For those of you who are working towards a weight loss goal, you’ll find that you weigh yourself weekly or bi-weekly and watch the number like a hawk to make sure you are hitting your goal weight.
But progress is not linear.
Rather than seeing your tracked progress as .5-2 pounds lost weekly, you’ll find that one week you lost 1 pound, the next you lost 1.5 pounds, the week after that you gained 2 pounds. But, you know you have followed your workout regimen to a T and ate extremely clean so how in the world did you gain 2 pounds?!?!?!?! Seeing this weight gain holds a very negative space in your mind because you will instantly think it is 2 pounds of fat.
I know it is frustrating and is an unsettling feeling seeing all of your hard work be “ruined” per se by a stupid number on the scale. Weight changes are usually temporary and it doesn’t mean you aren’t making progress.
But, I am here to tell you that if you are eating cookies, cakes, McDonald’s, junk food, and pizza constantly, yes, I would agree it is a 2 pound FAT weight gain. But if you are eating clean and working out, there are other explanations to the weight gain.
Here are some explanations for why your weight can rise and they have nothing to do with gaining fat:
- YOU DRANK A LOT OF WATER – Drinking an excess amount of water tends to hold in your body, especially if you are dehydrated. So it only makes sense for your muscles, organs, bones, and tissues to hold onto that water which will make you a little bloated and the scale to go up. That does not mean you actually gained two pounds of fat, your body was just depleted of water the day prior.
- YOUR SODIUM INTAKE WAS HIGHER THAN USUAL – Sodium can have an immediate temporary impact on your weight. Foods that are high in sodium causes you to retain water in your gut. And this results in belly bloat and again – weight fluctuation – but will go away in a day or two.
- YOU ATE MORE CARBS THAN USUAL – Eating a surprisingly amount of carbs also forces your body to hold an extra amount of water showing weight gain on the scale. This is why people who follow low-carb diets lose weight faster, the water quickly drops.
- YOU HAVEN’T HAD A BOWEL MOVEMENT IN A WHILE – Sorry for the awkward TMI but it is pretty self explanatory, if you haven’t gone to the bathroom and have gotten rid of waste, it will cause your weight to fluctuate.
- YOU ARE ABOUT TO GET YOUR PERIOD – Another TMI, sorry LOL, but for the ladies here, most of us know that when it comes to our time of the months, we see the bloat and gain a few pounds but that is only due to water retention.
- YOU STRENGTH TRAINED YESTERDAY – strength training, in the long run, can speed up your progress. But, it can also cause your weight to appear higher day-to-day. This is because strength training and intense exercise causes inflammation. When you are lifting weights, your muscles are creating tiny tears in them and once you feed your body with proper nutrients those tears will be filled and create that shape and tone of the muscle. Your body takes on water to help with muscle repair which explains the higher number on the scale.
- MUSCLE WEIGHS MORE THAN FAT – Think of fat as marshmallow, it is very soft, fluffy, not very dense. And think of muscle as almost like steal, it is very dense and hard. So it makes sense for muscle to weight more than fat.
If you still find yourself getting upset over your weight fluctuation, try and weigh yourself less. The number truly does not matter because all of these things I have listed are natural occurrences. Rather than focusing on the number, I like to take weekly progress photos because I am able to compare each week so I can see my progress and the weight doesn’t seem like a big deal!