You may just be starting out with a new exercise and nutritional regime to lose weight. But at the end of week 1 you gain half a kilogram. Conversely, you may be a month into a program, be experiencing some great losses and then, out of nowhere, gain a kilogram! "Why Did I Gain Weight??" you cry out of desperation!
Well, it happens to everyone. Weight loss is not linear and you can never predict your results with 100% accuracy. Just when you think it's all going to plan, something will appear to throw you off course. Often, it's the unexpected weight gain.
So why can you gain weight when you have been so diligent with your exercise and diet? There is no simple answer as there could be any (or a combination of) many things including:
- Altered hormone levels
- Poor sleep patterns
- Changed food intake
- Altered approach to exercise
- Less incidental exercise (ie. just "moving around")
- Changed drinking habits
...and the list goes on.
The fact is that there are so many chemical reactions happening simultaneously within the human body that it's almost impossible to identify the one single reason why you experienced weight gain.
As I've written about numerous times in the past, weight loss is not about daily results. Sure, you can set mini goals - but as soon as you focus on each individual day, you are focusing yourself on short-term results and thus setting yourself up for failure. This is particularly true the week when you (almost inevitably) gain some weight - you'll feel like you're a failure!
Weight loss is a long-term goal for many of us, so we should be thinking in terms of long-term results. You should be considering the general trend of your results over a number of weeks. If, in the first three weeks, you lose an average of 1kg a week and then in the fourth week you gain half a kilogram - you've still averaged 0.875kg per week! At that rate, I would be suggesting to stick with the plan because in week five, you're likely to lose some more weight if you remain consistent.
It's time to alter your approach when you hit a plateau by not losing (or gaining) weight for multiple weeks in a row. Einstein's definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, so if you've gone a month without any weight loss, it isn't working! Change something before you throw the towel in and give up on yourself!