Have you taken up jogging because you want to lose weight, only to find a week or two later that the scales are tipping in the wrong direction? It hardly seems fair, but this is by no means a rare occurrence. There's even a term for it: "train gain."
The good news is that it's a passing phase, as jogging actually will help you lose weight in the long run. In the meantime, understanding more about weight gain after jogging could help you get the most out of your effort. Here are few reasons jogging may have caused temporary weight gain and some tips for dealing with it.
Read More: The Best Way to Run for Losing Weight
You've Worked up an Appetite
When you start jogging or begin any other new exercise regimen, your body becomes flooded with appetite-increasing hormones. This seems to be particularly true of aerobic activities such as jogging, according to an August 2013 report in the journal Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise. Unfortunately, your appetite may be telling you that you're gearing up for an Ironman competition when you're really only jogging 2.5 miles every day.
Additionally, there's a tendency to over-reward yourself for putting forth a virtuous effort. So if you're only burning 300 calories jogging but you're eating 1,300 calories to celebrate, it's not surprising that you're losing ground instead of weight. The remedy for this is to start counting calories and restricting them if necessary. According to a study in the December, 2016 journal Obesity, people who both exercise and cut their calories lose more weight than by dieting alone.
Lack of Other Activity
If you congratulate yourself as you may for getting out the door and hauling booty, you actually may be engaging in less overall movement in the course of a day than you do normally. This is called "compensatory inactivity."
The result: You burn fewer calories than before you started jogging. This effect is most likely unconscious and involuntary, but it can be counteracted by reminding yourself to be active.
It is also quite likely that your sudden conversion to exercise could temporarily affect your fluid balance. When your body gets a wake-up call to action — in this case, jogging — it gears up for a heavy repair job. For that, it needs a lot of water to rebuild muscle fibers injured in exercise, as well as to supply glycogen to the muscles.
What's more, you're likely to be consuming more fluids to stay hydrated. Water is weighty — a gallon of water weighs almost 8.5 pounds, or about a half-pound a cup. All that water is sure to show up on the scale.
Read More: Do You Burn More Fat Running Fast or Slow?