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Understanding Daily Weight Fluctuations: Separating Myths from Facts

Hey there Auburn / Opelika fitness enthusiasts!

I want to talk about an extremely common issue (and misconception) that I’ve seen plague the health and fitness industry over the past 12 years: Daily Weight Fluctuations.

Ask yourself these questions:

  1. When was the last time you stepped on a scale?
  2. How often do you step on a scale?

For clients I’ve worked with, I usually recommend weighing in once a week, in the morning before you eat or drink anything. No more, no less.

However, many individuals step on a scale daily, if not multiple times a day. When I ask why, I’m always met with the same answer: “I want to make sure I’m on the right track.”

Here’s the thing… the sooner you realize fat gain and weight gain are not the same thing, the faster you can step on the scale without risking your mood for the whole week.

The Reality of Daily Weight Fluctuations

Daily (predictable) weight fluctuations don’t mean you’re failing at fat loss—it’s just how your body works. Especially after events like the Super Bowl, big holidays, or social gatherings, it’s very possible to gain several pounds of weight overnight.

But here’s the crucial point:

It’s almost impossible to gain several pounds of body fat overnight.

Remember that the next time you step on the scale and see the number go up a pound or two.

What Causes Daily Weight Fluctuations?

  • Water Retention: Consuming salty foods or carbohydrates can cause your body to retain water, leading to a temporary increase in weight.
  • Glycogen Storage: Carbs are stored as glycogen in your muscles and liver, and each gram of glycogen is stored with three grams of water.
  • Food and Drink Intake: The actual weight of the food and beverages you consume will add to your total body weight until they are fully digested and excreted.
  • Hormonal Changes: Hormonal fluctuations, especially in women, can cause variations in water retention and weight.
  • Digestive Contents: The contents of your digestive system can contribute to weight fluctuations as food and waste pass through.

Healthy Weighing Habits

  • Weekly Weigh-Ins: For a more accurate measure of your progress, weigh yourself once a week at the same time, ideally in the morning before eating or drinking.
  • Focus on Trends: Look at your weight trends over time rather than daily changes. This will give you a clearer picture of your progress.
  • Don’t Panic: If you see a slight increase, don’t panic and don’t self-destruct. Understand that weight fluctuations are normal.

All body fat has weight, but not all weight is body fat.

Keep moving… Stay moving… Stay healthy!

Cam Peavy, Founder of Infinity Wellness

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