Why Am I Not Losing Weight at the Gym?

Updated November 21, 2016

Many dieters decide to add exercise to a lower calorie diet to help them lose weight more quickly. Many are disappointed to find they have not lost weight and some have even gained weight after their first week of working out. There are several causes that might be the answer to, “Why am I not losing weight at the gym?”

Muscle Weighs More

If you are building muscle by working out, then toned muscles are denser than under-toned muscles or fat and weigh more. Fat does not turn into muscle, it is just that while burning fat, you may also be adding muscle because your blood is supplying more oxygen to the muscle tissue and more of your nutrients are going to building muscle mass.

Calorie Intake

People may think that exercise allows them to eat more calories, but working off 500 calories is much harder than reducing calorie intake by that amount. The best way to lose weight, whether you are going to the gym or not, is to take in fewer calories than you burn.

Metabolism Changes

On reduced-calorie diets, many people may hit a weight-loss plateau after a few days as the metabolism adjusts to functioning on fewer calories. If you are using your calories to build muscle tissue, you will experience this same weight-loss plateau effect. As the metabolism goes through adapting to different eating or exercise patterns, it may take a bit for it to stabilise to effective calorie burning. Also, the metabolism will burn calories more efficiently the more muscle mass you build because muscles burn more calories in a resting state than fat does.

Inches and Body Fat Percentage

The other thing to keep in mind when working out at the gym is to measure inches and determine your body fat percentage. Many gyms have scales or meters to measure body fat. You may actually be losing body fat and inches, but gaining weight due to building muscles.

Exercise Routines

If you are strength or weight training to build muscles, you may actually gain weight. Cardio routines should be alternated with other exercises, creating high- intensity interval training, which is the most efficient way to start losing weight. It burns fats and jump-starts the metabolism without excessively building muscles, which weigh more. Alternating your routines periodically also helps speed weight loss.

Smaller, Frequent Meals

Instead of eating three larger meals, eat five smaller meals per day. This spreads out your calorie intake and helps the metabolism steadily burn calories, rather than blood sugar levels hitting highs and lows, which can trigger hunger signals. Also, exercise portion control and calorie shifting by eating different types of low-calorie foods daily. Also, don’t eat after 7 p.m., since the metabolism slows down as you get ready to sleep and calories will not be burnt off. If you wake up hungry and exercise before eating breakfast, you'll be burning stored fat, not calories just consumed. With your metabolism jump-started from morning exercise, you will be burning calories more efficiently when you do consume them.

Give it Time

Weight loss can occur in funny ways. It may not be an immediate loss because until the fat is burnt and flushed from the system, it is still there. It can take a few days for it to be fully processed from the system, depending on your metabolism. Some people may not see weight loss the first week, then see 3.63 Kilogram lost the second week, for example.

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