Getting Fatter After Going to the Gym

You're fed up with your body type, have bought a gym membership and started working out. But exercising at the gym won't necessarily have the pounds of fat falling off your body. If you find you're continuing to gain weight despite your gym workouts, you might be exercising incorrectly, making unhealthy dietary choices or have a medical condition that requires attention.

Not every gym-based exercise will lead to weight loss. (Image: Chris Clinton/Digital Vision/Getty Images)

Right vs. Wrong Exercises

Every type of exercise you'll encounter in the gym can improve your body in some regard, but not all exercises are conducive to weight loss. If you're exercising frequently but experiencing weight gain, part of the issue might be that you're performing the wrong exercises. Lifting weights, for example, burns calories at only a fraction of the rate of cardio exercises. If your primary workout goal is weight loss, focus on using cardio machines such as the treadmill and stationary bike.

Make the Most of Your Workout

Think about how you approach your gym workout. If you get changed slowly, chat with people as you stretch, find yourself watching TV more than exercising and make frequent trips to the water station, you're not making the most of your gym time. A 10-minute workout here and there won't always lead to weight loss. Instead, aim to visit the gym three to five days per week to perform a total of at least 300 minutes of cardio exercise. By meeting this guideline, you'll do your weight-loss goal a favor.

Note Your Calorie Intake

Going to the gym doesn't give you free reign to eat more. While it's true that working out can increase your appetite, people have greater success losing weight by combining exercise and diet. In general, aim to cut back on your consumption of calories as you attempt to lose weight. If you find yourself hungrier, avoid high-calorie foods and eat large amounts of healthy items, such as vegetables.

Other Reasons for Weight Gain

Your weight gain -- despite your gym visits -- might not be tied to your workout or diet at all. Many types of medical issues can lead to unexpected weight gain, even if you visit the gym regularly. These issues include hypothyroidism and menopause. You'll also often gain weight as you age and several types of medication, including those that treat depression, can result in weight gain. If you feel you're performing the correct workout and eating healthily to lose weight, consult your doctor.

REFERENCES & RESOURCES Harvard Medical School: Calories Burned in 30 Minutes for People of Three Different Weights Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: How Much Physical Activity Do Adults Need? American Council on Exercise: Weight Loss: Diet vs. Exercise American Council on Exercise: Trimming Off the Fat MedlinePlus: Weight Gain -- Unintentional

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