Tackling Weight Gain When You Are Actually Focussing On Weight Loss

I have often heard people complain that despite best efforts to lose weight, they notice that their weight has actually gone up. And they just don’t seem to understand what went wrong. This can be extremely frustrating whether it happens soon after the initial weight loss or at the fag end of their weight loss journey. Read on to find out why this happens and how you can deal with this…

First of all, you need to assess if there has been an abnormal change in your diet or exercise pattern that would have led to the weight gain. Like a family wedding or holiday season. Coz then you have your answer – go back to your weight loss routine and you should do fine.

If you notice that your weight has increased in spite of no change in your weight loss efforts, we need to understand when and why this happens before learning how to deal with this issue.


Bathroom ScaleGaining Weight After Losing the First 5 Pounds

Usually when you start a weight loss program, the 1st few pounds come off easily. It’s after the initial euphoria that you realize it’s not easy to lose weight. It could be either coz you have reached a plateau and you need to bring in some variations to your diet and / or exercise program to push past the plateau. Or, after losing some water weight and some fat, the exercise is leading to some muscles being developed. And muscles being heavier than fat, you weight seems to have increased despite your best efforts.

The best part about muscles developing is that going forward, these muscles will help burn calories even when your body is at rest, accelerating your weight loss. So the weight gain is only a temporary blip and not a cause for concern.

 (Image by: alancleaver_2000)

Gaining Weight When I have Only 5 More Pounds to Lose

In some cases, especially when the weight loss you are aiming at isn’t much (say 20 pounds), you will steadily lose weight but will abruptly stop when you just have the last 5 pounds to lose. You may actually end up putting on a pound or two. This again is due to the muscles getting developed.

Try to answer these questions: If you want to make sure that the cause for weight gain is really the muscles, then here are a few questions you need to answer.

Are You Losing Inches?

Your weight might have gone up by a couple of pounds. But you should never obsess over the weight. It’s something that only you know. But if you are losing inches, then everyone around you can see the difference. So along with your weight, keep track of your inches as well. And building muscles will definitely lead to losing inches.


Do You Feel More Energetic?

Excess fat makes you dull and doesn’t leave you with much energy at the end of the day. Muscles on the other hand are good for you and make you feel more fit and lively, even after a long day of work.


Do Your Clothes Fit You Better?

If you haven’t been keeping track of inches, a sure shot way to say you are losing inches is by noticing how your clothes fit you now. Do the clothes that were snug before seem more comfortable? Does your favorite pair of jeans seem a little too big suddenly? These are indications that you have indeed lost a few inches.


Do You Look Thinner Despite the Weight Gain?

Though you are upset about gaining a couple of pounds, do you find people complimenting you on your weight loss? Telling you how thin you look? Feel happy – once again a proof that it’s the muscles that are getting stronger.


Muscles v/s Fat

Fat is lighter than muscle but does nothing but lie there. Muscles, although heavier, are not only good for you but also help burn calories even when you are sleeping! Muscles increase your metabolism and give you a streamlined appearance. You body looks thinner and tighter as opposed to the flabby look fat give you. Building muscles not only makes you look good but also helps you lose weight faster. So, along with cardio that burns calories and melts fats, start weight training to build muscles and tone your body.


How Should You Deal With the Weight Gain?

It really depends on which stage of your weight loss you are at.


Weight Gain Occurred in the Initial Stages

This is just a passing phase. The muscles that are getting built will also contribute towards burning extra calories and eventually you will start losing weight again and at a good pace. So just comfort yourself with the feeling that whatever is happening is really good for your weight loss and be proud of the fact that you are already looking thinner and feeling stronger!


Weight Gain Occurred Just Before Reaching Your Final Goal

Well, this can be a little annoying. In all probability, if you are that close to your ideal weight, then losing that last couple of pounds is more for a psychological satisfaction than a physical or medical necessity. So try not to obsess over it. Even if you stop short of the last few pounds you still have accomplished what you were looking for – and you look like a million bucks! And who knows what your actual weight is other than you! The best part is muscles make you seem lighter than you actually are coz they give your body a tight, sculpted look. And you will feel healthier; look toned and be on top form. For all you know, these muscles may help you lose the last couple of pounds when you stop worrying about it!



  • Find out what has caused the weight gain
  • Ensure it is due to growing muscles and not coz you hit a plateau
  • If you are just starting out, you will start losing weight in some time – just enjoy the thinner look!
  • If you are at the end of your weight loss journey, stop obsessing over the last couple of pounds. You still look lighter than what the weighing machine says.
  • Remember, muscles are better than fat and also give you a tighter, leaner, stronger look!


You might also like:

Free Weights – What You Need to Know
Eat Fatty Foods Without Fatty Side-Effects
Cardio + Weight Training = Fast Pass to Weight Loss
Exercising at the Gym vs. At-Home Workout: Which is more effective?
Get the Hourglass Figure You Always Wanted


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