Weight training may sometimes cause initial weight gain, but you will experience both short- and long-term benefits.
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Weight training provides several benefits such as reducing the signs of arthritis and strengthening the bones to fight osteoporosis. When combined with a balanced diet, weight training is an effective way to control your weight. However, you may experience initial weight gain when beginning weight training.
Gaining muscle is beneficial for many reasons. It increases your strength and metabolism and gives you the appearance of looking more toned. Muscle is far more dense than fat, and this initial gain in muscle could cause you to experience weight gain. Five pounds of muscle will weigh the same as five pounds of fat, but fat will take up more room than muscle. You may not see your progress if you only use the scale to gauge your success. Use other measures such as how your clothes are fitting or if you've lost inches on your waist to assess your progress.
Many people experience an increase in hunger when they begin a new workout regimen. Muscle tissue requires more energy, which leads to an increase in metabolism and appetite. The temptation to overeat can wreck any diet, especially if you feel as though your workout deserves a sweet treat. You may have to eat more, but make sure you choose low-calorie foods that haven't gone through too much processing. Fruits, vegetables and lean proteins such as chicken, fish and eggs will help to keep you on track.
After a tough workout, your muscles experience microscopic tears. The body will rebuild the muscles to be stronger than before. Increased muscle mass means an increase in the ability to store glycogen. This allows you to perform exercises for longer periods of time because the glycogen provides the necessary energy. However, glycogen storage comes along with additional water storage. According to Drs. Alan Titchenal and Joannie Dobbs, nutritionists in the Department of Human Nutrition, Food and Animal Sciences at University of Hawaii-Manoa, an additional gram of glycogen causes the body to store approximately 3 grams of water.
Gaining weight can be disheartening when starting a program intended to help you lose weight. Don't get discouraged -- your body may be going through some great changes that you can't see yet. If your issue is nutrition, you can take a look at nutrition counseling programs, or find a nutritionist. It's important to use different measurements other than a scale since your body weight can fluctuate daily for a variety of reasons. A better way to measure the effectiveness of your workout is to measure your body fat percentage. Body fat percentage can be used to predict your predisposition to health risks. Using measurements such as bioelectrical impedance analysis (BIA) or a water displacement test will help you better understand your body composition and your progress.