Top 5 Reasons Why Your Weight May Fluctuate
If you’ve been working hard on losing weight day after day, it can be so frustrating to step on the scale and not see any results — or worse, that the number has gone up! Before you freak out, first take a look at these top 5 totally normal reasons why your weight may fluctuate.
1. Did you eat or drink anything?
It’s recommended to weigh yourself first thing in the morning for a reason — the physical weight of food and drinks can definitely show up on the scale. Before your body digests and utilizes that food for energy, it will show up in ounces or pounds — even if that food or drink has zero calories, like water. Keep in mind that a large late-night meal can also show up as extra weight in the morning.
2. Have you had a lot of salt or carbohydrates?
Foods that are high in sodium or carbohydrates will cause your body to hold on to extra water weight. While sometimes having excess carbs is a good thing to load up your muscles and liver with stored energy — this is why runners will “carb load” before a marathon — each gram of stored carbs will have 2–3 grams of water attached along with it. On the other hand, salty foods cause water retention because the body struggles to regulate the balance between fluids and sodium, leaving you feeling bloated or puffy.
3. Did you just work out?
Sometimes your weight can fluctuate downwards if you just sweated a lot, as your body can dehydrate and lose water weight. However, keep in mind that this is not a long-term weight loss solution, and your body will re-gain the weight once you rehydrate.
4. Is it the weekend?
Another thing to analyze is whether you eat or drink differently on the weekend versus weekdays. Some people will deviate from their regular healthful routines on the weekends, leading to a slightly higher weigh-in.
5. Are hormones to blame?
Females tend to be more prone to weight fluctuations because of our menstrual cycles, with higher weights being more common in the pre-menstrual and menstrual phases. High cortisol levels can also affect both men and women — cortisol is our main stress hormone that can increase inflammation, hunger hormones, and weight.