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Is it physically possible to have a calorie deficit for a month and gain 5 kilos of weight while being on diet?

I am eating around 1500-2000 calories a day and I should be taking around 3500 minimum given the fact that I swim vigorously for an hour a day or more.

So I should have roughly lost around 5 6 kilos realistically this month but instead I have gained five kilos! What exactly does this mean? I have gained 5 kilos of muscle? Yes I used to do serious training before and well I think my waist-size has not increased in this period and it might have got reduced slightly. I am 6 2 and was 100 kilos when i started and now i am 105.

I am a bit confused because this is rather extreme!

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Chances are high that you simply miscalculated your calories. How did you determine the calories you burn each day (base rate and activities)? –  Baarn Jan 24 '13 at 22:48
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Have you kept a log of everything you've eaten (And I mean EVERYTHING, down to weighing portions) and used a calorie counter to see how many calories you are actually consuming? And done the same for your exercise to make sure that you are expending what you think you are? Because what you are telling us is that you have a calorie deficit of 1500-2000 calories a day and you are gaining weight. That just does not happen, unless you are in some sort of disease state. –  JohnP Jan 24 '13 at 22:49
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My assumption is that the online calculator used for calculating the calories burned while swimming already includes the resting metabolic rate. You can check this by calculating the calories burned while sleeping (or watching tv, reading a book etc) with the same calculator and subtract that amount. –  Baarn Jan 24 '13 at 22:52
    
No. Caloric deficit = weight loss. Caloric surplus = weight gain. Caloric stasis = weight stasis. Unless you have some sort of disease state, these rules are pretty inviolable. You are either not burning as much as you think, or eating more than you think. I see a lot of "Well, I just know" and "I'm assuming" in your comments. I would postulate that you don't, in fact, know. –  JohnP Jan 24 '13 at 22:59
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Elevated exertion is responsible for sarcoplasmic hypertrophy the same as for myofibril hypertrophy. Basically, your body compensates for the extra stress by increasing the size of capillaries feeding the muscles so that they receive more fluid and, therefore, more energy. When such reoccurring periods of trauma occur, such as during regular workouts, the body triggers the sarcoplasm to retain and store more glycogen and ATP for future use as energy to meet such demands. –  Mew Jan 24 '13 at 23:41

2 Answers 2

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Any diseases that causes excess water retention could cause you to put on weight (which include many diseases)or any disease which causes bowel obstruction. These are two examples.

Also, perhaps the liquid sarcoplasm in your muscles has increased. No calories are required to increase the amount of water stored in your muscles, which will also add to your weight.

Elevated exertion is responsible for sarcoplasmic hypertrophy the same as for myofibril hypertrophy. Basically, your body compensates for the extra stress by increasing the size of capillaries feeding the muscles so that they receive more fluid and, therefore, more energy. When such reoccurring periods of trauma occur, such as during regular workouts, the body triggers the sarcoplasm to retain and store more glycogen and ATP for future use as energy to meet such demands.

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For a small calorie-deficit and a small weight-gain it's possible by increasing water-retention in the body. Someone might have lost a kg of fat, yet gained a kilo and a half of water, perhaps some of it in the form of muscle.

But it's not possible sustained over time, with a substantial calorie-deficit.

Thus there's two possibilities: either you eat more calories than you believe, or else you burn less calories than you believe. Both are quite possible, metabolic rates vary wildly by individual so the "calculators" you find online are only "general average" kind of things.

It's possible to directly measure your calorie burn, the simplest method is doubly labeled water. You drink a carefully measured amount of water that contains isotopes of both hydrogen and oxygen, then you submit a urine-sample for spectroscopic analysis a week later. The results tell you fairly accurately (+- 2-4%) how many calories you burnt in that week.

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