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Weight Loss
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Weight gain after recovering from the flu?

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A couple of weeks ago, I got hit hard by the flu that had been going around. It took a good week and a half to get back to feeling human, and even though I drank lots of fluids, my appetite was off and I dropped a fair amount of weight--probably around 4-5 lbs over the course of that week and a half. This past weekend, I had several social events that put me over on my calories. I didn't do as badly as I could have, but I was probably over maintenance by about 1500 calories over the course of Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. When I weighed myself Monday morning I was up 4 lbs! I was upset, but chalked it up to my body getting back to "normal" after the flu, plus some extra sodium in my diet from over the weekend. Starting Monday I've been on track with my calories, I reintroduced exercise (actually started last Friday), and, except for yesterday, was doing really well with my water. I've dropped back down a little (1.5 lbs), but I was hoping that I'd be closer to where I was before the weekend.

I'm just trying to figure out what happened. While I was sick, it's not like I wasn't eating/consuming at all--I probably got a lot of my calories from juices, but I felt like I was still at around 1000-1200 cals per day. I'm not terribly muscular (exercise is still a relatively novel concept for me), but I did stop exercising for 2 weeks--I can't imagine that too much of the weight I lost was muscle mass or that I put on that much muscle after just a day or two of reintroducing exercise. I don't feel like I got dehydrated while I was sick, given how much I was drinking. I guess I was prepared for a bump of a couple of lbs, but 4 lbs seemed a bit excessive! Reality check time?


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Your body was conserving energy... conserving calories... by making you feel weak. If your system's strong enough to fight off the flu efficiently, it won't actually need to use the calories it conserves. And on top of that, four pounds is pretty much normal fluctuations anyway... if you dropped 1.5 in just three days, you probably weighed yourself at the top of your range. Most people lose weight when they have the flu; count yourself lucky--it means you're healthier than most.
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