31 May 2009
Reader Nikki writes:
I weigh myself pretty much daily… not because I’m obsessed with losing weight, but just because I like to keep track of where I am and to track the numerous ways my body is changing (weight being one of these; but also including my tone, the way my clothes fit, the way I look, etc). My question is, my weight changes A LOT from day to day. In fact, recently, it will change up to 6ish pounds from one day to the next (up and down) even though I am pretty religious in my eating and exercise routine. Is this type of weight fluctuation normal? It seems crazy that I could gain (or lose) 6 pounds in a 24 hour period when I have worked out, not binged, and consumed the same amount of water.
Short answer: Yes, fluctuating six pounds during the day is completely normal and nothing to worry about!
Longer answer: The main cause of weight fluctuation is liquid retention/elimination. A gallon of water weighs 8 pounds! So if you drink a liter of liquid, you’ll pretty immediately register a 2 pound gain JUST from the weight of the liquid. But on the flip side, we lose water weight just as quickly through urination and sweat (apparently, we can sweat a lot in our sleep!).
If you drink a lot of water or other liquids, your weight might fluctuate more than average because you’re constantly gaining weight by drinking and losing weight by urinating or sweating. Don’t worry, though, the whole process is completely normal and healthy. It wouldn’t be smart to purposefully limit liquids just to avoid weight gain (your body will REALLY hold onto water weight then!).
That’s just one reason why weighing yourself daily can be problematic and frankly, not that enlightening. I recommend weighing yourself one day a week at the SAME TIME each week.