“Am I going to gain weight after I stop going to the gym?” is a common question that comes into the mind of almost every fitness newbie.
The biggest misconception people have about bodybuilding is “their body is going to stay the same forever, even after stopping workout”.
If you think that stopping going to the gym will make you gain weight faster than before then you are correct.
Yes, sudden discontinuance of gym has made people gain weight. But that’s because of following the wrong approach and lack of guidance.
Ahead in this article, we are going to cover the top reasons that are responsible for your weight gain after you stop going to the gym, and we are also going to discuss some practical tips to prevent fat gain.
Knowing the reasons responsible for the weight gain can help in preventing it. Let’s have a look at some common reasons.
1. Lack of physical activities
Most of the people who stop going to the gym are prone to weight gain because of the lack of physical activities.
When you stop going to the gym, you also stoped those 90 minutes of high-intensity physical activities in form of weight training or cardiovascular activities.
Lack of physical activities has always been linked to weight gain. If you want to prevent gaining weight even after you stop going to the gym.
How to maintain high-level physical activity without a gym?
- Installing a treadmill at home: it will allow you to take a walk whenever you get time. You can have a walk while watching Netflix or while having a conversation with your partner. I personally prefer the desk treadmill on my workspace, it allows me to walk while I do my daily work.
- Join online training programs: there are many online programs like patron, daily burn, alo yoga, etc, which allow you to workout without stepping out of the home.
- Daily 30-minute jog: anyone can squeeze 30minutes for personal fitness. A daily jog will help you stay in shape without devoting extra-ordinary time to the gym.
- Take stairs instead of the elevator, prefer cycle to commute, walk 10,000 steps a day, eat clean.
2. Metabolic slowdown
The body starts to experience metabolic slowdown just after 2 weeks of de-training.
The metabolic slowdown happens because of the loss of muscle mass and reduction in energy expenditure.
Muscle tissues require a fair amount of energy for their maintenance, and the body starts to get rid of excess muscle mass as soon as you stop stimulating them with some resistance training.
How does metabolism slowdown lead to weight gain?
Most people are not aware of their daily calorie expenditure and this is where they go wrong.
Example: If your daily maintenance calorie requirement is 2500 Cal and you eat 2500 Cal to stay in shape. But stopping all kinds of resistance and endurance training will reduce the daily calorie requirement to 2000 Cal.
Now, most of the people who stopped going to the gym don’t consider reducing their calorie intake which leads to weight gain.
How to deal with the metabolic slowdown?
Knowing your daily caloric need is important.
As you stop the resistance training your body will experience a decline in calorie burning, which makes it essential to alter your calorie consumption according to your current need.
Staying in touch with a certified nutritionist can assist in setting up the new diet plan.
3. Low energy
In contrast to many people’s beliefs, daily exercise has been proven to improve energy levels.
A 2014 Paper (1) was published about the influence of active or sedentary behavior on energy levels. It was found that staying active has a great impact on energy levels.
Another 2015 study (2) stated ‘engaging in recommended amounts of moderate to vigorous physical activity per day is associated with higher monthly frequency of energy feelings’.
Some research even suggests that a walk may be a better option than a nap to fight fatigue and boost energy.
Going cold turkey on all kind of physical activities will have a negative impact on your energy levels which further reduce the energy expenditure hence resulting in speedy weight gain.
4. You stop to monitor your macro
This is one of the most common factors that are responsible for weight gain or fat gain.
Many people track their macros only when they train on a regular basis, it’s really uncommon to see people tracking or journaling the food while excluding physical activeness.
It’s highly likely that people who stop going to the gym will also return to their unhealthy eating habits and poor food choices.
I have seen people increase their alcohol intake, unhealthy food intake, carb intake after they stop resistance training. Starting to eat unhealthy after stopping going to the gym is like a cherry on top for weight gain.
Even if you stopped going to the gym, it’s important to stay consistent with the macro tracking. Food journaling will help you stay in shape even during the de-training period.
5. Boosted blood sugar levels
Glucose is stored within your muscle tissues in form of ‘Glycogen’.
People who weight train on regular basis tend to store more glycogen within their muscle tissues to meet the energy requirements.
When you stop training, your body starts to lose muscle fibers which reduce the body’s ability to absorb glucose from the blood. This in turn results in high blood glucose levels.
Prolonged elevated blood sugar may lead to the development of diabetes and other health issues.
Excess sugar in the bloodstream also gets converted into stored fat.
How to maintain blood sugar levels after stopping exercise?
Nutrition is key. Make sure that you know your daily caloric requirement and do not exceed your daily caloric needs.
Skin junk food and prepare your own meal. Stay on a high protein and moderate carb diet, do not completely ignore fat.
6. Depression and anxiety
Regular exercise is like giving your body a dose of morphine. When you exercise, your brain secrets the unique hormone known as ‘Endorphine’.
Endorphine works are a natural pain killer.
Weight training also stimulates the release of dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin. These are the neurotransmitters that help in making you feel motivated and healthy.
Now imagine you stopped going to the gym, your body will be missing those hormones that were helping in relieving daily stress and anxiety.
Reduction if the secretion of Endorphine, dopamine, norepinephrine, serotonin makes you feel dull and unmotivated.
Through this article I want you to stop blaming gyms and weight training for your weight gain.
You can maintain a great shape if you stay consistent with calorie tracking, macro tracking, daily physical activities.