Why Does Your Weight Fluctuate While Dieting?

Exercise and a proper diet will help you lose weight. However, some people will get frustrated when they see their weight fluctuate throughout the week. It will go up and down quite often depending on several variables. The thing to keep in mind is how much you weigh over the long haul. It’s unlikely that you’ll see any real progress from one day to the next. Why doesn’t the body provide consistency in total weight?

How Does the Weight Fluctuate Throughout the Week?

Measuring yourself from one day to the next can give you false results. There are many things that can contribute to how much you weigh at any given time, and some may not even be related to fat.

Before you panic when the scale says you’ve gained a pound or two this week while dieting, keep these facts in mind:

Muscle Weighs More than Fat

When you start exercising regularly, your muscle density and development will increase. Even if you commit to nothing but cardio, yoga and pilates, the muscles in your body will start to tone up. When you gain weight after dieting and exercising, your fat mass could have been replaced by muscle. This actually happens more often than not.

The best way to tell is by taking routine measurements of various body sections. While you may gain a bit of weight, you should be losing inches around your stomach and possibly the arms and legs. That is, unless you start bulking up like a body builder.

Case in point: At one point, my weight loss seemed like it started to plateau. I was starting to get frustrated until I realized that I was developing more muscle mass and had greater definition in my arms. After a couple of weeks, I started losing weight again and felt much stronger than I had before.

Retaining Water

Drinking WaterRetaining water can cause your weight fluctuate issue. And, it’s not only women who can do this. Too much sodium in anyone’s diet can cause the body to store water. A lot of it depends on what you eat during any given day and if you’ve consumed enough liquids.

Not drinking enough water will also cause the body to retain more. Think of it like a survival tactic as the body adjusts for a lack of what it needs to continue operation. Of course, drinking too much mater without relieving yourself could also increase your weight for that particular day.

Personally, I retain quite a bit of water. According to my scale, my water percentage is way above average during any given day. If you have such an issue, you may want to consider diuretics. These help the body process the liquid as urine. For example, I have an affinity for the Emerge Drink Mix and I find that I keep body water balanced when using it.

Digesting Foods

Solid and more dry foods tend to take longer for the body to properly digest. If you haven’t visited the bathroom, you could store several pounds worth of digested foods. Keeping regular will help you get an idea of your proper weight throughout the week. This can be done by drinking more water before and after meals as well as increasing fiber intake.

It takes the body about six hours or more to digest solid foods. Unless you eat a lot of Taco Bell, it’s unlikely you’ll get rid of the excess weight immediately after eating. Many experts suggest weighing yourself first thing in the morning before consuming anything.

Too Many Carbs

diet cheatingCarbs can easily be stored if your body doesn’t use them for energy. Those in weight training often increase their carbohydrate intake simply because they are going to burn it off with lifting weights while concentrating on building muscle mass. However, a lot of people will eat in a similar fashion without doing enough activity to burn it away.

Food is the fuel that keeps the body maintained. If you don’t use all the components, many of them are stored for later use…as fat. Unfortunately, not all vitamins and minerals can be stored in the body, which is why even obese people still need to eat. For instance, the human body does not store nor create B complex vitamins. We still need to eat them.

In this instance, it’s easy to experience weight fluctuate on a per-day basis. I’ve seen it happen in myself, to be honest. You gotta keep active if you want carbs and fats in your daily routine.

Weight of Your Clothes

The type of clothing you wear can cause the scale to shift around a bit throughout the week. This is why I prefer to step on the scale naked. It eliminates any other article of attire that can deliver a false reading. If you wear something one day and wear heavier clothing the next, it could look like you haven’t lost much.

The first thing I do after getting up is strip down and step on the scale. That is, unless I have to use the bathroom first. You can store more than a pound simply by having to pee.


where you started fromAn improperly calibrated scale could also cause your readings to bounce back and forth. Although this is less common than what a lot of people would like to believe, it is a possibility. Also keep in mind that altitude could also play a factor in your weight. For instance, you’ll weigh slightly more at sea level than you will on top of mountain peaks.

This weight difference is quite slight, however, and it’s unlikely it will make a profound difference in your overall health.

Weight is Important, But Measurements are Better

It can be quite the struggle to lose weight. The last thing you want to do is panic because of a weight fluctuate problem. Don’t assume that you’re gaining fat even if you’re exercising and dieting. One of the most common elements in this list is the development of muscle mass. Gauging your weight over time will be more valuable to you than on a daily basis. Too many things can play into what the scale shows you.

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Michael Brockbank

Michael is a work at home father who has completed a wide assortment of writing regarding various topics. Currently, he is working to achieve a weight loss goal and improve health in order to cross the state of Colorado on bicycle.

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