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   With summer coming to a close, keeping those summer bodies in check during those harsh, cold winter months is a struggle. We spend our saved up money on gym memberships, consume excessive amounts of weight loss or protein shakes, and count calories as much as possible. All that calorie counting can lead to some unnecessary stress in our lives leading us to having what most fitness addicts call,”A Cheat-Day.”

    A cheat day is mainly a day dedicated to eating whatever and whenever without the stressful number crunching. Many people do it for sanity purposes of not constantly worrying about numbers, while others do it to just have a reason to give into temptation. The problem with cheat days though is that the next day people jump on the scale to see a major weight gain of at most three to ten pounds. This can lead to excess worrying and make you feel as if your weight loss experience was a waste of time. That is why I am here to tell you to not trouble yourself; there are many reasons for why those major changes on the scale are nothing to worry about.

    First, to actually gain five pounds in one day you would have to consume an excess amount of food. To gain one pound of fat you would have to eat over 3,500 calories. The added lbs are more than likely fluctuations due to water consumption. Water makes up as much as sixty percent of our body mass. So, when you consume water it can add extra weight to your whole body composition. Just consuming 32 oz. of water can lead to as much as a two pound weight gain.

    Second, consuming salty foods can aid in that water weight. Foods high in sodium leads water to stay longer in the body, due to the fact that salty foods like potato chips cause excess water to be pulled into your cells. This leads you to feel fuller, bloated, and of course- gain weight.

    Third, for all my girls out there, your monthly cycle can have an impact on the scale too. The frequent culprit in this case is hormones. When you have your cycle, your hormones cause a shift in water mass leading to a weight gain of as much as five pounds. If that is the case, the best thing to do is stay off the scale for the time being, and jump back on after you stopped having your period.

   Finally, foods high in carbohydrates put added weight on the body. Glycogen is a stored form of carbohydrate, and provides energy to the body in times of starvation. Every person holds a varying amount of glycogen depending upon how much muscle tissue is present in the body. With each gram of glycogen consumed, you store about three grams of water. So, that means if your body is storing 300 grams of glycogen, you are holding onto 900 grams of water- which is about two pounds.

    With these facts in mind, they can show why a one day weight gain can come off pretty strange. But the best thing about it is it is only temporary and nothing to be scared over. The ideal thing to do is to get back into the normal routine of working out more frequently and cutting out the junk food. Also, drinking more water can do wonders at helping you lose weight. When water is consumed, it can make you fuller faster and stop you from overeating. My greatest advice I can give to you though is to not be dismayed by the scale after one cheat day. Do not let a number dictate your journey in finding your best you and reaching your fittest form. A number on a scale is not everything in finding your true physical self.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Memphis Teen.