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    What causes weight gain despite following strict diet and regular workout?

Posted on Thu, 2 Jun 2016 in General Health
Question: Dear sir/Ma'am
I have started to hit the Gym 4 month ago and i have been doing weight training under strict supervision of the trainer.One thing i have been noticing that whenever i took whey protein supplement on post workout my stomach started bloating and fill with gas i failed to understand that why it is happening?
My muscles are not growing significantly and my body is not responding anything despite i have been following with a strict diet.Only my body weight got increased that only fat not muscle my belly fat got increased when i started gym my weight was 64 KG now my body weight is 74 KG.And my height is 5 feet 7.5 inch.
To asses me correctly i am giving my complete diet which my gym instructor and my dietitian gave which are as follows:-
At 7 Am -Flavored green tea with dry fruits and nuts
On 8.30 Am- 1 Cup Oats, 2 slice toasted brown bread with peanut butter ,2 brown eggs whites and onle glass skimmed milk with honey.
At 11 Am-Fruit salad with one scope whey protein
Lunch 1.30 PM- 1 bowl brown rice with Daal ,mix veg(home preparation),1 cup Greek yogurt,and panner and chicken breast alternate days.
At 3.30 PM-One cup flavored green tea with 10 almonds.
At 5.30 PM-(Pre workout)-one banana one apple one brown bread with peanut butter.
At 7.30 PM-(post workout)-One boiled sweat potato/One sliced brown bread with peanut butter 2 scoop whey protein i have been using Dramatize ISO 100 whey.
Dinner At 9 PM-2 chappati, dal,green salad,any sabji
At 11 PM-one glass skimmed milk.Those are my diet plan.
Very sadly sir/Ma'am my body is not responding at all only i am gaining fat that only in my belly which is why my body weigh get increasing day-by-day.I am totally disappointed. I hate my body completely.
I cant keep my patience intact .My patience is breaking day-by-day.
Now i am targeting to 4000 calories in a day.I am targeting 16 inch biceps and 46 inch chest.
Kindly suggest me what to to do i am completely disappointed and and planning to quit my body is completely got failed .Please,please help me out please.

Answered by Meenakshi Attrey 9 hours later
Brief Answer:
details requested

Detailed Answer:

Thanks for using HealthcareMagic.

The reason for gaining weight, even after strict diet and exercise routine, in most cases is an altered balance of calorie intake and expenditure. The diet mentioned by you provides more than 3000 Calories a day with the protein intake exceeding 200 g.

I request you to share your GYM routine with all the exercises and their duration to help me understand your calorie and protein requirements based on the expenditure to allow me to suggest a suitable diet for you.

Thanks in advance.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Prasad
Follow up: Meenakshi Attrey 1 hour later
Dear Ma'am
I have been doing heavy weight training.Which are as follows-
Monday: Chest

Flat Bench Press     5 sets x 5 reps
Incline Bench Press     3 sets x 10-12 reps
Dips     3 sets x 10-12 reps
Incline Fly     3 sets x 12-15 reps
Cable Crossover     3 sets x 12-15 reps.

Tuesday: Back

Deadlift     5 sets x 5 reps
Pull ups     5 sets x 5 reps
T-bar row     3 sets x 10-12 reps
Lat Pulldown     3 sets x 10-12 reps
Wide grip pushdown     3 sets x 12-15 reps.
Cable curls     3 X 15
Barbell curls     4 X 10
Spider curls     4 X 10
Hammer curls     3 X 10
Reverse curls     4 X 10
Cable extension     3 X 10
Overhead rope     4 X 10
Head smackers     4 X 10
One arm cable kick back     4 X 10 XXXXXXX push up     4 X 10.

Chin up     2 X 10
Barbell curl     6 X 10
Preacher curl with EZ bar     6 X 10
Hammer curl     6 X 10
Pully push down     6 X 10
Lying triceps     5 X 15

Friday-Triceps and shoulders
Dumbell shoulder press     6 X 10
Front dumbell raise     4 X 10
Dumbell side raise     4 X 10
Dumbell bent lateral raise     4 X 10
Upright row     .
Sat Day Legs

Leg extension     4 X 10
Deep squats     4 X 10
Leg press     4 X 10
Leg press(single)     5 X 10
Alternate lunges     5 X 10
Leg curls     4 X 10
Stiff dead lift     4 X 10
Free weight squats     3 X failure.

After that i do every day 10 treadmill and 10 min bicycle.


Duration of exercise is 6 Pm to 8 Pm

Answered by Meenakshi Attrey 6 hours later
Brief Answer:
Modifications suggested

Detailed Answer:

Thank you for the detailed information.

