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I Started My Workouts And… Gained Weight!?

Heyo! You’ve started your program and you’re after it like nobody’s business. You’re fired up and bringing it, digging deep for intensity and wringing the sweat out of your workout shirts after every session. You’ve also started eating better and have zeroed in on your nutrition. You’re pumping your fists, feeling awesome and ready to kick trash all the way to a new you. Naturally, you decide its time for a little visual confirmation on how great you feel at the end of your first week (or first couple of days) so you hop on the scale after watching “The Biggest Loser“, ready to see magic happen and…

… you’ve actually GAINED weight.


What. The. FUDGE!!?  You recheck the reading, say a potty word or three and throw your hands up in the air wondering what you’re doing wrong, almost convinced maybe this program was all hype. The wind pops out of your sails and frustration sets in.

Don’t let it.

Program Start-Up Weight Gain– Yeah, It Happens

First off, initial weight gain when you start a new program like P90X or Insanity is WAY more common than you’re frustratedly thinking right about now. As a coach, I hear worry and disbelief about weight gain (aren’t I supposed to be going the OPPOSITE direction!?) quite a bit. Even if your nutrition is on point and you’re “Bringing It”, the scale may not move in the direction you want it to go the first few weeks. But it’s OK… it’s normal, even! Here’s why:

You may be retaining water. That scale weight? It may very well be our pal, H20. When you kick off a new, more intense fitness program you might find you’re kind of sore. Your body is changing and adjusting to the trauma you’re sending its way. One of those effects may be a little water retention. If you’re increasing your calories to keep up with your performance gains, you may perform better… and when you perform better, you may create more trauma which in turn is compensated for as the body rebuilds and repairs.

The good news? It’s gone in a couple weeks. If it’s not, it may be time to take a closer look at your nutrition. Either way,  don’t “get so caught up in the numbers” of losing weight as ultimately, you’re not trying to lose weight. You’re trying to lose fat. And water… it’s not fat. Win, win!

Weight “Shmate”

So all this water talk and misbehaving scale numbers brings me to a point you know– if you’ve visited HDIGF even semi-regularly– I love harping on; The one overrated yet institutionalized idea I’m out to bust right in the kisser: “Scales are for measuring fat loss”.  No (kinda)! Here at HDIGF and as far as I’m concerned, scales are for food, measuring grocery produce and lastly… your weight… every 30 days or so.

Here’s all my justification on that whole concept:  In our efforts to get fit and get into fighting shape, we’re after losing FAT– not necessarily weight. Weight is a tool in the arsenal of measuring progress, but it’s probably the least effective or representational.

Keep focused. Your body is going to be doing a lot of changing as it battles for homeostasis over the next series of weeks. Follow the program, keep your eyes on your goals and your body will have no choice but to make changes in the direction you want to see it go.

Need support, encouragement and maybe a sanity check from time to time? I’ve got you covered. Sign up with me for free coaching right here

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