Back To Health Wellness's Thought For The Day

The Physiological And Hormonal Reasons Why Weight Gain Occurs During Exercise

August 25, 2023 Back To Health Wellness Season 1 Episode 26
Back To Health Wellness's Thought For The Day
The Physiological And Hormonal Reasons Why Weight Gain Occurs During Exercise
Show Notes

The Physiological reason 

Gaining weight after working out is likely due to a number of reasons, 1. muscle fiber inflammation, this is a normal response when the muscle fibres break down and repair, 2. muscle glycogen stores (this is the glucose that is broken down and stored in the body from our diet), 3. water weight gain, which is due to water retention, and finally over time, 4. muscle mass gain. If weight loss is your goal, seeing an increase on the scale when you've been making an effort to exercise can be frustrating. However, it is a normal, common occurrence that is likely temporary. 

The Hormonal Reason 

Weight gain during exercise may also be down to the activation of the hormone cortisol 

In response to exercise, the hypothalamus, our Brains smart control centre) which maintains balance (homeostasis), secretes corticotropin-releasing hormone, which activates the anterior pituitary (which regulates several physiological processes, including stress, growth, reproduction). 

The pituitary gland stimulates the release of adreno-cortico-tropic hormone, which in turn stimulates the adrenal cortex (which produces  hormones that support vital organ functions)  and bodily processes to release cortisol.

But did you know Cortisol is also released when we are stressed. 
And what foods do we resort to when we are stressed?

Sugary foods like ice cream and high in sugar chocolate! Yes you heard that right.

Cortisol stimulates your fat and carbohydrate metabolism, creating a surge of energy in your body. While this process is essential for survival situations, it also increases your appetite. Additionally, elevated cortisol levels can cause cravings for sweet, fatty and salty foods. 

Final thoughts 

To define whether the weight gain is physiological, hormonal or both, you need to learn and understand how your body works and once you have achieved this, you will find the solution that works for you, though, cutting down the sugar in your diet is often a very good place to start!