Considering that you do powerful workout for approximately 100 minutes every day (taking 20 minutes as resting period), you are burning approximately 750 to 900 calories in each session (depending on intensity and duration of the workout). There would also be additional calorie expenditure during the rest of the day as the muscles continue to be metabolically active for a longer time after intense training sessions.

This means that in order to lose weight, your total calorie intake should not exceed 2200 to 2400 Kcal per day. But your current diet is providing more calories than you need. To overcome this here is your modified diet plan:

7 AM –
Flavored green tea with 4 pc. dried figs.

8:30 AM –
1 Cup oats with skimmed milk and 1 tbsp. chopped nuts + 2 boiled egg whites + 1 Glass skimmed milk with 1 tsp. honey
2 slices brown bread with 1 tbsp. peanut butter + 1 boiled egg white + 1 glass skimmed milk with 1 tsp. honey.

11 AM –
Fruit salad with roasted pine nuts and flaxseed (avoid banana, grapes, XXXXXXX Sapota and custard apple)
(Your daily protein intake should be between 110g to 125g, therefore supplement is not suggested for this meal)

1:30 PM-
¾ Bowl boiled XXXXXXX with Dal / lentil or low fat paneer preparation + ½ cup greek yogurt + 1 katori vegetable preparation + 1 cup salad
6” Dry chapatti (multigrain) + ¾ bowl vegetable preparation + ½ cup greek yogurt + 1 cup salad + chicken Breast

3:30 PM-
Flavored green tea with 10 almonds (presoaked)

Black sugarless Coffee – 1 cup
Fruits – ¾ cup with 5 raisins and 2 prunes

Plain water at room temperature – 2-3 small glasses (drink slowly)
Plain boiled potato or sweet potato or one ripe banana
1 Date
2 scoop protein supplement in water (follow the dilution instructions given on label)
(If you are on any multivitamin or mineral supplement, this is the best time to take them.)

9:00 PM –
6” dry chapatti – 2 no + ¾ bowl vegetable preparation + ½ cup greek yogurt + 1 cup salad
1 bowl Vegetable Dalia/poha/upma/oats + vegetable raita + ¾ cup salad
1 bowl chicken salad + tender coconut water 1 glass + wheat bread toast – 1 no

11:00 PM-
1 Glass skimmed milk

The above mentioned modifications would help you lose the excess fat and improve muscle tone, while making you feel more energized.

A little variation in body weight is also attributed to inflammation caused due to muscle wear and tear (microtrauma) that occurs during intense workout. To a certain extent, it may be considered good because during the process of recovery the newly formed muscles become tougher and give you a more muscular frame.

It is completely reasonable to feel disappointed when the efforts fail to yield desired results. But, staying focused and persistent is the key to success. See that you do not stress out emotionally or physically. Never workout beyond limits, stay focused and well hydrated and keep a day for rest and recovery.

Hope this helps. Please feel free to contact me for further discussion.

Stay Fit..!!


Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Deepak
Follow up: Meenakshi Attrey 6 hours later
Dear ma'am
Let me convey my thanks to you for such a spectacular suggestions thanks a lot.
I am very much disappointed that all my effort which i made was got failed to reflect the result.
But i would disagree with you on some fact and i am extremely sorry for that kind don't take it otherwise i am not arguing with you but the fact is that if my calorie intake is greater than my calorie expenditure then there is no doubt that the fats will come naturally come but my question my protein intake is supposed to be good then why my biceps and chest haven't been improved?
I would like to tell you that my stamina is also not been increasing significantly.
Ma'am i extremely sorry to say that you haven't read properly of my first query in which i already mentioned that i am targeting some serious growth right now my biceps is 12 inch i am planning for 16 inch circumference and my chest is 39 inch i am targeting at 46 inch that why i need some serious calorie carbs and protein it should be 40:40:20 crab,protein,fats.
Ma'am i am very very much frustrated disappointed exhausted that my body got failed completely that is my body is not responding.
Whats wrong in my body i can't able to figure it out as far as my knowledge is concern may be there is some genetic issue may be some hormone testosterone or may be some growth hormone or may be some thyroid problem but i'm physically fit so such symptoms are yet to be occurred though i haven't got checked.
Why my biceps n chest and thigh are not growing.??

Please don't take it otherwise it is just for clarification as i am planning to quit because i am not seeing the result which i am expecting of i am spending a lot money that stuffs.

