Originally Posted by joyfulloser
Thanks for sharing your experiment. This may help someone to realize the importance of weighing in at the same time on a regular basis.
One question though...did you really eat a bowl of oatmeal, a couple of luna bars, a few bites of spagetti, a plum and a "mini" cheeseburger all day? If so, this may be why your body retained water (5+ lbs) the way it did. It would have been virtually starving and consequently your test may not be as effective to someone who eats a balanced diet sufficient in calories.
Just thought I'd point that out to anyone wondering if they may actually gain 5+ lbs within the same day.
I've done very similar experiments with all manner of food plans, all times of month, and different levels of water retention for different reasons, and I can tell you that with a "balanced diet sufficient in calories" the weight fluctuations actually tend to be greater, not lower, because healthier and more wholesome foods are heavier because they contain more water and fiber.
The weight fluctuations are caused mostly by the weight of food and beverages. Once they enter your body, they show up on the scale until they can be removed through urine, feces, and to a much lesser degree sweat and other body fluids.
The healthier your diet, the more your food weighs. You tend to eat more volume, but fewer calories (but the scale doesn't weigh calories, it weighs pounds/kilos). You also tend to drink more (this isn't always true, but for me it tends to me). On a healtier diet, you probably will poop more often, which can in the long run, lessen fluctuation (if you poop once a week, you're going to weigh the most right before you poop).
Because I weigh more than twice the OP, my fluctuations also tend to be twice hers. This morning, I weighed 309.8 and just now I weighed after a nap and weigh 311.4. I haven't changed my ticker, because it's PMS/TOM, and it's not unusual for me to gain 10 lbs in water weight during my period, even if I've been perfectily on plan, and this week I have been.
I can't wait to see how much weight, my period is masking. I know from experience that at this stage of my monthly, and with what I've eaten today, I'l likely to wake up three or more pounds thinner tomorrow (I'm also likely to be up all night peeing).
It's also why I don't change my ticker upward, unless I've gone more than 10 days without seeing that weight on the scale, especially when the gain is due to pms/tom weight gain or a high sodium day.
My weight fluctates more during days in the summer than the winter (in part, because I eat far more fruits and vegetables, in part because I drink more water and exercise more).
When I exercise, my weight fluctuates more. It goes up as much as 4 lbs the day after exercise, and a couple days later those extra pounds (and sometimes a little more, yeah) will be gone.
If I eat very low carb, it usually drops quickly and then fluctuates less (probably because I retain far less water). Eating low enough to minimize my wieght and minimize the fluctuations has no great benefit that I can see. Eating no fruit, starch, or veggie servings may minimize the fluctuations in the short term, but in the long term moderate carb (the diet I try to stay one, because while I lose faster on very low, I feel better physically on moderately low-carb).
On Tuesdays (my TOPS weigh-in day), I tend to intentionally eat lighter meals (in weight) and drink more fluid until about 2pm and then no fluid until after my weigh-in at 5:15. There's not a really good reason, I just want to be at my lowest possible weight for the weigh-in. It's silly, but I like to stay as close to my morning weight as I can for the weigh-in, without fasting all day (which is what I would do in the bad old days of disordered eating).
It's the only day I try to limit the fluctuations (and it's for a somewhat foolish reason), and in general the healthier I eat, the more fluctuations during any given day. If I don't take in enough fruit, vegetables, and water, I will end up pooping less, but there is still less variation during any day, except the days I poo.
Fluctuation isn't something to be afraid of. And a great deal of fluctation isn't necessarily a bad sign, it can be a very good one. In my experience, the better I eat and exercise, the more fluctuation I experience, not less. To assume it's a bad thing and to aim for little or no fluctuation could lead a person into some very unhealthy habits.