Why does my weight fluctuate?

Why does my weight fluctuate?

Your weight can fluctuate for many reasons.

The number on the scale can change from day to day and hour to hour for many reasons that have nothing to do with losing or gaining body fat.

Your weight can go up:

  • After eating or drinking because you just added the weight of the food or drink to your body.
  • After eating foods high in sodium because your body will retain water. How to reduce your sodium intake.
  • If you wear more clothing than the previous time you weighed.
  • If you’re bloated or constipated.
  • Just before your menstrual cycle (for women).

Your weight can go down:

  • If you’re restricting carbohydrates because your body will lose water.
  • After you go to the bathroom.
  • If you’re sick and haven’t been eating or drinking.
  • After exercise because your body loses water through sweat.

Sweat is made up mostly of water. If you lose weight after exercise, it does not mean you’ve lost fat. It means you’ve lost water and need to replace it.

Your weight can be different:

  • On two different scales.
  • On the same scale on two different floor surfaces.

I highly recommend weighing yourself no more than once a week (keeping key factors consistent) to minimize the amount of fluctuation you see on the scale.

If you’re obsessed with weighing yourself (and frustrated by the outcome), here are 5 reasons top stop weighing yourself…at least temporarily.

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Stephanie Averkamp

About the Author was created by Stephanie Averkamp, a recognized health and fitness professional and sole-author of the content on this website. Stephanie's approach to weight loss emphasizes making small, realistic, and permanent lifestyle changes. Read more...

Stephanie Averkamp

Our Approach: Short-term solutions (like dieting) are unrealistic and ineffective because at some point they end. As soon as a diet or program ends, so do the results. Permanent weight loss is a journey; it's not a race or competition and there is no finish line. Read more...