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Thursday, July 12, 2012

Sudden Weight Fluctuations

Yesterday my weight was up a few pounds. I thought I had just been eating poorly and been slacking in how often I weighed in, but today those pounds are gone. How did I lose 4 lbs in a day?!? There is some debate over how often one should weigh themselves when trying to lose weight. Some say that you need to watch your progress closely, so you can react quickly when something isn't working, and I tend to agree. However there are some perils to checking the scale every day. The biggest problem is that our bodies sometimes experience large changes in weight that aren't necessarily from eating bad foods or being lazy. Here are some tips for avoiding these temporary weight swings.

1. Weigh yourself at the same time every day.

We typically lose a little weight every night while we sleep. Some of it is water weight from breathing all night, some of it is burned off as we repair and rebuild from an exhausting day. If you weigh yourself in the morning and in the evening, you'll see a difference of a pound or more. This is from eating several meals and drinking throughout the day. It doesn't matter which you want to consider your actual weight, as long as you consistently use that as your frame of reference.

2. Drink plenty of water.

This is the problem I ran into. I spent the weekend at the beach, drinking little more than coffee and beer, eating boardwalk food. That's right, I indulged for a weekend. I didn't pig out, but I did eat foods I wouldn't normally. These meant that I was more than likely dehydrated when I weighed myself Monday morning. When your body doesn't get enough fluid, it retains water and your weight is elevated.

3. Keep your diet consistent.

The foods I had last weekend contributed to water retention by being high in sodium. However, carbohydrate heavy diets also cause many people to hold water. If carbs don't affect you that much, you can probably skip the low carb diet. But don't increase your carb ratio to fuel your workouts, increase your overall calorie intake in the same proportions you're eating now.

4. Evacuate.

This is particularly easy and helpful if you weigh yourself in the morning. Before you hop on the scale, hit the bathroom. What's in your bowels and your bladder shouldn't be contributing to your measurement of fat loss. Just like you should weigh in the nude, you should weigh empty as well.

That's it for now. Follow these tips and keep track of your weight. Accountability for the changes you're making in your lifestyle will make your progress that much more rewarding.

Chris Wight is a weight loss researcher and product review specialist. You can learn more about the truth about weight loss at his site

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