Answered by Meenakshi Attrey 34 hours later
Brief Answer:
Be positive and persistent

Detailed Answer:


Let me continue this discussion with a simple advice "quitting is not the answer". Failure to get the desired results may be, like you said, genetic, but there may be other factors related to your health and/or environment.

We have already made the required modifications in the diet to help the carbohydrates and proteins to perform their intended functions. Perhaps you should sit with your trainer and get the exercise schedule re-framed and start over again. Make sure that you plan it according to your requirements, endurance and ease. Be careful not to overdo the exercises, maintain the sets and repetitions in relation to time duration also and understand your limits, listen to your body. Rest periods are very important for proper recovery and muscle development.

Stress also hinders the performance and results may get delayed. Maintain a positive approach and understand that everybody is different and the results show differently to everyone.

Keep working out…. All the best.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Prasad
Follow up: Meenakshi Attrey 6 hours later
Dear Ma'am,
Let me thanking you for you diet plan again.

If you strongly emphasizing the diet which is being prepared by you then i would like to ask you a couple of questions as i have researched a lot.Is it not good to start lukewarm water with lemon and honey and almonds instead of that flavored green and dried figs.Is it white egg or brown egg which one you wrote there?

Instead of black coffee beet root juice would be slightly better as beet root juice is packed with Nitrate, which converts to nitric acid in the body, resulting in improved blood flow due to dilation of the blood vessels over caffeine stuff.
What is the point to take tender coconut water at night time?Is it good to take wheat bread or brown multi grain bread as far as i know Greek yogurt should be avoided at the night time as its sugar content and provide calorie though it has some protein.

At night time cereal should be avoided but you have written there.You have not been mentioned about soy products,tofu and sprout.Instead of skim milk i think it would be better to take soy milk or coconut milk as skim milk also provide calorie which tends to increase body fats at night time .You are giving so much priority to XXXXXXX i dont see any point in XXXXXXX the protien contain is very minimum may 3 to 4 gm and calorie would be 70 to 80 if i am correct what did wrote there was it vegetable XXXXXXX or whole wheat XXXXXXX ???

I had asked something different and you gave something different answer i am highly disappointed i think you haven't read my query properly.

Why should i listen to my body if the body is not listening to me or responding to me.I am spending so much and time but the body is not responding and you are giving priority to diet ma'am i also do know a little bit about that diet stuff.What to eat and what not to eat.But my question was different.
Anyway if you still like to give any suggestion please give.


Answered by Meenakshi Attrey 32 hours later
Brief Answer:
Details discussed

Detailed Answer:


It is obvious to feel disappointed when your sincere efforts fail to yield the desired results. Being a nutritionist I can help you plan a diet that may assist your efforts towards success.

The diet that I have suggested above is only a modification of what you are already doing in order to facilitate the fat loss. I understand that you are eager to see results, but like I said earlier, all of us are different and our requirements of and response to diet and strength training are also different. What works for one may not get along for another person.

Lukewarm lemon and honey water is a good thing to start the day and you may start taking it, as there is no harm. There are other concoctions that help and flavoured green tea is one among them. Figs are added as they are packed with fiber and other valuable nutrients that are great for stomach and also support weight loss. You may take any egg, white or brown, as they have similar nutritional composition, except of a negligible difference in Onega 3 fatty acid content. Brown eggs have little more omega 3 as compared to brown egg but otherwise there is no significant difference.

The nitrate theory behind beetroot juice is true, and beetroot does help in improving stamina. But this does not happen instantly, the conversion of Nitrate to nitric oxide (not nitric acid) takes time. Black coffee provides an instant boost and also improves metabolism to facilitate the fat burning process. In my opinion beets are better when you take them for improving performance, while if the workout is intended to burn fat, then black coffee is more helpful.

Tender coconut water is suggested with one meal option, to introduce variety and improve hydration. It’s an isotonic solution which is radially absorbed in the body and also provides vital minerals, reduces bloating and rehydrates the muscles.
Wheat bread or multigrain bread, both are safe, when consumed in moderation.
There is not much difference between greek and normal low fat yogurt. For every 100 grams, greek yogurt provides approximately 57 to 60 Calories against 60 calories that you will get from low fat curd. There is however a significant difference in their protein content. Greek yogurt provides 10 gram protein for every 100 gram of curd, skimmed curd on the other hand provides approx. 3.1 grams of protein.

There are many theories about cereals that are making rounds. Let us not confuse these with the goodness of whole cereals. These are staple to our diets and would never cause any concern as long as these are incorporated as healthy preparations.

