You’ve been sticking to your exercise and nutrition plan. But you jump on the scales and you’ve gained 1, 2 or even 3kg. But your last weigh-in was only a few days ago! What on earth happened?

The good news is that you can’t just gain 3kg of fat in 3 days. There are plenty of ways that your weight can fluctuate that aren’t to do with your fat mass. Here are a few of the most common causes of sudden weight gain.

Hormones

Ladies! If you’re not tracking your cycle, now is a good time to start. That way, you’ll know to avoid weighing yourself 2-3 days before your period starts.

Why do we gain weight before menstruating? It’s all in the hormone balance. Before your cycle starts, oestrogen and progesterone levels drop rapidly. Because these hormones control regulation of water in the body, the fluctuations cause you to hold onto more water. That’s why you feel puffy around areas like your tummy.

This retention of water can also cause bloating in your digestive tract. While bloating isn’t actual weight gain, it can make your clothes feel even tighter.

That being said, PMS cravings can also play a role in weight gain around your cycle. Eating a lot of salt and sugar can make you retain more water. I love to use an app called Hormonology Hormone Horoscope. It even tells me which day I am likely to want to eat all of the food.

Water retention

The balance of water is one of the most important processes in the body, with many factors altering it. If your body notices it doesn’t have enough water to do what it needs to do, it will hold onto it.

Hormones are one of the causes of water retention, but there can be other factors. Even drinking too little water or eating super-salty foods can cause us to retain water. So if you’ve munched on a family bag of chips and neglected your water intake, expect a temporary increase on the scales.

Eating too much

Food babies are a real thing! If you physically consume 1kg of food, you will weigh 1kg more – at least temporarily. This includes liquids, too. So even drinking your 2L per day can lead to a temporary 2kg weight gain.

The good news is that this weight will vanish within a day or so. But unless you’re eating 1kg of veggies, there’s a good chance that constantly eating large volumes of food will lead to gaining fat.

Digestive issues

Is your tummy less than happy? It could be a cause of sudden weight gain. This can go two ways. If you’re constipated, you hold more waste in your digestive tract for longer, contributing to your weight. Or if you experience loose bowel movements, it can be inflammation that causes you to retain fluid.

Either way, if it’s an ongoing problem, seek help from a qualified health practitioner.

Building muscle

Ok, maybe this one doesn’t happen overnight. But building muscle is fantastic for you in the long term. Not only will strength training boost your metabolism, but it can also protect your joints and bones, support a healthy heart and balance your blood sugar levels.

If you’ve been training regularly, building muscle can cause slow increases in weight. But because muscle takes up less room, you can still lose centimetres without losing weight!

As you can see, none of these are about gaining fat. Most of the time, the weight you gained will vanish in a few days. Just stick to your regular exercise, eat well and drink plenty of water.

Speaking of regular exercise and eating well, registrations are now open for the 28 Day Body Blitz kicking off on 1st April. This is no April fools joke – in fact, 10% of all registrations will be donated to the National Breast Cancer Foundation. Click HERE for details on how to register.