EEEK!!! You Found Another Pound! … Or Maybe 2!
Ok, so there you are in your bathroom… naked… about to shower. You notice the bathroom scale. Think to yourself, ‘I think I’ll check my weight.” Or, maybe you check it regularly. Maybe that’s the reason you’re in the bathroom. You zero it out. You take a deep breath and very carefully step on it. In your mind, you feel like if you step on it harder, the scale will think you weigh more. You step on it as gently as you can. You hold your breath. For whatever reason, you feel like if you breathe, the scale will think you weigh more. At last! You are in position. Your eyes are closed. You prepare yourself mentally, and then you look down to see the number. The number that for whatever reason, means so much to you.
You have gained a pound! A whole whopping pound! Eeek! Grrrr! After all your hard work! … well you might have had 2 cookies the other day, but other than that you’ve done everything right. You’ve been eating right and you’ve been working out. Where could you have gone wrong?!
We’ve all been there. Ok, maybe not all of us, but a lot of us. I’ve been there. Right down to stepping on the scale gently, I’m embarrassed to say. Since then, I’ve learned a thing or two. Let me share a couple possible reasons for that pound or two:
- Don’t panic. Weight fluctuates for different reasons. Maybe your last meal was kind of big. I don’t want to get graphic here, but what goes in most come out. It may all just be sitting inside still and is still working it’s way out. Perhaps you added a little more salt to your veggies. That is totally fine! Give it a bit. You are probably holding onto water. Or maybe you didn’t use much salt, but you did just drink a ton of water. You could very well still have water weight. It could be a lot of things. Every pound that scale is telling you about isn’t necessarily lean body mass or fat.
- Muscle weighs more than fat. Remember my post, When You Lose A Pound, Make It Fat? Ok, so in the case that you’ve been working out. Perhaps you’ve put on more muscle. While perhaps you’re gaining weight, you could still very well be leaning out. Muscle is denser, it weighs more, but it’s tighter and adds shape in all of the right places. You could put on 10 pounds of muscle, and still end up with a smaller waist than you originally had. 150lbs can look completely different on 5 different people, even if they are all the same height. Body fat percentage can change everything! Completely. And the way to get leaner, truly isn’t to get the number on the scale to go down. You need to get the body fat percentage to go down. Well, body fat percentage goes down as lean muscle mass goes up. Never forget that. It will change the way you view your bathroom scale. I have shorts that still fit me from 10 years ago, but I weigh 10lbs more. I am dead serious about that. Key point: that scale is a guide, if that.
- Watch the weight. If it continues to creep up and it’s just really not making sense, you may need to make a doctor’s appointment. Nutrient deficiencies, hormone imbalances, and medications can all cause changes in weight. Both up and down. With most medications, if you notice weight gain, and you let your doctor know you’re concerned (and they might be, too, if it’s significant weight gain), they may be able to find an alternative medication. Depression is a double whammy that can cause weight gain. Unfortunately, suffering from depression can cause weight gain, and so can the meds used to treat it. It’s a tough situation.
- Perhaps you are constipated. Earlier we talked about a little weight gain following a big meal. That’s fine. Digestion is a process. You don’t want to eat a lot and then go weigh yourself. Constipation is different. You’re bowels are getting backed up. This can often be treated with over-the-counter medicine, but sometimes it requires medical attention. Weight gain can be a sign of poor digestion.
- Still a mystery? Do the pounds still keep creeping up for no reason at all. Call your doctor. If you are eating right, staying active, and can’t attribute your weight gain to anything, it may be a symptom of something else going on.