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HELP! Why Am I Gaining Weight On a Diet?

Richie and Rachael with Team RH tape measure.

There’s nothing better than jumping on the scales first thing in the morning and seeing your weight has gone down.

But what about when your weight goes up? Doesn’t feel quite so good.

Now before you think, ‘Fk it, might as well go smash a full English!’ read this article first.



Are You Really Gaining Weight?

First things first, are you really gaining weight?

Just because the scales said you’re 1lb heavier than you were yesterday, doesn’t mean you’re piling on the pounds. Your body weight can fluctuate by as much as 5lbs in a day, so it’s perfectly normal to be heavier on some days than others.

Gradual Weight Loss

(This image from our app shows how you weight can go up on some days and down on others. What matters is you weekly average shown in bold at the top. As you can see, this particular member lost on average 1.8lbs)


That’s why at Team RH, we teach you to weigh yourself DAILY. Then compare your current weekly average weight to the last week. This gives you a far more accurate assessment of how you’re doing.

That said, if your average weight is increasing week on week, below are 8 things you can look at.



8 Reasons You Might Gain Weight While Dieting

Now listen up, sometimes your weight goes up and it’s not your fault, it’s physiological.

That said, most of the time it IS your fault. It’s up to you to be honest with yourself as to what the reason(s) is or are.


1. You’re Eating Too Much

Pretty obvious right? Obviously, if you’re eating too much your weight will go up. This is the most common reason.

Many people try to eat intuitively and ‘eyeball’ how much they eat. This nearly always results in overeating.

Yet many people lie to themselves about how much they eat, we’ve all been there. You only had one chocolate, that’s got to be like 20 calories max right? Wrong!

If you want to lose weight, you need to be in a caloric deficit. That means you need to eat less calories than you burn. It’s basic maths.

How to Fix it


Log everything you eat or drink into the MyFitnessPal App, and not just breakfast, lunch and dinner and make sure you WEIGH it! Yes, weigh it. That chocolate you thought was 20 cals, could be 70, and if you eyeball it for 2 or 3 chocs that’s the difference between a deficit and a surplus.

You need to track the milk and sugar you put in your coffee, the chip you pinch of your kids plate at dinner, the ketchup you put on your lunch. These little things you don’t even think to track are often the reason you weight loss stalls.

Moral of the story? Track EVERYTHING you put in your mouth.


2. Your Weight Loss Plan is Sh*te

Most diets and weight loss plans cut your calories way too low. They tell you to eat 1,200 calories a day, sometimes even less.

You stick to it Monday to Friday but then by the time Saturday rolls around you’re fkn STARVING!

That’s when things go downhill.

You’re so hungry that tracking goes out the window as you order pizza (AND a dip, with full fat coke, plus cookies).

Now you’re weekend is ruined and on Sunday you think ‘Fk it, I’ll start again on Monday’. You go to the pub for a carvery lunch and come home with a massive tub of ice cream and some pick n mix to eat in front of Corrie later.

What you don’t realise is that over Saturday and Sunday, you ate so many calories, it took you into a calorie surplus for the whole week.

When you get on the scales on Monday, you see that you put 3lbs on, lose faith in the whole process and give up completely. Oh, and for those of you thinking that’s not you and you could stick to 1,200 calories a day for a week, that might be true, but we promise you you’d slip up 2 or 3 weeks in.

How to Fix it

Stop ‘dieting’ and start tracking your calories.

Diets aren’t fun, they’re just a big list of things you can’t eat. Join a lifestyle plan (like Team RH) that make fat loss fun and sustainable.

We’ll set your calories based on your age, height, current weight and activity levels, so your calories are personalised to you AND you’re actually getting enough to eat. You’ll be surprised at how many calories you can eat while losing pounds of fat!


3. You’re Not Eating Enough Fibre

Fibre is an essential part of a healthy diet. It keeps your digestive system in good, working order.

If you don’t consume enough fibre in your diet, your digestive system won’t work as efficiently as it should.

This can cause constipation and build-up in your bowels.

If you’re putting food in your mouth and it isn’t coming out the other end, you’ll gain weight.

On top of that, it’ll cause your belly to bloat which will make you look even bigger.

How to Fix it

Eat foods which are high in fibre.

This is actually easy to do by swapping your everyday foods. Swap your regular pasta for wholemeal pasta. Swap white bread for wholemeal, and white rice for brown rice.

Also, eat more fruit and veg!

Foods that are high in fibre also make you feel fuller for longer.


4. You’re Eating Too Much Salt

Salt is in nearly everything we eat so it’s easy to consume too much.

When we consume too much salt, our body’s hold onto water to maintain a chemical balance.

The more salt you eat, the more water your body stores to prevent dehydration. Therefore, your weight goes up.

If you’re putting on weight, despite dieting, have a look at your salt intake and try to reduce it. Either by using less salt when you cook or by avoiding processed food like ready meals and cured meats.

How to Fix it

When you go shopping have a look at how much salt is in the food you buy. You might she surprised!

Instead of buying that ready-made ‘healthy’ cottage pie, make your own from scratch using fresh ingredients and keep a batch in the freezer for when you can’t be bothered cooking.

Not only is it quicker and easier than you think, but it also’s cheaper and it tastes so much nicer!


5. You’re Not Counting Your Drinks in Your Calories

Far too many people decide to change what they eat but forget about what they drink.

Did you know a single 330ml can of Coca Cola contains 139 calories? We have members who used to drink 4-5 cans a day. That’s 556-695 calories a day, just in soft drinks.

Then there’s alcohol.

A bottle of beer will add 200-300 calories to your daily intake. A glass of wine will add 150-200 calories.

And don’t get us started on the cocktails. Sky’s the limit with those fkers!

How to Fix it

Drink the sugar-free version of your favourite pop instead. A 330ml can of Coke Zero has just 1 calorie in it.

If you must have a beer or glass of wine, count it into your daily calorie allowance. It’s as simple as that.


6. You’re Not Getting Enough Exercise

If you don’t exercise enough, your body doesn’t burn the energy you consume in food, so the only thing your body can do is store it as fat.

How to Fix it

Move your ass!

You don’t have to go running or do anything too intense. In fact, if you’re heavily overweight, this could put too much stress on you heart and joints.

Just walk.

Get a step tracker and hit between 10,000 – 15,000 steps a day. The best part about step trackers is they count all your activity, from brushing your teeth to tying your shoelaces.

10,000 – 15,000 steps a day adds up to around 1 ½ hours’ worth of movement.

Go for a walk around the block. If you have a dog, you’ve got no excuse for not going for a walk, take your pooch out for a stroll and start smashing your steps.

Instead of watching Corrie while lay on the sofa, walk on the spot, jump around with the kids. Just hit 10,000 (unless you have an injury or disability. We have plans that cater for you too plus specialist coaches to help those who are unable to hit their steps).


7. You’re Building Muscle

Many people hit the gym when they start their weight loss journey.

In fact, building muscle has been proven to increase fat loss. Muscle needs more calories to just maintain itself. Therefore, the more muscle you have, the more your body will use energy from your fat stores to maintain it.

But there are two things at play when building muscle;

1.      First, when you start lifting weights, you essentially tear the muscle fibres. This causes inflammation and your body’s healing response is to fill the area with fluid. This water retention will cause you to temporarily gain weight.


2.     If you’ve never lifted weights before, you might find you gain muscle quickly. We call these, ‘beginner’s gains’. Also, if you’ve lifted weights in the past and you’re getting back into it, you’ll quickly regain that muscle.


When you start lifting weights, the fat loss you experience is offset by the weight you gain through water retention caused by the inflammation in your muscles, as well as the muscle growth itself.

If you’re currently overweight, you’ll not see the muscle you’re building because it’s covered in fat. And fat doesn’t just come off just one part of your body. So, you could have lost 1lb of fat and gained 2lbs of muscle but you’ll never see it in the mirror. All you see is the 1lb gain on the scales.

How to Fix it

It’s important you don’t let yourself become demotivated, think ‘fk it, what’s the use?!’ and go gobble up a greasy pizza.

You need to trust the process and keep going.


8. It’s That Time of the Month

Women often gain weight depending on where they are in their menstrual cycle.

Hormonal changes can cause your body to hold onto water. In the days leading up to your period oestrogen and progesterone decrease. This tells your body to start menstruation.

However, oestrogen and progesterone also control how your body regulates fluid retention. When these hormones fluctuate, you’ll retain water.

You can gain up to 5lbs during your period.

How to Fix it

You can’t. It’s just a part of being a woman.

As long you’re not ramming your face full of chocolate to ease your cravings and going way over your calories, it’ll soon come off again.


What to Do Now

If you’re struggling with your weight, we can help.

When you join the Team RH Life Plan, we’ll set you a daily calorie goal based on your age, height, current weight and activity level. This is based off data we have collected from tens of thousands of members who have already lost weight and changed their lives.

You’ll be able to track everything in our custom-built app and lose weight consistently and over the long term.  All without giving up the foods you love.

CLICK HERE to Find Out More