Exercise and weight gain: stop worrying

(Steak and iron) #1

Hello everyone.

Most of us are recovering from a life of nearly complete couch-potatoing. Sitting on the sofa, sitting at work, sitting in the car, laying in bed. All those amazing muscles nature has endowed us with never really saw much use!

So you go keto. Your pants start falling off. You wake up refreshed in the morning and after work you don’t feel like you got hit by a truck anymore. You hear a rumor that healthy people exercise and you finally have enough energy that this doesn’t sound like medieval level torture. You check out your frame in the mirror, 30 pounds lighter than it was months before, and decide that lifting weights or riding a bike or running is something you CAN do!

So day 1 you hit the gym or whatever and you KILL IT. You’re excited about this new stage of your life and you want to dive in face first just like you did with bacon and eggs a few months ago. At the end of your workout you are sweaty, exhausted, and a little wobbly. You go home, eat, and rest.

The next morning you hop on the scale in as gingerly a way as your sore muscles will allow and much to your dismay your weight has INCREASED!

Oh god those last months thrown away! Progress reversed! Fire raining down from the heavens! This pattern repeats for the next week and your scale weight creeps up by a few pounds. Somehow exercise is making you fatter?!!


Your muscles relax and don’t hold onto much water and glycogen if you’re not using them. You start using, them, they suck up nutrients because they now realize they’re DOING something for the first time. If I take a week off of weightlifting I will drop close to 10 pounds. If I’ve been on a break and go back, the exact opposite happens and my scale weight jumps.

Keep calm and keto on, this is normal.

A year keto, lost 83lbs, 20ish lbs left, stalling & now gaining after cheat
Gaining weight when exercising on keto

Insert the proverbial ‘nail on the head’ here.

(Ashley Haddock) #3

Love this.

(Kathy L) #4

It is good to KEEP HEARING IT tho!


LOVE this post! SO TRUE!!! I wont weigh myself for about 2 days after leg day because the scale always jumps a lb or two after.

(Stickin' with mammoth) #6

DOH! Totally forgot about this, thanks for the reminder. Unfortunately, I’m in the frustrated, borderline-homicidal little group of athletic ketoers experiencing screaming levels of inexplicable DOMS from the most meager of workouts so not a lot of problems with muscle gain since there’s practically none. Snort.

(Adam Kirby) #7

That’s why it’s so important to use a measuring method in addition to scale weight. My scale weight has stayed the same for months, yet I feel like I’m leaning out.

(Steak and iron) #8

measuring tape, reference clothing item, or pictures. The scale is stupid. I usually ask people that let’s say the laws of physics stopped working and you somehow got down to the size and shape you wanted but the scale still said 300 pounds, would you really care?

(Stickin' with mammoth) #9

Aw, hail, yeah. I have a Tanita that lies like a rug about body fat percentages. When your underwear starts falling off, you are NOT the same percentage you were last year.


Agreed. The other element that people forget is that your lean muscle can increase as your fat drops, especially if you haven’t done much resistance training before.

It can even happen with no resistance training if the body was incorrectly nourished beforehand…

This was a fascinating read My six week ketogenic diet experiment

(Cesare) #11

Thank you for posting this. I think so many people get hung up with this strange idea of not exercising cause they wont lose weight.

I found this way of eating cause I wanted to lose weight, but the way you feel and the energy it provides you is as wonderful as the lbs you shed. Exercising just compounds those feelings to the point that without it your body feels sluggish.

So what you held on to some extra water weight or dare I say GAINED some muscle mass. It seems to me that this exercise phobia is just a convenient way to continue to sit on the couch.

Take advantage of that new body you created and see what it can do. You wouldn’t keep the sports car you’ve spent all your time and money on earning in the garage.

(Kathy L) #12

I am interested in getting stronger - so I started resistance training. I’ve also been on a year-long stall, after losing 40 lbs. Coming up on 2 years keto - looking forward to being stronger, and hoping to say good-bye to more of those stubborn lbs! :slight_smile:

(Kenneth Coleman) #13

I think we need this post summarized in an audio version. Of course we know this, it makes sense, but we forget when that lying, cheating scale whispers in our ears " you’re still fat! It’s not working!" I need a confident voice reminding me my skin is getting loose and my man chest is growing in a good way!

Maybe James Earl Jones voice or someone…

(Dan ) #14

I had what I thought to be a stall and I reevaluated my daily routine and I came up with I wasn’t taking in enough fat and that launched a heavy duty weight loss better than when I started this last March 2017 not sure if this helps I just thought I would share my finding on my renvaluation of myself and habit

(Tim ) #15

So glad I checked in. Just rejoined the gym and started putting on weight. A pound or two a day but pants are getting looser. So anyway I guess doing things right. Keto on!


I posted this photo on another thread, but it fits nicely here as well. Check out this woman:

30 AM

(Kathy L) #17

Thank you - that may be part of my problem- I’ll re-evaluate!

(Ruth) #18

I am brand new, and I’m here because while researching the source of my frustration - weight gain - I happened upon this post! I’ve been doing strict Keto just over two weeks and lost 16 pounds just like that. Then I started working out on a regular basis and running, pretty hard, some days. Then boom. 1.5 weight gain one day…and another 2 pounds of weight gain the next day. This post really helped me stop being discouraged. I’m hoping the weight-loss does eventually show on the scale again soon, but until then, I’ll check the old “pants-o-meter” and get a measuring tape!

(Candy Lind) #19

Far more reliable - the scale is a lying liar who lies. :innocent:

(Nicole Sawchuk) #20

I needed this today. After a year of keto and weight loss. I am in maintenance mode. I decided to finally get back into exercise (I use to do it often but stopped a year ago to focus on diet plus life was busy). Suddenly I am up 4 pounds consistently! I know the science and reason, but its nice to read it as a reminder.