Does discontinuation of exercise lead to weight gain?

by Gautham 12. October 2010 18:32

The answer is yes and no.

If one is careful about his or her diet, this may not be the case. But more often it results in a weight gain. It also depends on the duration of inactivity and the fitness level of the person.

Let’s look at two scenarios which explains the concept in detail.

Scenario 1: 

The original goal was muscle gain

To accomplish this, one would have increased the protein and carbohydrate intake to suit the growing demand of the workout.

With the discontinuation of the workout, this metabolic demand comes down. If the gap is long enough and if the lifestyle is mostly sedentary, results in muscle atrophy which pushes the metabolism down.

Now if a person continues to consume just as much he or she did when they were exercising, it does result in fat accumulation, because the input is greater than the output.

The best way to over come this problem is to meet a dietician to change the diet for the current lifestyle and to keep oneself active.

Scenario 2:

The original goal was fat loss. 

Weight loss goal would still require you to consume the minimum calories according to the Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR), this is the minimum calories required to meet the basic requirements of the body, such as respiration, digestion and thinking etc. The calorie deficit is created on this BMR

E.g., if your BMR requires you to consume 1400 calories, you consume 1400 calories and create a deficit through exercise.

Once a person stops exercising one would still consume 1400 calories but the calorie deficit through exercise is lost, and most likely people find it hard to stick on to a good diet if they are not exercising

Again the best way to over come this problem is to meet a dietician to change the diet for the current lifestyle and to keep oneself active.

 

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