I wanted to take the time to congratulate everyone on successfully completing the 90 Day Weight Loss Challenge. In my eyes everyone made progress in one way or another. Whether it was losing pounds, acquiring a new nutritional lifestyle, working out more throughout the week, improving the quality of sleep, increasing the amount of water, decreasing blood pressure levels, decreasing resting heart rate, increasing HDL levels while decreasing LDL levels, and the list can go on and on. You have all reached a peak in this challenge and I am hoping that this peak is not the end all be all to your new lifestyle. Continue to strive toward new goals. Continue to eat healthy. Continue to work hard when in the gym. Remember to enjoy the process and have fun! Thank you for doing this challenge with me and I hope that you consider a new one come Fall.
It’s never an easy task to commit yourself to a disciplined period of time in which you must stay focused on losing weight. We all fluctuate in weight each day and each week and it’s normal to feel worried that the scale is not moving in the right direction. You have worked so hard in the gym and watched your nutrition very closely to see that you have gained a few pounds in a day. This commonly causes people to lose hope in the process and can ultimately lead to people giving up completely. If only those people knew why those fluctuations occur they could get back on track.
Fluctuations in weight are caused by things such as consuming a large meal, excess salt intake, water retention, constipation and hormonal changes. One thing you should know is that the extra weight that you see on the scale does not come from an increase in body fat; it can be water, waste products or other substances that are temporarily present in your body. Most dietitians tell their patients not to weigh themselves everyday, because they may see their weight fluctuate daily and lose faith in their weight loss program.
So, how much can your weight fluctuate?
A weight fluctuation can result in a temporary weight increase of up to 5 pounds a day. It takes some time for your digestive system to process the food, fluids and salt that you consume, and the substances that are still being processed will contribute to your weight. If you had a big dinner the previous evening, your weight will still be up in the morning if you have not had a bowel movement. This is especially so if you consumed foods that contain a lot of sodium. Even if you had eaten more than you should, your true body weight should not increase significantly overnight. True weight gain is a process that occurs over a longer period of time.
How should we cope with these weight fluctuations?
Do not weigh yourself daily! Weigh yourself once throughout the week when you wake in the morning and have emptied your bowels. If you are still fluctuating when you weigh once a week, try consuming more water to reduce the sodium in your body. Then, weigh yourself again two days later in the morning. If your weight is still elevated, reassess your nutritional habits and exercise program to make sure you are not consuming more calories than you are burning. It always will come back to calories in and calories out. Create a caloric deficit and you will be in control of your weight loss efforts.
A better way to judge true weight change is by how your clothes fit. Clothes don’t lie! Also, take a body fat measurement to see where you are starting and how much room there is to improve. It’s not always about the number on the scale.
Hormones and weight loss efforts
The following links are great sources to help you understand how hormones can play a significant role in weight loss. Please read them.