Have you ever seen the scale increase, even though you are working out consistently, eating clean, and doing all the right things? Fear not, this is normal and there are MANY reasons why the scale might show a higher weigh in from one day to the next.
I am constantly explaining to my clients that there are a few factors that can contribute to higher weigh-ins. Just because you weigh more does not mean you are necessarily gaining fat cells. Usually something is causing the higher weigh ins if you truly are on track, so reflecting on what it really could be is so important.
1. Your Sodium is Too High
Did you eat fast food the day before? Did you eat foods from a package?
These kinds of foods that are processed contain higher amounts of sodium than fresh, whole foods do.
Sodium is the salt added to preserve and keep the food from spoiling and usually tastes delicous.
When you eat higher sodium foods (think McDonald’s, Oreo’s, microwave meals, etc), your body will then retain more water weight from the higher salt intake.
So if you had a higher sodium day, expect to weigh a little more the next day. Usually if you get back to fresh foods, this excess water will be flushed out in the coming days.
2. You Ate More or Later Than Usual
The time you eat your meals can affect your weigh ins, and how much food you consumed can also change the number on the scale. I think these two things go hand-in-hand, so reflect on if you ate more or later than usual.
If you typically eat 1800 calories, but have a cheat meal and eat 2000 calories, your weight might be up the next day because you are more full than usual. Just think of the extra food sitting there in your gut.
Same goes with meal timing; if you typically stop eating at 7pm, but decide to stop eating at 10pm one night, your weight will also likely be up because the food is also still sitting in your digestive system.
3. You Weighed-in at a Different Time
Similarly to the above factors, you might have weighed in at a different time, which can affect your weigh-ins.
If you typically weigh in at 7am, but decide to weigh in at 10am one day, the scale will likely be up because you probably have had coffee, might be fully dressed, or have already eaten.
All of these factors around weigh-in timing can change what number you see on the scale.
4. You Used a Different Scale
This is my biggest pet-peeve! All scales will read different!!! You can weigh in at the same time on five different scales and all five of them may say a different number!
I highly recommend using YOUR scale only. Do not compare your weight on your scale to the doctor’s scale, or your friend’s scale.
In order to keep it consistent and see an accurate pattern for collecting this data, only use one scale while tracking your weight.
5. Your Period Might be Coming
This is obviously for women, but where you’re at in your cycle will affect your weigh-ins.
For me, I gain 3-5lbs the week before I start; for some of my clients, they gain 2-4lbs the day they actually start.
Everyone is different, so analyzing what your body does around the times in your cycle can be super helpful for not beating yourself up about a higher weigh in. Learn what your body does and embrace it.
6. You Need to Use the Restroom
This one might be a little gross and TMI, but if you haven’t gone to the bathroom in a while, you might weigh more… think about it.
If your gut and digestive system is full, you can very well gain 3-5lbs of waste that’s just sitting in there, causing a higher weigh in.
I always recommend my clients weigh in after they’ve gone to the restroom, as this will be the most ideal weight.
(If you’re having troubles, check your fiber intake. 25g is recommended a day!)
Weight is Just Mass
Yes, when you are on a fitness journey it is important to track your weight over a long period of time to see if progress is being made.
Remember not to tie your emotional well-being to the number on the scale. You are literally just seeing the number that represents the mass you take up on Earth, and some days it might be up a little.
Remember that it’s OKAY! Weight will fluctuate day to day.
Along with weigh-ins, take progress photos and measurements, and analyze how you’re truly feeling!