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MOTIVATED@LAST Posts: 15,401
6/13/13 9:06 P

Yes, it is a common response when you start/increase an exercise program for your muscles to retain water. It takes 3 water molecules to bond to each glycogen molecule, and this helps deliver energy to your muscles more efficiently and helps them cope better with the new demands you are making of them. This is a good thing, as it actually helps your body perform better.

Unfortunately, this increase in your lean mass can lead to little change (or even an increase) in the scale, even as you are burning fat. This is largely a one-off effect.

However, muscle and water are considerably denser than fat, and typically this will show up as inches lost, even if the scale is being unco-operative. The tape is a much better means of tracking your progress than the scale. And if you haven't been measuring to date, are you noticing your clothes fitting better.

Also, the body naturally fluctuates by several pounds from day to day, for reasons that have nothing to do with fat loss or gain. It is very unlikely that you will see a steady linear decrease in your weight - rather more of a jagged line. Keep an eye on the longer term trend, rather than any one weigh-in number.


DRAGONCHILDE SparkPoints: (60,906)
Fitness Minutes: (15,360)
Posts: 9,707
6/13/13 8:54 P

When you start exercising to lose weight, some temporary weight gain is normal, but it's not muscle, it's water!

This expert answer explains why:

My question is what do you mean by "Staying within my caloric range with a surplus of 500 calories each day"? Your calorie range should take exercise into account already, there's no need for "surplus." Could you clarify?

Even when everything is perfect, our bodies aren't calculators; sometimes other facts come into play, like sleep patterns, the time of the month, sodium intake, and the kind of exercise you do can all affect weight.

BARBANAL Posts: 4,557
6/13/13 7:15 P

I have been riding my exercise bike for 1 1/2 hours per day. Staying within my caloric range with a surplus of 500 calories each day which means I should losse a pound a week.. When I first started biking I lost weight, but now I have gained back 4 pounds ! Is this muscle weight and if so at what point do I start to lose weight again or do I just keep on gaining muscle. Very discouraged......I use Spark and also a Fitbit for tracking. Thanks for any info you will give me to help . Barbara

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