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Posted April 19th, 2018 under Nutrition

21 Reasons your weight is fluctuating

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21 Reasons your weight is fluctuating

21 Reasons your weight is fluctuating

The weight on the scale is an incomplete measurement, therefore, should not be the only tool used to assess progress. Weight fluctuations are normal, and if you are someone who weighs yourself every day, you will notice that your weight probably is not steadily decreasing. There are so many reasons your weight can fluctuate. Although some people may want to associate increase in weight automatically with increase in fat, you are most likely not gaining fat. In order to gain a pound of fat, you must be eating about 3,500 more calories than you are burning off. Here are 21 reasons your weight may be fluctuating. 

  1. Increased carbohydrate consumption – One gram of stored carbohydrates (glycogen) stores 2-3 grams of water. This is why people seem to “lose more weight” when they cut out carbs, but they are really just losing water weight.
  2. Higher sodium intake – the RDA for sodium intake is 2,300mg. Although increased sodium intake won’t interfere with fat loss, it will lead to increased water retention. Do not restrict sodium though! It is better to go a little bit over than to be way under.
  3. Supplements – creatine draws more water into your muscle cells and can lead to lean mass increases plus a temporary water weight increase.
  4. Medication – some medications such as steroids can cause fluid retention, thus increasing your weight.
  5. Stress – causes fluid imbalances.
  6. Bloat – whether it be from a cheat meal, menstrual cycle, or falling off track could lead to lean mass increase.
  7. Undigested food – if you weigh yourself after you eat, your weight will increase. Even if you weigh yourself at the same time every day (for example 3pm), depending on what you ate/drank that day, your weight will be skewed.
  8. Pee – anything sitting in your body will increase your weight.
  9. Poop – if you find that you are not using the bathroom regularly, make sure you are increasing your water intake as well as consuming at least 25g of fiber a day.
  10. Menstrual cycle – many women will see a weight gain of as much as 3-5 pounds around the time of their period.
  11. Dehydration – can decrease or increase your lean mass.
  12. Post-workout – more water is stored in order to rebuild muscle fibers.
  13. Alcohol consumption – can leave you dehydrated or bloated.
  14. When you stopped eating the night before – if you stopped eating at 7pm one night and then 11pm the next night, you will weigh more the second day due to the fact that you stopped eating later, thus “fasting” for a shorter period of time.
  15. Weighing yourself at different time – Weighing yourself when you first wake up before you eat anything will be your most raw accurate weight. 
  16. Cheat meal – you will most likely see an increase in weight after your cheat meal due to bloating/water retention.
  17. Muscle – muscle increase will also increase your lean mass. If you are trying to put on muscle but find that you are losing some weight, you are probably losing fat, not muscle.
  18. Wearing heavy clothes – if you are weighing in with clothes on, your clothes can weigh as much as two pounds, maybe more depending on how heavy they are.
  19. Not drinking enough water – make sure you are consuming at least 64 ounces of water or half your body weight in ounces.
  20. Lack of sleep – associated with weight gain due to changes in hunger hormones and metabolism.
  21. Not doing the program – if you are not doing the program, your weight could be fluctuating all over the place, but it makes it much more difficult to narrow down the “why?”

Written by: Kristin Mason B.S. Nutrition and Dietetics

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