Why do I look fatter after working out?

+74 votes
asked Aug 20, 2015 in Beauty & Style by Bailey (450 points)
I go to the gym. I work out like crazy. Every time, I seem to look fatter after the workout than I did before the workout! What am I doing wrong? What is the problem?

2 Answers

+24 votes
answered Aug 22, 2015 by Emmarie (980 points)

Maybe it just seems that way!? If it’s only in the mirror that you see this, you may just be looking in a bad mirror. Now, if you really step on the scale and you have gained weight after a workout, you may be eating more calories than you are burning off. Just a thought.

There may be other reasons why you could appear slightly larger after a workout than you do before you work out.

  • You could be retaining water. How much water do you drink in a day? How much water do you drink before, during, and after a workout? If you drink a lot, you may have a bit of water retention. This is ok though! You absolutely need your body to be hydrated so you need to drink water. If water retention is the problem, this usually goes away in three or four hours naturally.
  • How long have you been working out? Are you restricting calories? If you are lifting weights and attempting to lose weight with a restricted diet (especially one low in fat), you may not have the results you want right away. The mirror may not be your friend right now. Your body is getting used to what you are doing. As you continue this regimen though (as long as you are not restricting your caloric intake too much – this is not safe and will actually lead to muscle loss!), you will begin to see awesome results! Your body may take a month to six weeks to actually start looking better. Then you will see that your efforts have paid off even more than you hoped!
  • Your muscles may be inflamed. If you have been putting your body through more than it is used to, you may have caused micro tears within your muscle or muscles. If this happens (which is not uncommon), your body has a natural need to heal itself. Your body will send fluid to the torn muscles to assist in healing them. This will stop once your muscles are repaired but can make a person feel as though they look larger and may even gain a little temporary weight. 
0 votes
answered Aug 24, 2015 by Falyn (520 points)
Why do I look fatter after working out? It’s absolutely normal! Your muscles will always need to repair themselves after a workout, so your body sends blood and other fluids to your muscles to help with that. By the next morning, you will see that the “swelling” has gone down. This is all normal, so quit tripping.
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