Weight loss can be frustrating. Depending on your level of metabolism or initial weight, pounds may plummet off your body in the beginning of a diet and exercise program and then level out to a point where you don’t lose weight as easy as you did. This is actually normal for most people, but for some losing weight comes easy. Don’t get down on yourself for whatever category you fall into. Simply continue on your journey.
Another frustrating aspect of weight loss comes from the fluctuation of pounds up and pounds down when you can’t seem to balance out. This may happen to you after you’ve lose an initial large amount of weight. It also can happen at the start of your attempts to slim down. Either way, the culprits of fluctuating pounds up and pounds down are usually the same. Weight is going to fluctuate for most people. Pounds will go up and pounds will go down based on how much sodium was in your daily meals, how much water you retained, and whether or not you have had a bowel recently. Your body digests certain foods at different rates, and it retains water differently based on the amount of exercise (sweat) you engaged in and the type of food you ate.
Have you ever noticed how you become aware of pounds going up, pounds going down, and the feeling of never being able to find a balance or consistent weight loss? This only happens from looking at the scale every day (or twice or three times a day). Dietitians warn of checking the scale every day for the very reasons listed above. It may seem common knowledge, but too many hopeful weight loss patrons don’t think about the difference the scale will show based on when you have clothes and shoes on vs. when you do not. You need to check the scale less often. Pay more attention to how your clothes fit, and if you do weigh, try hopping on the scale every week or every other week.
The important thing to remember about the pounds up vs. pounds down is that if you see a 1-4 pound weight change in one day, it’s not body fat. Body fat does not accumulate that quickly. If you feel unbalanced, don’t be too hard on yourself or your body, because the little mean angel on your shoulder will tell you to give up on your weight loss journey. You have to ignore the fluctuations and chalk them up to simple things like water and salt, not body fat.
Now, on the other side of the scale (no pun intended), if you continue to see strange weight ebb and flows that range more in the 5-7 pound range instead of the 1-4 pound range for a number of days, you could be making some diet mistakes.
Pay attention to the amount of alcohol you consume. Your appetite increases and the carbs can be deceptively counter-productive. Also avoid drinking your calories. Drink more water, and don’t think you are going to weigh more by drinking more water. Water helps flush out impurities and helps your digestive system work properly. When you do brave the scale, weigh at the same time and with the same clothes on, or just weight naked in the morning for the truest number.
Bottom line when you can’t seem to balance out: Don’t weigh every day. Keep working out. Drink a lot of water. Pay attention to how your clothes fit.