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What Causes Rapid Weight Fluctuation?


Common Causes of Weight Fluctuation and When to Be Concerned

The average adult’s weight fluctuates up to five or six pounds per day, so daily weight fluctuation is quite normal. Your weight fluctuation depends on a wide variety of factors, such as what you eat and drink as well as how much you exercise and sleep. Usually, daily or even weekly weight fluctuations are not a cause for concern.

If you are eating and exercising at a healthy rate, water retention is often the reason behind these standard ups and downs. This means a diet that is low in salt, refined carbs, and simple sugars. However, if your weight fluctuates more than six pounds in either direction within a six-month time frame, it could be a sign of an underlying issue. If you find that your weight is fluctuating at a concerning rate, it could be due to one of the following reasons:

  • You are eating foods with high water content

If you are eating foods that contain lots of water, you might notice that number reflected on the scale, but it does not mean you’ve actually gained weight. Rather, this increase is simply temporary. After your body processes the increase in water, your weight will return to normal.

  • You are eating foods that are high in sodium

When you eat foods that are high in sodium, your body retains more water to maintain a specific concentration of salt in the bloodstream. The excess of water dilutes the salt until it flushes out, which results in a temporary increase in body weight.

  • You are on your period

If you are someone who has a period every month, the timing of your cycle is also a factor to consider when you are thinking about weight fluctuations. That is because the changes in progesterone and other hormones that happen during the menstrual cycle can cause changes in weight. Estrogen leads to water retention and progesterone is a natural diuretic, and these hormones can cause weight fluctuations.

  • You drank too much alcohol

By nature, alcohol dehydrates you, which means it makes you lose water and negatively impacts your homeostasis. Dehydration can lead to water retention. Therefore, too much alcohol can cause you to temporarily gain weight, which might explain why you feel a bit puffy after a night out.

  • You are dehydrated

Although it might seem counterintuitive, the less water you drink, the more weight you might gain. This is because dehydration can lead to water retention as your body attempts to hold onto as much water as possible.

  • You ate more carbohydrates than usual

The end product of carb digestion is glycogen, which your body stores. The body stores glycogen by binding it to water molecules at a ratio of one gram of glycogen to three to four grams of water. This process happens when the glycogen is not being used as energy. However, when the body uses up the glycogen, it breaks down into glucose for a burst of energy and takes the water along with it.

When it comes to checking the status of your weight journey, consistency is key. It is not necessary to be checking your weight obsessively, but you do want to keep a consistent schedule. If you want to understand the full picture of what is going on in your body, body composition checks will serve you better than simply stepping on a scale. Regular body composition checks can help you determine your body’s exact fat, muscle, and water content. At Soza Weight Loss, we offer a professionally supervised weight loss program that will teach you how to monitor your body’s progress and how to achieve the results you want in a timely manner.

Want to learn more about the programs at Soza Weight Loss and how we can help you meet your goals? Give us a call at (504) 475-9817 or contact us online today.