Gaining Weight but Working Out, Muscle Gain? – Reader Question

“…Problem is Ive actually gained these last two weeks even though Ive actually increased my excercise. Dont think I’ve actually put on inches but scales say im heavier!!! Any pointers? Can you actually gain weight through building muscle? Do I stay on Cruise on move on to next stage…..
Thanks again – its great to be able to share with fellow Dukanites:)
xoxoxox Mary”

First off, hi Mary! Nice to meet you :) You are a sweetheart. NOW DON’T MOVE ONTO THE NEXT STAGE IF YOU HAVE MORE TO LOSE! A two week plateau is NOTHING! You can do it! Don’t quit! The longest plateau I ever hit was over 4 weeks long, you can break through this!

Quick tips for breaking through plateaus:

  • Cut out dairy,
  • Cut down on your portions,
  • Increase cardio at the gym, do more or at a higher intensity,
  • Be patient,
  • Make sure you aren’t accidentally cheating with fattier meats.

Now to answer your other question, gaining weight through building muscle:
This is a question I am always asking myself, as well as being asked. I have to say, I’m not entirely sure what the muscle gain to weight ratio is but I can tell you out of my own experience, and in my opinion, eeeehhhhh if the scale is going up and you are working out, It’s probably not muscle gain causing it.

I am a 20 year old woman, I work out 6 days a week, barely any cardio (meaning… no cardio at all, or the rare once a week 15 minutes of cardio… oh who am I kidding…)

When I lift weights I lift as heavy as I can, I stay at the gym between half an hour to over an hour and a half (this is all before the new bodybuilding training program that my personal trainer gave me yesterday. More on that later.)

I have not gained any weight from this, I take a scoop of protein powder 2-3 times a day, eat 6 full meals a day that are very heavy in protein, I see results in my biceps, upper back, shoulders and abs and I have gained maybe 1-2 lbs in the past 2 months, not even. I have not been losing any inches.

So in my opinion, for me at least, muscle gain doesn’t really up your weight like crazy, unless you are just a beast at the gym, or a man.

I mean, women don’t generally gain bulky, heavy muscle.

When I have a ‘bad food day’ (which lately consists of me eating fruit in the afternoon) I gain weight and always think to myself ‘well it’s me gaining muscle’ but it’s not true, I use it as a copout with myself so I don’t feel guilty about overindulging in the fruit department or with my protein.

Now you guys, I’m not saying you aren’t gaining muscle and gaining weight, I’m just sharing my experience with you, I have not been gaining weight while gaining muscle, or rather, not very much of it. I have been gaining muscle, but my weight has barely fluctuated. There might be reasons for this, I’m thinking you would need to gain crazy muscle as a woman to actually gain weight from it, or rather I would have to. Everyone is different.

Not gaining weight while working out is especially true if you are doing cardio, cardio actually gets rid of some muscle, bodybuilders use cardio to lean out, so you would definitely not be gaining weight in relation to working out if you are spending all your time on the treadmill or elliptical.

Possible reasons for your weight gain?
  • Your time of the month is coming up,
  • you are retaining water,
  • random fluctuations in your weight,
  • you are having ‘blockage’ issues (if you know what I’m saying),
  • too much salt,
  • too much dairy,
  • too fatty protein,
  • your body is adjusting to your weight loss,
  • you need to downsize your portions,
  • maybe you are cheating or accidentally cheating,
  • indulging in things you know you shouldn’t
  • or maybe you are working out and gaining muscle. But I doubt it.

There are so many things that can contribute to plateaus and weight gains, it takes just learning about your body, your reaction to different things, playing around with the diet until you find the perfect combination so you can break that plateau and eventually lose weight.

If you are working out and gaining weight, up your cardio. When bodybuilders want to lose weight that’s what they do.

Just DON’T GIVE UP! Keep working hard, it eventually goes down, it really does! Keep working hard and you will see results. Do little tweaks to the diet until you figure out what will make that scale co-operate and go down again.

Never give up, this diet works. Drink tons of water, keep your chin up. You can do it!



Is the Weight Really Going Down? – Picture!

My Weight Chart Over a Couple Months Of Cruise

Hi guys! I posted this picture somewhere in my February posts but felt it was time to pull it up again since a couple of women have mentioned to me how frustrated they are with their weight bouncing all over the place. I want to show you that it’s TOTALLY NORMAL!

