Gaining Weight Despite Working Out? Check these 5 Tips

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Have you been hitting the gym for quite some time already, but you still did not notice any results? Or, perhaps, you even spotted that you’ve gained some weight, despite visiting a sport club 3 times a week?

While many are giving up at this point, we don’t see it as a solution. Gaining weight might be discouraging for those, who aim to lose it. Yet, there is no reason to give up – it’s simply a matter of looking at a problem from a different perspective. In this educational piece, we want to share a couple of tips on how to lose weight in a healthy and effective way. We also discuss some possible mistakes you might be making that make you gain a little extra weight and how to fix them. 

Dig in!

1. Calories intake – have you been eating good lately?

In order to lose weight, you need to create a shortage of calories. Speaking differently, it is vital to burn more calories than you are consuming. However, it is also very important to cut the correct amount of calories.

In case you will be getting too less energy, you won’t be able to perform as good in the gym as you would if you ate proper meals. In fact, eating too less might result in cravings, since your body needs some fuel to function.  According to the dietitian Anne Mauney:

“If you don’t have enough food, you’re likely to encounter sugar cravings later in the day.”

How to fix this?

As a rule of thumb, your caloric deficit should not exceed 500 per day. This implies that if you burn around 2500 calories a day, you need to consume 2000 calories.

Another useful tip: try to intake the biggest part of your calories during the first part of the day and around your workout.

2. “Healthy” food – is it really that healthy?

Have you been treating yourself to a store-bought smoothie after the gym? This might sound like a nice way to refuel your muscles after the workout. Yet, it is often the opposite. According to the dietitian and strength coach, Marie Spano:

“Many smoothies are loaded with sugar and calories, and can completely counteract any calorie-burn you got from your workout.”

In fact, yogurt and fruit can appear as the worst ingredients in terms of sugar. 

How to fix it?

Swap a pre-made smoothie with a DIY version of it. You can try making it by yourself, which means that you can control the amount of calories in your drink. 

Another great tip to remember – always try to sit down to eat, even if it’s a smoothie. One of the studies showed that when people sit down to eat their meals, they end up feeling fuller for longer in comparison to those, who ate on the move.

3. Feeling constant cravings?

While, in fact, this is not necessarily bad, this what might make you gain weight. Some people experience cravings when they feel stress or maybe the extra sweat in the gym is causing the increased appetite. Spano has added:

“People eat for a variety of reasons, and hunger is often the last reason.”

Yet, she highlights that even you a burning a lot of calories, while consuming more, you will eventually gain weight. 

How to fix it?

Find out what causes excessive hunger. Is it a stress? Or maybe you are just bored? If you think that you are just hungry, then eat. But make sure to make your snack breaks healthy – they should contain a lot of fiber and protein. Go for some veggies, healthy fats and lean meats. Find some great high-protein snacks recipes here

4. Your treadmill calorie counter can lie

Some of the machines in your gym might be showing wrong caloric burn. Such machines as treadmill, elliptical and stationary bike are especially guilty of overestimating the figures on the calorie count screen. In fact, according to the American Council on Exercise, some machines can misrepresent the actual calorie burn by as much as 30 percent. 

In case you have been counting your calorie burn as per the machine in your gym, you might want to reconsider this strategy.  

How to fix it?

In case you are currently counting calories, Spano recommends using any fitness tracker. These are not perfect, yet, they much closer to the truth in comparison to the cardio machines, according to the research in Medicine & Science in Sports & Science.

5. Sleep is vital

In the end, healthy weight loss requires clean eating, consistent workout and enough rest. In case one of these three components is missing, the other two are not going to bring you the desired result. As a matter of fact, for most people, recovery is one of the crucial issues – the majority of us do not get enough sleep. 

What happens when you don’t get enough of sleep? 

When you sleep less on a constant base, the hormones responsible for regulation of appetite, leptin and ghrelin, are being thrown off. This can result in intense cravings that could lead to an eventual gain weight. 

One of the studies from suggests that just four days of sleep deprivation makes your body to store more fat. Another study in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine indicates that the quality of your sleep largely affects your performance during workout.

How to fix it?

The answer is obvious – try to get better sleep. According to the findings of the Sleep Foundation, adults between 18 and 64 need to sleep around 7 to 9 hours each night. 


Whether you have been training for a long time or you are just a beginner, sometimes things can get hard to handle on your own. Additionally, if you lack professional guidance in regards to your sport journey, it can be challenging to achieve great results. 

Thus, many of us get demotivated and give up when seeing the result, which is the opposite of what we have been expecting. Yet, we don’t see quitting as an option. Every problem has a fix!

If you have noticed that you are gaining weight instead of losing it, keep in mind the abovementioned points and, believe us, your situation will improve!

Happy training!



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