Have you ever woken up, stepped on the scale, and discovered that you're five pounds heavier than you were yesterday? Yeah, me too. It's frustrating, confusing, and honestly a little scary. How is it possible to gain five pounds in just one day? Well, I did a little research and discovered some surprising explanations for this mysterious phenomenon.
Water retention is when your body holds onto excess fluids. There are many reasons why this might happen - eating salty foods or not drinking enough water among them - but one common cause is hormonal changes. If you're experiencing PMS, for example, your hormones can cause your body to retain more water than usual.
If this is the reason behind my sudden weight gain (and let's be honest here - it probably is), then there's not much I can do about it except wait it out. Drinking plenty of water and avoiding salt might help slightly, but really all I can do is ride the wave (the very bloated wave).
Another possible explanation for unexpected weight gain overnight could be digestive issues like constipation or indigestion. If your bowels aren't moving regularly or efficiently (um...gross), then food waste may build up in your intestines causing bloating and abdominal discomfort.
In most cases these digestive issues will resolve themselves within a few days as long as they weren't caused by something serious like an intestinal blockage or disease (knocks on wood). In the meantime though...pass the prunes?
As someone who has been known to eat her feelings from time-to-time (cough frequently cough), I know firsthand how stressful situations can lead to overeating which leads to sudden weight gain (sigh). When we're stressed our bodies produce cortisol, a hormone that can increase appetite and cravings for fatty, sugary foods. It's like our body is saying, "Hey it's cool if you're going to be stressed out all day...but just in case let me make sure you're carrying around an extra five pounds!" (eyeroll)
If stress eating is the culprit behind my temporary weight gain I suppose I could always try to relieve my stress through exercise, meditation or maybe even deep-breathing...or just find new ways to avoid stressful situations altogether?
High Sodium Intake
I'll be honest: salty snacks are one of the great joys in my life (don't judge). But as delicious as they can be, consuming excessive amounts of sodium can lead to bloating and water retention (#circlebacktowaterretention). Processed foods like chips and crackers are usually high in salt - but so are many restaurant meals.
So next time I'm feeling particularly puffy post-meal perhaps it would behoove me (yes behoove) to take a look at the ingredients list before chowing down...
As mentioned earlier hormonal changes - like those triggered by PMS - can cause sudden increases in water retention leading to unexpected weight gain. Similarly pregnancy (ha! not me thank god) or menopause may also create hormonal fluctuations which result in shifts on the scale.
Unfortunately we have less control over these kinds of hormonal changes than dietary ones. So basically when it comes down to hormones you just gotta roll with whatever your body decides.
Overall while gaining 5 pounds overnight might seem incredibly frustrating (raise hand), there's usually no need for alarm unless it happens frequently (in which case see doctor). Drinking more water, avoiding salty foods (/plants face into bowl of french fries) , considering digestive health all help prevent this kind of situation from happening in the first place. As for me...I'm off to buy some prunes and meditate on my salty habits (crosses fingers).