7 Reasons Why the Scale Says You Gained Weight Overnight

You step on the scale one morning and you’re totally on track. The next morning, you’re up five pounds. WTF!?!

It’s a frustrating and bewildering experience that happens to the best of us. And we’re here to tell you that you didn’t actually gain five pounds of fat in a single day.

After all, gaining a single pound of fat requires consuming about 3,500 calories more than you can burn off. So to gain five pounds in a day, you’d have to eat nearly 20,000 calories in just 24 hours.

But gaining five pounds of water weight in a day? That’s easy, says Georgie Fear, R.D., C.S.S.D., author of Lean Habits for Lifelong Weight Loss. “It’s important to know that your weight will fluctuate on a daily basis, but it doesn’t mean that your weight-loss strategy is failing.”

So if you step on the scale and find that you’ve magically gained a few pounds, consider these seven random things that can screw with your scale—and take a deep breath.