Why am I gaining weight after quiting the gym?

Exercising, Losing Weight, Personal, Strength Training

Many people who quit the gym ended up gaining weight. That probably become a reason why they are afraid to quit the gym- and continue to pay the membership fees….but hardly going at all.

Thus there is the guilt and self-directed anger (hating oneself for finding all types of flimsy execuses just to miss gym) and the fear of gaining weight if one quits.

And thus, the predicament: to quit or not to quit?

My personal experience

After being a gym member for a few years, I’ve decided to quit the gym for good.  I no longer like the environment there so I saw no point of torturing myself and throwing my hard earned money down the drain.

And I’ve been happy- doing my workouts in the park- with nature and amidst exercise loving people and surrounded by positive energy from kids. I hardly miss the exercise sessions.

But, I am going to be very honest with you…. I am gaining weight- and this time, the weight seems harder to lose.

So at first I thought was it perhaps due to the array of cardio machines, weight machines and balls at the gym that help me build my core?  Hmm…. so what to do? Invest in dumbells (which I know I’ll probably neglect to use).

Then, after seeing a recent photo of myself that a friend had uploaded, I understood why. At first I was jogging in the park…then I got complacent and just walked as I was enjoying the nature, the people and feeling relaxed and peaceful (and I’ve never like running or jogging all along).  But I did spend longer time in my walks- thinking that if I had walked instead of run, then I can just make up with longer time. But it’s not the same- we still need to do some energy bursting exercises that goes into anaerobic to gain benefits.

And previously I do use the weight machines to maintain my muscles- it’s easy.  I don’t fancy strength training using body weight such as push ups or squats. So I gradually reduced the push-ups in my exercise at the park- till the next thing I knew, I was not doing it.

So, I was gradually losing muscles because I’ve stopped training them. Without muscles, my metabolism dropped and it becomes harder to keep the weight off. Seeing my super huge arms in a recent photo (actually the arms is one of the first places we start to put on fat) woke me up to this cold reality …that my workout plan has to be revamped or I will continue to gain fat.

This is what is happening to many people who stopped exercise or had reduced the exercise intensity. The muscles gradually waste away- and nothing helped to burn the fat anymore- because we tend to overeat in carbs (bread, cakes, biscuits, rice, sweets, junk food, fruit juice)  and it would all get converted to fat if we do not use it. Just walking and climbing staircases (instead of taking the elevator) helped to improve circulation but not enough to build or even maintain muscle mass.

With gym, it’s easier- so long as we show up for classes at the gym, and watch our food intake, it is not difficult to maintain the weight. The gym instructors would then motivate everyone in the class and keep the exercise mood going. What it is very different when we are on our own- we don’t have our own exercise plan and would not know how to exercise on our own.

What to do then?

I’ve thought of a strategy to battle this- the method’s literally free, effective and the variety would help keep the interest going. No need to join back the gym.

I would be sharing this in my next post. Stay tuned.

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