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Exercise making me bigger
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Cakemonger · 15/08/2018 12:01

I started exercising properly a few months ago (3 x 30 min cardio per week plus a couple of short runs, nothing that intense). The main reason I started was for my mental health as well as to be healthy in general. I was happy with my figure when I started, but I have become quite a lot bigger from putting on muscle and still having my previous fat, to the point that I am now a whole dress size larger and look noticeably bigger.

Obviously I realise being fit, healthy and strong is the most important thing and I feel a bit vain and silly for minding - I wish I didn't care - but it's quite a big change to suddenly be a size large in some shops, and annoying not to fit any of my old jeans.

I have started strength training with body weight and dumbbells, and running longer distances (currently I can do about 5k) - will these help? Or do I just need to get over it and accept my new size?

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nbee84 · 15/08/2018 13:46

A woman following a heavy weight regime can expect to gain up to 1lb of muscle per month.

You have been doing cardio and running, so while you may have gained a little muscle I expect you'll find the increased exercise and better mental health has led to you eating more. You also retain a bit more water after you exercise as your muscles repair themselves.

Trting tracking your calories in mfp or similar.

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Cakemonger · 15/08/2018 16:45

Thanks nbee84. I probably have been eating more without realising. Food tastes much better after exercise.

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Loopytiles · 15/08/2018 16:46

That’s not a huge amount of exercise, so it’s much more likely what you’re eating.

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legolimb · 15/08/2018 17:08

i agree with PP. It is most likely that you have gained more of an appetite and are consuming more calories.

Diet is the most important part of any weight loss/changing shape programme. You can't outrun a fork! Grin

I have been working out quite hard for the past year or so now - and have noticed that my strict lowish carb/high protein diet has lapsed over the summer months and I am also bigger.

Healthy and fit is great - but if you are doing it for appearance too then you need to look seriously at food intake.

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Cakemonger · 15/08/2018 17:16

I'm sure you are all correct. However I'm sure I did gain new muscle fast when I started going to the gym (before I even had a chance to put it on through eating). My thighs were rubbing together for the first time after about 3 weeks and I couldn't fit into my skinny jeans! I can feel rock hard, raised parts of my thighs that weren't there before.

But you're right, I am also eating more. Sadly the treats may have to go. Or I buy myself some bigger jeans.

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legolimb · 15/08/2018 17:37

You will have gained some muscle - of course. It's making room for the muscle by shedding other stuff that's important. :)

I had a personal trainer earlier in the year. for quite a few sessions. Twice a week we did mainly strength work - a lot of heavy lifting. Also had a nutrition plan which I stuck to as I wanted to make a change. It was quite rigid though and didn't allow for nights out i.e. alcohol and chips - so it's lapsed a little.

In addition to this I ran about 3 times per week and fitted in a class or two.

Kept me busy I guess too, and out of the fridge.

Good luck. Keep at it - feeling fit and strong is the best.

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Cakemonger · 15/08/2018 18:29

Great plan legolimb - be too busy exercising to hang out in the fridge Smile

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FATEdestiny · 15/08/2018 19:09

running longer distances (currently I can do about 5k)

I run for weight loss (and cardiovascular health, but mainly to boost my calorie deficit). I find when I do too many 10k runs in the week that my increased appetite negates any benefit for weight loss.

I actually lose most weight at a steady-to fast (for me) 5k every day. So 32-35 minutes and burning around 350 calories. I won't eat that back.

Faster paced daily 5Ks burn fewer calories because I'm running for less time. I therefore tend to have a slightly lower calorie deficit because I eat about the same as above. I like chasing PB'S though, so it's about finding a balance.

I often add one or two 10k runs in the week, with 5k all other days, that's about my tipping point. I am very likely to eat-back the calories from a 10k (around 800-850 cal for me, so about 500 cal more than a 5k run). So while a 10k or two is good for my personal challenge and increasing fitness, I don't tend to lose any extra weight as a result.

I had several weeks back in June when I ran 5 or 6 10k runs per week. I ate like a horse those weeks. Not by choice, I couldn't seem to help myself. So I know that adding distance doesn't help my weight loss. But it does help my overall fitness, so it's about finding a balance for me.

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