

Sorry! Am v confused!

Are you saying that if I have put on 7lb or half a stone it is most likely mostly fat rather than muscle?

That's what I derived?

I've put about 5lb on probably but am fitting into clothes I looked squeezed into more comfortably. Less of the gut over spill, etc. Tighter belt.

ChalkHearts Thu 25-Feb-16 14:22:11

Women can put on 1 lb a week of muscle! So yes, that half stone could be muscle.

Katenka Thu 25-Feb-16 14:22:22

Say you started at 10 stone

You now weight 10 stone five

So that would be five pounds of muscle (which is a lot for a woman in that space of time)

Assuming you body fat percentage has gone down and you have lost (for example) 3lbs of fat.

You must have put on 8lb of muscle.

I am not saying it's impossible. But I am friends with female body builders, they would struggle to put on 8lb of muscle over the space of a year. Between competitions.

Katenka Thu 25-Feb-16 14:22:45

I think I would actually be looking at the accuracy of your scales

Katenka Thu 25-Feb-16 14:25:07

The usual rate of muscle a woman can put on is 0.5 per week with aggressive training. Which would need to include weights.

Katenka Thu 25-Feb-16 14:26:28

Sorry that's the upper limit as far as I am aware.

Yourface Thu 25-Feb-16 14:28:58

Ah! Jeez! Sounds like there's no way of knowing but I am not doing anything like what a bodybuilder is doing. But don't know if it makes any difference if your starting point is as low as mine was. I wasn't fat like, just extremely untoned! Prob not done much more than the school run in 3 years. My pedometer now clocks between 15k-18k every day now on average and that doesn't reflect the boot camp stuff.

Yourface Thu 25-Feb-16 14:32:10

Lots of planks, kettle bells, sandbags, boxing abd resistance stuff in boot camp. Ugh! Sounds like I have been stuffing my face too much!

Katenka Thu 25-Feb-16 14:35:12

I think, tbh. You need to stop weighing yourself?

Do you feel better? Do you clothes feel better?

If the answer is yes. All the theory and projection about what muscle you can gain doesn't matter.

You may be the exception to the rule. These are all averages.

How you feel is more important than a number on a scale.

Katenka Thu 25-Feb-16 14:38:41

Kettle bells, sand bags and resistance will put muscle on.

SpangleMaker Thu 25-Feb-16 15:58:32

Apparently when you are in a period of working your muscles hard they tend to retain water and glycogen(I think??) So it's possible for the scales to show a different picture to the mirror. If you are looking and feeling leaner it's unlikely to be all fat.

Equiem89 Thu 25-Feb-16 15:59:51

The only way you can really tell if you are losing body fat is to measure yourself with calipers.
Tbh if you are looking better, your clothes are fitting better etc then ignore the scales smile

Sirona Thu 25-Feb-16 16:28:18

I agree with the pp, if you feel and look better who cares what number is on the scales.

I was like you and in the lower range of bmi, aside the fact apparently bmi is not a very accurate indicator of health or weight you should be anyway.
In the last year I've increased my training adding weights and resistance training in, nearly exactly the same as your own, rather than just running. I've put on nearly a stone but none in the past few months, appears to have evened out.

I'm hungry a lot of the time and I know it's probably not all muscle but I feel stronger and healthier and I look it too.

I've started trying to eat a bit more protein to fill me up as logging my diet on my fitness pal recently made me see I was a bit lacking when it came to my protein intake.

Yourface Thu 25-Feb-16 17:04:09

The boot camp leader says same about the calliper thing. I know you are right about ignoring the scales. It's a life long habit. IT probably sounds like I have an issue but i really don't, well only the same as the average person/woman. So it does a bit but am not obsessive!

I'm doing tbe exercise for long term good health, I'm 44 and my parents are in terrible physical condition, am sure a lot of it is due to general laziness. I want to start doing what I can now to help minimise the chance of being sofa bound in older age. I am also starting to enjoy the physical challenge instead of hating it!! About 20% of me, is also motivated by physical appearance and another big part wants to be able to eat more naughty foods without having to the pay the price physically. I think I was being over optimistic. I recently went skiing for first time, and ate 4-5000k a day and came home same weight!!

Thanks for everyone's advice on this. It's really interesting as I haven't a clue. Eventually I'll ditch the scales but it'll probably take a bit of getting used to the newer fitter me.

Katenka Thu 25-Feb-16 17:11:13

Ditching them is harder than it should be. Trust me I know.

You sound like me a few years ago, although I do have weight to lose. So not that bit. Mums health spurred me to get healthier.

I avoided all exercise. Now love it, love improving, love the challenge etc

Katenka Thu 25-Feb-16 17:12:26

And no I haven't ditched my scales yet. blush

But I try not to worry too much.

tbtc20 Thu 25-Feb-16 19:42:40

OP, are you quite short?

Only, I put my stats into a BMI thingy and 1/2 a stone doesn't change my BMI that much. Unless you are very short 1/2 a stone shouldn't move you from low-mid to upper end, or do you just mean above the 1/2 way point?

But I think BMI is probably not a very useful tool if you've made huge changes to your activity levels.

2 inches off your profile is LOTS in a couple of months. Be prepared for it to slow down a bit. Maybe things will calm down a bit with your appetite and you'll naturally lose a bit of weight.

It does seem quite dramatic to lose so much off the tape measure but put on weight.

When you exercise a lot it can be hard to eat well. Try and eat something high in protein pretty soon after you've done hard exercise. That will stop you feeling ravenous later on.

Try and weigh and measure only once a week.

Yourface Thu 25-Feb-16 22:00:19

No I am really tall! I am 5ft 10. I haven't gone from 19 to 24 bmi. I meant under half way to over half way. I 'd prefer it to be under half way.

I think you might be right re. Appetite. I have done boot camp tonight and have been more normal food intake wise. Perhaps things are settling down.

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