Look, my weight spiked, it stayed around the same, jumped all over the place but if you look carefully at that purple line… IT DID GO DOWN! While I was dieting I felt like the weight was just not going down, I felt hopeless a lot of the time. When you weigh yourself every day you want to see a decrease every time you weigh yourself right? It’s never ok to see that scale go up. Well, I’m here to tell you to smarten up, because no matter what you do, for some reason or another, no matter how hard you work, the weight will do this, fluctuate like crazy.

It’s a given.

So you haven’t lost weight in a couple weeks? Keep at it, re-evaluate if you are actually doing something wrong, or cheating on the diet (even accidentally) and if you aren’t just work at it, it will drop!

So you are spiking up randomly? That’s fine, it happens!

Want to break through a plateau? Might I suggest:

  1. Cutting out or cutting down on your dairy products (even low or non-fat ones)
  2. Cutting down on your portion sizes
  3. Drinking more water
  4. Mini attack phase

Those are the things that got me through mine, and I had a few nasty ones.

Above all else just keep your chin up and NEVER give up. You want to look back on your journey and  feel awful about that one time you cheated, or feel like you could have done better. You want to look back and feel proud that you never gave in to temptation, because you are strong and have incredible willpower!

Anyways loves, this is basically the busiest weekend of my life so that’s all for now, happy Sunday, enjoy your day and avoid temptation like the PLAGUE! Make yourself proud and give yourself something to boast about.


Body Fat Percentage

So, if you will remember in my last post I mentioned how I got all my measurements done up with my new… PERSONAL TRAINER! Which is very exciting in and of itself.

Well, one thing he calculated for me which I feel deserves it’s own little post… my body fat percentage!
I was really nervous about this, very curious. I really wanted to know my number. I went in anticipating a 30% body fat, the average for women being 25%.

I was pleasantly surprised! And then I got stressed, but we will get to that.



Woohoo! Oh wait… that means I need to drop… over 16% of my body fat in the next… less than 6 months?

Oooooh…. Lord.

The panic sets in.

I put this as my facebook status and the girl who actually inspired me to get into female bodybuilding commented instantly letting me know she was in the same boat. She told me that every calorie and workout counts.

All of a sudden my panic turns into motivation.

Gotta keep working hard to see those results! I’m so thankful for the people in my life right now. Ahhhh.


I Have a Personal Trainer!

So the other day I had my first consultation with… wait for it… MY NEW PERSONAL TRAINER!


Long time readers are aware of my struggle with working out, and although I have improved my attendance significantly (going to the gym between 6-7 days a week now for almost 7 weeks straight) I don’t feel my performance while at the gym is amazing… I just don’t workout with the intensity that I should be to achieve the results I’m striving for.

But I’m going, and I’m trying. I’m just not sure what to do so I’m meandering around, doing a couple biceps curls, doing a couple chest presses. I never feel anything the next day even though I feel like I am lifting the heaviest weight I can 3x 10 reps. Nope, not feeling anything.

Also my cardio is laughable. I rarely do it and when I do, I just quit after a few minutes. It’s all very pathetic at the gym. If you watched me workout you would be surprised I’m interested in female bodybuilding. As a result, I am not seeing any… results that is. Nada. My diet is strict and I go to the gym every day but there is barely any definition, no progress, and it’s killing me.

You guys must read my blog and think all I do is whine and complain. Terrible.

On a not whiny note, I actually went out there and signed up for a personal trainer! Not sure if I told you already but he is a judge with the federation I want to join (The Ontario Physique Association). His daughter is big in the business on an international level (In the same category I want to compete in, Bikini) and he actually has won a bodybuilding competition himself!

Now we are talking!

It was kindof meant to be, I joined his class at my gym because some of my younger sisters were taking it and my mom asked me to just do it with them one week because she couldn’t make it and they are kindof young to be unsupervised. I joined, introduced myself, we got to talking and BAM!

Next thing I know I’m signing him up as my personal trainer and listening to him give me direction on my diet and working out routines!
I am hoping he can explain to me proper technique and get me on a training schedule that will get me to see results, and fast!

All very exciting.

Some of the things he said about my diet, I’m doing well! (Thanks Dukan!) I have to add in a carb at dinner time though (You don’t hear me complaining, do you? XD) A sweet potato, baked potato, brown rice, or quinoa. This daily carb will help me with my fatigue and give me enough energy to workout. My low-energy might be the reason I am not working out efficiently, because I’m simply too tired!

We will see.

My first actual training with him is Sunday. He took my measurements, figured out my BMI, blood pressure, body fat percentage, all that good stuff. Apparently I’m looking good for everything and we will only see it get better by 6 weeks from now when he does all my measurements up again.