Also, it is safe to take regular skimmed milk post dinner. Hundred ml of coconut milk provides 230 calories against the 50 calories of low fat milk. Same amount of coconut milk supplies approximately 36 percent of daily recommended allowance. While regular low fat milk covers only about 3 percent of fat RDA. The calorie and fat content of soy milk are almost similar to low fat milk. It is also important to note that 100 ml of coconut milk covers only 4 percent of protein RDA while soy milk and regular low fat milk covers almost 6 percent of RDA.

I again request you to be positive and persistent in order to achieve your goals. Once the body will start burning the excess fat, you would be able to feel the muscle growth.

Hope I am able to clear your doubts regarding the diet. Please feel free to initiate further discussion regarding the diet.


Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Raju A.T
Follow up: Meenakshi Attrey 46 hours later
Dear Ma'am,

Many thanks for your suggestions and i am extremely sorry if i said anything wrong.The fact was that i have been so frustrated as i am not getting the desired result which i am aiming at.

I am sorry to say that i had asked about muscle growth not about burning body's fat and i don't have excess fat which mentioned in your reply .what is the relation between body'fat and muscle as i am not overweight.

Ma'am its been 4 long month despite of following diet and under instruction of trainer my muscle haven't been grown a single cm no i.e- no change.
What do you mean by newly formed muscle? My body is forming any muscle now what to do i am completely depressed.Please help me out.

Give me some good whey protein supplement names which i have to follow.
Now i am thinking to start anabolic steroid as i don't have any other options left.


Follow up: Meenakshi Attrey 3 minutes later
My work out is to not burning fat my workout is build muscle.
Answered by Meenakshi Attrey 18 hours later
Brief Answer:
Balance the carbohydrate and protein intake

Detailed Answer:

The main concern in your primary question was about the way to develop muscles and reverse the accumulation of belly fat that had occurred with increase in weight.
In order to develop muscles and not the fat, it is important that you maintain balance between protein and calorie intake. It is true that a high protein diet would help you gain muscles, but in case of excess intake the body will convert and store the surplus amino acids (protein units) as fat cells. Significant muscle growth is not observed in such cases.

The market is full of different supplements with various claims, but it is very important to select what suits you best. The main factor to consider here is how much protein you actually receive from a single serving of the supplement. This is how you can decide what supplement is good for you…

Take the grams of protein per serving listed on the supplement facts panel and divide it by the serving size (in grams). This will give you the percentage of protein in each serving.

For a good quality whey protein supplement, the percent protein per serving (or scoop) should be 80% or greater.

Some example are :

•     BEST – Ultimate nutrition iso-sensation,Dymatize ISO 100,AST VP2 Whey Isolate,Nature’s Best isopure zero carb, Muscletech Pro-series - Nitro-isolate 65, Optimum Platinum hydrowhey etc.

•     GOOD - Optimum Gold Standard 100 % whey,EAS 100% whey protein, Dymatize elite whey protein, universal Ultra whey pro, Champion ultra whey protein, MRM 100% all natural whey, Twinlab 100% whey protein fuel, Cytosport complete whey.

Proteins are heavy food and may cause digestion concerns. To avoid the gas formation after taking protein supplement, make sure that you take the supplement with water as per the label instructions and divide the dose into two small portions. Keep a gap of at least 30 – 40 minutes between taking the two supplements.

I would leave decision about the use of steroids on you. Personally, I would not advertise their use unless there is an intense need for the same. Steroids will actually show significant changes in muscle growth but they also have side effects.

I would request you to decide about the steroids only after through research and discussing the same with your doctor.


Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Deepak
Follow up: Meenakshi Attrey 2 days later
Dear Ma'am,

You said that my protein consumption are on higher side.Is the body really convert the excess protein to fats.My question how much protein should i take in a day ?

Black coffee will i take it with hot water or milk?

Another question How body will burn the fat cell through weight training ?


Dear Ma'am,
I have some doubt what is the difference between carbohydrate,fat,and calories?
Which makes us fatty? Give some example of that .

Answered by Meenakshi Attrey 30 hours later
Brief Answer:
Maintain balanced intake

Detailed Answer:


Your protein consumption with the previous diet was on the higher side. I had modified your diet to bring it to a reasonable value of approx.160 - 170 g a day while balancing the calorie intake to facilitate fat loss and muscle development.
Here is how the protein and calorie are used by the body.

While exercising, the muscles experience some wear and tear, which is repaired by protein that we take after the workout. During this repair the muscles become tougher and start taking the shape. To allow the protein to perform this function, our body needs carbohydrates so that the protein is not used as a primary energy source. When we eat more than what we need, even with exercises, our body tends to convert the excess carbohydrate and protein into fat cells that are then stored leading to fat and weight gain.

