Ever wonder why your weight fluctuates day-to-day? I promise its not because you gain and lose fat on a daily basis. Your weight is impacted by a variety of factors, including the type of diet you follow, your hormones, tissue inflammation and hydration levels, to name a few. Keep reading to learn more!
1. Following A High Protein, Low Carbohydrate Diet
Eating a high protein, low carbohydrate diet does show faster weight loss versus other diets of different macronutrient ratios. A diet that is low in carbs can cause (1) more fat loss as well as (2) more water loss. Muscle glycogen (the stored form of carbohydrate in your muscle), carries some weight, along with water into the cells.
Additionally, carbohydrates that are high in soluble fiber, such as vegetables and whole grains, absorb water in the gut during the digestion process. This can cause bloating and water retention. Low carb diets, particularly those that are ultra restrictive, reduce many of those good carbs causing less water retention and less bloating! Hence, many fitness-focused individuals that come off ultra restrictive diets experience a huge fluctuation in weight initially from changing what they have been eating. These macro changes also cause hormonal changes that will impact your weight as well.
After a night of fasting, your stomach will be empty, which can result in a lower weight. Once you start drinking water and eating, your weight will start to increase. Fasting diets can also have the same effect: After not eating for a period of 8 or so hours, your weight will be lower simply because you having nothing in your stomach and are not hydrated.
Although fasting diets can work for some, they tend to not work for all. For one, they can cause you to overeat after the fast, result in hormonal fluctuations and reduce sleep. Loss of sleep has been shown to cause a cascade of hormone responses that increase cravings and affect carbohydrate metabolism, which can also result in overeating and weight increases.
3. Taking In Too Much Salt
Salt or sodium levels can cause water retention, while too little sodium results in water loss. If you’re eating a lot of salt, you will experience bloating and water retention increasing your weight. That said, if you are not hypertensive, sodium is not the bad guy. You need salt. The balance of sodium and potassium play an important part in your muscle physiology and your performance. Remember, as you sweat, you lose salt. So, if you sweat a lot during your workouts, tend to workout in hotter environments or live in a hot location, you need to make sure you are replacing those lost electrolytes.
For healthy individuals, there is no reason to avoid salt altogether. However, you can manage your intake by just avoiding processed foods. However, even if you’re not eating processed foods, be aware that salt solutions are often injected into your meat to plump up the volume, which means you’re paying more and getting less! So, opt for free range meats.
4. Not Hydrated Enough
The amount of water you have in your body will affect your weight. Fluctuations in water can cause the number on the scale to go up or down. If you’re dehydrated, you will weigh less than when you’re hydrated. As mentioned above, an intense workout can cause fluctuations in your electrolyte levels causing water losses, while foods high in salt can cause water retention. Heavy coffee drinker? Coffee is dehydrating, as is alcohol. Drink plenty of water to keep your body hydrated and your weight regulated.
5. Hormonal Fluctuations
Progesterone levels fall during pre-menstrual part of your cycle, resulting in water retention and weight gain. Unfortunately, also during this time, serotonin levels become disrupted. This results in cravings for sweets and, if you are not careful, overeating. To help reduce water retention, drink plenty of water to help flush out the body. After your menstrual cycle has passed, your estrogen and progesterone levels will return to normal and so will your pre-period weight!
6. Suffering With Inflammation
If you’re carrying extra fat weight, its presence can cause an inflammatory response. Anti-inflammatory chemicals released to reduce body inflammation can have a direct effect on the hunger control hormone leptin. When the body is in balance, leptin regulates hunger and your weight. When leptin is made ineffective from inflammation, leptin resistance can occur. Eating a diet that reduces inflammation and the inflammatory response can help bring leptin back into balance. A diet that is rich in monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats from fish, avocados, chia seeds, walnuts and pumpkin seeds can help reduce inflammation. Also, eating antioxidant-rich foods including fruits and vegetables is effective.