help! I gained 10 pounds in a week – Fitness Volt

Most exercisers pay close attention to their body weight. In fact, most of us monitor our weight on a regular basis, for example, weekly. A regular weight regimen will tell you if your diet and exercise are OK or if you need to tighten up your eating habits. People who are trying to lose weight are usually more aware of the scale.

Of course, there’s more to being healthy and fit than being overweight on the scale. What your body weight is made of is equally important. This is called your body composition and refers to the relationship between fat mass and lean mass. Body composition is expressed as a percentage, for example, 12%. The lower the percentage, the leaner and more defined you will be.

You can estimate your body composition here.

However, despite your best intentions, you may find yourself gaining weight quickly, like ten pounds a week. This is not rare, but it can be annoying and frustrating.

Before quitting your diet and exercise for good, it is important to stop and investigate the cause of such a big jump in weight. In many cases, rapid weight gain can be easily explained.

In this article, we reveal the most common causes of rapid weight gain and what you can do to prevent it.

Six common reasons for rapid weight gain

Gaining 10 pounds a week can be a huge shock, especially if you are currently trying to maintain or lose weight. The good news is that in most cases the explanation is simple and the solution is easy to implement. The most likely reasons for rapid weight gain are:

1. Water retention

Your body is made up of about 60% water. Water is everywhere – in your muscles, blood, digestive system, and urinary system. Your body is constantly using and losing water, but it is entirely possible that you are consuming more than you need. Your body stores water so it doesn’t run out, and this is called water retention.

Sometimes, your body retains more than it needs, and water weight can increase beyond what is considered normal. Water is a heavy substance, and one liter weighs a kilo or about 2.2 pounds.

Causes of water retention include:

  • Consume more sodium than usual Excess sodium or salt in food can lead to water retention. For example, suppose you have eaten a lot of salty foods recently, such as potato chips or ready-made meals. In this case, your water weight may temporarily increase.
  • Use of creatine Creatine monohydrate is a water supplement, which means that it attracts water. If you have recently started using creatine, your body will retain excess water, especially within your muscle cells. One solution to this problem is to use creatine HCL instead of monohydrate. Hydrochloric acid does not cause water retention like a can of monohydrate. (Find your ideal daily intake of creatine here)
  • You didn’t drink enough water Oddly enough, if you are used to not drinking enough water, your body tends to store more water. This survival mechanism is designed to keep you alive when there is a shortage of water, for example, during a drought. Drinking more water will tell your body that it’s okay to get rid of excess water stores.
  • certain medicines Some medications have side effects, and a common side effect is water retention. If you have just started taking a new medication, such as corticosteroids, and have gained weight, this may be the cause. Read the information leaflet that came with your medicine, or ask your doctor, and you may discover the reason for your rapid weight gain.

2. Consuming more carbohydrates than usual

complex carbohydrates
complex carbohydrates

Carbohydrates are one of three macronutrient groups. The other two are protein and fat. When you eat carbohydrates, your body breaks them down into glucose. This glucose is either used as fast-acting energy or is stored as glycogen in the liver and muscles.

Glycogen is the glucose bound to water, and for every gram of glucose your body stores, it also retains three grams of water.

If you eat more carbohydrates than usual, especially after following a low-carb diet, your body will increase your glycogen stores and retain more water, which may explain your rapid weight gain.

For this reason, it is usually best to gradually introduce carbohydrates into your diet after doing something like keto. This will prevent the glycogen reflux effect that causes rapid weight gain.

3. Undigested food

Digestive problems
Digestive problems

If you weigh yourself before and after eating, you will always be heavier after eating. That’s because the food you just ate is still in your stomach, waiting to be digested. This weight will soon disappear once the food is digested and used for energy, and the remains are eliminated from your body.

However, if you have a sluggish digestive system, you may keep undigested food in your stomach and intestines for longer, which leads to temporary weight gain.

for exampleIf you only defecate every 2-3 days, a good amount of food will build up in your intestines. Stool contains a lot of water, which will further add to your weight gain.

