Fluctuations in Scale Weight and Water Weight

  • Sodium - Increasing the sodium in your diet temporarily can make a temporary water retention weight gain.

    Time of Month - many women retain 1-8 lbs extra water around TOM

    Exercise - yes exercise. The process of exercise and increased strength involves microtears of the muscle. Water is the transport system of the body to bring rebuilding materials to your muscles, and to flush toxins and waste created by the process away (e.g. lactic acid). The more fit you are in general the less fluctuation you will see from exercise. But any change in routine, new exercise can cause this shift. (I have personally gained 5 lbs in one day from exercise)

    Shifts in the carb/protein ratio in your diet can effect water retention temporarily...basically ANY change in diet can change it one way or another.

    Shifts in diet or exercise can effect the speed of your digestive system. Fluctuations can be cause by waste material that hasnt yet passed.

    Humidity. You can gain and lose A LOT of water when you breathe. On a dry or air conditioned night you may lose more water weight and be more dehydrated than on a humid night.

    Fluctations happen. That is why the PROCESS of losing weight is key. And realize that not every pound can be traced exactly to what you did yesterday. I did NOT lose weight this morning because I had dessert last night

    Learn what fluctuations are normal for you and focus on your behaviors. If the process is there, then over time the scale will go down.
  • How Water Fluctuates
    Why does your body hold onto the water? The reasons are many - water is used to repair tissues and remove excess waste product - hence the water weight gain after exercise. Water retention is affected by hormone shifts - certain hormones affect the operation of the kidneys and affect how the kidneys process water - hence water weight with PMS. Sodium (and other proteins, amino acids etc) affects the transfer of water across cell walls. Water is used to store glycogen in our muscles. Every g of glycogen storage has water stored with it.

    Where does the water get stored? Everywhere. Blood , Organs, kidneys, muscles, lymphatic & interstitial system (the stuff around cells, muscles, capilaries, etc). Remember...we are mostly water

    How does it get "out" of the storage place? The same way it gets in. Water (and nutrients) pass through cell walls - a process called osmosis. Sodium and hormones, along with certain proteins can drive osmosis. Eventually excess water is peed out

    Are there ways to flush it out? Drinking more water in general helps to flush excess water out. It seems counterintuitive but the more fluid the body has access to, the less it needs to store. Drinking more water helps flush away the excess sodium (and other stuff) that can drive the body to store rather than release. Some other substances such as vinegar, because it alters ph, can sometimes act as a diuretic.

    If my body is using that water for something important, should I NOT try to flush it out? Flushing it out by drinking water and eating low sodium is ok. Drinking water to excess (gallons and gallons) can be dangerous because it dilutes blood sodium too low. Using any form of chemical diuretic is not good. But reducing inflammation such as during a sprain by using anti inflammatories can help the healing by allowing blood to flow freely.

    SHOULD my weight fluctuate? Is that how our bodies are built? Yes

    Should my weight be consistent? Are my meal plans and exercise regimens that lead to my body storing water detrimental to my body? No, not within reason. Excesses of course could be detrimental, but normal dietary fluctuations are to be expected