This is a topic I wanted to talk about for a while as I am hearing it allot from friends and clients asking why they gained weight overnight.
You may have experienced this as well, waking up in the morning, going on the scale and for no reason you gained weight. You are doing everything right from eating healthy foods, sleeping good at night, working out but still you cannot understand what’s the reason of this increased weight.
I know the feeling you get, you lose motivation, your mood is low for the rest of the day, you even restrict your food thinking this would help you lose weight again. but let’s be reasonable and try to understand what the cause of your weight gain truly is.
Before moving to the reason, we need to ask ourselves the following question:
Is gaining weight overnight something possible?
Short answer is yes, but you need to be eating on a calorie surplus (eating more calories than you consume) and this overeating must continue for the extra weight to last.
Always remember that your body doesn’t like to change and prefers to keep its homeostasis, that’s why it takes weeks for you to see a fat loss or muscle gain difference in your body. This applies to weight gain as well so overeating one night will not make you gain permanent weight. Lasting weight gain takes days, or even months just like any other change in your body.
If you see your weight increase on a day, don’t panic, just make sure you get back on track without exaggerating with your calorie deficit or hard-core workouts to make up your previous day.
As a personal trainer / Nutrition coach I always ask my clients to track their weight every single day then measure their progress on a weekly basis as there are many factors which can increase weight overnight.
If you feel stressed about the weight on the scale just don’t go on it, there are alternatives to measure your progress like:
- Taking weekly photos
- Measuring your body
- Seeing progress in your strength
- Improved daily mood
I personally don’t remember the last time I weighted myself.
If weighting yourself is a must for you then make sure you understand the following reasons of overnight weight gain so you will not worry next time you step on the scale.
Reasons your scale shows a higher weight overnight:
You took in more sodium and carbs the day before
Sodium retains water, and many foods you don’t even think about like frozen meals, vegetables and canned foods can have enough sodium for your full days worth.
On the other side carbohydrates which are stored as glycogen in your body retain 3 grams of water per 1 gram of carbs.
So next morning when you see your gain weight maybe it’s just retained water and nothing to worry about.
You increased your fiber intake
Fiber is one of the most important micronutrients in your nutrition, but most people have a very low fiber intake in their daily lifestyle so when starting a new diet, they may increase their fiber intake to quickly which usually takes some time for your body to digest it causing this to show on the scale, but no need to worry as this is just water weight and is not going to last. As soon as you excrete this bowel movement, the weight will be gone.
You ate your Dinner later than usual
I always suggest my clients to eat their last meal at least 3 hours before they sleep and have a 10 – 15 walk after their meal in order for their body to digest the food they ate.
But we are humans, maybe you went outside with friends and ate dinner later than usual, the next morning you go on the scale you see an increase in weight.
This is not fat, you are just weighing yourself at a different time, so you are simply seeing the number on the scale at a different stage in the digestive process.
You are constipated
Just like N.2 sometimes the weight on the scale is simply because you didn’t excrete your waste (urine and poop). In these terms make sure to keep hydrated drinking between 8-10 cups of water in order to keep your bowel movement regular.
Your period is on the way
Days before periods, women tend to hold more water which can increase the weight on the scale even up to 2kg, but don’t worry as this is because of hormonal changes in the body.
There is one fact you need to be careful with as these hormonal changes tend women to crave saltier foods which as previously mentioned results in water weight due to the increase sodium levels in the body.
You had a hard training session
Resistance training causes muscle damage which is something good as microscopic tears happen in the muscle tissue resulting in muscle hypertrophy when combined with proper nutrition and recovery.
Muscle damage can cause inflammation, which will result to a higher number than usual on the scale. Don’t worry as this is a good sign showing you are building muscle and getting stronger, the weight will go back to normal after 1-2 weeks time.
Now you can use our TDEE calculator, to measure your BMR and maintenance calories
There are many factors causing your scale weight to increase overnight. If you are following a correct nutrition program and training followed by recovery then you are on the right track, don’t worry if you increased weight overnight. Give it time as this is usually not fat.
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