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Can I really lose or gain 3 pounds overnight?

Throughout the holidays or even days of eating a lot of food, some may wake up to supposedly having gained a lot of weight. Conversely, some may believe that their day of fasting and dieting has resulted in them shedding a lot of weight overnight. However, both of these instances of gaining and losing weight are temporary and not accurate. Rather, there are various reasons for the supposed weight gain and weight loss overnight, including diet factors.

Diet choices can lead to people supposedly gaining weight overnight, but the weight is not permanent and is the result of the body adjusting to changes. For instance, drinking too much water can lead to seeing a bigger number on the scale because of water weight. Water weight can also result from having a lot of sodium in the diet, as sodium causes water retention. Also, eating a lot of food the day before may result in supposed weight gain the next day, but the weight is not permanent unless stored as body fat. As the body adjusts and digests the food, the weight will go away. For many, food intolerance leads to temporary weight gain, which goes away as the food is digested. However, it is important to learn which foods one is intolerant to in order to avoid those foods.

Similarly, choices made the day before in regards to diet can lead to temporary weight loss. For instance, dehydration leads to weighing less because the muscles and tissues have no water in them, resulting in them being sucked to a lower mass. Sweating also allows one to lose water weight, temporarily showing weight loss. And as one breathes throughout the night, one loses their body’s carbon molecules, which leads to temporary weight loss. Most importantly, depending on whether or not one has eaten yet or not, one’s weight may show up to be less than it really is. All of these instances of weight loss are times when the body is adjusting with changes. This is why it is important to remind oneself that weight fluctuations are normal.

Fluctuations in weight throughout a day or two are normal and usually temporary. This is why it is important to weigh oneself in the same conditions every time and after at least a week after one last weighed oneself has passed. These conditions may include before one has eaten and in the morning. If these conditions are not met, the weight one sees on the scale is usually inaccurate. It may make oneself believe that they have gained or lost weight when that is not the reality; rather, it is a combination of several factors, all of which are temporary.



Anyabuine, J. How much weight do you lose overnight? Surprising truths. HealthCanal. 2021

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Chieffi, T. 7 reasons you gain weight overnight and what you can do about it. Popsugar

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Fetters, A. 12 reasons why the scale says you gained weight overnight, according to experts.

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