Hi Hayley,

I'm 28 years old, 5'3" and my weight without consciously eating healthy and exercising is 144 over the last 2 - 3 years. However, I have been eating healthy and exercising 3 - 5 times per week off and on this year and am currently on a four week streak and had lost a total of 10 lbs.

On Friday morning I was 134.2 lbs. That day I ate my regular diet friendly breakfast and lunch but that night I ate Chinese takeout food, and the next day had it again for dinner as leftovers... then drank a bunch of beers and whiskey and raided my kitchen before passing out. On Sunday morning, I was already back up to 140.

How is it possible that I gained 6 lbs in two days? I have added up the calories that I had on both Friday (1600 calories total) and Saturday (1200 calories from food and 1500 from alcohol) and while they were all bad calories, I don't understand how it's logically possible that I gained 6 lbs of weight for eating around 4300 calories over the course of two days. It has been my understanding that to lose a lb of weight, you must burn 3500 calories. So had I gained 1 or 2, then okay I get that. But 6?! Please help; it's driving me crazy to not be able to logically understand this. My biggest concern is that even if I do reach my goal weight of 125 that a one week vacation of not exercising and eating healthy plus some booze could put right back at my original weight of 144 which is highly discouraging (and just plain depressing).
Any expertise you can provide is greatly appreciated! Thank you!

We have all been there; every single one of us has “fallen off the wagon” for a day or two and then when we go to get dressed in the morning our clothes are tight and the scale is weighing us in 5 pounds heavy and we panic!  I was guilty of it this weekend in fact. I have spent the last 10 weeks being so disciplined with my nutrition, not drinking and training hard for the marathon that I needed a break.  So, this weekend I started out up at Whistler for some snowboarding and heavily enjoyed the après-ski afterwards, then I headed home to have dinner at one of my favourite restaurants in Vancouver, Hawksworth,  where I was treated to a 3 course meal specially prepared by Hawksworth’s namesake Chef himself, David Hawksworth.  That, combined with a few cocktails and then back to Whistler the next morning, pizza for lunch, more après over the Canucks game and some ice cream for the ride home.  

Sometimes you just need to enjoy life, but not all the time.

Am I panicking? No.  Because I know any of the weight I may have gained is only due to water retention from the increased salt and carbohydrate intake from the weekend.

Here is what you need to do.  Do not feel guilty about over doing it this past weekend.  It happened, now it is time to move forward.  After a weekend of some fun with friends, take the next couple of days and really focus on your nutrition.  Fill up on vegetables, leafy greens, lots of water and stay away from anything high in sodium, sugar and carbohydrates.  Fill your day with salads with lemon juice as the dressing, lean proteins and high fiber fruits and vegetables for snacks.  Also, increase your water intake and stay away from carbonated beverages and anything with caffeine.  Most importantly, absolutely no alcohol.  After a couple of days your bloating will subside and you will see the scale return back to where it was before the weekend.  (Congrats by the way on your amazing weight loss thus far!)

I cannot stress enough how important it is for us to relax sometimes and enjoy ourselves.  Living should be about a healthy and balanced lifestyle and sometimes late Chinese food seems like the right thing to do at the time.  If you were finding yourself in this predicament more frequently and if you were drinking heavily with friends and making the wrong food choices every single weekend then I might suggest otherwise, but it seems like you are living well and you had a fun weekend with some friends. There is nothing to worry about.  Good luck!

Attached - Kelly Rowland getting active in the park in Australia.