You wake up one early morning to a good mood for you have now started doing everything right to achieve your fat loss goals. You are following your diet, have a set exercise routine, are sleeping well on time at night, aren’t cheating on meals during the weekend, and there is absolutely nothing that can throw you off the track.
But then, you step on the weighing scale and see that your weight has shot up by a kilo or two. While it was fine the previous day, you see the scale tipping on the higher side and start wondering why did you gain weight overnight.
It can be very disappointing to watch a spurt on the scale one fine morning when you have been following everything to the t. But, the thing is, it’s simply impossible to gain so much fat in just one day, and most of the time it is due to water retention.
Read on and discover what are the reasons behind the overnight increase in your weight.
The human body is primarily made up of water, containing around 70% of it. When the hydration level is not balanced, our bodies tend to hold on to the water. Water retention happens when there are excess fluids that build up in your body. While it isn’t a very serious issue to be worried about, water retention can make you feel heavy and lethargic.
Let us take a look at what causes water retention.
When you have more carbohydrates than usual, it will lead to temporary water retention which causes weight fluctuations. For every gram of carbohydrate you consume, the body retains about three grams of water. So, if you have had doughnuts, soda, soft pretzels, potato or corn chips, gummy candy, or pancakes in more quantity on the previous night for dinner, chances are that your body retained more water due to higher consumption of carbohydrates. To avoid this, remember to quantify what you eat.
An increase in sodium level is another primary cause of water retention. Table salt contains almost 40% of sodium, and so, if you have had anything salty for dinner, chances are that the body would retain water and reflect as increased weight in the morning. The excess level of sodium also causes dehydration of the body, which in turn makes the body hang on to water. One of the best ways to avoid surplus consumption of sodium is by eating less salty food.
Women are the ones who primarily face water retention due to hormonal changes. During the menstrual cycle, women usually complain of bloating, and that is due to water retention. In women, estrogen and progesterone also affect body fluid regulation. So, it is quite normal for women to see an increase in weight around that time of the month.
Lack of sleep
A tough day at work causing stress may lead to a lack of sleep at night. This can cause you to retain water. If you were awake until late at night watching your favorite series or catching up on some work then you may find a spurt in your weight the next morning. So, remember to sleep on time.
This may come as a surprise, but an intense session of exercise can also cause water retention. A fierce workout stresses your body and causes micro-tearing damage to the muscle fibers. This induces water retention in the body. As you exercise, your body releases cortisol which may impact fluid levels of your body and cause it to retain water.
Troubled Bowel Movements
Yes, you read that right! Your poop is a major factor affecting your body weight. The daily mass of poop varies from 15 grams to approximately 1.5 kilograms between different people. The amount of poop that you excrete can change daily, depending upon many lifestyle factors. In case you have been constipated, you will poop less and you will see your weight to be more on the weighing scale. So, remember to take a dump before you step on the scale in the morning.
While these are the primary reasons for you to gain weight overnight, consumption of alcohol the previous night, and taking medications for blood pressure, seizures, or migraines can also be a few other causes.
It is important to note, however, that there is absolutely no necessity to fuss over this weight gain as it is temporary. So, getting worked up about your weight will only cause you unnecessary stress. It is also important to understand when to weigh yourself in order to get the most consistent results.
The best practice is to take the average of the daily weight and compare it with the average of the previous week. But, if you are someone who gets stressed about the daily weight fluctuations, then it is better to weigh yourself just once a week and consider other ways to track progress, like using a measuring tape to keep a tap on your inches.
While it could get annoying to go through this process regularly, there is nothing to worry about if you see a small shift in your weight day-to-day. A bodyweight scale that checks your fluid levels, could also be a good idea for those who are very particular. Also, an important thing to keep in mind is that both, muscles and fat, lead to an increase in weight and your weight gain could be due to muscle growth as well.
The best solution is to follow a consistent plan and not fret too much about the numbers. There are various other ways to judge progress – the way your clothes fit, the number of reps you increased, the cheat meals you don’t crave anymore, more efficient meal planning are just a few to list! Avoid unnecessary stress, just work out, keep fit, eat healthy food, and stay focused!
Ketki H (Content Writer)