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Weight Fluctuations: What's Normal?

Dec 23, 2010

Weight fluctuations occur in many people, yet they are the most frustrating to people who are on an active diet when they occur. During a weekly weigh-in session, dieters (or even people who just like to watch their weight) will at times be shocked to see numbers that are inconstant with the sort of week they've been having. These sort of inexplicable weight fluctuations can go both ways. For instance, it could turn out that you watched what you ate the whole week, but you still didn't lose anything, or as much as you would have liked. It could also be that you ate more than what you knew you should have, but you actually lost a bit of weight.

Retention of Water

Weight fluctuations that are attributable to water retention are normal. If your weight fluctuations occur because of the retention of water, then you can expect to tack on just a few pounds at a time. A reason for the occurrence of the retention of water is usually drinking too little, or eating excessive amounts of salt. In the case of drinking too little water, what happens is that your body will desperately cling onto the supplies of water it has left. In the event of you taking in too much salt, your kidneys actually will retain water instead of expelling it. Women know a lot about the retention of water since they typically put on a few pounds each month right before their period. Finally, certain medications also cause you to retain water.

Amount Eaten

Weight fluctuations that are normal also occur after you have eaten. This applies even to eating foods that are low in calories or carbs, but do have a certain type of mass. For instance, low-calorie foods like certain fruits or vegetables have relatively few calories or carbs, but they do weigh something. Expanding this example further, if you stand on a scale immediately after eating a certain quantity of fruits or vegetables, that is clearly going to show up as additional weight until you digest it. The same principle applies even to water. In order to guard against getting shocked by these weight fluctuations that are inherently tied to your eating schedule, weigh yourself only at certain times of the day, such as in the morning before you've eaten anything.

Stores of Glycogen

Glycogen is sugar, and it is stored in the form of carbs in both your mucles and liver. These stores usually come out to about three or four pounds of water plus the glycogen itself, which can be more than one pound. Since these stores are used up during the day, they also get replenished each time you eat a meal, which leads to weight fluctuations. This is yet another example of a normal type of weight fluctuation.

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