Why Do You Gain Weight When You Start Exercising?

A challenger messaged me yesterday, concerned because she was doing all the right things (exercise, water, nutrition), yet she noticed she had gained weight. Obviously, when you’re trying so hard to LOSE weight, it’s very frustrating to see the scale go up!!


I spent a lot of time trying to find a comprehensive article for reasons you will see weight gain when exercising, but none of the ones I found made me happy. So here are the reasons I am sharing:

1. Water weight. When you exercise to the point that your body gets sore, the soreness is from micro tears in your muscles (those are a good thing!). Your body has to repair those muscles, which is how you get stronger, and the muscles hold water while doing so. In the beginning, you can hold a LOT of water while your body is trying to figure out what you are doing. The scale doesn’t discriminate between fat weight or water weight, it just knows you weigh more. Keep pushing and your body will eventually flush it out.

2. Stress. Your body may not be used to the changes you are making in exercise and/or diet, and it doesn’t know what to do about it. So again, it may hold on to water or calories/fat while it’s trying to decide what’s going on. As you continue with your program, it realizes you aren’t trying to kill yourself, and it lets out a sigh of relief along with the water and calories it was holding onto.

3. Glycogen storage. When you start an aerobic program (CIZE or running or whatever), your muscles get better at storing fuel, which is what glycogen is. You can store it in your muscles and your liver. For every gram of glycogen stored, your body also stores 3 grams of water. Yet another instance of water retention, but don’t fret! The better your body can store glycogen as fuel, the less it will need to store fat.

4. Food. When we exercise more, we burn more calories, and our bodies naturally try to find homeostasis/balance. It has somewhat of a comfort zone. If you’re burning extra calories, your body is going to want you to get those calories back somehow. You may be eating back more calories that what you’ve burned off, without realizing it. They only way to know for sure is to measure and track EVERY SINGLE THING YOU EAT.

Conversely, it is possible to eat too FEW calories for your body to be able to properly burn fat. If you eat less than what your body needs to function each day, it basically over-stresses your body and it stores every calorie you give it, because it is preparing for starvation. Eat healthy foods, eat often, and fuel your body.

5. You’re just a girl. Really. Most of us (if not all of us) in here are girls, and we know that our weight can fluctuate greatly from day to day. We bloat, thanks to hormones, and that can make our pants not fit or the scale increase. Not much we can do about this one except know that it’s normal.

So….here is what I suggest after saying all of that…

Focus more on inches and photos and how you feel. Is the scale being stupid but your pants are fitting better? Do you see more muscle definition in your arms or legs? Do you have more energy and a more positive feeling each day? Do you enjoy what you’re doing? If so, forget that silly scale!! That number isn’t as important as any of these other things.

If you just need to see your weight change, and you prefer that type of measurement, try either of these methods instead:

— Weigh yourself at the same time every single day. Yes, EVERY DAY. Right after you wake up and use the bathroom, naked. Write it down. Your weight can change from day to day, but you should be able to see an overall trend going down. I am actually 2 pounds heavier today than I was yesterday, but I know I ate salty foods last night ((and I need to poop)). And my period is due basically any day now, so that isn’t helping either.

— Weigh yourself only once per week. Again, first thing in the morning after using the bathroom, and no clothes. Write it down every week.

If you see your weight increasing by 5 pounds or more after about 2 weeks of consistent exercise and eating well, there may be another issue. It could be what you’re eating or how you’re eating, or there could be a health concern.

Coach Amanda


My 21 Day Fix Results, Round One (Finally!!)

Well, I’ve taken 9 months to make a baby a couple of times, and apparently it also has taken me 9 months to FINALLY finish all three weeks of the 21 Day Fix. In all that time, I could’ve done about 13 rounds of the Fix….but I’ve only finished this once.

All my self-control, in pretty little colored containers.

All my self-control, in pretty little colored containers.

See, meal planning and sticking to said plan is the hardest thing for me. I can teach bootcamp classes, INSANITY Live classes, I can go super heavy with Body Beast workouts, and I can run a half-marathon. But eating the right foods 95% of the time for three weeks…. it’s.just.so.hard. I like chocolate, wine, carbscarbscarbs. But this time it was different.

I was stuck at a plateau. I had been exercising but not seeing any change. My pants got tight, and the last thing a single mom/teacher wants or needs to do is buy new clothes. Bigger clothes. Nope nope, not gonna happen. Christmas is coming up and I’d rather fit into the clothes I have than go buy clothes in a size I don’t want. So I got serious.

