When you experience weight fluctuations, it is natural that you will feel worried. After you have followed your diet and exercise plans faithfully, you expect to see reduced weight. Surprisingly, you find that your weight has gone up by a few pounds within a day. Weight fluctuations can be very frustrating, and they can cause you to lose hope in your weight loss efforts. However, if you know exactly why weight fluctuations happen, you will not be worried at all.
Why Weight Fluctuations Happen
Weight fluctuations are normal, and they happen to everybody. They can be caused by many different factors, such as consumption of a big meal, excess salt intake, water retention, constipation and hormonal changes. One thing you should know is that the extra weight that you see on the scale does not come from an increase in body fat; it can be water, waste products or other substances that are temporarily present in your body. Most dietitians tell their patients not to weigh themselves everyday, because they may see their weight fluctuate daily and lose faith in their weight loss program.
How Much Can Your Weight Fluctuate?
Weight fluctuations can result in a temporary weight increase of up to 5 pounds a day. It takes some time for your digestive system to process the food, fluids and salt that you consume, and the substances that are still being processed will contribute to your weight. If you had a big dinner the previous evening, your weight will still be up in the morning if you have not had a bowel movement. This is especially so if you consumed foods that contain a lot of sodium. Even if you had eaten more than you should, your true body weight should not increase significantly overnight. True weight gain is a process that occurs over a longer period of time.
Dealing with Weight Fluctuations
One way to prevent stress that results from weight fluctuations is to refrain from weighing yourself daily. Weigh yourself once a week, and do this without wearing clothes and shoes, which can add one or two pounds to the scale. Try to weigh yourself after you have emptied your bowels in the morning. If you find that your weight is still fluctuating when you weigh once a week, you should drink a lot of water to reduce the amount of sodium in your body. Then, weigh yourself again in the next two mornings. If the results are still elevated, you may have to reassess your diet and exercise programs to make sure that you are not consuming more calories than you are burning.
A better way to judge your true weight change is to look at how your clothes fit. There are also scales that can measure the percentage of fat in your body, and you can learn about your true weight by looking at this percentage instead of your overall weight.