Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Gaining Weight but Working Out, Muscle Gain? – Reader Question

"...Problem is Ive actually gained these last two weeks even though Ive actually increased my excercise. Dont think I've actually put on inches but scales say im heavier!!! Any pointers? Can you actually gain weight through building muscle? Do I stay on Cruise on move on to next stage.....
Thanks again - its great to be able to share with fellow Dukanites:)
xoxoxox Mary"

First off, hi Mary! Nice to meet you :) You are a sweetheart. NOW DON'T MOVE ONTO THE NEXT STAGE IF YOU HAVE MORE TO LOSE! A two week plateau is NOTHING! You can do it! Don't quit! The longest plateau I ever hit was over 4 weeks long, you can break through this!

Quick tips for breaking through plateaus:

  • Cut out dairy,
  • Cut down on your portions,
  • Increase cardio at the gym, do more or at a higher intensity,
  • Be patient,
  • Make sure you aren't accidentally cheating with fattier meats.

Now to answer your other question, gaining weight through building muscle:
This is a question I am always asking myself, as well as being asked. I have to say, I’m not entirely sure what the muscle gain to weight ratio is but I can tell you out of my own experience, and in my opinion, eeeehhhhh if the scale is going up and you are working out, It’s probably not muscle gain causing it.

I am a 20 year old woman, I work out 6 days a week, barely any cardio (meaning… no cardio at all, or the rare once a week 15 minutes of cardio… oh who am I kidding…)

When I lift weights I lift as heavy as I can, I stay at the gym between half an hour to over an hour and a half (this is all before the new bodybuilding training program that my personal trainer gave me yesterday. More on that later.)

I have not gained any weight from this, I take a scoop of protein powder 2-3 times a day, eat 6 full meals a day that are very heavy in protein, I see results in my biceps, upper back, shoulders and abs and I have gained maybe 1-2 lbs in the past 2 months, not even. I have not been losing any inches.

So in my opinion, for me at least, muscle gain doesn’t really up your weight like crazy, unless you are just a beast at the gym, or a man.

I mean, women don’t generally gain bulky, heavy muscle.

When I have a ‘bad food day’ (which lately consists of me eating fruit in the afternoon) I gain weight and always think to myself ‘well it’s me gaining muscle’ but it’s not true, I use it as a copout with myself so I don’t feel guilty about overindulging in the fruit department or with my protein.

Now you guys, I'm not saying you aren't gaining muscle and gaining weight, I'm just sharing my experience with you, I have not been gaining weight while gaining muscle, or rather, not very much of it. I have been gaining muscle, but my weight has barely fluctuated. There might be reasons for this, I'm thinking you would need to gain crazy muscle as a woman to actually gain weight from it, or rather I would have to. Everyone is different.

Not gaining weight while working out is especially true if you are doing cardio, cardio actually gets rid of some muscle, bodybuilders use cardio to lean out, so you would definitely not be gaining weight in relation to working out if you are spending all your time on the treadmill or elliptical.

Possible reasons for your weight gain?
  • Your time of the month is coming up,
  • you are retaining water,
  • random fluctuations in your weight,
  • you are having ‘blockage’ issues (if you know what I’m saying),
  • too much salt,
  • too much dairy,
  • too fatty protein,
  • your body is adjusting to your weight loss,
  • you need to downsize your portions,
  • maybe you are cheating or accidentally cheating,
  • indulging in things you know you shouldn’t
  • or maybe you are working out and gaining muscle. But I doubt it.

There are so many things that can contribute to plateaus and weight gains, it takes just learning about your body, your reaction to different things, playing around with the diet until you find the perfect combination so you can break that plateau and eventually lose weight.

If you are working out and gaining weight, up your cardio. When bodybuilders want to lose weight that’s what they do.

Just DON’T GIVE UP! Keep working hard, it eventually goes down, it really does! Keep working hard and you will see results. Do little tweaks to the diet until you figure out what will make that scale co-operate and go down again.

Never give up, this diet works. Drink tons of water, keep your chin up. You can do it!



  1. OK, I actually did have the experience that I gained weight when I started working out. I started P90X in Sept. 2008 at 140lb. I finished it 90 days later at 144.75lb, but I was 1.5 sizes smaller (pictures & tape measure as proof)! At the time I was doing caliper measurements, and I calculated that I went from 21.38% to 19.48% fat, and gained 7lb of muscle. SO, it is possible. Now, I could have lost even more fat if I hadn't been eating as much as I was, because the P90X diet in my opinion assigns too many calories for women, or rather, assigns the same amount of calories for men and women of the same weight.

  2. Is protein coctail usefull ur not? why? thanks.

    1. Like protein powder? It is while you are doing bodybuilding, it is actually necessary. Your body absorbs the protein faster in powder form because your body doesn't have to go through that whole "digesting your food" process.

      I'm not sure when it comes to dieting to lose weight. I never had any before I started working out harder and lifting weights. It is hard on your kidneys to process it and it is a waste of money if your body isn't using it because you just pee out all the good nutrients.

      Protein powder helps repair muscle tissue. If you aren't working out and have no muscle tissue to repair, I would suggest not going for it. If you are doing cardio, or minimal gym time I would also not suggest using it, your body can use the protein you eat (since Dukan is a very high protein diet) to repair the muscle tissue you are 'ripping'.

      Also, ask a Doctor or nutritionist before going through with protein powders, do your research. I will post more about this later, but make sure the amount of protein on the back is as close to the scoop size as possible... like I said, more on this later ;)

  3. I second Veerukka's experience! When I start working out again after a longish experience of doing nothing, my weight loss stalls or weight goes up. There is definitely something going on. Clothes start fitting better, but weight either stays the same or goes up. When I am doing Dukan very carefully (as now) and hit the gym a lot, the weight comes off very slowly. That usually lasts for a few (2-3 weeks) and then things adjust and I can expect a whoosh (or, more likely, I stop working out because I lose interest).

  4. I have a girly question for you as I've stalled. I've been at this Dukan thing for close to 4 weeks now, three and a half of which are phase 2. I've stalled in my weight loss and some days even have increased. I attribute this mostly to PMS but just how much is normal? I realize everyone is different but 4-5 lbs seems like too much. I don't want to get discouraged. I look to your site everyday. WOuld love an update on your new training experience. Thank you!

    1. Awwwh thanks :)

      There is no "normal" amount right? Everyone is different. Just keep pushing through. I'll tell you, 4-5lbs does seem like a lot but it could be also because you are retaining water or you are a little constipated, right? There are a lot of factors.

      DON'T GET DISCOURAGED! Really. It DOES go down. I had a few weeks of plateau. Maybe up your oat bran for a few days or wait out until the end of your period, drink a lot of water and watch it go down. The diet works honey. Keep working hard. You rock!

  5. Hi

    Basically on the same topic. When I started the Dukan diet the weight fell off, I don't have a lot to loose (approx 6kgs of which I have lost 4), but I must admit I have lost inches around my stomache, waist, etc.
    I have started back at the gym and do 30 minutes cardio and then weight training. I have now found that I have put on almost 1kg in a week. I am on the 1 x P - 1 x VP stage. I am constipated (yuck) - can this cause that much of a weight gain?

    My clothes are definitely fitting better and I love the diet to be honest.


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