Why Your Weight Fluctuates + What To Do About It
Do you have a love / hate relationship with your bathroom scale?
We all know the frustration of working hard to get to or maintain a healthy body weight, only to step on the bathroom scale and see the number consistently stuck in the same place – or headed in the wrong direction!
The truth is that it may not be your fault. I’m going to share a few weight release #truthbombs about those annoying (be still altogether normal) daily weight fluctuations.
You know the all too familiar story, you start your plan, and you follow the guidelines and rules. You’re super excited to by the hope that you’ll finally see decreasing numbers. You believe, you have faith, but when you weigh in a few days later, you’re appalled to see the numbers have gone up. What the actual FREAK!!
What’s going on?
When the numbers go down, it makes our commitment to healthier eating easier – worth it. But when we get little to no return on investment, it gets very hard to continue putting that much effort in. I get it, what’s the point?
This is a common frustration with client who come to me. That’s one of the reasons why we ALWAYS make sure that we have other ways we can track progress. The numbers on the scale are not a clear indicator of health or fitness. Your weight is not your health barometer. Everyone is different and everyone has an optimal body weight. And they shouldn’t dictate your willingness to better your health.
Daily weight fluctuation is normal. This is why many coaches suggest that you choose one day, the same day each week, to weight yourself. Personally, I think it is better to weigh daily, and then take an average of the days. I found that the highs tend to even themselves out using this method and you’ll get a better idea of how much weight you have lost or gained. It also teaches you that the number on the scale is just data. Remember that the number on the scale is just one of many factors in determining how healthy you are.
If you are seeing numbers that are up and down, here are 4 reasons that your weight may be fluctuating…
- Most people will weigh less when they first get up in the morning. Ideally, you’ve given your body a 12 hour fast from your last meal of the day to the first meal of the next day. Weigh yourself when you first get up in the morning, after you’ve gone to the bathroom but before you have anything to eat or drink. However, if you’re one of those people who is drinking fluids right up until bed, you may find that you need a few extra hours in the morning to offload the excess liquids. So just keep that in mind if you wake up in the morning and consistently feel puffy. You may need to weigh in later – like before lunch.
- What you eat matters. For some people, the transit time of their bowels is important. Some foods move slower than others. At the same time, if you find yourself eating a high carb kind of day, carbohydrates require MORE WATER, so you will retain more water in order to process them. So depending on how long it takes food to move through, as well as what you’re eating, it could take up to 3 days to process and eliminate it, resulting in a few extra pounds.
- Are you exercising? Have you added a new or harder workout? Sore muscles can hold extra water due to inflammation as was a needed water to flush the lactic acid (what causes the pain) from them. If you are feeling puffy, go for a walk. The movement will help flush some of the extra water out. And if you’re building muscle, ultimately you’ll be burning more calories. Generally, though, you won’t build muscle fast enough to see more than an ounce or two on the scale each week. So try not to worry about it. Your goal is a healthier you.
- Hormonal woes. No matter where you are in your fertility life cycle, hormones and hormone balance is an ongoing battle for many women. Fluctuations can cause you to not feel your best, which may set you up for cravings or massive bouts of hunger. Try to to keep your blood sugar in check by continuing to eat healthy because if your insulin levels increase, your cravings for unhealthy foods will increase. If you are hungry, opt for more protein.
As you can see, the numbers on the scale are just data and are a part of your healthy living plan. Those numbers are going to fluctuate. If those numbers are causing you stress, then ditch the scale or better yet, let’s work together to let go of the meaning you’re giving to the number. Or consider using the way your clothes fit and the way you feel be your determining factor.
“The scale can only give you a numerical reflection of your relationship with gravity. That’s it. It cannot measure beauty, talent, purpose, life force, possibility, strength or love.”
— Steve Maraboli