Reasons You Might Gain Weight When You Start Working Out

1. Temporary inflammation

The most likely reason your scale crept up is inflammation. When you work out, it causes little tears in your muscle fibers. This is called micro-trauma and it’s why you feel sore after a workout. On the upside, your body heals these little tears, making the fibers tougher than they originally were. That’s how you become stronger and fitter. It’s part of a process called adaptation.

To make these repairs, your body uses its standard healing process, including the inflammation phase—something that’s become a dirty word in our modern world. When you incur injury, including micro-trauma, your body releases various substances generally known as inflammatory mediators that swarm the area and perform triage, bringing in healing white blood cells and opening up blood vessels to flush out debris and toxins. There’s so much going in that area that it swells up, or inflames.

The fluid required for inflammatory response obviously weighs something—and that might show up on the scale. When inflammation is allowed to occur in a healthy way, it’s temporary.

Of course, keep your diet healthy and allowing for adequate rest and recovery will help speed the body to less inflammatory phases of healing, but the main key is to keep calm and carry on. If you’re new to fitness—or perhaps just new to a particular kind of fitness—there’s going to be a lot of adaptation going on and therefore a noticeable level of inflammation. It should subside in a couple weeks.

2. Muscle gain

Another less-likely reason you’re gaining weight is that you’re building muscle faster than you’re shedding fat. The general consensus in the fitness community is that the most weight someone new to fitness will gain in muscle is about two pounds a month, but that’s not a hard-and-fast number.

On more than one occasion, I’ve assisted women who are frustrated because they felt their new exercise regime was making their thighs fat. Indeed, their legs were getting bigger, but only because increased muscle under adipose tissue was pushing out the fat, making the legs increase in diameter. Again, the trick here is patience. Once that  fat burns off —which it does if you keep at it—thick legs will give way to a toned pair of gams.

3. Your diet needs to work

If you’re not following a proper diet you could actually put on fat while starting a new exercise regimen. Yes, exercise burns calories, but it also increases the release of ghrelin, a hormone that promotes hunger. So if you’re not paying attention and not watching your portions sizes, you’ll probably eat more.

Even if you are consuming a low quantity of calories, poor food choices can cause all kinds of issues, usually centered on hormonal imbalances that cause your body to hold onto fat.

4. Too much stress! 

Exercise is a good thing, but it also puts your body under stress. By itself, that’s great. It’s part of that adaptation I mentioned earlier. If done right with the proper nutritional support, rest, and recovery, the stress caused by exercise toughens you up, fortifying your body against further stress.

However, if you pile exercise on top of a bunch of other lifestyle stress—or if you work out beyond your limits—balance will be lost. Exercise will contribute to your total stress load, becoming part of the problem as opposed to part of the solution.

So, if you work twelve hours a day, drink more than two alcoholic drinks a night on a regular basis, smoke, sleep less than seven hours a night, have a chronic injury, eat a junk-filled Standard American Diet and are overweight, exercise will tax your body just like all the bad habits on this list and actually cause weight gain in a couple different ways. First, the inflammation process does not progress to the later phases of healing, and you can end up with chronic inflammation throughout the body. Second, you’ll increase the release of the stress hormone cortisol that, in turn, can promote fat accumulation—particularly fat around the stomach.

Uncreate and Create

Knowing something, and experiencing it, are two different things.

Taken to ultimate logic, you cannot experience yourself as what you are until you’ve encountered what you are not. This is the purpose of the theory of relativity, and all physical life. It is by that which you are not that you yourself are defined.

Now in the case of the ultimate knowing—in the case of knowing yourself as the Creator—you cannot experience your Self as creator unless and until you create. And you cannot create yourself until you uncreate yourself. In a sense, you have to first “not be” in order to be. Do you follow?

It all begins here.

School is a place you go if there is something you do not know that you want to know. It is not a place you go if you already know a thing and simply want to experience your knowingness.

Life (as you call it) is an opportunity for you to know experientially what you already know conceptually. You need learn nothing to do this. You need merely remember what you already know, and act on it.

Fear or Love?

Fear is the energy which contracts, closes down, draws in, runs, hides, hoards, harms.

Love is the energy which expands, opens up, sends out, stays, reveals, shares, heals.

Fear wrap our bodies in clothing, love allows us to stand naked. Fear clings to and clutches all that we have, love gives all that we have away. Fear holds close, love holds dear. Fear grasps, love lets go. Fear rankles, love soothes. Fear attacks, love amends.

Every human thought, word, or deed is based in one emotion or the other. You have no choice about this, because there is nothing else from which to choose. But you have free choice about which of these to select.

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Did you know?

There are a number of types of vitamins we should consider adding to our daily regimen. Also, eating the right foods keeps our bodies working properly.