We also set a target weight for me. 120-130 lbs. Woaaaah nelly. I will have lost between 144 and 134 lbs total. That’s nuts.

Also, ontop of my carb, I am allowed one full banana a day. In the mornings. No other fruit. I am also only allowed: broccoli, asparagus, carrots, and green beans when it comes to veggies. I can’t have salads anymore, I need to restrict my vegetable intake. Which is weird.

Oh and 6 meals a day, which I knew about but thought meant 6 small meals or 3 meals and 3 snacks… NOPE.

6 meals a day means like… 6 full meals.

I’m hoping to make up my meals for the week, take a picture and show you what I’m talking about. That might give you a better idea of this new diet, for anyone interested in bodybuilding. It’s also very Dukan friendly.


How Dukan Has Helped Me w/ My New Bodybuilding Diet

This is very exciting, but apparently I have the dieting part of bodybuilding down and Dukan is to thank!

Since I have been following such a strict and similar diet for over 11 months, I have a serious advantage to all the other girls competing, even the pro ones!

After researching with Prawn as well as speaking to a woman in the business, my diet is very strict and very professional.

The kicker is that I enjoy my new diet, that I don’t find it all that strict and actually enjoy it!

Everyone I talk to in the bodybuilding world is pretty impressed with the diet, they say they can’t live without their weekly cheat meal (which I have cut out completely) as well as their carbs. That they go on benders and cheat and that I eat very ‘clean’. That the thing they struggle with the most is the dieting part.

Which is the complete opposite of me. I struggle with the working out aspect of bodybuilding, not the diet.

The diet is easy.

I read interviews online of some of the big guns in the bodybuilding world. They all say they allow themselves to succumb to their cravings, that they cheat every once in a while and give in to temptation.

I have to say, I’m proud of myself. That I can follow a strict, low-carb (or rather, no carb) diet and do it successfully while not cheating at all! All these women I look up to can’t even do that. I feel blessed with my willpower.

Now if only I could get the gym-ming down. Well, that will come with time. As long as I keep making myself go, keep working harder and harder and getting more comfortable, it’ll come.

The dieting is the ‘hard part’ apparently. And I am dieting at PRO LEVEL!

Thank you so much Dukan : ) You have given me the tools to succeed in this new chapter of my life. I’m excited (as always) for what the future will bring!


Prawns Dilemma – Advice Needed!

Poor guy, so Prawn hit Consolidation on the same day as I did (Feb 6th). He hadn’t hit his target weight (still weighed 250lbs) but hadn’t lost any weight since early December and since he was only on Dukan to support me, decided to support me on through Consolidation and try again when Phase 3 was over.

A week into Consolidation Prawn made a very brave decision, to go back on Phase 1, and start all over, to try and lose between 20 and 40 lbs.

Currently weighing in at 243lbs Prawn has lost 7lbs since early December (that’s a grand total of almost 6 months) and is fed up with the diet.

Now, we have been discussing it extensively. No, he doesn’t feel like he is putting all the effort he could be into the diet. Not that he is cheating, it’s just he isn’t watching his portion sizes, he is skipping breakfast, sometimes lunch. He is eating rotisserie chicken from Walmart every day (very very fatty chicken), and isn’t really TRYING.

But he is bored with the diet, and frustrated, and feels alone now that I am doing my bodybuilding diet.
Now our diets are very similar, in fact, mine is more strict than his. But he still feels alone, this not being the main reason he wants to quit.

I told him to go onto phase 3. Eating fruit, bread, cheese, a cheat meal a week. It’s so easy, while still being healthy and a little restrictive.

He is not interested. He just wants to go off the diet altogether. A huge problem for me.

He says he doesn’t want to binge, he doesn’t want to eat pizza or bad foods. He wants to make the good choices on his own accord.

Now, here is another problem I have with this, he says Dukan doesn’t allow him to make choices. This isn’t true.

Within the confines of the Dukan Diet you can make good and bad choices. You can make your lunch in advance, a salad, tomatoes, peppers, lean chicken or turkey. These are good choices. Or, you could make the choices he has been making, one or two rotisserie chickens a day. He is making the bad choices on the diet with barely any negative consequences because he is making these bad decisions within the rules of the Dukan Diet.Now if he can’t make good decisions within these strict rules, there is nothing to lead me to believe that without these rules he will continue to make bad decisions, but with greater consequenses.

