In a perfect world, our weight wouldn’t fluctuate. Our body’s would only progress the way we wanted, but besides that the scale number wouldn’t change. If I weighed 140 in the morning, in this perfect world, I would still weight 140 before I went to bed. But we all know that this hardly ever happens. We know that this isn’t realistic. But so often, I see so many people freaking out over what the scale says. “I weighed 130 lbs this morning, then weighed myself before bed and I gained 5 lbs?!” STOP RIGHT THERE.
First off, I want to start out by saying: Daily Check-Ins are a terrible idea. Although tracking the numbers aren’t bad, checking them each day can make you mentally unhealthy. It causes us to become to “analytical”. You start to become over critical of yourself, and judge every single thing about yourself. What I do recommend if you track your scale – weighing yourself once a week or every two weeks, first thing in the morning.
For those a wee bit crazy about the scale, here are things I want you to consider that will affect your morning and night weight/weight throughout the day, and remember to stop taking the scale number so critically: You’re body is more than fat, skin, and bones. It’s also water, food, muscle, organs, cells, and more.
Water Retention: Something I actually recently learned a lot about while on prep due to water loading/dehydrating. When you consume too much foods high in sodium (salt) your body naturally retains water, making you weigh more on that pretty scale. The less salty foods you consume, the less water stored.
Dehydration: If you aren’t drinking enough water your body goes into panic-mode and retains as much fluid to compensate for not properly hydrating. Our bodies are made up of about 60% water so replenishing it every day helps. When our bodies become dehydrated, it can also cause bloating. Yikes! There are different recommendations on how much water one should consume such as the 8×8 Rule or half your weight in gallons. I always just aim to drink 1 gallon of water each day because I am athletic and I’m expelling a lot of water when I workout.
Menstruation: Unfortunately, when it’s that time of the month it causes our weight to fluctuate and bloat, also has to do with water retention. Sorry, ladies!
Last but not least, stress: our greatest culprit. Stress causes our cortisol, or “stress hormones,” levels to peak, causing us to store fat especially in our midsection. Excess cortisol levels can slow your metabolism, and cause your body to store glucose from all the demands of our busy lives causing actual weight gain. We become more prone to store an extra later of fat (one we don’t see on the outside) called “visceral fat” which is extremely difficult to get rid of, and can release chemicals in our bodies that trigger inflammation, also can lead to heart disease, or diabetes. Stress is pretty serious, so try your best to manage it and think positively… and avoid the cycle of “oh no gained weight”, going to stress and gain more weight because that isn’t always the case!
I hope this helps anyone who battles with scale weight fluctuation, and to remember that the scale weight isn’t always true, nor your best friend. Weigh-in every other week to avoid mentally bringing yourself down. Your scale weight is a small part of progress tracking, but it does not determine your value, life or progress.