Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Weight Fluctuations with High Intensity Exercise

I have noticed a consistent pattern for my weight, which is this: after intense and/or long workouts or races, I usually see an increase. This was true for this past weekend--yesterday morning, my weight was up by 2 pounds. The longer the workout/event, the more likely it seems that my weight will increase. Sometimes the weight comes off but sometimes not and currently I am stuck in this weekly two- to 4-pound fluctuation. It is a source of frustration to me because it seems like exercising 20 hours per week should make weight loss relatively easy. And seriously, after spending 11 hours exercising in 2 days, don't you think I would weigh less the next day, not 2 pounds more? Since my exercise load has increased, it has also become more difficult to lose weight. I think part of the explanation is more hypoglycemia but that can't explain it all. I try to take solace in knowing that my body is incredibly efficient and doesn't waste a single calorie...

5 comments:

Scott said...

Muscle mass is more dense than adipose tissue therefore it weighs more, so try not to focus as much on your actual weight and more on your percentage of muscle to fat ... you may find that a less frustrating measure!

chris said...

I am in the same situation. Everytime I excercise, I come back about 2-3 lbs. heavier. My weight is flucuating like crazy. I will wake up at 220 lbs on the scale, and then go to bed at 230 lbs. It doesn't make sense. It is great to see that number in the morning though, unfortunately, thats about the same number as my blood sugar too.

Amalas said...

I am running into this problem as well. I've been working out with Wii Fit for a week now, and I weigh more than when I started! It's very frustrating. I will have to agree with Scott, though, that it's probably just muscle mass that is more dense than fat. So, even though I may weigh more, I'm probably trimmer and in better shape.

~Suzanne~ said...

Yep, me too...but I know it is because I am adding on 700 calories just to cover my doggone lows!! Ugh!!

Maybe you start to retain fluid after exercising so intensively? I know the body seems to hold on to the things it really wants.

Anne said...

Thanks for your comments. Scott, I hope you are right! I agree that when getting into shape, especially going from an untrained to a more trained state, there are a lot of big changes in % fat vs muscle, and that one may lose fat while staying the same (or even perhaps slightly increasing) weight.

But I was losing weight quite steadily at 1-1.5 pounds per week until I made 2 changes: 1) increased weekly workload (from a high level to a higher level basically) and 2) changed insulin regimens. #2 definitely caused more lows and I think that was the initial reason I stopped losing weight.

Perhaps I am gaining muscle mass but it just seems unlikely that I would be gaining enough muscle mass to offset any potential weight loss. But I guess the facts are what they are.

I did notice that weight loss was easier the better BG's I was having.

It is important to me to actually weigh less while keeping a high muscle mass so that I can perform better. I feel better and can race a lot faster. If I didn't care about racing, I would probably be happy just where I am.