About a year ago I started putting in effort to lose weight and get more physically active. My effort to lose weight was successful and I dropped about 13 pounds and felt great. But a few months ago I began doing more intense exersises and I started gaining weight instead even though I'm still eating less calories than what I need to stay the same weight. I'm just really confused because I haven't even been doing any weight training to build muscle and I use a calorie calculator so I don't ever eat enought to gain weight. Help?

  • Im 16 years old and 5'1". I really like to run. I generally go about 3 times a week for 45 min. And I do cardio kickboxing ( Chalene's Turbo fire) every once in a while I'll eat something sweet, but I generally stick to healthy foods. Lots of fruit and as much veggies as I can...I love cheese and peanut butter and I try not to go to overboard on those. I dont like eating much red meat, so I eat chicken, fish, and beans. I haven't gained much for a while but I'm a couple pounds heavier than when I f
    – Cassidy
    Aug 22, 2012 at 14:56
  • 4
    @Cassidy Since you are 16 years old, it is very likely that you are growing naturally. That could mean more muscle, more bone density, or even a little more height. Continue to eat well and exercise, and throw away your scale.
    – michael
    Aug 22, 2012 at 18:57
  • 2
    @Cassidy to help future readers, please edit your question to include your age and everything you put in your first comment.
    – DForck42
    Aug 23, 2012 at 13:58
  • @DForck42 Excellent point, and don't forget that you can do so too :) (though your edit will go into a moderation queue) Aug 27, 2012 at 3:09

1 Answer 1


There are so many variables, we can't really give a good answer to "why am I gaining weight despite eating less and working out more".

But, your plan sounds pretty good.. better than the average person. You're active, and you're feeding yourself well. I'd say as long as you're improving at your activity (running faster, kicking harder), keep up what you're doing.

Here are some reasons why you may not be noticing weight decrease:

  • You could have improved your hydration, so you carry a bit more water weight around on you. This is good in the long run, because you'll be able to participate in your activities with more intensity and for longer periods of time.
  • You're 16, so you could be still growing taller (and if you're female, growing breasts). If you're growing, it's natural to have inconsistent weight trends. I suspect this is the biggest reason you're not seeing predictable changes. But this is okay, as long as you keep at your physical activity.
  • You could be trading fat for muscle. Since you're a novice, even non-strength training activities will build muscle. If you're really interested, you could track body-fat percentage instead of just your weight. I would bet that your body-fat percentage is decreasing.

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