Does your weight fluctuate throughout the day? Here’s why.
If you’re like most dieters, you step on the scale daily to see if your hard work is paying off. Some weight loss experts recommend weighing yourself less frequently, but sometimes you just can’t wait. Maybe there have even been days you step on the scale more than once. After all, it’s sitting there on the floor, so why not? As you watch the numbers calibrate you may wonder why your weight changed so much since you last weighed in. You’ve heard that the scale doesn’t lie, so what’s going on?
Before throwing your scale in the trash or ditching your diet, you should know that it’s normal for your weight to fluctuate as much as five pounds throughout the course of the day. The good news? Those extra pounds are not fat, but nothing more than water weight. That’s right—the amount of water in your body is the main reason the scale goes up or down a few pounds. Here’s what affects water weight.
The more sodium you take in each day, the more water your body retains. So those chips you ate for a snack and the Chinese food you had for lunch may be the reason why you now weigh three pounds more than you did this morning. Consume less salt and the scale will go down as your body releases the water instead of holding onto it.
The carbs you eat (both the good and the bad) are converted to glucose for energy. If not used immediately, glucose turns to glycogen and is stored in the muscles for future energy. Glycogen in the muscles can cause water retention. That’s because your body stores three grams of water for every gram of glycogen it stores. It’s also why you quickly lose weight when you go on a low-carb diet. Most of your initial weight loss is water weight—not fat loss. But making sure you don’t consume excessive carbs will help your body keep water weight at bay.
A Good Workout
Sweating profusely during a workout can immediately make the scale go down a pound or two, especially if you’re not rehydrating as you sweat. However, an intense strength-training workout can actually have the opposite effect. When your muscles work hard, they may hold on to fluid to help repair damage and rebuild torn fibers. Staying hydrated during and after your routine frees your body up to release fluid.
Alcohol is a diuretic, meaning it makes you urinate more than usual. As the body loses more water than usual, it will fight to retain water. This can lead to a small amount of weight gain. After an evening of drinking, don’t be surprised to see the scale go up a pound or two. The same goes for when you’re dehydrated. Not drinking enough water throughout the day can lead to water retention and weight gain.
A Woman’s Cycle
As a woman’s hormones fluctuate, so does her weight. During the week before her monthly menstruation, it’s normal for a woman to weigh a few pounds more than normal due to water retention. You not only feel bloated, but you also look bloated, too. Don’t worry. Yourweight will go back down when it’s all over.
This pretty much explains itself. Not used the bathroom in a while? Then you may weigh more than if you just spent some time on the john. You get the idea. Keep your bladder and colon empty and you can expect the scale to reflect your healthy schedule.