What affects weight fluctuations?

Making progress in life is one of the greatest motivators

We want to move forward and do better, which leads many of us to measure the daily progress we make towards our goals  – especially when it comes to weight loss.

Weight loss a tricky metric

To make sure that we’re shedding the unnecessary weight, regular weigh-ins become a daily or weekly check. It’s a great way to track changes, pick up on trends and determine how certain behaviours affect our weight loss journey while also giving us an idea of where we need to make changes.

While this approach is beneficial, there are a few things worth noting. To start with, some factors will affect your weight and result in fluctuations.

Knowing what they are can help guide your approach and keep you sane when your visits with the scale are not quite what you thought they would be.

One of the most important things to consider includes the time you weight yourself, as your weight can fluctuate throughout the day. This can be very disheartening if you’re weighing at different times, unaware of the possible implications.

If you are looking to weigh yourself more frequently, there are a few more factors to consider when it comes to daily weight fluctuation.

The food you eat makes a difference

While you may be aware of the calories associated with each meal, something we often forget is the mass of the food we eat. Even after chewing, some foods may be heavier than others.

Weighing yourself with food in your system can result in weight fluctuations. 

Another aspect related to food worth noting is potential allergies and intolerances that can cause water retention and bloating as a response to the inflammatory reaction.

Staying hydrated adds to the equation

We’re supposed to drink between 2 and 3 litres of water a day. This means that our weight can increase or decrease by a few kilograms as a result. Add in the fact that the average bladder can hold 473 millilitres of water, which is around 500 grams, and it’s easy to see how your weight can change. 

Consider water retention

In addition to the water you drink, certain foods also hold and store water, which can add to your weight. High-carb meals can add 500 grams to our weight due to the glycogen being stored by our bodies, while salty foods can cause water retention as it messes with the balance of minerals and hormones in the body.

Water loss also impacts your weight

Certain foods and dietary supplements can cause the body to release water. If you’re consuming any foods or substances of this mature, it’s important to consider how they may affect your weight when stepping on the scale.

Believe it or not, exercise will mess with the scale

The general consensus is that after exercising you’ll weigh a few grams less as a result of water loss. However, if you’re exercising in humid and hot conditions, your weight may increase.

Trips to the loo

Going to the bathroom will change your weight, and not going will also influence it, too. Think about it – if you’re releasing something you’ll be lighter while holding it in will increase your weight.

Ladies, those hormones can change your weight

Hormonal changes, especially related to the menstrual cycle, can result in water retention which can increase your weight.

Keep your cool when it comes to weight fluctuations

Weight fluctuations will have most of us going a little bit bonkers. Luckily, there are a few things you can do to try and manage the situation.

This includes:

  • Weighing yourself at the same time on the same day every week – or the same time every day if you’re checking more frequently. We recommend doing this in the morning before breakfast and after a trip to the loo, without any clothes on and using the same scale.
  • Adjust the scale if more than one person is using it to improve the accuracy.

The warning signs

If your weight increases and stays that way for a week or more, it’ll be worth looking into lifestyle changes.

And if your weight continues to increase or simply stays the same indefinitely, changing your diet and workout plan is a good place to start and try gain momentum again.

Author: Tanja Schmitz

Founder and Editor of Fitness Magazine. You’ll find her behind her computer or on her bike, dreaming up new ways to improve or create content for you.

Founder and Editor of Fitness Magazine. You'll find her behind her computer or on her bike, dreaming up new ways to improve or create content for you.

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