You stepped on the scale this morning and surprise! Four pounds heavier than yesterday? How in the world is that possible? Studies show that weight fluctuations of a few pounds is normal, even fluctuating between one day and the next. A “U.S. News & World Report” from 2012 noted that your body weight can fluctuate anywhere from two to four pounds per day on average.
It’s important to note that the extra numbers on the scale do not correlate to an increase in body fat. It is usually water, waste products or other substances being used in bodily processes.
There are a number of factors that weigh in: muscles retaining water if you’re weight training, hormonal shifts during our time of the month, even constipation. Unfortunately, weight fluctuations are more common in women because of those hormonal changes each month. Remember Cady from “Mean Girls” saying, “That’s all your water weight!” Well, how much water you drink in a day really can add to your weight, especially if you recently started weight lifting. Inexperienced dieters or people new to working out often find themselves steadily gaining more weight; this is because of an increased appetite, and they may be consuming extra calories through protein bars and sports drinks.
Your weight is also affected by carbohydrate consumption, because like muscles, carbohydrates store water. Bloating is also caused by increased salt intake. It takes a while for your system to digest food, fluids and salts you consume, and those substances will contribute to your weight. Even long-distance travel can cause fluid retention and weight fluctuations.
The best advice is to not weigh yourself every day. Instead, weigh yourself every week on the same day and focus on inches rather than pounds. Also, weigh yourself after a bowel movement. As always, watch what you consume, because those pesky bread rolls and salty chips may be to blame for the extra 2 pounds you see in the morning. Even if you splurge and eat a little more than you should, your real body weight will not increase overnight.
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