In P3 and beyond, the HCG protocol gives us a remedy for sudden overnight gains, which is the steak day. That is wonderful and mostly dependable. [Check out some proven alternate correction days here] But then, how does one go about figuring out what caused the gain in the first place in order to avoid a repeat crisis?
This is a checklist you can review if you find yourself in the position of experiencing a huge overnight gain of multiple pounds. Knowing the reason for the gain can help you avoid or at least recognize future re-occurrences. Let’s take a look at some of the possibilities
- Scale anomaly
This is the first place to check as gaining 3-5 pounds overnight is not a normal thing for most people. Batteries could be failing, the scale may not be level, or you may have forgotten to take off your steel-toed boots. No need to correct if one of these is the issue.
- Hormonal issue
Some women have a big gain right before their cycle starts. Not fun, but it happens and is normal for them. If you expect this kind of gain, there is no need to correct for it. Weight will drop back to normal once hormones have shifted again.
- An unfriendly food
You included a problem food and your body reacted with inflammation water weight gain. When the body is confronted with an irritating substance, the response is to retain water in an attempt to dilute the irritant. This is the type of gain for which the steak day works best. The simple two ingredient menu for the steak day allows the body to easily deal with the inflammation and the extra water is flushed out over the course of the day. You may continue to lose a bit more the following day as well. So yes, do correct and make note that this is not a safe food for you. The steak day is imperative to do right away in this circumstance or the body seems to retain the inflammation. You may not be able to lose that weight later if you delay. But if this is your issue, this is wonderful data. You’ve learned something about your body and can take steps to address it.
Some other signs you have eaten a problem food: Food sensitivities can manifest as gas and bloating, uncomfortable fullness, sweating, constipation, headache, unusual fatigue, or a drop in body temperature. If you are allergic to the item, you may experience allergic reactions like scratchy throat, lip or tongue numbness, rash, runny nose/eyes, migraine, congestion or breathing issues. Food allergies are serious and worsen with exposure. So these kinds of clues should be taken seriously as a need to avoid that food.
- Alcohol indulgence
Alcohol is a diuretic, so you may actually experience a drop in weight after a long happy hour day. But you can just as easily have a big weight jump. That comes from an inflammation reaction from the sugar rush because the body recognizes alcohol as sugar. A correction day will fix the imbalance. In this case, pay special attention to hydrating well throughout the correction day.
- Infection, pain or any kind of sickness
Any of these can result in inflammation water retention weight gain. Don’t stress your body more by subjecting it to a correction day. Instead, it is better to rest, take good nourishment and treat your symptoms.
- Exercise or trauma
Strenuous to punishing exercise will cause inflammation weight gain because muscle tissue is experiencing tiny tears from the exertion. The muscle then repairs itself and is subsequently stronger. But if you push past the healthy level of muscle use, you can get high levels of pain and inflammation. If you know this is the cause of your gain, it is not necessary to correct. It is a good idea to add an extra protein portion instead, which will help with muscle healing.
Its unlikely that chronic constipation is going to cause a big overnight gain. However, if it happens suddenly because of a food reaction, it has the affect of compounding the inflammation gain. Not only is your body retaining more water, but it has stopped moving the solid food through. This means the allergen is trapped and still causing irritation until you can get things moving again. Try a large dose of magnesium and Vitamin C as part of your correction day strategy.
- Poor sleep
Lack of adequate deep sleep can throw body rhythm off and result in a temporary weight gain. If you know this is your situation, you don’t need to correct. Take a nap instead and enjoy a normal eating day otherwise. You’ll naturally eat less and the scale should back down in a day or two.
The above are scenarios where we wake up to a big gain. We also use the correction day as a remedy for incremental rises that eventually cause enough gain that action needs to be taken. It seems to be a different situation in the way the correction days work. In my experience, I’ve found that if there is a big overnight gain, a correction day will result in loss equal to the amount of the gain and sometimes a bit extra. If the gain has been incremental, my experience is that the correction day may result in a pound or so drop, but there is not a huge drop of multiple pounds. Reason would then say that it’s even more important to correct quickly when you go over your limit via small incremental gains in order to not get past the point where the correction day can bring you back to your safe zone.
In the case of needing to correct because of incremental gains, the clues are a lot fuzzier. If you keep food & weight logs, you may be able to find a correlation to a certain food or eating pattern that is connected to the gains. It might not be a food problem at all, but a timing problem, or a failure to respond to hunger and fullness signals. The more complete your logs are, the more likely you are to be able to diagnose your issue.
At least in my experience, I haven’t been regularly successful in pinpointing problems this way. Sometimes you just can’t figure it out completely. You have to accept that and go ahead with your correction day, recognize that its not an exact science, and be thankful we have the steak day remedy.