Today we are going to address the common causes behind weight fluctuations on the scale.
Unfortunately, that silly number on the scale affects us more than we care to admit. I am even guilty of letting a small 2lb fluctuation ruin my entire morning. However, I have learned from my mistakes and am here to help YOU. With a little positive self talk and help from your favorite trainer, I will help you understand the facts behind weight fluctuation and how to not let the scale bother you!
5 COMMON CAUSES OF WEIGHT FLUCTUATIONS
1) Increased Sodium intake
“You ate processed chemicals, sugary carbs dunked in chocolate, and salty smoky deep fried fries all weekend”
Our body craves homeostasis. When we take in a little extra salt than what we are used to, our body overcompensates by retaining extra water (i.e triplet bloat babies in your tummy)
If this is the case with you, it is possible to see a 2-5lb fluctuation on the scale from BLOAT ALONE. The best way to combat this is to 1) NOT STRESS 2) NOT STRESS 3) drink plenty of water and 4 ) work up a good sweat to flush out the excess sodium.
2) TOM Fluid retention: FYI if you are a male this probably does not apply to you. But who knows, maybe you experience a man period once in awhile.
As mentioned above, when our body is a little out of sync and our hormones are raging, our body holds on to extra water in order to achieve homeostasis. DO NOT WORRY ABOUT THIS. Get extra rest, make sure to eat plenty of nutrient rich foods and DO NOT STRESS. Your weight will level out once our lady parts calm down.
If for some reason you ignore my warnings because adulting is hard and start to stress, there is a chance the scale will adjust to the release of the stress hormone Cortisol. The release of Cortisol in small doses (like during exercise) can be a GOOD thing. However, if cortisol levels remain elevated over a long period of time, they can in fact cause weight gain, especially in the abdominal area for women.
The best way to combat elevated cortisol levels is to practice stress reduction techniques. Stress Reduction techniques include aerobic exercise, a massage, acupuncture, extra rest, hot tea, meditation, yoga, and positive self talk. Reframing the way you look at a hectic situation and changing your outlook on a stressful schedule can do wonders for your stress level. ((I took a few classes in undergrad focusing on stress management so message me for more ideas))
Did you workout yesterday? Do you feel like you have been hit by a car today? Does squatting down to go the bathroom seem like the most difficult task in the world? If so, you most likely have delayed onset muscle soreness (or DOMS). Believe it or not, the buildup of lactic acid and inflammation in your muscles can cause a fluctuation on the scale. With adequate rest, stretching, and proper hydration, the number should go back down shortly!
Oh yes, a subject I know far too much about. Basically, if you are backed up, your weight might increase as well. For the average human who does not suffer from 10 strands of IBS, adequate fiber intake, proper hydration, and aerobic exercise should combat the problem. Caffeine may help speed up the process, but if traditional methods fail you, consulting a gastroenterologist might be a good idea. If you live in Kentucky, my dad can help you out. Yes, my dad deals with IBS for a living. THE IRONY.
There are several factors OUT OF YOUR CONTROL that cause weight fluctuations. The most important take away is to not stress, focus your energy on things other than the scale, and stay on track with your diet and exercise routine!
If you need help managing your weight or have further questions about scale fluctuations , feel free to reach out! Otherwise, stay fit, happy, and healthy my fit people!