POPSUGAR Fitness

Working Out and Gaining Weight? Here's Why

Sep 28 2014 - 3:00pm

If you're trying to lose weight, burning calories through exercise is key. But if you're not burning enough, then you won't see the scale budge. If this sounds familiar, keep reading to learn what you might be doing wrong when it comes to burning calories.

Source: Jenny Sugar and Shutterstock [1]

You Skip Oatmeal

Many women skip out on breakfast before their morning workout to either save calories or to prevent digestive upset. Eating first thing not only boosts your metabolism, but it also gives you energy to get through your solid calorie-burning workout. Without the proper fuel, you'll end up with a headache or dizzy spell and are more likely to not push yourself as hard, or worse — to throw in the towel before your workout is complete.

Since devouring an enormous plate of scrambled eggs, bacon, pancakes, and hash browns is also a bad idea, fuel your workout with something small that contains easily digestible carbs and protein (like these pre-workout snacks [2]).

You Sip Post-Workout Smoothies

You just finished a kick-butt workout and burned over 400 calories [3], and now you're ready to refuel with a post-workout snack. Even healthy snacks like this chocolate banana cashew smoothie [4] can be high in calories, so make sure the snack you enjoy after your workout doesn't undo all the calorie-burning good you've done. Smoothies are a great choice; just keep them to around 150 calories. Here are 10 more low-calorie post-workout snacks [5] to try.

Photo: Jenny Sugar

You Head Straight to the Weight Room

You're right that building muscle through strength training is extremely important when it comes to burning calories since muscle tissue burns more calories than body fat. But you still need cardio to burn calories to decrease your overall body fat and reveal the toned muscles underneath. Keep up with the strength-training sessions, but be sure to incorporate heart-pounding cardio as well.

Walking Is Your Thing

Taking a brisk walk is a great way to lift your mood and improve your circulation, but unfortunately, it's not a huge calorie burner. If weight loss is your goal, you must exercise for at least an hour a day [6], and it must be the heart-pumping kind that burns tons of calories. Jogging, hiking, biking, jumping rope, swimming, or taking a cardio class at your gym are all excellent options.

You Stop at Twice a Week

Go ahead and pat yourself on the back for your two awesome workouts, but that doesn't mean you can plop yourself on the couch for the week. Not exercising often enough is one reason you're not seeing the slimming results you're after. To make that scale budge, kick it up a notch and exercise five days a week.


Source URL
http://www.fitsugar.com/fitness/Why-Youre-Burning-Enough-Calories-Lose-Weight-23402916