Sunday, November 27, 2011

Do You Get Fat Overnight?

"How long does it take to gain a pound of fat?"
This is a very interesting question in the Women's Health magazine I read today and wanted to comment on it.

Have you ever weighed yourself two days in a row and had your eyes almost pop out? I have. It's not a pretty sight when the scale moves up 2-5 lbs from the day before. I think to myself, what did I eat? Did I drink enough water? What time of the month is it? And then I get a little depressed!

So, why does this happen and are we actually gaining fat overnight? Those of you who ate too much at Thanksgiving can rest easy. We cannot gain fat weight overnight. Your body is set to burn a specific number of calories each day based on your age, size, and activity level. If you eat too much, than yes, over time all of the excess calories you eat can turn into fat.
Just remember: 3500 calories = 1 pound of fat.
But, if you are normally somewhat active and only overeat occasionally, gaining fat over a few days isn't possible. Just don't sit on the couch for a week and expect to lose weight.

Now, what does happen overnight is all of the sodium, sugar, and water that we consume is bouncing around in our bodies, trying to be processed and we get bloated. Water/sodium weight will trick us into thinking we actually gained weight when we didn't. We can also be bloated from a really hard workout the day before because our muscles are inflamed.

My recommendation (assuming you want to weigh yourself):
1) Pick ONE day a week to weigh yourself and don't get back on the scale until the same day the next week. It will just psych you out if you do more than that.
2) Weigh yourself at the same time of day (the morning is best) and with no clothes on (yes, you heard me).
3) Do not weigh yourself after a workout because you are more bloated from it.

Now, I am not going to get into the calories in vs. calories out debate right now. I believe this is the general principle of losing weight, BUT there is so much more to how it actually plays out in our bodies. Our hormones are a HUGE factor. You can look forward to a future post about our hormones and also how our genetics affect our ability to gain/lose and get lean!

Good luck weighing!
Also, tell me your fitness goals on my previous post if you have them, I would love to hear!


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