The 6 reasons you REALLY weigh more this morning – and what to do about it

The 6 reasons you REALLY weigh more this morning – and what to do about it

IT can be disheartening to step on the scales during your weight loss journey and see the number has increased.

The dreaded “sad step” might say you’ve put on 2lbs overnight despite your best efforts.

But before you throw in the towel on your weight loss plan, it’s important to know there are several reasons why your weight may fluctuate from one day to the next.

And putting on weight is not necessarily the true cause.

Jonathon Taylor, a senior personal trainer at Ultimate Performance, previously told The Sun that while weight changes are good to keep an eye on, you need to interpret them carefully.

"When the scale moves up or down, it only tells you how much you have lost or gained, not WHAT you have lost or gained," he said.

"Your bodyweight can fluctuate daily due to several factors that are completely unrelated to how much body fat or muscle mass you have.

"For example, how much you sweat, your food and drink choices, the time you weigh in and when you last ate can all cause your weight to fluctuate from day to day.

"Weight loss is not a smooth process, and several weird things can happen to your weight when dieting, such as sudden weight gain, weight loss or even stalls.”

Here are some of the reasons for weight fluctuation – and an artificial number on the scales:

1. Constipation

Constipation is a fairly common problem that can make you weigh more than you actually do.

“If you’ve noticed changes to your digestion recently, such as being constipated, it’s not surprising if the scale shows a slightly higher number,” Emily Servante, an Ultimate Performance PT, told Women’s Health.

“Once things start moving as usual again, your weight will go back down.”

You can prevent constipation by eating a diet rich in fibre – 30g a day is recommended by the NHS.

Fibre not only keeps your bowels moving but is linked with weight loss.

You can get it from fruits and vegetables, wholemeal bread, wholewheat pasta, and pulses like lentils and beans.

2. Carbohydrates 

Carbohydrates – bread, pasta, potatoes and vegetables – are an essential part of the diet, giving us energy.

But if you have a day of eating that’s a little on the carb-heavy side, it can cause a brief spike in weight.

Extra carbs are stored in the body as glycogen. Since your body stores glycogen with water, it can cause weight to go up overnight. 

Emily said: “When you eat carbohydrates, your body breaks them down into glycogen which is shuttled to muscle cells along with water, causing your weight to increase slightly.

“However, this is a perfectly natural and necessary process and doesn’t mean you're not losing body fat.”

3. Hydration

Your hydration status has a big impact on how much you weigh from day to day.

Both lack of water (dehydration) and filling up (rehydration) can cause weight to go up or down temporarily. 

Although it may be tempting to drink less water to lower the number on the scales, hydration is important for weight loss for a number of reasons. 

As well as fluid like water or tea, you can also get water content from foods like cucumber. 

4. Too much salt 

If you’ve had a Chinese takeaway the night before weigh-in, you’d be forgiven for thinking your weight has gone up.

But bear in mind that calorie-dense foods tend to contain more salt.

When we have too much salt in the body, it causes the body to hold on to water to help dilute it.

It can cause bloating as well as a spike in weight – which will normalise as you go back to normal eating. 

The American Heart Association (AHA) explains that when you have excess sodium in your bloodstream, it draws more water into your blood vessels.

Not only will this cause a temporary spike in weight, but it’s a risk factor for getting high blood pressure.

5. Menstrual cycle

A woman’s weight can alter depending on where she is in the menstrual cycle.

During the premenstrual phase, before the bleed, the body may hold on to more water, causing you to “weight” more.

The Mayo Clinic says: “Premenstrual water retention is likely caused by fluctuations in your hormones. Your diet also might play a role.”

Bloating is also common during PMS, which can falsely imply you have put on weight.

To help with pre-period water retention, you could limit salt in the diet or take magnesium supplements.

6. Alcohol

Alcohol can cause your weight to go haywire for all sorts of reasons.

It can take longer for the body to eliminate compared to other foods and drinks, says Healthline, and slows digestion leading to water retention.

This can all show up on the bathroom scales in the days following.

Alcohol can also make you consume more calories – even if you don’t remember it.

All alcoholic drinks contain calories and sometimes several teaspoons of sugar, while the food you eat while drunk or hungover can add up, too. 

How can you track weight?

First off, it’s important to remember that one day’s spike in weight shouldn’t put you off trying.

PT Jonathon Taylor said he tells clients to focus on a weekly average of numbers to account for any variations day-to-day.

Do this by weighing yourself once a day, noting down the number, adding the total numbers on day seven, then dividing that number by seven. That will give your average weight on any given day that week. It can help you plot your progress on a chart over time, accounting for drastic ups and downs.

Jonathan said: "We also don't rely on a single assessment tool. Instead, we also take progress pictures and circumference measurements, measure body fat percentage and monitor gym performance."

The bathroom scales are only one way of measuring weight, and many experts don’t use them at all.

The gadget does not tell you how much fat and muscle mass you have – only the combined figure. 

It means if you lost 3kg of fat while slowly gaining 3kg of muscle, the bathroom scales would say you hadn’t lost any weight even though you looked physically different – with more lean muscle and less fat.

Many gyms and pharmacies have machines that can measure body fat against muscle mass to give a more detailed picture of your body composition.

Progress pictures are a great way of keeping track of your efforts without obsessing over numbers. “Before” and “after” images taken weeks or months apart can also help you to keep going.

Measuring how you feel in clothes is another easy way to track your weight. If there are a certain pair of jeans you would like to fit into again, you could use it as a benchmark for long-term weight loss.

We pay for your stories!

Do you have a story for The Sun news desk?

Email us at [email protected] or call 0207 782 4104. You can WhatsApp us on 07423 720 250. We pay for videos too.

Click here to upload yours.

Click here to get The Sun newspaper delivered for FREE for the next six weeks.

    Source: Read Full Article