Help! I Gained Weight!

Gaining weight might feel like a crisis, but it is only your feelings, and your mind, that is creating that crisis. In fact, weight fluctuation is normal. So, how do you know you gained weight? Did you just happen to have your weight recorded at the doctor’s office, or is your scale also your best friend?

If you are weighing yourself every day, or even once a week, stop. Weight fluctuations are inevitable, but when you see those numbers so often, it can lead to frustration.

We recommend monthly weigh-ins coupled with taking body measurements. Also, if you can get your body fat percentage measured at a fitness center, you will have a true picture of how much fat you are losing. Why is this important? Muscle takes up less room than fat. Of course, we want more muscle than fat, but when such a transition takes place—while good—there may be an increase reflected on the scale. You will know when your weight gain is due to muscle increase because your clothes will likely feel the same or even looser. If you look good, and feel good, but the scale says otherwise, it may be due to muscle mass increase, or some other reason, but either way, weight gain is no reason to panic.

If you have gained three, or even five, pounds, it can represent water weight, which is a very common reason for sudden gain or loss. Further, nothing is static. Your body changes every day and much is tied to the density of the foods you eat, the amount of water you drink, and even your salt intake. Our bodies are made primarily of water and water has weight. Water also has no calories, so drinking water will not make you fat, but it can cause the number on the scale to rise. So detach yourself from the number you see during your monthly weigh-in. It is simply there to guide you, not make you crazy.

On the other hand, you may be gaining weight because you are eating more or exercising less, so ask yourself, why do you think you gained weight? How much exercise are you doing? How much are you eating? Really look at the past month. Have you been ill? Have your medications changed? There may be a good reason for the increase, or it may be a chance fluctuation. Oh, well. Now is not the time to make drastic changes. You do not want to react negatively to the number on the scale.

But do take care of yourself, put YOU first, love your body, love yourself, and just forget about the number. It is only a number after all. It is just a guide. Make changes if necessary, but if you are on track, just stay there and don’t let the number on the scale derail your efforts.