If you often weigh yourself when trying to lose weight, you may have noticed that your weight fluctuates on a daily basis. In fact, your weight in the morning may be completely different from your weight at night. However, it’s usually when there is a gain between one day and another that often makes us sad and frustrated. That doesn’t necessarily mean that your weight loss efforts are wasted. There are several factors that cause weight to fluctuate on the scale.
1) Water Weight
If you go on a fad diet that involves lots of liquids and a very low calorie diet, you may see very good results initially where you lose many pounds within a single day. This is because what you have lost is not fat, but water. When you eat a regular diet again, water weight is usually gained back.
Several other factors cause one to retain water including dehydration, increased consumption of sodium, as well as menstruation (for women). You can prevent water retention by drinking lots of water and restricting your intake of salt.
2) Muscle Weight
Often exercise is a big part of a weight loss program, and if it is a big part of yours, chances you will sometimes see a gain in weight displayed on the scale. This is especially true if you frequently incorporate weight training as part of your exercise program. This gain in weight is not because you’ve been slacking off on your diet and putting on fat; instead, it’s possible that you have been putting on muscle.
Muscle is denser than fat, so even if you gain a bit of muscle you will probably see a bigger number on the scale. Don’t worry if this is the case. If you are concerned, use a measuring tape as a supplementary way to track your weight loss progress. If you are losing inches, even though your scale says you’ve gained weight, then it’s probably muscle that you’ve gained!
There may be other factors that lead to weight fluctuations, but these are the main two. So the next time your scale seems to be yo-yoing back and forth, don’t stress about it. If you can’t help stressing about it, then instead of weighing yourself every day, weigh yourself every week to get a more stable picture of how you are doing with your weight loss. As I recommend in my book Cheeseburger Abs: Eat what you want and look ABSolutely FABulous, weigh yourself at the same time of the day. In the end, your weekly weight is what matters, and not your daily weight.