You did NOT gain three pounds in three days.
That would mean you would have had to eat and drink an extra 3,500 calories every single day. An extra pound of bodyfat is more or less equivalent to 3,500 extra calories.
So let's do the math together. In order to gain three pounds in three days you'd need to eat your standard 2,000 calories per day, and add on 3,500 additional calories. So that's 5,500 calories, three days in a row. Even if you indulged in too much wine, too much BBQ, bowls of chips, cheese, icecream or whatever is making your stomach hurt today, you did not gain three pounds.
Sigh of relief.
Let's talk about why your scale might like to PRETEND you gained three pounds over a three-day weekend or a three-day business trip:
Travel can temporarily boost the number on your scale for a variety of reasons ::
Salt = if you're eating most of your food out in restaurants, airports, pre-packaged snacks, nuts etc, there is usually more refined table salt, which can lead to water retention.
Dehydration + Bloat = if you are dehydrated, your body actually thinks it needs to HOLD ON to more water, to protect yourself and keep your organs functioning. So that, my friends, means you'll hold on to that little water you have and you may feel kind of poofy. The key to get rid of this poof and bloat is to drink MORE water so your body knows it can release its supply, pee out it's rationed reserves 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 be a pound of weight holding out in your body. Wait, what, how much does poop weigh? I know you're now insanely curious, so I did the google search for you. A day or two of poop can weigh between one and four pounds. Oh my gosh, I KNOW. Add in more fiber and water today, to help things slide right along.
Carbs or Sugar = For every gram of carb you eat, you hold on to an extra 3 grams of 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 4 days" and "lose 6 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 dehyrating (see above), you'll retain more water as a safety mechanism. Again, drink up water, and flush it out.
Still Digesting Red Meat = if you've had red meat 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.
Also, airplanes can do a ton of funky stuff to the scale - so give yourself a few days to normalize and weigh yourself again once you're back on track. That will be a truer reflection of your actual weight.
What can you do in the meantime? I love this question!
How Quickly Can You Make a Comeback?
A true measure of success in your nutrition is how quickly you can make a comeback. How quickly can you get back to baseline? Do you falter around for a few days or do you have system to immediately get back on track?
You definitely may have gained a pound over the weekend, or heck, 10 pounds over the whole summer.
I get it.
Make a plan.
Fill your body with the nutrients from real foods and flood your cells with hydration from whole fruits, veggies and water.
It's safe and realistic to lose 1-2 pounds of bodyfat a week. I like to say 5 pounds a month.
Do the math. Where will you be in six months?
Use this as an opportunity for renewed inspiration, making fitness plans, going to the grocery store and prepping out healthy meal choices.
You'll get back to normal soon, I promise.
Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I'll hold you accountable for your September goals, gratis!