Sometimes festive weight gain isn't as much as it first seems, as Emmet from Rushe Fitness proves with his own experiment:

This past week, I ran a little experiment with myself to see just how much ‘weight’ I had actually gained from all the Christmas drinking and eating I had done. 

Before the Christmas break on December 21st, I was weighing 85.5kg on the scales. 

I then weighed myself on Saturday January 2nd and topped the scales at 90.7kg 

So, a nice 5.2kg weight gain in the 2 weeks over Christmas, or 12 pounds if you are used to that. 

So, I set myself a simple goal to see how much of this ‘weight’ gain would be actual FAT gain. 

You see people tend to focus on what their scale weight is and look to see how much they weigh. While that can be a useful guide, it doesn’t tell you how much of the ‘weight’ is bodyfat, how much is muscle mass and how much is excess fluid and carb stores from all the food and drink consumed over Christmas.


So, the experiment was a simple one. 

The only thing I would change from Sunday January 3rd, was this;

  • I would stop drinking alcohol
  • I would return to my normal eating 
  • I would stop overindulging on Sweets and Pringles. 
  • Get back to being active daily during lockdown

That’s it. 

  • No crazy diets 
  • I wasn’t strict with myself on how I would eat
  • I didn’t cut out carbs, or bread
  • I didn’t cut out coffee or milk
  • I didn’t cut out meat
  • I simply ate good food

My meals each day were pretty much the same each day and there wasn’t anything overly restrictive involved. 

Each day, I had breakfast, lunch, dinner and a snack and they were all pretty balanced meals.

The result of the week-long experiment was this;

Scale weight January 2nd – 90.7kg 

Scale weight January 11th – 87.1kg 

Both weigh ins were done at the same time of day, wearing roughly the same clothes and with the same amount of food and fluid in me.

That’s a 3.6kg drop in weight in one week (half a stone), without having to diet or without doing any training. 

I am on track to be back to my normal weight by the end of this week and I’ll be posting the daily weigh ins on my Instagram stories here!

So, how is this possible?

It’s because the ‘weight’ that I had gained over the Christmas break wasn’t all bodyfat and that’s very important when you are assessing yourself on the scales. 

  • I had put on weight due to excess fluid from more alcohol than normal.  
  • I had put on weight due to my muscles being full of glycogen from the excess carbs I was consuming. 
  • I had put on weight due to the way I was eating and the fact that I was partially backed up from over excess. 

Once I returned to normality, the excess fluid I was retaining left also.


So, here’s the thing;

You are never gaining as much as you think you are after a bad day or even a bad week, so don’t get disheartened by what the scale tells you. 

Too often, I’ll see people feel defeated because they “gained all of the weight back.”

When the reality is, it is mainly fluid retention and if they get back on track, this will level out over a few days and the scale ‘weight’ they have put on will be gone. 

The scale is a tool that can be used for measuring weight. 

Just remember that there are many ways to measure progress. 

Scale weight is only one of these and shouldn’t be exclusively used as the be all and end all, of your progress. 

  • How you look.
  • How you feel.
  • How your clothes fit.
  • What your measurements say.
  • What your pictures tell you.
  • What others say. 

These are all much better indicators of whether your plan is working or not and you are not defined by a number on a scale.

Our gym may be closed, but we are keeping all our Letterkenny gym members motivated and moving from home. 

Until we reopen and can welcome you all back, or if you don’t live or work in or around Letterkenny, you can sign up to join us online in our Opti-Mum now. 

The program has been helping women of all ages and busy Mums to stay in shape and keep fit and healthy from home all through 2020.
We are starting today, and you can sign up now through the link below.