Sometimes, weight gain is easy to figure out. If we’ve been drinking more alcohol or indulging in more high-calorie junk foods, an increase on the scales will come as no surprise. But what about the times when we know we’ve been doing all the right things?
It’s important not to get into the habit of weighing yourself every day, because your weight will fluctuate on a daily basis due to the reasons listed below, even though overall it may be going down. Stick to a weekly check-in at the same time of day to avoid getting into a slump where you start to feel bad about yourself for not seeing progress.
It’s also important to weigh yourself accurately. Use the same scale each time you weigh yourself, and make sure it’s on a flat, hard surface.
The 5 reasons the scale went up this morning include:
#1 Water Retention
Plane flights, hormone changes, and high-salt foods are just a few of the many factors that can cause water retention. The extra water adds up to extra kilos on the scale, but is not an indication of any fat or muscle gain. Some people retain more water quite easily than others, so just try to be mindful of whether any of these factors could be at play when you step on those scales.
#2 Menstrual Cycle
It’s normal to gain 1-3 kilos that starts a few days before your period, and goes away a few days after your period ends. The extra kilos on the scale are due to hormonal changes causing weight gain (but it’s important to remember, this is not a fat gain) by increasing water retention. As estrogen and progesterone levels fluctuate, the tissues in your body accumulate more water. The good news is this is temporary!
#3 You’ve been unwell
Many of us assume we’ll lose weight when we’re sick, but that’s not always the case. Sometimes when you’re sick and have been drinking lots of fluids and not moving much, you’ll notice a slight increase on the scales. It’s important to focus more on getting well rather than a minor spike on the scales.
#4 You’ve gained muscle mass
If you are participating in strength training workouts and you’re consuming adequate protein, you’re going to experience an increase in muscle mass. Even if you’re losing fat, you may see an increase on the scale. This is because muscle is more dense than fat – it weighs more, but it takes up less space. Genetics also plays a big role in the amount of muscle mass you gain when starting an exercise program.
#5 You haven’t pooped yet
Being “backed up” can cause you to weigh more until your body releases the waste it’s hanging onto. Stress, too little sleep, travel, and a lack of fibre in the diet can all be contributing factors. Eat fibre-rich foods to get things moving, like fruit, veggies and wholegrains.
Go easy on yourself and don’t jump on that scale too often!
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