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  • Writer's pictureCaylin Goodchild

Why have I gained weight overnight?

Firstly, know that weight fluctuations are COMPLETELY normal, and are bound to occur for the rest of your life.

Yes, it is sometimes very discouraging, especially if we have followed our eating plan, but don't worry! Here are some possible reasons for the increased number on the scale.

The biggest factor is water retention. Since we are made of 45-75% water, the number on the scale can easily be affected by water retention. There are many factors that can affect water retention, such as:

  • Glycogen stores: When you eat carbs (which you should), the body stores glycogen. In order to store glycogen, the body also retains water. This means that the more glycogen you have, the more water you retain, which can lead to an increase in weight. You may especially notice this the morning after a delicious pizza or pasta meal.

  • Salt: Consuming excess salt (or sodium) leads to water retention, and therefore, weight gain. Remember, this increase does not mean you have gained fat!

  • Exercise: Exercise can cause sweating, which causes water loss, which leads to immediate weight loss, especially if you don't hydrate well. On the other hand, if you consume more water than you lose, you may see a slight increase in weight. Again, this is water weight, not fat weight.

  • Menstrual cycle: It’s normal for women to see a slight weight increase due to increased water retention right before they start their cycle. This is due to hormone fluctuations.

  • Medication: Some medications cause your body to retain more water.

  • Dehydration.: This might seem strange, but being dehydrated causes the body to retain more water.

  • Meal and drink consumption.: Food and liquids are quite heavy, which will cause a weight increase after eating/drinking. It is therefore best to weigh in the morning.

  • Bathroom visits.: It is best to weigh after using the bathroom as this can also add weight to the scale reading.

So what can you do to avoid these strange readings?

  1. Avoid weighing daily! These daily readings don't give you a good average of what's happened during the week.

  2. Rather use a bioelectrical impedance scale. These are more accurate in analysing what your weight is made of i.e. muscle, water, fat, bone minerals.

  3. Try to weight 1st thing in the morning.

  4. Be consistent with what you wear when weighing.

Get started on your health journey today!

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