ZocdocAnswersIs it possible to have gained weight after dieting and exercise?

Question

Is it possible to have gained weight after dieting and exercise?

I recently went to a check up and had to take my weight. I had been dieting the entire month and a half before, and noticed positive changes (i.e. pants falling off body, seemingly thinner waist.). I had been eating 1200-1300 calories a day, getting cardio workouts every day, muscle toning every other day, and eating less processed foods. However, the scale read 143, 3 lbs over the weight I began at. Is it possible that the scale was broken, as I thought I had lost at least 7lbs, and my clothes were much looser, even falling off! Did I gain weight due to my period? Was it because I didn't completely cut out processed foods, is 1200 too many calories, what is it? For reference, I am 5'3", 18 years old, and have an athletic body type. Please help me, as when I took an online BMI test, it read that I was overweight. I thought I could lose some lbs, but I didn't think I was overweight....do I sound like I am?

Answer

First of all, congratulations on attempting to eat more healthy foods and exercise more regularly. There are several observations I can make here which will hopefully be helpful to you, but it is important to discuss your exercise and diet regimen with your doctor. First, scales are all different. Therefore the weight that you get on your home scale may be different from the weight on the doctor's scale. The doctor's scale is probably more accurate than yours, so you may want to use that as a baseline (although trending your weight on your own scale will also be ok). Second, the positive and psychological effects of exercise and eating well often are so great that they lead us to think we've lost more weight than we have. I suspect, in your case, that the discrepancy is probably a combination of these two things. Third, when we are exercising we may tend to eat more - and have more snacks - because we feel that we deserve it. The tendency when counting calories is to leave out some of these snacks, resulting in total daily calories that are higher than we think. Finally I calculate your BMI at 25.3, which is just over the cutoff of 25 for being overweight. So losing a little weight is not a bad idea, but talk with your doctor about what your ideal weight and exercise and diet regimen should be!

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