I have planned a 2200 to 2400 Kcal diet for you. With the kind of workout that you do, you actually need approximately 500 additional calories. So, your actual calorie intake should be around 2700 to 2900. With the reduced calorie intake, your body will be forced to take energy through other means, i.e. Fat Cells. And in the process you burn the extra fat.

This means that with a balanced intake of calorie and protein, you would be burning the excess fat while developing muscles.

Coming now to your second question. Fat and carbohydrates are the macro nutrients essential for our body. Calorie, on the hand, is the unit for measuring energy.

Consider this, 1 gram of carbohydrates provide 4 Kcal while a single gram of fat releases approximately 9 Kcal. You get fat from oils, cream, butter, cheese etc. while the sources of carbohydrates are cereal grains, rice, sago, potato, sweet potato, fruits etc. Both fat and carbohydrates when consumed in excess provides excess calories, which gets converted to fat cells for later use. It is therefore important to maintain a healthy balance between carbohydrate, fat and protein intake.

Hope this helps….

Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Arnab Banerjee
Follow up: Meenakshi Attrey 2 days later
Dear Ma'am

One last question i have observing that my stamina has not been improving any suggestion regarding that because i am not able to do the proper repetition of weight exercise .

Thank you so very much for such nice suggestions and diet plan.
Answered by Meenakshi Attrey 37 hours later
Brief Answer:
balanced diet and exercises

Detailed Answer:

Thank you for the question.

Hope that you have already made the required modification in your diet. That should start showing results in a while. Coming to the question about stamina, as we have discussed in the previous sessions, a well-balanced diet with appropriately placed meals and pre and post workout snacks, would help by providing sustained energy. Complex carbohydrates like cereals, fruits, salads and vegetables are best for you. A well-adjusted intake of protein along with iron and Vit C rich foods would support the workout further.

Some of the foods like banana, coffee, beets, beans, quinoa, orange juice and greens are especially helpful. The most important thing to do is to stay hydrated.

Make sure that your exercise routine is also balanced. You may also introduce some variation in the sets, repetitions and duration to help your muscles relax. This would provide them the strength to carry out the routine. You may discuss this with your trainer.

Remember to make changes slowly so that the body, especially the muscles gets adapted to the modifications.

Wish you good health.


Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Sonia Raina
Follow up: Meenakshi Attrey 26 hours later
Dear Ma'am,

Many thanks for you suggestions from our discussion it seemed to me that you gave so much priority to the food stuffs.But you forgot one thing that there are several factors play important role except foods as we all know body building is not an easy job to do it does take years and years of time .

Very sadly i would like to inform that those things are not work in practical field it does take years years of time.If your genetics is not supporting you then any diet plan is treated to be worthless.

Recent research shows that some individuals respond very well to strength training, some barely respond, and some don't respond at all i am falling the last category whose body is nit responding totally despite the food stuffs and rigorous effort.

Since you are focusing so much on despite my diet in my opinion are seemed to be good for serious muscle gain i would like to inform you some fact about genetics the results which people see in the gym are highly dependent on the efficacy of satellite cell-mediated nonnuclear addition. In other terms, muscles won't grow unless the satellite cells surrounding muscle fibers donate their nuclei to muscles so they can produce more genetic material to signal the cells to grow. In spite of that i would also like to add study after study its shows that
excellent res ponders averaged 21 satellite cells per 100 fibers at baseline, which XXXXXXX to 30 satellite cells per 100 fibers by week sixteen. This was accompanied by a 54% increase in mean fiber area. The non-res ponders averaged 10 satellite cells per 100 microfibers at baseline, which did not change post-training, nor did their hypertrophy.
I can give you more details how genetics influence the muscle growth i have the complete data of some of the researcher basically food or diet only can contribute very negligible the thing which most important is the genetics.

One tough question i am asking here why biceps and chest muscle increase take so much time i am taking about serious gain like 16 inch biceps and 46 inch chest.
Answered by Meenakshi Attrey 54 minutes later
Brief Answer:
Details Below

Detailed Answer:


It's true that the success of exercises for muscle development depends on many factors. Being a nutritionist, my focus has always been on diet and food stuffs.

Your most recent question is beyond my expertise and answering or commenting on it would not be appropriate. I suggest that you meet a medical genetics expert in your city to help you through the situation.

Please feel free to contact me for any other discussions regarding the diet.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
Answered by
Meenakshi Attrey

Dietitian & Nutritionist

Practicing since :2004

Answered : 228 Questions


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