Did you weigh yourself today? Has it changed since the last time?
Whether it has or not, your weight can fluctuate a lot over the course of the day – as I showed in my little experiment.
Your weight is not constant. Even if your energy intake = energy output, your weight will still fluctuate over the course of a day.
This post is part of a 3-post series about weight fluctuations:
- Daily Weight Fluctuations Experiment
- What Causes Daily Weight Fluctuations?
- 12 Tips for a Better Weigh-In
It seems to be normal for your weight to fluctuate with up to +-2 kg/ 4 lbs daily – and it’s not because you’ve gained fat from eating that piece of chocolate. Or the second one.
9 FACTORS THAT INFLUENCE YOUR WEIGHT ON A DAY-TO-DAY BASIS
#1 HOW MUCH YOU EAT
By this I don’t mean eating x amount of calories (that has a long term impact), but the size of your meals can have an immediate effect on your weight.
#2 GOING TO THE TOILET/CONSTIPATION
Until the waste from the food has left your body, it will show up on the scale.
#3 MENSTRUAL CYCLE
Around the time of your period, your body will retain more water, which causes you to gain weight and appear larger. It’s not fat, and it will go away when you’re period is over.
#4 SWEATING AND WORKING OUT
If you don’t drink water during your workout, you will find yourself lighter after the workout because of the loss of water. But dehydration has a negative impact your performance, so remember to stay hydrated!
After an intense workout, your sore muscles retain water. Again, remember it isn’t fat, it’s just a temporary water gain.
#6 SODIUM INTAKE
A high intake of salt causes water retention. Many types of junk food and some meat have high levels of sodium.
#7 EXCESSIVE CARB INTAKE
A very high carb intake can cause extra water retention as well – that’s why you will often find yourself weighing a lot more after the holidays or another time where you have been eating more than usually. You can’t gain that much fat in a short period of time, and you will often experience that your weight will be back to normal in a week’s time. It’s not something you should stress out about, just get back into your normal routine.
#8 WATER INTAKE
You might have noticed a trend here – most weight fluctuations has something to do with water intake – so to prevent these fluctuations, you should just stop drinking water? False! That might actually be the worst thing you could do. First of all, more than 50% of your body mass is water, and it’s necessary for your body to function. Furthermore, the less water you drink, the more your body will retain – however, if water is an easily accessible resource in your body, it has no problem with letting some of it go.
#9 THE SCALE
This one doesn’t really count, because it has nothing to with what you weigh. But different scales often shows different numbers, so try to stick to the same one.
A comment on the carb intake: The reason why ’10 day weight loss programs’ and other fad diets works, is because they limit your carb intake (or just your overall intake) – that makes you retain less water, but it only works for a short period of time, you will gain it all back (maybe even more if you have been starving) – and it’s rarely healthy. There’s no quick way to lose just fat, so be patient instead of looking for quick, unhealthy fixes.
The scale does not reflect your body composition. Water and fat are two different things, and it is important not to let the scale take control over how you feel about yourself. It’s a tool, and like any other tool, it has its limitations. Don’t get caught up in how your weight changes on a day-to-day basis, focus on the overall trend instead – or throw away the scale and look at non-scale victories.
Continue reading the follow-up post: 12 tips for a better weigh in.
Why do you (not) weigh yourself? Have you ever noticed how your weight changes during the day? Let me know in the comments below!