truth about weight gain

Okay okay. I know you’re freaking out, but imma let you in on a little secret…you’re gonna be just fine!! I promise!  Cross my heart and kiss my elbow (name that Audrey Hepburn movie). And listen, I know it’s super frustrating because you’re giving it your all. 

You’re eating salads when you want to be eating donuts. You’re getting up early to work out when your bed is clearly trying to get you to stay. And yet, you’re GAINING weight! What the (*insert choice expletive) is that??!!! I got you. And believe me, I’ve been there. So I’m here to help you get your zen on and help you figure out the WHY.  Let’s roll.

salt, sodium, water retention, weight gain

1. You’re Eating Too Much Sodium

So you’ve decided to start counting your calories, good job!  That’s the first step in taking control of this new nutrition biz.  You may be under or right at your calorie allotment, but have you checked out your sodium intake?  Are you eating more processed deli meat than normal?  Turned to soups because they’re super low in calories? 

Lets go over an example of how that who soup idea is probably not the best: 

     A can of Progresso Chicken Noodle soup has 690 milligrams of sodium.  For one cup.  And I’m guessing you eat the entire can cause who can really eat half a can of soup.  Not this girl.  That right there is 1,380 milligrams.  I’m also gonna bet that you have saltines with it.   “m good at this game, huh? Well, 5 of those babies is another 135 milligrams.  So even if you don’t double up on those bad boys, for that one meal, we’re looking at 1,515 milligrams.  For one meal.  ONE.

According to the American Heart Association, the ideal number for sodium intake is NO MORE than 1,500 milligrams of sodium.  Yikes.  Good luck trying to find anything that has negative amounts of sodium. 

Why is sodium such a big deal when it comes to weight loss?  Have you ever eaten like at a Mexican restaurant and felt like a beached whale afterwards???  That’s because it’s LOADED with sodium!  And guess what sodium does.  It makes you retain water.  It’s even worse when you don’t drink enough water. 

Having a high sodium diet with just an additional 400 milligrams extra can potentially cause a temporary gain of 2 pounds!  It’s important to have sodium in our diets, but let’s keep it around that 1,500 milligram number to see that weight come off!

2. Your Muscles are Soaking Up ALL The Water

I’m going to give you the real simple version of this because the scientific-y stuff is juuuust kind of complex.  So here we go. When you work out, you tear your muscles.  Plain and simple.  Bet you never thought that, huh?  It’s kind of weird if you think of it!  But, it’s what happens.  And! It’s what makes your muscles get all toned and beautiful!

Now, they’re just micro-tears (little guys), and it’s also one reason you get sore.  When your muscles tear, they immediately want to start healing (as do all parts of your body, hence blood clotting as well!).  When that happens, your muscles use whatever water they can find to try to start the healing process.  This causes water retention because your body holds it where it needs to heal.  In my mind, and I can’t be 100% sure about this, but I think it goes something like this: “um, yeah….no, I’m not letting this water out of my sight, I need ta heal!” and then you gain 5 pounds.  But just remember, it’s water weight, you haven’t gained 5 pounds of fat overnight.  Promise.

3. You’re Eating Too Much

So this one is kind of a kicker, because you want to make sure you’re eating enough, but not too much.  SO many people overestimate how much they work out, and underestimate how much food they’re eating.  The key here is to try tracking your food.  There’s so many apps available out there, think of MyFitnessPal, Macro+, FitBit, etc.  If that sounds super daunting, then just track one day a week and work from there.  At least you’ll get a good estimate of around how many calories you’re eating.  To figure out how much you should be eating, I’d definitely recommend hiring a dietitian or a nutrition specialist personal trainer (*cough cough).

Key Takeaways

Here’s the deal-yo.  Don’t give up.  Keep doing what you’re doing.  You’ve gotta give your body time to adjust to the stress (yes exercising is stress) you’re putting on your body.  Don’t fall into the trap of thinking you have to weigh yourself every day, that’s crazy!  Pay attention to how your clothes feel and how much your energy increases.  Side note on that:  the first couple weeks of your new training program are gonna suck.  Imma be honest with you.  They’re gonna suck real bad.  But then you’re going to feel powerful as hell.

To keep that sodium low, avoid getting your salty foods on, and drink plenty of water!  Water is what’s going to help flush out all the water your body is holding onto.  Try to stick to things that aren’t packaged, that’s where the sodium starts piling up.  Not only watch your sodium, but track what you’re eating!  I bet you’d be surprised how different the numbers are from what you think you’re eating.  

Until Next Time Babes!


xx, Ash




Cited Sources:

Progresso Soup:

Sodium Recommendation:

Muscle tears: