Why Does The Scale Fluctuate So Much?!


Why Does The Scale Fluctuate So Much?!

A lot of people dread stepping on the scale… they HATE it!

They’ve created a very negative association with the number and it dictates how they feel about themselves, regardless of the positive progress they may be making!

The scale is simply ONE data point we use at Elevate St. Pete to track progress. And we’re big proponents of taking your power back and removing the emotions from the scale.

You are NOT the number of the scale. You’re a complex, unique, badass individual who happens to weigh “X” at this particular second in time 🙂

It’s simply data…but you probably don’t know how to interpret that data so you get upset if it’s not what you’re expecting.

Don’t worry, you’re not alone.

The truth is, most people have no idea what that number means and why it changes constantly. So they end up making irrational decisions and choices based on their uninformed opinion.

You cannot randomly jump on the scale once per week or a few times per month and expect to interpret that data accurately. It’s far too inconsistent to understand the why behind that number.

So let’s talk about those daily fluctuations!

The most important thing to keep in mind about your daily body weight is that fluctuations have no bearing on long-term progress. Weight fluctuations can be caused by factors including:

  1. You did/didn’t have a bowel movement.
  2. You consumed a lot of sodium.
  3. You ate more food later at night so it would be sitting in your stomach in the morning when you weighed in (like a lot of heavy veggies, for example).
  4. Each gram of carbohydrate holds around 3 grams of water, so after a higher carb day, you will retain water.
  5. You are dehydrated (which will cause your body to hold on to every ounce of water it can).
  6. Consuming alcohol will dehydrate you and may cause your body to cling to water.
  7. A really intense workout can cause inflammation (aka, water retention).
  8. Being sick can cause water retention.
  9. You started a new supplement (like creatine or a protein that upsets your stomach).
  10. Your sleep hasn’t been consistent.
  11. Stress causes a rise in cortisol which causes water retention.
  12. For women – your monthly cycle.
  13. The weather! Summer makes you sweat a lot more than the cooler seasons!

A helpful strategy we recommend is deciding how you feel about yourself before stepping on the scale. That way no matter how the number has changed you have already made that decision!

In addition, instead of focusing on the daily scale weight we recommend paying attention to the weekly average change in your weight and comparing it to the week before.

We are looking for TRENDS rather than one single number on its own. This is why it’s important to weigh yourself daily, at the same time every day (preferably first thing in the morning, after you’ve gone to the bathroom and with minimal clothing).

The scale can be a great tool to track progress and help you make dietary decisions…

IF you know how to interpret the data and are using scale weight in conjunction with other factors like sleep, water intake, stress levels, activity, exercise, women’s cycle, etc.

If you’re ready to make some positive changes to your eating habits, we can help. Schedule a time to meet with one of our professional staff members in person.

-Nicole Race, Owner