Weight Loss
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Water retention after lifting!!!


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I’ve really been struggling with weight loss since Christmas. In January I was 180. Ever since the second week of January I’ve been exercising 5-7 times per week for an hour, heart rate at LEAST 70% of my maximum. 2-3 interval training sessions a week.

Started weight lifting about four weeks ago. I’m not lifting heavy weights yet - about 12lb on average, 30 minutes, three times per week. After the first week the scale stayed the same after lifting, second week it shot up by 2lb, third week I had a break from lifting and I went down to 174 lb. Lifted again this week and back up to 177lb. I know water retention is normal, but this has been going on WEEKS now. It’s getting incredibly frustrating to see a loss one week and then see the scale shoot up the next. How long should water retention last when lifting? I thought it usually disappeared after a week or two.

I’m also watching what I eat very closely - 1850 calories per day. 86 oz of water. I have some salt on food, but nothing extra to usual. When will this stop happening? It seems to be masking weight loss to a ridiculous extent.

Any replies appreciated.

4 Replies (last)

I wonder the same thing; I started NROLFW and have been lifting heavy yet have gained 5 lbs without a real explanation other than water weight; I'd love to hear what other people say but I think that strong is the new skinny. :)

I always see a "scale gain" after lifting.  Anywhere from 2-3 pounds. 

I had about a 4 month spell where I staid about 185 pounds +-3.  It was *extremely* frustrating to see the scale just sit there, or worse gain!  Aerobics, lifting heavier weights, didn't matter - the scale kept hovering about 184 +-3.  Over those 4 months though, I noticed that my pants kept getting looser - shirts baggier, and I started to look better in the mirror.  Then all of a sudden, BAM!  I lost 11 pounds in 1.5 months (now hovering about 173). 

So all I can say is...hang in there!  Your body will drop when it feels like it, and not a moment before.  Just ignore the water-weight gain from lifting as best you can.  It's extremely frustrating, but just look at the positives of how you feel/look, and you'll get there.

You will probably get more responses in the Fitness forum, if you want to request to have it moved (or just repost).

There is a certain amount of weight gain that will not go away when you are lifting.  Something to do with glycogen in your muscles I think (sorry, SO not a scientist).  Then, there is a certain amount of weight gain you may see when you start something new that does go away.  When I start a new phase or new program, I will sometimes see a 1-2 pound jump that usually corresponds to a LOT of soreness.  That generally disappears after a week or two.

I am surprised that you are seeing this sort of fluctuation while not lifting heavy weights (is there a reason you're not lifting heavy weights?).  Honestly I would be surprised if the swings are really (fully) attributable to this and not to something else - change in food weight, alcohol, salt, cycle-related fluctuations etc.

Original Post by awestendorf:

When I start a new phase or new program, I will sometimes see a 1-2 pound jump that usually corresponds to a LOT of soreness. 

 Experiencing this right now with the gaining issue.  2ish pounds up after doing nothing more than switching up my routine a bit; SORE as hell after this week.

That said, I cinched another notch in my belt (literally) this week too, so I'm not going to complain (too much...lol)

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