I stopped stopping.

I stopped stopping.

I planned my meals, I did my 30 minute daily workouts, and I had minimal cheats. Oh yeah, I did have a cheat here and there, but it was planned. One night a week I would hang out with my friends and eat more than one portion of a “non-Fix” food, or have a glass or two of wine. Did I completely overindulge? No. Did I make myself feel like a failure and want to quit? Not at all. Did I give myself some flexibility to enjoy life and still stay on track. Yes. Absolutely. Finally. And that was the key.

Sample meal plan. Variety is my enemy haha.

Sample meal plan. Variety is my enemy haha.

So…results. That’s why we do these things right? Well here they are. I didn’t have a lot to lose, but I wanted to get back to 130 lbs and tone up. I want my abs. I want to cut down my body fat percentage. In just three weeks, I went from 136.0 to 131.0 (I was down to 130ish last week, but I’m a girl so….hello water retention!). I lost about 3 inches all over – not a ton, but moving in the right direction. I’ve also learned that my pictures can tell a LOT more than numbers. And I present to you exhibit A:

Well, hello abs. Nice to meet you!

Well, hello abs. Nice to meet you!

This picture was an impromptu “oh my gosh what the heck is that” pic that I took last week. Before Aunt Flow came to visit (she never waits to be invited, she just shows up whenever!). I was changing clothes and caught a glimpse of this in the bathroom mirror. I’d never seen that on my body before, so I had to snap a pic of proof!! Look out P!nk, I’m going to have abs like yours soon!


A picture is worth 1,000 words, and a whole lotta calories!

I know what you’re thinking. “She’s pushing out her tummy in the first pic and sucking it in in the second pic.” Actually, no. These pictures really were taken 3 weeks apart. I wasn’t pushing my stomach out AT ALL in that first picture. To be honest, I wish I could say that I was. :/ But that’s just how bloated and gross I was on November 3. So unhappy with myself and my string of poor choices with food and drink. I never like taking those before pictures, but they really helped me to push through to the end! All I knew was that I didn’t want to have my tummy look like that on Day 21 – and I succeeded!

So what now? I’m taking this week off from the normal Fix schedule, and playing around a bit with carb cycling. I’m going to try to alternate high/low carb days for a week (Haha, yes Thanksgiving Day will be high carb! How’d you guess?) and see what happens with that. Then I start back with the Fix plan next week – Round 2 is going to start on Dec 1! I’m not stopping now. With the results I got from this first round, I’m all pumped up to do it again!

Oh, and I’m getting this t-shirt. I finally earned it.

I don't submit pics for my free t-shirt until I complete a program 100%. And now this baby is MINE.

I don’t submit pics for my free t-shirt until I complete a program 100%. And now this baby is MINE.

Do you want to join me? It’s starting in one week. If you want in on this round, you have to let me know ASAP so we can get your program in on time! And if you already have the program, sweet! I’ll get you added to my group. Let’s share our meal plans and make it happen!

Not ready to join in, but want to get on the wait list for my next one? That’s ok too…I’m going to start INSANITY Max:30 in January but I’ll be following the Fix meal plan while I do that program (Oh, you didn’t know Max:30 was set up for Fix nutrition, did you? Yeah baby, winning at workouts AND food at the SAME TIME.).

**To order and start with me right away, go here: http://bit.ly/PhoenixFIX

**To get on the waitlist for the next round, add me as your coach here: bit.ly/CoachKauf and then comment below and/or connect with me on Facebook! http://www.facebook.com/amandasue80

Looking forward to getting FIXed with you!! 😉


If I planned your meals for 21 days…


I don’t know about you but the HARDEST thing for me is meal planing. So I’m hoping to take that out of the equation. I’m starting a challenge group for 5 challengers only. I will…

Provide you with three weeks of personalized meal plans and grocery lists.
Tell you what foods to eat together and what time of day.
You will eat 5 small meals per day and each one is specific.
You will workout for 30 minutes or less each day.
You will increase your water intake.
You will drink one nutritional shake after each workout and I will tell you why.
You will follow this plan exactly for 21 days.
I have seen anywhere from 6-15 lbs lost.
You can repeat the plan as many times as necessary.

This plan is very detailed so I am only accepting the first 5 challengers at this time. I will consult with you on food allergies or items off limits and I will cater the plan to you. The only necessity is YOU MUST be ready to commit!! It is IMPOSSIBLE to not see results if you stick to the plan and are consistent with the workouts.

You must commit by May 5 and the group starts May 12! Comment or email me for more info. Taking the first 5 SERIOUS commitments only. You must be READY to CHANGE!!

My 90 Day Results and Review of ChaLEAN Extreme

((UPDATE: Beachbody used MY pictures on the CLX Facebook page! Check it out here!))

It’s over! I have completed my personal 90 day challenge of ChaLEAN Extreme. It is a three month program, and this past weekend marked the end of those three months. I am pretty happy with my results! Sorry for the poor picture quality. My phone wasn’t ready for all of this at 5:30 AM.

Slide1 Slide2 Slide3 Slide4So as you can see, I haven’t had any amazing transformation like what you might see on The Biggest Loser, but I have had some pretty awesome results! I lost a little over 10 pounds in 3 months — which may not sound like much, but when you know that muscle weighs more than fat, and I gained a LOT of muscle, 10 pounds is a pretty good number! I also lost inches all over my body. My clothes either fit much better or have gotten to be too big. I’m excited to have a reason to buy new clothes soon! My tummy is flatter, my shoulders are more defined, my booty is perkier and tighter than it was, and my thighs (my BIG problem area) have gotten smaller and more shapely! I’m not embarrassed to take my kids to the pool anymore. I’m not afraid of running in shorts (haha, inner thigh burn, anyone??). I don’t mind wearing tank tops all summer.

My body isn’t perfect. It probably never will be. But it is better and I am COMFORTABLE in my SKIN. I am proud of what I’ve accomplished – and I don’t just mean weight loss. I am proud of sticking with something for THREE WHOLE MONTHS!! I never thought I could do that, and I’m sure hubs didn’t believe me when I said I would try. I did it religiously, no excuses for skipping workouts except when we moved across the country. I increased my strength and now I can do work around the house and yard that I used to not be able (or willing) to do. I am seeing improvement and success in every area of my life. I have CONFIDENCE.

I ate clean foods probably 80% of the time. I definitely would’ve seen better results if I had watched my foods a little more closely, especially in this last month. I was a little too friendly with the wine and I let myself have some snackier foods that I should’ve done without. But I’m not mad about it! I just know what choices I have made that have given me the results I got instead of more of the muscle definition that I wanted.


So here’s what I think about ChaLEAN Extreme: This is listed as a workout for advanced fitness people, but I disagree. Yes, it’s tough. It was tough for me when I first started. I did a lot of pushing pause to catch my breath, especially during the cardio days (HIIT, what what!!!). I would yell talk loudly, grunt and groan, and I may have let a few choice words fly. Sorry I called you names, Chalene.

But the program itself is genius. It mixes weight training with cardio to perfection. It is a program that grows with you! So you can only do bicep curls with 3 pound weights? No problem! Do it. And then when that gets too easy, move up to 5 pounds. Or on the inverse of that – maybe you are a guy and you can curl 20 pounds. Super. Do it, and do it slowwwwlllyyyy, and when that’s too easy, increase it. And uh, whether you are a man or a woman, you are going to fall in love with Chalene. She’s motivating, inspiring, not annoying, super cute, and infectious.

shake clx

Pairing CLX with Shakeology is just a winning combination. I have been able to keep my B12 levels up without giving myself weekly shots. I have felt energy that I didn’t have before, and I don’t crave as many sweets or bad foods as I did before. And knowing that I’m committed to this program has given me the FOCUS and DRIVE to push through it.

Now that I’m finished, I’ve been a little slack on exercising. I’m about to start running again, but eh…I haven’t wanted to get up and work out since my program is over. I like my coffee and PJs. I am still drinking my shakes, but I’ve relaxed a little bit in the carbs department. And you know what? My body is feeling it. Yesterday I felt like poo all day and even fell asleep on the couch. My body is telling me that what I’m doing isn’t working for me. That only means one thing…


So I’m starting Focus T25 in less than two weeks!! I already have a couple of friends who have committed to doing it with me, and I couldn’t be happier! I’m even going to force my offspring to work out with me, mwahahahaha. I’m the best mom EVERRR. And she is going to LOVE IT!!