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Vitamin A
What It Does: Vitamin A promotes healthy vision and skin, and it also supports bone and tooth growth. In addition, vitamin A helps your immune system and is important in the reproductive process. Finally, vitamin A enables your heart, kidneys, lungs, and other organs to work properly.

Why You Need It: Although vitamin A deficiency is rare in North America, it is still important to have enough of it in your diet. There are certain groups of people that are at risk of having low vitamin A levels, including premature infants and people with cystic fibrosis. Vitamin A deficiency can lead to an eye condition called xerophthalmia, which can lead to blindness.

Best Foods for Vitamin A: Vitamin A can be found in both plant and animal sources. Some good foods to eat to get vitamin A are milk, cheese, and butter. Sources that are lower in fat are carrots, pumpkins, and apricots.

Vitamin B12
What It Does: Vitamin B12 promotes healthy nerve function and also helps your body make new cells. It can also help you lower your risk of heart disease because it breaks down fatty and amino acids.

Why You Need It: Those that are deficient in vitamin B12 can suffer from fatigue, anemia, loss of appetite, and constipation. Not having enough B12 in your system can also lead to neurological consequences, such as dementia and depression.

Best Foods for Vitamin B12: Vitamin B12 is among the types of vitamins that occurs naturally in foods and is also available as a supplement. Some foods that are rich in B12 are meats and dairy, including poultry, fish, cheese, liver, and yogurt.

Vitamin C
What It Does: Vitamin C is important for preventing infections and promoting a healthy immune system. It also helps the body absorb iron, which is a critical component in the process of carrying oxygen through your blood cells.

Why You Need It: Vitamin C is an antioxidant and helps protect your cells from free radicals in the body. It is also needed to create collagen, which allows your wounds to heal. People who get little to no vitamin C may develop scurvy, which can also bring about depression and anemia, although it is rare.

Best Foods for Vitamin C: Citrus is a main source of vitamin C, although it is also found in vegetables. Some good foods to eat to get the vitamin C you need include broccoli, tomatoes, spinach, and oranges.

Vitamin D
What It Does: Vitamin D promotes the absorption of calcium in the body, which is important for bone health and development as you grow. It also helps reduce inflammation and benefits your immune system.

Why You Need It: Vitamin D can be absorbed naturally through sunlight. However, many people work long hours indoors and lack proper vitamin D levels. Deficiency can lead to brittle bones and osteoporosis.

Best Foods for Vitamin D: Dairy is an excellent source of vitamin D, which is not present in very many foods. In addition to being able to get vitamin D as a supplement, it can be found in milk, cheese, and fatty fish.

Vitamin E
What It Does: Vitamin E acts as an antioxidant to protect cells from damage and may also help in the fight against cancer and Alzheimer’s disease. It is also important to the immune system, fighting off bacteria and preventing infections.

Why You Need It: Vitamin E does a lot to keep your body healthy, including promoting healthy blood flow to keep it from clotting. Being deficient in vitamin E can lead to nerve and muscle damage, as well as vision problems and overall weakness.

Best Foods for Vitamin E: Vitamin E is found in a number of healthy fats, including avocados, vegetable oil, egg yolks, nuts, and whole grains.

Vitamin K
What It Does: Vitamin K is important for blood clotting and promotes bone health. Scientists are studying its effect on reducing the risk of coronary heart disease and osteoporosis.

Why You Need It: If you are taking a blood thinner for heart health, it is critical to get the right amount of vitamin K in your system each day. Without enough in your body, you may experience bruising and bleeding problems.

Best Foods for Vitamin K: Vitamin K is best found in leafy greens, such as collards, kale, spinach, turnip greens, cabbage, and broccoli.

Biotin
What It Does: Biotin is crucial to maintaining overall health because it increases absorption of protein, carbohydrates, and fat from food. It keeps your bones strong and your hair healthy and growing.

Why You Need It: Without biotin, your body is unable to naturally process and break down the foods you eat. While biotin deficiency is very rare, it can occur in athletes who consume raw egg whites over a long period of time. Deficiency can cause depression, nausea, loss of hair, and scaly dermatitis.

Best Foods for Biotin: Biotin is produced naturally in your intestinal tract, but can also be found in egg yolks, soybeans, whole grains, and organ meats.

Folic Acid
What It Does: Folic acid is responsible for making DNA and new red blood cells. It works to prevent anemia as well.

Why You Need It: Not having enough folic acid in your diet can cause anemia, which can deprive your body tissue of vital oxygen. Pregnant women with a deficiency may see birth defects in their children.

Best Foods for Folic Acid: Though folic acid is now added to most refined grains and foods like healthy protein bars, it is naturally occurring in legumes, liver, seeds, and greens like broccoli, spinach, romaine, peas, and okra.