Working out is hard enough, without the emotions that go with stepping on the scale — and finding out the numbers are going in the opposite direction. We’ve all been there (sadly): weeks and weeks of clean eating and diligent exercise, only to see that you’re gaining weight instead of losing it. It’s soul crushing, to say the least.
While you may feel discouraged, rest assured it isn’t cause for panic. That change in the scale doesn’t necessarily mean you’re doing anything wrong, nor does it mean you’re going in the wrong direction. There can be some obvious and not-so-obvious reasons you’re gaining weight. Here, four things you need to know if you’re gaining weight while working out and eating healthy.
You’re gaining muscle.
The most obvious answer is also quite motivating: muscle weighs more than fat — or so the myth says. So while building muscle may increase your body weight, you’re probably still losing inches off your waist or thighs which overall will make you look and feel better. So if the scale isn’t budging or starts to creep up, remember just give it some time. Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither does your “perfect” body. According to Gerard “Coach G” Burley, owner of SWEAT DC in Washington, DC, “Living healthy is about body composition not just weight. Sometimes you are gaining muscle while losing fat making your body look and feel better.” Worry less about the scale and more about performance, or if you’re in to measuring then focus on body measurements and body fat percentage.