So you just started working out and feel like you’re putting on weight or getting a bit bigger?
As with a lot of people who start working out or using a new workout program, it’s easy to feel like you’re taking steps backwards when the whole point was to start reaching those fitness goals! Just know: it’s COMPLETELY normal to put on weight at first, so don’t worry!
Whatever your reason is for starting to workout, expect to gain a few pounds at first, but know that they’ll go away soon if you keep going with your new workout routine! Your body naturally goes through a few changes in the first couple months.
Reason #1: Healing
A new exercise program puts stress on your muscle fibers which causes small micro tears and some inflammation. Those two conditions in your muscle fibers are the reason you may gain some weight at first. Your body responds to the micro tears and inflammation in two ways that cause temporary water weight gain.
One: water retention in the body. There may be a small amount of inflammation around the micro tear, and your body retains fluid there to try to heal it.
Reason #2: Muscle Fuel
Two: the way your body provides energy to the muscles also can add weight at first.
Your muscle cells convert glucose (or sugar) into ENERGY for your muscles to fuel your exercise.
That “sugar” has to bind with water inside of your body as part of the process to fuel your muscles. That water adds a small amount of weight, too.
As your muscles get more used to exercise, they’ll need less of that “sugar”, so your water retention becomes less, and your weight will start to decrease.
You’ll start to lose that initial water weight gain a few weeks or a month after starting, coupled with healthy meals. Remember- you can’t out-exercise a bad diet. Don’t give up too soon and make sure to stick with the program you started!
Reason #3: What You’re Eating
A lot of times when you start working out, you tend to get hungrier because you’re now more active, but one thing is certain: you can’t out-exercise what you eat. Meaning, you’ll have to spend A LOT of time working out if you want to eat whatever foods you want that are low in nutrients (ie pizza & gelato). Which, I’m pretty sure isn’t what people want to spend their time doing every day.
If you’re working out just to maintain health but want to start truly nourishing your body and giving your cells EXACTLY what they need for vibrant health, glowing skin and all-day energy, you’ll want to follow a weekly meal plan that’s easy to follow and uses real, whole food ingredients (also offered inside The LM Method).
If you’re working out to gain muscle, firstly, you’ll want to nix cardio and just stick to weights, as well as follow a safe and effective weight gain plan to help you reach your goal weight safely using real, whole food ingredients, which – you guessed it – we also offer inside The LM Method because everyone has different goals their trying to achieve!
How to Mentally Keep Going When You Don’t See Progress
I spend a lot of time talking with different women around the world, their frustrations, and this being one of them when they first start working out.
The number one thing I try to remind them of is that nothing happens over night. Health, fitness and wellness isn’t a sprint to the finish line. It’s small, daily actions and choices that add up over time!
When you first start working out or following a new way of eating, it’s easy to fall into the trap of looking in the mirror after 24-48 hours, or even 2 weeks after you first start, and feel frustrated. You’ve been dedicated, you’ve been making changes, you’ve been giving it your all- so why isn’t it showing yet? Know this: SO many new changes are happening inside your body and it takes time for things to adjust!
I recommend taking things month by month. Understand that this is an entire LIFESTYLE change, not just an overnight fix or fad diet. Give yourself time. It took time to get to the point of being unhappy with your body and/or health, so it’s going to take some time for these new changes to occur. But don’t lose hope! You CAN get to where you want to be, but it takes consistent action and perseverance.
When you’re building something that’s meant to last, like health and fitness changes, you want to think long-term. Long-term is “This is my new lifestyle. Changes don’t happen overnight. It takes time, but I have time because this is part of my new routine and I WILL get there”.
Short-term (which isn’t what we want) is, “I need to see progress in 2 or 3 weeks or I’m giving up. Nothing works for me”. Short-term is where fad diets and unhealthy habits come into play. We want the fix NOW, but that isn’t going to get you where you want to be! That’s where yo-yo dieting comes in and it’s a constant (and frustrating) back and forth game that will exhaust you and your body eventually.
Take one step at a time. One day at a time. You’re building something to last (You GO girl!). And that’s one of the most beautiful, important decisions you’ll ever make for yourself. YOU’VE GOT THIS!
Interested in learning more?
Checkout the post “3 Reasons Why Lifting Weights Won’t Make You Bulk Up As A Woman”
Or join The LM Method, my signature online program- a NEW way to nourish, sculpt and thrive using my proven method. Weekly workouts, meal plans, recipes, and sisterhood support to be there for you every step of the way and make reaching your goals easy for a change.