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Don't Worry: You Didn't Gain 3 Pounds In One Weekend, You're Just Bloated

Chill out. You did NOT gain three pounds in three days.

Let's do the math together. In order to gain three pounds in three days, you'd basically need to eat your standard amount of calories per day, and add on 3,500 additional calories. That's about 5,500 calories, three days in a row.

Even if you indulged in too much wine, barbecue, chips, cheese, ice cream or whatever is making your stomach hurt today, you did not gain three pounds. Let's talk about why your scale might like to PRETEND you gained three pounds over a three-day weekend. The key here is water retention and bloat.

Salt

If you're eating most of your food out of restaurants and airports or you're eating prepackaged snacks, there is usually more refined table salt in your food. This can lead to bloating.


Dehydration

If you are dehydrated, your body actually thinks it needs to hold on to more water to protect you and keep your organs functioning. So that, my friends, means you'll hold on to that water you have, and it may feel kind of poofy in your face, tummy and arms.

The key to get rid of this poof and bloat is to drink more water, so your body knows it can release its supply and flush out your system. Drink up!


Constipation

If you're not on your regular pooping schedule or are holding a bit back, that can easily add a pound of weight to your body. Wait, what, how much does poop weigh? I know you're now insanely curious, so I did the research for you. A day or two (or three) of poop can weigh between one and four pounds. Oh my gosh, I KNOW. Add in more fiber and water to help things slide right along.


Carbs or Sugar

For every gram of a carb you eat, you hold on to more water weight within your cells. So if you've eaten more refined carbs in the last few days, you're holding on to more water. That's why a lot of people can “slim down in four days” and “lose six pounds” by severally restricting carbs. They're essentially just losing short-term water weight.


Alcohol

It's highly inflammatory. When you have more inflammation in your body, you'll feel a bit bloated. Also, since alcohol is dehydrating (see above), you'll retain more water as a safety mechanism to protect your organs and keep your system functioning. Again, drink your water and flush it out. Your organs will thank you.


Red Meat

If you've had red meat recently, it could still be in your digestive tract. A hamburger or a steak can take 24 hours to digest. So yes, it's weighing you down on the scale.

Fill your body with the nutrients from real foods and flood your cells with hydration from whole fruits, veggies and water. A true measure of success in your nutrition, diet and weight maintenance is how quickly you can make a comeback. How quickly can you get back to baseline after going “off-plan?” Do you falter around for a few days, or do you have a plan in place to immediately get back on track?

Use this as an opportunity for renewed inspiration. Make fitness plans, go to the grocery store and prep some healthy meal choices for the rest of the week. You'll get back to normal soon, I promise.

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Michelle Cady

Contributor

Michelle is a Nutrition Health Coach, Personal Trainer, Run Coach, Wellness Blogger and the Founder of www.FitVista.com. Before transitioning to the world of wellness, she graduated from Middlebury College in 2008 had a 7-year career in Finance ...
Michelle is a Nutrition Health Coach, Personal Trainer, Run Coach, Wellness Blogger and the Founder of www.FitVista.com. Before transitioning to the world of wellness, she graduated from Middlebury College in 2008 had a 7-year career in Finance ...

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