Why does my weight fluctuate so much? Tips on how to get the scales moving in the right direction
So many factors impact our weight, including what we eat, drink, sleep or even how stressed we are feeling.
While it may be frustrating to notice changes in the scales from day to day, after putting in all the hard work, it’s actually very normal.
So, why do we see so many changes? While some reasons you aren’t losing weight may be health-related, other reasons could be that you may need to switch up your routine a bit.
Reasons you may notice fluctuations in your weight from day to day
You may notice your weight fluctuate throughout the day or week, regardless of what you are eating or even if you are eating consistently. Here’s why…
1. Water weight
The reason behind it may be down to water weight, and you can find the scales going up as much as 2kg from it in a single day.
Our bodies are roughly around 60% water but sometimes we store excess water, also known as water retention.
When water builds up if can cause your stomach to look more bloated and you may also feel heavier and more sluggish.
Women often experience more water retention during their period each month.
2. You’re building muscle
If you are hitting the gym hard, you may be increasing the intensity of their exercise routine – which can actually lead to an upward change on the scales.
There’s no need to be alarmed, it may actually be that you’re building muscle. But beware, the more you exercise, the hungrier you may feel, so this could be why you feel like the scales are going up.
Muscle tissue is denser than fat tissue. So as you gain more muscle and lose fat, you change your overall body composition, which can result in a higher weight, but a smaller figure and better health. Don’t just rely on the scales – take measurements to track progress.
3. You’re not drinking enough water
We just talked about carrying water weight, but often people who have water weight need to drink MORE water.
People who have a diet high in carbohydrates will require extra water to convert them into energy stores, so your body will retain a higher levels of water supple.
4. You need more sleep
When we are sleep deprived our cortisol levels (the stress hormone) increase. The higher our cortisol levels, the greater our APPETITE.
What’s more, when we begin to feel stressed (thanks to our increased cortisol levels), our body begins to look for ways to produce serotonin, a brain chemical that helps increase mood and relaxation. And, you wouldn’t believe what the easiest way is for our body to produce serotonin. By consuming high-fat, high-carbs foods!
A sleepless night causes our body to release the hormone ghrelin. This hormone is responsible for signalling hunger. A sleepless night also causes our body to produce less of the hormone leptin, which is responsible for telling our stomach when it is full.
So, thanks to a lack of sleep we now have more of the hungry-hormones and less of the I’m-now-full hormones. That is certainly a recipe for disaster – literally.
5. You’re drinking too much alcohol
When managing your weight, moderation is key and this includes alcohol.
Alcohol can often lead to your vital organs and skin actually holding onto water, resulting in stomach bloating and puffiness in the face and legs.
And if that isn’t bad enough, alcohol is packed with calories so moderation is key.
6. You need more fibre
High Fibre Foods is an incredibly important part of a healthy eating plan. Not only for keeping you ‘regular’ and for general bowel health but it has also been found to be incredibly important in weight loss and weight management.
Fibre rich foods, due to their bulky nature, fill us up without yielding much energy. Less energy in weight loss is the key. These fibrous foods also absorb more water in the digestive tract which adds to the feeling of satiety.
It also slows glucose absorption which assists in blood glucose control. Therefore we fill fuller for longer without consuming more energy/calories! We also do not get the ‘lows’ off a high sugar hit, and do not scramble for our next hit of food due to the low blood sugar levels.
7. Snacking too much throughout the day
You think a few little bites here and there won’t matter? WRONG! Mindless snacking, even on healthy foods like nuts, can rack up over 1000 extra calories per day that you may not be accounting for.
If you feel hungry have a big glass of water first before grabbing a snack or make yourself a nutritious Healthy Mummy Smoothie.
8. You’re not exercising enough
If you’ve just started walking a bit great, keep it up! Incidental exercise is good but in order to lose weight and see more results, you need to work hard to reach the recommended amount of time you exercise.
Plus, it will release some major endorphins and make you feel pumped. Check out the 28 Day Weight Loss Challenge for lots of great exercise ideas.
9. Weekend splurging
You work hard on your healthy eating all week, but weekends are often sabotaged by takeout, cocktails and unlimited snacking. All these little treats add up.
Don’t let the weekend be your weakness!
10. Overindulging on healthy foods
Olive oil, nuts, brown rice, whole wheat bread and avocado are all very healthy foods. But every food has a calorie amount and a proper portion for your body. It’s easy to think just because it’s healthy, you can eat lots of it – not so.
Make sure you check your calorie intake before going overboard.
11. Not eating enough!
When you’re trying to lose weight, what you eat rather than how much exercise you do has the biggest impact on weight loss.
That said, it is possible that if you exercise too much, it can prevent you from losing weight as it can stop your body from burning fat.
Remember calories in versus calories out. Don’t forget to check the amount of calories you should consume each day to help with weight loss.
12. You’re feeling stressed
We all know that stress is bad for us, but did you know that being stressed could actually derail your weight loss and healthy eating plan?
If you’re under stress and your body is producing too much cortisol which is causing you to retain extra kilos. Try ensuring you are getting enough rest, sleep and down time to relax and unwind.
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