It’s human nature to want to see instant results. You demonstrate perfect discipline by following a healthy diet and exercise plan for several days and then comes the moment of truth. You step on the scale fully expecting the numbers to reflect your unwavering dedication. Your heart sinks as you see that your weight has inexplicably gone up.
How can this be? Feeling defeated and upset, you vow to further restrict your calories and increase your exercise. Don’t be so quick to react! Weight fluctuations are common and can occur for a variety of legitimate reasons. Find out why fluctuations occur and why you shouldn’t allow these temporary setbacks to discourage you from your long term weight loss goals.
- You’ve eaten too much sodium: Consuming heavily salted foods can cause fluid retention. This is especially true if you are slightly dehydrated, as the body holds on to extra fluid to allow for healthy rehydration. Eating whole, natural foods and less salt can reduce water retention. Also, although it sounds counterintuitive, drinking more water can help flush excess fluid and sodium from your system, providing a more accurate reflection of your weight loss progress.
2. You haven’t rid your body of waste in a while: A change in diet may cause constipation and the resulting inability to have regular bowel movements can reflect on the scale. Be sure to eat a lot of fiber rich food, drink plenty of water, and exercise. This will help your bowels function more efficiently so that you’re eliminating regularly and not feeling bloated and discouraged.
3. You have PMS: Hormonal changes can cause women to retain between two and eight pounds of water weight during the week before their monthly cycle. Continue to stick with your weight loss and exercise plan during this time and you should see this excess water weight drop off a few days after menstruation begins.
4. The time of day your weigh yourself is inconsistent: A person can weigh five to seven pounds more at night than in the morning. This is due to the consumption of food and liquid throughout the day that has not yet been fully digested or excreted. The most accurate measurement of your weight is first thing in the morning after having used the restroom. Weighing yourself consistently at this time will help to avoid frustrating weight fluctuations.
5. You celebrated yesterday’s weight loss: People like to be rewarded for their successes, so if you see a significant drop in weight one day, it may feel like an invitation to eat more and exercise less the next. Of course this will only sabotage your long term efforts. Therefore stick to your plan and establish other rewards that won’t hinder your weight loss progress.
6. Eating more carbs than usual: Carbohydrates, while a great source of energy in moderation, can cause additional water retention. Carbs are stored in the muscles and liver as glycogen and the body stores between three and four grams of water for every gram of glycogen. This is why cutting carbs can result in a rapid display of weight loss and reintroducing them can quickly increase water retention, presenting as weight gain.
Understanding the reasons behind weight fluctuations can make the ups and downs of weight loss less discouraging. Avoid the emotional rollercoaster of inevitable fluctuations by weighing yourself only one time per week at the same time of day.
Medifast Weight Control Centers have a team of expert and caring professionals who can provide the necessary support and education to help you achieve your weight loss goals. Please call (602) 996-9669 today for your complimentary consultation.