Why daily fluctuations in body weight don’t matter

I regularly speak with weight loss clients who jump on the scales every day and panic when they see the numbers fluctuating up, usually without obvious reason.
weight

Sound familiar?

Take a read of the picture to the right…

It’s from a journal paper (albeit an old one!) which found that over an 80 day period, day to day bodyweight in one young woman fluctuated by as much as a kilo a day, or thereabouts.

Was this down to changes in how many calories she was eating?

NOPE.

It was most closely linked to changes in fluid retention.

Fluid. Not body fat.

Fluctuations in weight are completely normal. And they can happen after a hard workout, after eating a salty meal, or even a change in sleep pattern.

But if we see our weight move up by a couple of pounds – even if we’ve been eating well and exercising – we give ourselves a hard time. And guess what that does? It disconnects us from our body and creates anxiety… that can in turn lead to unbalanced eating.

Bottom line?

Daily weighing isn’t necessarily bad – in fact studies show regularly weighing is linked with weight loss success. (This also doesn’t mean it’s right for everyone).

BUT (and it’s a big but) how you use the information IS important. You need to observe it like you would an experiment – more ‘ah that’s interesting’ versus ‘I’m a failure’.

Don’t use the scale to berate yourself. Because if those 2lbs are just fluid, you’re making yourself unhappy for no reason.

 

Picture credit: Designed by FreePik

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