Ideally, you should empty your bowels at least once per day. Constipation is a common problem that usually occurs due to a low-fiber diet.

Drinking more water, eating more fiber, and being physically active can help maintain regular bowel movements, so you don’t accumulate a lot of undigested food and waste in your stomach and intestines.

4. menstruation

Most women’s monthly menstrual periods are accompanied by short-term weight gain, usually due to water retention. Changes in hormones cause fluctuations in water levels. Additionally, some women also crave more carbohydrates during their menstrual periods, so increased glycogen can also contribute to temporary weight gain. This is why many women feel bloated at certain times of the month.

Track your periods with an app, and you’ll likely be able to see frequent cycles of short-term monthly weight gains. This will make any changes in weight more predictable and easier to interpret.

5. Inaccurate scales

weight measuring device
weight measuring device

There is a good chance that your weight gain is not actually weight gain at all but is the result of inaccurate measurements. After all, ten pounds is a lot of weight, and if you haven’t been a binge eater or have recently transitioned from a keto diet to a high-carb diet, it’s very difficult to gain ten pounds a week.

To avoid inaccurate weighing:

  1. Calibrate the scales to make sure they are working properly. Weigh something you know the weight of, such as dumbbells. Clear the scales, so that 0.00 appears when empty.
  2. Change the batteries in the electronic scales. Low battery levels can affect its performance. Also, make sure it is on a flat, hard surface. Oscillating scales and smooth surfaces will lead to unreliable results.
  3. Weigh yourself at the same time every day. Your body weight naturally fluctuates with varying levels of hydration. For this reason, make sure that you weigh yourself in the same physiological state every day, for example, when you wake up and after you go to the bathroom.

Even if you do these things, some daily variation in weight is inevitable. However, it should be relatively small, and you should not see fluctuations of 10 pounds per week.

6. Gaining fat

fat gain

Bad news – not all rapid weight gain is temporary or related to water retention or scale malfunctions. Sometimes, you gain weight because you consumed too many calories. Unfortunately, it is very easy to consume so many extra calories that you are gaining ten pounds in a week!

To maintain your current weight, the calories you eat should equal your total daily caloric expenditure, or TDEE for short. But, if you consume more calories than you need, your body will convert the excess into fat and store it for later. This is all body fat – stored and unused energy.

It is generally accepted that one pound of body fat equals 3,500 calories. Therefore, if you exceed your TDEE by 3,500 calories, you will gain a pound of fat.

3500 calories may seem like a lot, but it is very easy to consume too many calories in excess of your daily TDEE.

All you have to do is eat foods that are high in fat and sugar but low in fiber. These foods are low in bulk but high in calorie density, so they’re fattening without being filling. Ice cream, baked goods, and dessert are all good examples.

To gain 10 pounds per week, you would need to eat about 25,000 more calories than usual. This sort of thing often happens at all-inclusive resorts and on cruises with 24-hour buffets. With unlimited access to plenty of fattening foods, you can keep eating past your fullness point, creating a massive calorie surplus in the process.

Needless to say, if you want to avoid gaining a lot of extra body fat, you need to curb your appetite and avoid overeating. While it is very easy to gain ten pounds in a week, losing those extra pounds takes a lot of work.


Rapid weight gain is not uncommon. In fact, if you weigh yourself throughout the day, you will probably see that your body weight fluctuates significantly over a 24-hour period. In most cases, any weight gain is temporary due to water and glycogen retention.

However, it is possible to gain ten pounds of fat in a week, especially if you take a break from your exercise program and eat a lot more than usual. This is a common scenario during vacations, especially at all-inclusive resorts and on cruises with 24-hour buffets.

The only way to avoid gaining ten pounds of fat a week is to exercise some restraint and not overeat. Enjoy some delicious meals – you’re on vacation after all! – But avoid overeating unhealthy food. And remember, it will probably take ten weeks or more to lose those 10 extra pounds, so ask yourself, is the punishment worth the crime?!

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