Working out and gaining weight? HELP!

Janelle Baldwin

I get this cry every week…someone starts working out three days a week for about 30 minutes, starts eating larger portions than before, and is then frustrated with me for gaining weight. Hold the phone here…let’s go back.

If you intended to eat - say 1,500 calories - and you ate 2,000 before you started working out…that’s 500 extra calories a day and every week you will gain on average one pound. Start working out at that level and burn - say 300 calories in a week - (remember you were eating 500 extra so you didn’t even work that off!) and you are eating  more cause you worked out, and instead of eating 2,000 calories you are now eating 3,000. Yes…you will gain weight! That is a 1,500 extra calories a day or double what you need…you only worked off 300 in the week…so you will gain weight even faster…yes. Look at your calories in and out. Simple math…calories in the mouth must be less than to lose weight…add in 250 calories of exercise daily and 250 calories less food a day…and there you have it…weight loss!

How do I know how many calories to eat to lose weight? Take your current weight times eight and nine – that should be your calories/food goal for the day. So if 150 pounds, it would be 1,200 to 1,350 a day. As we discussed today, if you don’t know how many calories are going in, you cannot adjust that number. If you are gaining weight and exercising, you are eating too many calories for your body. Any extra calorie even if it is salad gets stored as fat. Never go below 1,200 in a day…remember that…too little is too little.

If you are working out and increasing the intensity of the cardio (working 70 to 85 percent of your target heart range), you need to also focus on time put in. Thirty low intensity minutes isn’t enough…you need 30 to 60 minutes of cardio a day at the moderate to vigorous level to lose weight - assuming that the correct amount of calories going in. If you are eating say 2,000 calories and working off 300, you still have extra calories to work off or not eat to lose weight (this depends on the body weight times eight and nine range you figured out above). To figure your Training Heart Rate Range (THRR) …use this formula…220 - your age for a maximum heart rate (MHR). MHR (x) 70 percent or .7 and MHR (x) 85 percent or .85. That is your THHR range. Your doctor should ultimately give you the range that you should work in, as some need to start at 45 to 60 percent and work up…that is a general formula.

If you are doing three days of 30 minutes of cardio that is 90 minutes and a starter number of minutes of cardio. Ideally you should be at 150 to 300 for weight loss. A total of 300 is a lot…but the 150 to200 range is doable. That is 30 to 40 minutes five days a week of cardio. Then add 20 minutes of weight lifting two to three days a week (three will show more change, two maintains you). The more you move the more calories burned the faster you see results. Don’t overdo and burn out…just set what is realistic for you to do.

If that means 30 minutes vigorous five days a week and 1,400 calories…stick with that.

First …the food logging in very important…without it you are only guessing at what goes in…and frustrated as you are working out and still gaining. Without logging food, it says you need to cut back…how much you’ll only know when you start losing weight or you journal all your calories. You are not alone in this…just need to make adjustments…

Make the rest of your life, the fittest life you will live!

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