Checking weight loss or gain is something you may do while you’re on a diet. You’ve worked very hard to eat right and exercise, but it can be discouraging when the numbers seem to increase rather than decrease. This may occur due to a number of things. Before you become discouraged, consider these 6 factors that will cause fluctuations in scale weight.
1. Fluid Retention and Menstruation
Fluid retention is a big factor in scale fluctuations. It seems to hit you the hardest before your menstruation. This happens due to hormonal changes in your body. You are more likely to retain extra fluids during your menstruation than any other time of the month. This weight gain from fluid retention is only temporary. Once your menstruation comes on, the fluid will slowly reduce.
2. Lack of Bowel Movement
Full bowels can add up to 2 pounds of extra weight. This is particularly discouraging if you haven’t eliminated your bowels in a couple of days. Your intestinal tract is one of the largest organs in your body. One of its functions is to hold your body’s waste products until you eliminate it. Constipation or the lack of bowel movement affects your weight each day. Adding fiber to your diet and drinking plenty of water helps eliminate this problem and keep scale weight from fluctuating.
3. High Amounts of Sodium
Consuming too much sodium leads to fluid retention and temporary weight gain. Checking your weight after eating a salty meal can show scale changes. The fluids in your body will increase to remove any excess sodium you have. Limit your sodium intake by using unsalted spices instead of table salt.
4. Undigested Food
Undigested food can temporarily add weight. Undigested food needs to be broken down properly by your gastrointestinal system. Depending on what you eat, this process may take time. A diet high in insoluble fiber, such as beans, may influence how your weight displays on a scale.
5. Lack of Sleep
The lack of sleep can alter your eating habits and cause weight gain. You may end up eating a lot of sugary foods during this time to increase your energy. Unfortunately, the increased numbers on your scale reflect this. You should aim for at least 8 hours of sleep each night. The more energized you feel, the less you tend to overeat during the day.
Stress causes numerous problems including increased weight. Even having one stressful day can make your scale weight fluctuate. Stress also may increase your appetite. You may eat more that day to calm down or relax.
Checking your weight throughout the day will show you different numbers. Your weight fluctuates all day long due to your daily activities. The best time to weigh yourself is in the morning. Do this when you first wake up. Your body digested any food you may have eaten for dinner and your fluid levels are low as well. Also be consistent when checking your weight. Aim for the same time each morning.