We all know the frustration of working hard to maintain a healthy body weight, only to step on the bathroom scale and see the numbers going in the wrong direction - or not quickly enough in the right direction!
Here are 6 truths about those annoyingly normal daily weight fluctuations:
1| Scale weight is not a true measurement of your health. It is simply one of many variables you should be taking into account to determine if you are approaching or maintaining your optimal body weight.
2| When you wake up after fasting - usually for around 12 hours, you're completely dehydrated and at your lowest weight of the day. This is why it’s recommended to weigh yourself first thing in the morning after you’ve voided, and before you eat or drink anything. This is what I recommend clients to do when they are weighing themselves at home.
3| Speaking of voiding… you can experience daily weight fluctuations of 1-3+ lbs due to waste that could be lingering in your large colon. Who knew poop could be so heavy? That’s why its important to eat fibre, have probiotics, and stay well hydrated so you can stay regular.
Be sure to keep the bowels moving with plenty of fluids, plant-based fibre and targeted supplementation, if necessary.
4| Your scale doesn't just weigh fat. It weighs muscle, bone, organs, water, and as you just learned - poop!
When you lose weight, it doesn't necessarily mean that you've lost body fat as the average bathroom scale has no way of telling you what bodily tissues you've lost. Weighing “skinny” on the scale does not always translate into healthy off the scale. Always keep this in mind. Especially because muscle weighs more than fat, so sometimes when your doing a weight loss or muscle building program, your body can go through what is called “conversion” of weight. Where at first when you started your program, and were losing weight and inches, to after a while, you’re just getting more and more toned, but not losing as much weight. The numbers on the scale aren’t the only results you need to be concerned about. It’s everything as a whole. Getting close to your ideal weight does help though.
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FACT: The more muscle you have the more energy your body burns, even when you're just sitting around - due to the fact that it’s a metabolically active tissue. That's one reason why a fit, active person is generally able to eat more than say the chronic dieter who is unknowingly breaking down and losing muscle.
5| Likewise, the scale can't tell if you've gained muscle.
Building muscle makes it possible to drop clothing sizes (and lose inches) without a significant change, if any, in scale weight.
THINK OF IT LIKE THIS: a pound of muscle is like a small, compact brick, whereas a pound of fat is like a bulky, lumpy pillow. So that's why when you gain muscle and lose fat, your figure appears slimmer and more firm - but your scale weight may not change much.
6| For all the ladies out there...it's not you, it's your HORMONES!
Some women can gain up to 10 lbs right before or during their period. No joke. This is because of the natural drop in Progesterone just before your period often causes digestive issues like water retention and constipation. And, let’s not forget how heavy poop can be!
I’ve found that eating clean, doing a food detox and even taking the supplement Vitex (which helps with the production of progesterone) can actually reduce some the symptoms we women tend to experience when our monthly visitor comes. This time of the month, I like to refer as “moon time” as the ancients did because our cycles should sync up with the moon.
Our bodies also tend to lose Magnesium in the days before menstruation, which drives our Insulin levels up leading to an increase in food cravings - especially for sugar.
Insulin is a hormone made by the pancreas that keeps blood sugar levels in check but is also considered a fat storage hormone.
THE BOTTOM LINE: these yo-yoing numbers have nothing to do with your long-term progress and they are just part of the overall health optimization journey.
Simply do your best to maintain an overall healthy lifestyle and understand that daily weight fluctuations are completely normal!
“The scale can only give you a numerical reflection of your relationship with gravity. That’s it.
It cannot measure beauty, talent, purpose, life force, possibility, strength or love.”
— Steve Maraboli
REFERENCES: New Health Guide: Weight Gain During Period
Here’s a fresh, high-fibre, plant-powered recipe to keep that digestive system happy and moving along as it should. (no heavy poop or bloated bellies weighing you down here!)
Papaya Avocado Berry Salad - serves 2
Combine the following in a medium bowl:
- 1 medium papaya, diced
- 1 medium avocado, diced
- ¾ cup jicama, diced
- ⅓ cup fresh berries, sliced or whole
- 2 Tbs or 4 halves walnuts, chopped & toasted
Then make the dressing:
Berry Balsamic Salad Dressing
- 2 cups mixed fresh berries, frozen thawed ok (like blackberries, blueberries, strawberries and raspberries)
- ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
- ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
- 1 Tb fresh citrus juice (like lemon, lime or orange juice)
- 2 tsp honey, unpasteurized
- 1 tsp Dijon or spicy mustard
- 1/8 teaspoon Himalayan Pink or Grey/Celtic Sea salt
- Freshly ground pepper to taste
Optional additions: to kick your dressing up a notch, add 1 small clove garlic, chopped &/or 1 Tb finely chopped fresh thyme leaves.
In a blender or mini food processor, puree berries. Place a small strainer over a bowl. Pour pureed berries into strainer, pressing with the back of a spoon to remove the seeds. Return pureed berries to blender or food processor.
Add all remaining ingredients except oil; process until smooth. Add the oil slowly (by teaspoons), again until smooth. Taste, then add more honey, salt and pepper if desired.
Gently toss the salad with 2-3 Tbs of the dressing. Enjoy!