Why You Might Gain Weight When You Aren't Paying Attention To Sodium Intake

If you have ever attempted to lose weight, you already know that your body weight can fluctuate daily. According to Women's Health, the scale can show you've gained as much as five pounds overnight. You cannot actually gain that much fat in one day, but you could gain that much in water weight. 

As it turns out, many things can trigger sudden weight gain. A serious workout causes inflammation that can cause fluid to pool around muscle cells. A night of heavy drinking can make you dehydrated, which can lead to water retention. In fact, dehydration in general can lead to your body clinging to more fluids because it's trying to conserve what little water it has. Even new medication can make the scale creep up as some can affect your metabolism or make you retain fluids. Another culprit is sodium. Indulging in a heavy meal that contains a lot of salt can move the scale in the upper direction.

How sodium affects your weight

A meal high in salt moves the scale because sodium causes your body to retain water. Healthline explains that too much sodium will make your body conserve water because it is trying to dilute the amount of sodium in your cells. This conservation of water not only adds weight, but it might make you feel bloated as well. The good news is that this weight gain and puffiness is temporary. That said, foods that have high amounts of sodium also tend to be high in calories, which can result in a more permanent weight gain if you indulge in them too often.

While sodium is an important electrolyte the body needs to stay healthy, it doesn't need a whole lot. In fact, the American Heart Association points out that our bodies need less than 500 milligrams to function, yet most people in the U.S. get way more than that from their diet.