6 Reasons You May Have Gained ‘Weight’ That Wasn’t Fat
The term ‘weight’ is extremely broad when we’re referring to the number that flashes up at us when we step onto a scale. You step on the scale and gravity, doing its thing, shows you a reflection of absolutely everything that is being weighed.
So let’s say you get on and the number is up from the last time you jumped on. I guarantee you most people, if not all, will automatically think that they are fatter because the number shows they are heavier. But that is not always the case.
There are times when indeed you may be heavier in scale weight, but that won’t always have a direct relationship to having put on fat. So i’d like to highlight 6 ways in which the scale weight may increase, but have absolutely nothing to do with getting fatter.
You May Be Stressed
Stress can cause cortisol (a stress hormone) to go into overdrive and release an anti-diuretic hormone (ADH) resulting in water retention. If we’re holding onto water, yep, you guessed it, we’re heavier.
You May Have Been Dehydrated Yesterday
Drinking water (or lack thereof) can shift your weight. Maybe you were dehydrated last time you weighed yourself?
Your Salt Intake Was Higher Yesterday
High salt intake the day before you weigh yourself can cause a substantial amount of water retention. A high sodium meal can cause you to store some excess water. This can add some weight to the scale and can stay on for a few days before it starts to come back off.
Ladies, It May Be That Time Of The Month
Ladies, have you noticed you gain weight during your menstrual cycle? It’s just water retention keeping your body safe. Changes in progesterone and estrogen levels cause the body to retain more water and salt. The body’s cells become swollen with water, causing the feeling of bloating.
You Weighed Yourself At A Different Time Of The Day
Maybe you just weighed yourself at a different time than usual and ate more food at this time? More food or fluid in your system equals more weight. One litre of water equals 1kg in scale weight.
You Could Have Gained Some Muscle and Retained Some Water
You may have just gained some muscle and to allow those muscles to recover your body is retaining water. Also, stored in water, glycogen has to bind with water as part of the process to fuel the muscle. That water adds a small amount of weight, too.
So, while the scale may be a useful tool to keep track of any progress, it is important to not beat ourselves up over small fluctuations that may appear. If possible, try to duplicate the same conditions each time you step on the scale (time/day, fluid/food intake etc), and remain as consistent as possible with it.