Overnight Weight Gain Factors
If you stepped on the scale one morning and wondered, “Why did I gain weight overnight?”, then you are not alone.
It’s a more common experience than you might think. Most importantly, it’s not actual fat gain but temporary weight gain due to various factors discussed below.
Overnight weight gain is not unusual and generally nothing to worry about. Neither can you gain a kilo or two of ACTUAL BODYFAT overnight nor can you lose it.
So before you fret about it, remember this article and see if any of these factors could be the reason.
Eating a lot of salt can cause your body to retain more water, which can show up on the scale as extra pounds next morning.
Salty foods are high in sodium. Other common sources of sodium in your food are MSG (monosodium glutamate), sodium nitrite, sodium saccharin and baking soda. Many processed foods contain all these sources of sodium, therefore you may have consumed more sodium than you thought.
CARBS AND GLYCOGEN
One gram of carbohydrate retains three grams of water, so it’s really an easy way to gain weight overnight.
The reason behind overnight weight gain due to pasta or pizza binge is the carbs they contain that fill up your body’s glycogen reserves. Suddenly eating a lot of carbs can cause your body to store more glycogen. Glycogen is a stored form of glucose which body holds in liver and muscle cells for when it needs a quick fuel source. Glycogen is the main reason behind sudden bouts of weight loss and weight gain during training. The reason you can lose more pounds of weight in the first week of training – especially with a low carb diet – is because you’re burning through your body’s glycogen stores and not replenishing them.
Intense workout the day before can cause water retention as the muscles work to repair micro abrasions and tears.
Water retention from working out is nothing to worry about and will likely go away on its own and will not result in body fat.
Probably you got up early and weighed in earlier than normal with food left in your stomach to be digested. Also, the longer you sleep the more water you breathe out as respiration. So if you weigh in earlier than normal, you’ll likely weigh in heavier than usual.
FOODS THAT CAUSE BLOATING
Bloating occurs due to water retention and which can slightly increase your weight (“water weight”). If you ate something that made you to feel a little gassy before bed then that might just be the cause of why you weighed in heavier the next morning.
Foods like artificial sweeteners (ex. sorbitol, erythritol or xylitol), processed foods, carbonated sodas, and for some people, dairy, can all cause bloating.
Fiber doesn’t cause permanent weight gain; in fact, fiber is often linked to weight loss.
Fiber rich foods are awesome, because they help to fill you up, keep your bowel movements regular, lower cholesterol and play a major role in digestion.
However, if you suddenly start eating a lot of fiber-rich foods, such as whole grains, fruits and veggies then you might get a little constipated from the large increase in fiber. Constipation is most likely if you don’t drink plenty of water along with these fiber-filled foods. Of course, both the fiber and the water it retains can lead to overnight weight gain.
If you weigh in before using the bathroom in the morning then you’ll likely observe higher body weight. That’s especially true if you’re having an issue like constipation.
Try using the bathroom before you get on the scale.
LATE NIGHT DINNER
You had late night dinner and there was food left in your stomach the next morning when you weighed in.
Alcohol dehydrates the body. When the body is dehydrated, skin and vital organs try to hold onto as much water as possible, leading to puffiness in the face & elsewhere and can lead to increase in scale weight.
Also alcohol can lead to high estrogen which leads to more water retention in the body.
Also alcohol can cause internal inflammation and gastrointestinal distress resulting in bloat.
Stress leads to increased cortisol and aldosterone leading to increased water retention.
Stress can be any kind of stress. Poor sleep is also a kind of stress. So if you don’t sleep well then the next morning your water retention can be high because you haven’t recovered well and the overall stress in the body is higher.
Hormonal changes can cause weight gain by increasing water retention. In the days before your period, estrogen and progesterone rapidly decrease. This tells your body that it’s time to begin menstruation. Estrogen and progesterone also control the way your body regulates fluid. This happens because progesterone dominates other hormones right before you enter into your monthly menstrual cycle. This leads to water retention in the body.
Sometimes it is not the drug itself which causes temporary weight gain, however, it is the side-effects of the drug. Some drugs stimulate your appetite and as a result you eat more. Some medications cause water retention.
Whatever you do, don’t stop taking the medication without consulting a doctor first.
All of the above factors can give you temporary weight gain which is not fat gain. Be aware of them so that you don’t worry unnecessarily. Do share this article with your family & friends since a lot of people have asked me about this over the years.
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Abhinav Malhotra is an award-winning personal trainer, coach and sports nutritionist in Dubai, UAE. He also offers online services to clients around the world. A personal trainer par excellence, Abhi has worked with the world’s leading fitness chains, supplement brands and founded his own fitness academy in India. He has achieved successes for many clients from all backgrounds and has trained the Indian Army Rugby Team. He is the first International Kettlebell Sport athlete from India.