Weight Fluctuation: Causes and Factors that Affect Your Weight
Is weight fluctuation normal? This is the first question that comes to our mind when we notice weight fluctuation every day.
The weight of your body is determined by the number of consumed calories compared to the number of burned calories.
If you weigh yourself everyday, then you might have noticed that your weight changes remarkably from one day to the next. The weight of an average adult fluctuates up to 5 or 6 pounds per day. It is all because of factors like diet, sleep, and exercise. Here is all you need to know about weight fluctuation.
Normal Weight Fluctuations
Normal weight fluctuation is usually an outcome of food or water intake. Yes, you read it right. Water intake also influences your body weight. So when it comes to losing weight, many people often think about how to lose water weight? Or what factors influence weight fluctuations? Here are some of the factors that influence your body weight.
Factors that Influence Weight Fluctuations
1. Weight Fluctuation from Sodium
Foods having high amounts of salts can lead to water retention. This extra water adds weight to your body. Some people are highly sensitive to sodium, and they might retain more water as compared to others.
You might think that you don’t consume sodium in high amounts, but you are wrong. Many of us do not add too much salt in our meals; however, sodium is present in unexpected foods like frozen meals, savory sauces, and cold cuts. Canned soups are also loaded with sodium. If you are on a diet and planning to rely on low-calorie soups, by cutting back big meals, then also you might notice an increase in your weight – even though the weight is simply due to water retention.
You can minimize water retention in your body by cutting back processed food and sugary drinks. In addition to this, adding magnesium and potassium in your diet can help you in balancing sodium levels.
2. Weight Fluctuation from Carbohydrates
Foods rich in carbohydrates play an important role in weight fluctuations. Your body retains approximately three grams of water for every gram of carbohydrates you eat in order to store the energy source. Due to this reason, when you consume a meal loaded with carbohydrates, your body weight increases, not due to the increased fat but due to water retention.
Moreover, a wide range of refined carbohydrate foods is loaded with sodium, which might lead you to retain water as a result of carbohydrate intake as well as high salt content.
3. Weight Fluctuation from Food Weight
Food intake is an obvious reason for weight fluctuation. The food that you eat can weigh a few ounces to few pounds per day, depending on your meal. The water and calories in the food also contribute to an increase in weight.
So does that mean you should skip your meal or decrease the amount of food you consume? The answer is No, as consuming less food or skipping meals can decrease your metabolism, which can impact your overall health. When you notice weight gain after a heavy meal don’t try to wreck your metabolism as it is not the real weight gain. It will reduce once your body gets rid of the waste.
4. Weight Fluctuation from Bowel Movements
Bowel movements also contribute to weight fluctuations in your body. According to evidence presented by studies, your body can produce around 125 to 170 grams of stool per day. Normal bowel habits differ; however, you might not notice major weight fluctuations due to bowel movements alone.
Even if you lose stool weight, there would be digestible material in transit. Normal fecal transit time varies around 40 to 60 hours with a gut transit time of 24-48 hours. If you consume dietary fibers, then transit time can be improved.
5. Weight Fluctuation from Exercise
Exercise can lead to significant weight fluctuations. Exercising can cause you to lose water weight and sweat. According to the exercise experts, an average person loses around 25 to 45 ounces of the water per hour while exercising, especially if you are performing the intense cardiovascular activity.
However, this number of weight loss can differ according to weather conditions. In addition to this, the water lost due to sweat does not make a remarkable difference. The reason behind this fact is that fluid that is lost while exercising should be replaced. If you notice that you are losing weight consistently after a workout, you should get yourself a good hydration plan.
Other types of exercises, like strength training and weight lifting, can also contribute to weight fluctuations as they lead your muscles to retain water. This is due to the reason that when you perform strength training, tiny tears get created in the muscles. When your muscles create and repair the micro-tears, they become strong and large.
Exercise leads you to burn calories, which in turn can help you in weight loss. If you burn calories more than you drink or eat, then you can definitely lose weight.
6. Weight Fluctuation from Menstrual Cycle
Menstrual cycles also contribute to weight fluctuation in women. This is due to the reason that the menstrual cycle can lead your body to retain more fluid during particular times of the month which leads to weight gain. You might notice that your base weight is a little bit higher on the first day of your period.
Weight changes during periods are also linked to the fluctuation in progesterone and estradiol hormones, which often lead you to emotional eating and binge eating. Sometimes you might also not feel hungry during periods, which leads you to lesser eating and drop in weight.
If you are trying to lose weight, then during periods, it is important for you to manage the menstrual eating patterns effectively. A few days of high-fat eating and high-calorie eating can spoil your consistent dieting and can lead to significant weight gain.
7. Weight Fluctuation from Medication
Certain medications can change your metabolism, increase your weight, and can lead your body to retain more water, which in turn can result in weight fluctuation. Some of these medications include insulin, lithium, tricyclic antidepressants, and many more.
If you are taking medicines to treat conditions like high blood pressure, diabetes, migraines, or mood disorder, then you might notice fluctuations in your weight.
If you notice a sudden increase in your weight after starting a new medication, then don’t stop taking the medicine. Instead, consult your pharmacist or doctor. Sometimes weight gain is expected and normal; however, in other conditions, it might indicate issues. Your doctor can help you in finding out the reason for weight loss and can suggest methods to move forward.
8. Weight Fluctuation from Alcohol Intake
The body takes a long time to eliminate alcohol as it is not processed like other beverages and foods. Alcohol can slow down digestion, which in turn leads to water retention. In addition to this, alcoholic beverages like wine contain extra calories, which might spoil your overall dieting. If you are drinking alcohol while dieting, then keep in mind to consume lesser calories while drinking. Many people overeat while drinking alcoholic beverages, which causes water retention, which can lead to remarkable weight gain.
When Will My Weight Go Back to Normal?
There is a wide range of causes of fluctuation in body weight. Most of the fluctuation can be related to change in water weight and normal functioning of the body. So, in reality, there is no “normal weight.”
You should not get worried if you notice small shifts in your weight from day to day. There are no weight machines that measure your water weight so that you can notice the change in tour fluids throughout the month.
Weight fluctuation is normal in most of the cases. However, you should be concerned about your regular weight changes if the number on the weight scale is increasing continuously or stays increased for more than 6-7 days. Such cases can be simply due to increased body mass or might also indicate medical concerns.
When and How to Weigh Yourself?
Be consistent about when to measure your body weight. You might find your lowest body weight when you empty your bladder in the morning. So do not weigh yourself at that time. Choose another time of the day and continue to weigh yourself on the same scale and at the same time every day to get accurate measurements. Below mentioned are some of the tips about how to weigh yourself.
1. Use the same scale every day
2. Weigh your body at the same time every day
3. Try to weigh yourself with just undergarments
The above-mentioned methods to weight yourself will help you in getting accurate results.
Weekly and daily weight fluctuations are normal, and they are not something to be concerned about. But if you find that your weight increases or decreases more than 6 pounds within a time-frame of six months, then you should consult a healthcare professional. This could be a sign of an underlying health condition.