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The short answer is yes, but it is help to understand why, especially since weight gain is one of the most frustrating and common adverse side effects of steroids.
Steroids are taken for many reasons.
Some take them to enhance performance and increase muscle mass, while others need them for medical reasons, such as to treat inflammation caused by various forms of arthritis.
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Will steroids make you fat? While anabolic androgenic steroids can definitely help you increase your muscle mass, can they also increase your body fat mass?
Steroids negatively impact your metabolism and the way your body stores fat.
In the end, your body is depositing excess fat in the stomach area, back of the neck as well as the face.
Sadly, this allows the pounds to pack on pretty heavily and quickly.
Whether you want it or not, many steroids do make you gain weight.
The body produces two groups of natural steroids, both of which are produced by the body’s adrenal glands.
The first group produces two types of steroids: cortisol and corticosteroids.
Cortisol plays a huge role in the body’s natural stress response system to help decrease pain, inflammation and stress.
Corticosteroids help to regulate the concentration of sodium in the body and play role in the body’s overall immune system.
These are hormones found in the body that are present to help regulate the production of testosterone in the ovaries and testicles.
They also help to promote cell growth and muscle development.
As a general rule, the steroids that are naturally produced by the body equate the amount of a low dose of a steroid (roughly 5 mg).
Often after taking a bulking steroid cycle, bodybuilders will look bigger, puffy and bloated.
These symptoms can be prevented by taking cutting steroids that do not make you fat. But you need to understand the mechanisms first to understand how to prevent this side effect.
There are several different ways steroids do make you gain weight while you’re taking them. One of the most common is due to an increased appetite.
With an increased appetite, you will eat more. This means that you consuming more calories on a daily basis than what you are used to, which leads to the weight gain.
Another common side effect of steroids that is associated with weight gain is fluid retention, especially around the abdominal area.
When your body holds fluid, it will obviously cause you to gain weight. This happens because the steroid is responsible for helping to regulate the balance of sodium, water and various other electrolytes in the body.
Therefore, fluid retention is often promoted, which can actually worsen or even cause issues with high blood pressure in addition to the weight gain.
Since the answer to the age-old question, “Do steroids make you gain weight,” is yes, it is important that you know what to do to reduce that weight gain.
Make sure to watch what you eat and keep a journal of the amount of calories that you are consuming. This is important so that you can keep an eye on your appetite.
You will want to avoid simple carbohydrates and processed sugars, which are known as empty calories. These are bad for you because they digest quicker than other calories and will cause you to feel hungrier much sooner.
You will also want to try to eat smaller, more frequent meals and drink lots of H2O.
Do your best to plan your meals ahead, as this can help reduce temptations and ensure that your serving sizes are appropriate. Check out the best bulking cycles here.
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Try to start an exercise routine to help with your metabolism.
Whether you head to the gym for an hour before or after work, walk around the block in the morning and evening, or take the stairs instead of the elevator at work, just make sure that you are staying physically active.
If you are already physically active and are worried about the weight gain, then you may need to step up your game a bit and work out more.
If you need help developing a fitness regimen that will help you keep the weight off, speak to a physical therapist, fitness trainer or physician for advice.
Ultimately, you want to make sure that you are doing some strength training and plenty of aerobic exercises.
Even if it is just for 10 minutes, try to make a full effort every single day.
If you want the answer to “do steroids make you gain weight” to be yes, then you should also speak to a trainer and physician to help you do it safely.
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One of the major sources of weight gain with steroids is through water retention, especially with steroids like Anadrol and Dianabol which give a bloated look.
To reduce the amount of fluid retention that occurs in your body with the use of steroids, you can start by eating a diet that is high in potassium and low in sodium.
This type of diet has been shown to help reduce fluid retention brought on by steroids, especially since sodium promotes the retention of fluids in the body.
According to the University of California San Francisco Medical Center (UCSFMC), your body should not consume over 2,000 mg of sodium on a daily basis. Unfortunately, the average individual here in America consumes 20 times that amount.
To cut down on the amount of sodium that you consume each day, you should opt for salt-free or low-salt products.
Usually, this refers to 140mg or less of sodium per serving. Anything with sodium amounts of 400 mg or more are too high.
You should try to prepare more home-cooked meals rather than eating out.
Some low-sodium options include eggs, dry peas and beans, fish, poultry, pork and canned fish.
You can also find low-sodium alternatives for ice cream, milk, cheese and other dairy products.
Stick to unsalted popcorn, pretzels and chips. Opt for dried fruits and frozen or fresh vegetables that are not submerged in a sauce.
The UCSFMC recommends replacing the sodium with more potassium. Potassium-rich foods include apricots, bananas, lima beans, tomato juice, cooked spinach, oranges, baked potatoes and milk.
Do steroids make you gain weight? Yes. Can you do something about it? Absolutely.
Don’t allow the weight gain to damage your self-confidence and self-esteem. The weight can and will come off, but you’ll need to work at it.
Once you discontinue the steroids, your body will be back to normal within roughly six to 12 months.
In the meantime, though, you can help maintain your weight by eating healthier, watching your calories and exercising regularly.