Doesn’t it come as a rude shock on days when you step on the weighing scale expecting the numbers to tip in your favor, but it disappoints and shows completely wrong numbers! It may especially be heartbreaking when those pesky pounds that you had taken great pains to shake off, seem to have all bundled up back, even when you have stuck to your regular diet or fitness routine. You expect the weighing scale to be your best friend, to keep you motivated in your weight loss journey, and push you to shed more weight, but wrong numbers on the scale can kill the morale and question why things are not working in your favor, and we know how it feels! Fitness experts, dieticians, and nutritionists, and research would tell you that one cannot gain weight overnight, because to gain one pound of fat, you would have to eat an excess of about 3500 calories in a single day (after subtracting the requisite calories required to run regular bodily functions, read about “resting metabolic rate” here). But yes, you can gain a few pounds overnight due to certain factors, and the good news is that, this extra weight is just temporary, and you can easily shake it off once you can identify what’s causing these fluctuations in the first place. If you have been following Rati Beauty weight loss diets and workout routinely, there’s no reason to believe you have become overweight. In this post, we list out different factors that can make you gain a few pounds overnight.
14 Factors That Can Add a Few Pounds Overnight:
1. You did not sleep well last night: We have time and again stressed the importance of getting sound sleep, and that too for at least 7 hours every night. You can slog for hours together in the gym and eat not a single morsel, but you wouldn’t be able to shed any weight if you aren’t sleeping well. Sleeping for only 4 or 5 hours per night triggers the production of ghrelin (hunger hormone) and lowers the levels of leptin (fullness hormone). Bad quality sleep can also hinder the release of human growth hormone (HGH) which is extremely essential for weight loss (Can Human Growth Hormone Help with Weight Loss?). Having sound sleep at night also boosts metabolism and lowers the production of stress hormone “cortisol.” Your body needs enough rest at night to function properly the next day, and if that rest is disrupted, everything goes for a toss, including hormones that majorly affect weight loss goals. Studies have revealed that less sleep impairs the activity of brain in the frontal lobe which controls our food choices. So, if you have turned into a “night owl” with sleep disturbances lately, that’s the reason for your weight gain. Hence, sleep your way to weight loss instead of disturbing the circadian rhythm of the body by exposing yourself to blue light from phones and other gadgets at bedtime. Blue light drastically reduces the level of sleep hormone, melatonin, and lower melatonin level would not let you sleep tight! Listen to soothing music, listen to some ASMR videos (autonomous sensory meridian response) or try these 7 Things you can do today to Get Better Sleep.
2. Overeating healthy food? We tend to ignore calories in food that we deem as “healthy.” For example, oats, protein bars, smoothies, walnuts, cashew nuts, almonds, even peanuts! All of these have calories and it’s essential to count all of them to avoid any weight gain.
3. Had a late Dinner? If you had a late dinner, the digestive process may not be complete at the time you are weighing yourself in the next day. Eat dinner by 7 pm and no late-night snacking either.
4. Too Much Sodium and Salt Consumption: Excessive sodium/salt would lead to water retention, it’s a common knowledge. You may not have picked up table salt that much, but did you snack up on high-sodium packaged food? Chips, soups, frozen food all have high salt content that can lead to water retention. Water retention is accumulation of additional fluid in the circulatory system or within the body tissues. This fluid buildup can make you feel bloated and swelled up, both in feel and appearance, and add a few extra pounds on the scale. Here’s how you can get rid of Weight Gain due to Water Retention. Cut down on salt, in fact, eat salt in moderation without completely eliminating it from the diet.
5. Did you have High Carb Food for Dinner? It’s not only important to eat dinner before 7 pm, it’s equally essential to steer clear of high-carb food for dinner. Each gram of carbohydrate holds up to three grams of water, and that’s where the jump in the scale would have come from.
6. Eating too many refined carbs? They can rapidly spike the blood sugar and insulin levels. High insulin levels cause the body to retain more sodium by increasing the reabsorption of sodium in the kidneys, which leads to more fluid volume inside the body. Perfect example of refined carbs are processed sugars and grains, white sugar, maida, white pasta, etc. Pizza, donuts, burgers, cakes, chocolate filled cookies though hard to resist, are high in refined carbs.
7. Your period is around the corner: Most women tend to experience water retention just before or during their periods. Women often feel that they have gained weight due to bloating and water retention. In reality, water retention and bloating are two of the most common symptoms of pre-menstrual syndrome. It results from change in female hormones, estrogen and progesterone and a drop in these hormones causes body cells to retain more water and salt. In this post, we have listed down some amazing tips to reduce bloating during periods.
8. Exercising towards the end of the day: When you workout or exercise towards the end of the day, near to bedtime, though your body feels exhausted, the mind remains alert and active due to the adrenal rush that exercise induces. This rush will disturb the sleep cycle, and as a result, you will wake up “hangry” and with a bigger appetite. Try to workout in the evening and make sure there is enough gap between the workout and nap time.
9. Dehydrated? When the body is dehydrated, it tends to send wrong signals and you may assume you are hungry when in reality, you are just thirsty! Also, dehydration leads to water retention and bloating, when the kidneys conserve water and cells hold on to more water, which may all lead to temporary weight gain.
10. Side effects of Medications: Certain medications such as steroids, anti-depressants, and anti-allergy medicines tend to retain water, especially on the face and around the abdominal area. The extra weight will drop off once the course of medications is over.
11. Allergy to certain food: Certain food allergies can cause temporary weight gain. It would be wise to find out if you are allergic to peanuts, pine nuts, hazel nuts, or gluten and eliminate them from your diet.
12. The most unlikeliest of causes! You have been exercising really hard! Can that cause weight gain? Yes, but just temporarily because even though working out helps to burn fat, it does cause tiny tears in the muscle and cause inflammation where water collects around the muscle tears to repair them up. If you have been feeling sore, it’s due to the inflammation factor and the numbers on the scale will definitely shoot up. It is essential to get rest days so as to let the healing of the muscles happen – ideally workout 5 days a week and take rest for 2 days to lose weight at a steady rate.
13. You have gained muscle by lifting weights: Have you recently started lifting weights? If yes, you have nothing to worry because you are most probably gaining muscle and burning fat.
14. You are weighing yourself at different times: If you have been weighing yourself every morning, stick to that schedule because weights fluctuate a great deal during different times of the day. It’s interesting to note that we tend to weigh a little less after using the restroom in the morning, so stick to the time, and don’t get flustered with such fluctuations.