Gaining muscle not fat - is it true?(8 Posts)
Quick history - I used to weigh at the lower end of eight stone with no exercise and eating what I wanted, but had a chronic allergy which I think was contributing to maintaining that weight.
Since I've got the allergy under control, my weight slowly crept up to more like 8st10. Now I know that's still not overweight, but I don't want this to be the start of it creeping up and up and up, so this year I started exercising and eating fairly well (though probably still 1500-2000 calories per day) and have averaged about 4hrs per week (mixed from brisk walking right up to running/aerobics).
However I just checked in a morning (i.e. lightest time) and came out at 9 stone for the first time ever
Could the old adage that I'll be losing fat but gaining muscle (as a result of all my exercise) be true? Or is my weight just creeping up? Perhaps I need to find a friend with one of those fat percentage monitors to be sure?
I know it sounds silly when it's still a good weight but I don't want this to be the start of a slippery slope.
Well, do you think you look fatter? Are your clothes tighter? Is your flesh more wobbly? If so, you have most probably gained fat. If not, you have gained muscle.
You can get fat measuring scales but they can only really tell you if your fat percentage goes up and down from when you get them.
I would seriously look at what you are eating. If you are 1750 calories a day (gone for middle ground based on what you said), you are eating too much for your weight based on a sedentary lifestyle. Your exercise at the very very most will burn 2000 calories a week, and that is just based on running, which you don't do the entire time. If you are eating closer to 2000 calories a day you will easily gain weight. Make a conscious effort to calorie count for a few days. You might be surprised.
Also, measure yourself. This is an accurate way of seeing if you are gaining muscle or fat as muscle is smaller than fat.
Indeed I probably do eat a bit too much and not the right stuff. I have a serious chocolate weakness...
I've measured my waist and it's around 28/29in. It's complicated by the fact I also have IBS so I will start each day looking quite toned and by the end of the day I look like a huge balloon and it's hard to tell what's fat and what's bloat...
I've dug out a handheld fat monitor and that's coming up as 26% and I do remember 25% somewhere in the past so maybe that is creeping up...
Guess I'll have to start watching the ol' calories and keep up the exercise.
As someone who lost 3st and now is somewhat toned and a size 6 , nope I've never actually gained weight in my journey. I exercise around 2 hours 6 days a week and burn at the very least 2800 calories a day while eating less than 1500. For losing weight creating a deifict is the most important thing, for mainting it, I'd say keeping a deficit (small one though) is always best as calorie counting is not an extremely exact science.
Gaining muscle for women is actually quite difficult, so it is unlikely that all of the weight you've gained is pure muscle. To do so, you would have to have eaten both a surplus of calories and protein alongside weight-bearing exercise. Even with such conscious effort women can only expect to gain 1-2 pounds of muscle a month, and this is always accompanied by a corresponding fat gain (you can't 'lean bulk' without also gaining some fat). Re-comping is possible, but it would lead you to remain at the same weight while your fat-muscle ratio changes, but this usually takes a very long time (think months-years). Also, ignore the handheld fat monitor, these are highly unreliable.
I'd also ask your age? Sadly as we get older we need far fewer calories..
You can gain muscle without gaining fat; in fact you can lose fat while gaining muscle. But it doesn't sound like you're doing that in this case. For you to be gaining muscle weight you'd need to be doing a lot of fairly heavy and intense weight-lifting exercises such as barbell squats, deadlifts, bench presses etc.
Weight as numbers on a scale are pretty irrelevant though in anyone's case - look at fat %, inches measurements and how you look in the mirror.
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