the big causes of fluid retention are salt and exercise. the more salt you eat [hello restaurant food] the more water is retained to balance it out. the more you do certain exercises, the more water is held back to help repair your muscles. carbs are a secondary big one. they need more wet to be processed by your body than fat or protein, so if you're jumping up your carbs significantly, that's going bump up your fluid needs [just like when you cut out huge amounts of carbs, your body keeps less water on hand to process the lower amount of carbs].
also, well, it's about what is in you at the time. if you eat cleanly most of the time, you're probably pretty regular. if you have this cheat meal, that probably sets you back a little bit. not a huge lot, but it means that more food is going to be in you at that point and from the time you eat something until the time it is converted to energy or excreted, it's the same as standing on the scale holding the food in your arms. so it sounds like your idea of a "cheat" is a small, reasonably portioned, slightly salty and lower fiber meal than you usually have. which means it makes you retain a little more water [and water is heavy, a half pound a cup] and slows down your excretory tract just enough that you're keeping just a little extra weight on the next day.
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1,466 9/25/11 12:54 A
I found that happens to me when I eat out and this past week I've eaten out more then normal, otherwise I eat pretty clean. I gained 4lbs this week, and I know I didn't eat that much I stayed within range. My guess is sodium! Restaurants use a ton of sodium in there food and all it takes is one meal to make you bloat. Drink lots of water and it will flush out!! When this happens to me, I make an extra effort to each super healthy for the next few days.
Just want to throw this out there, see if anyone has answers.
I usually eat super healthy. I follow a clean-eating diet. But maybe once a week I have a day when I'll eat "fun" foods that aren't necessarily good for me. I do not binge. We're talking maybe one restaurant meal, then I'll share a dessert, and I'll possibly have another snack that day that's not something I'd usually eat.
Without fail, I gain 3 pounds. I know that three pounds isn't fat, because I did not go 10,000 calories over maintenance. Also, when I start eating right again the weight will come off at the rate of a pound a day. So obviously it's retained fluids.
My question is, what is it about the cheat foods that cause me to gain fluids like that? Is it the salt? The sugar? What? As I said, I don't have some crazy binge. I have normal-sized meals, they're just not clean foods.
This isn't something that's really troubling to me, because the weight comes right back off. I've just been wondering about it. And it's always 3 pounds. Never 2, never 1. Always 3. At least I'm consistent!