I can’t force him to do anything. I wont be upset if he quits Dukan, I am just so fearful for him to gain the weight back.

He doesn’t like how he looks, which is what weirds me out the most. Just doesn’t make sense. He doesn’t feel comfortable at this weight, so why doesn’t he just buckle down, watch his portion sizes and eat leaner meats?

He says if he starts working out he expects to lose the weight and feel better about himself… but you can’t eat an entire pizza, but workout for an hour and lose weight. (Not that he wants to eat an entire pizza.)

I asked him what he wants to eat for lunch instead of rotisserie chicken. He told me he wants a salad with dressing. I told him to do a modified phase 2 or phase 3 where you are allowed dressing, he told me he is not interested. I don’t get it.

So, what does he do? I know there aren’t many options left… let me recap, Prawn does not want to :

  • Stay on Phase 2
  • Do a modified Phase 2
  • Go onto Consolidation
  • Have anything to do with the Dukan Diet
  • Binge eat or have a cheat meal (Yes, he has told me he doesn’t even want a cheat meal a week)

… What does he do?


Celebration Meals – Impulse and Future Cravings

This is frustrating. Another problem with Celebration Meals according to the Dukan Dietress (that’s me!)
I did have my last Celebration Meal not too long ago, went out for fajitas with one of my little sisters for her birthday.

I have also had a new Cheat Meal, of steak and a baked potato for my new diet.

So why am I talking about Celebration Meals again? Shouldn’t this part of my dieting adventure be over? Well no, I guess I have to admit, I cheated on my new diet.

Now I had spent all day reading interviews with bodybuilding women, saying they couldn’t handle not having their weekly cheat meal of pizza, or pasta, or cheese. That they couldn’t cut dairy out of their diet (which I have done) and blah blah no willpower, loves sweets, blah blah.

Which is fine, I have been doing this dieting thing for so long and I have just never really been one to cheat, it’s all in or all out.

But after reading all this and justifying it to myself, I took one of my sisters out for sushi, which I had been wanting but not craving. I just wanted to have dinner with my sister and after seeing one of the pro-bodybuilders I have been following on Facebook go out to sushi, I just wanted sushi ok? I don’t feel guilty, I don’t feel badly. I just cheated, took her out to sushi 6 months before my show.

No big deal.

The big deal happened when after sushi, we went out for McFlurries, then I went to Walmart, bought an orange (good choice), two chocolate bars (bad choice) as well as a bag of berry candy (also bad choice) and then ate it all and almost got sick…

But my lack of willpower and the ‘waterfall effect’ have nothing to do with this new problem with Celebration Meals. This is a personal problem I have, obviously I still need to fix something in me that makes me binge… after all this time you would just think it would be fixed. I have lost 111lbs! But nope, still broken, need more time dieting maybe.

I digress.

The problem with Celebration Meals lie in IMPULSIVE Celebration Meals and their negative effects on Future Cravings.

I have discussed this before but Celebration Meals need to be something you anticipate, that you plan all week. Something scheduled and something to push you forward in your week or strict Dukan Dieting.
I have this thing with impulsive Celebration Meals, I have done it before and while doing so, I always think it’s such a great idea. Just once a week doing something impulsive, for you, because you want to. No restrictions, just ‘I want sushi, so I will eat sushi’. Perfect.


It opens a floodgate, every craving becomes an option for being impulsive. Before Celebration Meals I rarely had cravings. When I started Phase 3 the cravings came full force. The problem with being impulsive or giving your Celebration Meals the option to be impulsive, is that now you want chocolate. Well I haven’t had my Celebration Meal this week, I’ll just eat some, and then more, and then justify to yourself that now you can have an entire, not planned, probably way less healthy than if you had planned, Celebration Meal.

Or what is more impulsive than just randomly wanting something and going for it? The fact that you have had a Celebration Meal already this week… but now it’s the end of the week and your friends are going out, it would be so impulsive to just… have another Celebration Meal! No worries, just being impulsive!

It’s a slippery slope.

I’m finding it very difficult saying no, but I need to be strong.

I have decided I wont have another impulsive Celebration Meal, or Cheat Meal (other than my steak and potato) until August, for my other sisters birthday. I will also be having one for my birthday (although it will be planned and not impulsive) in September.

Like I said though, it is so hard. My family were eating bagels last night and I almost went for it. Had to really keep myself in check. It’s way harder than Phase 2 where I never gave myself the option to ‘cheat’.

My willpower is being tested! Gotta keep working hard so I can see results. Garrarrrrrggggg!