Is it typical to have weight fluctuations up/down daily?

  • I'm working this really hard, eating healthier, drinking lots of water and doing interim "small" exercises, but I gain every other day and lose the days in between. I'm only on the sixth (6th) day, but the "gain" days are kind of depressing. Thanks for any help, suggestions or advice.

    Pehrson   by: Pehrson
  • 1 vote
    GalacticHero  10 months ago by: GalacticHero

    I like the "rubber bag" explanation in The Hacker's Diet. There is an online version:

    The punchline about water:

    The bottom line is that a lot of water as well as bulk indigestible material passes into and out of your system. This amount varies every day and tends to be larger than the amount of daily fat weight change.

    • Pehrson
      Pehrson 10 months ago

      Very interesting reads regarding the rubber bag concept; thank you for sharing. I use the same weigh-in technique you use but haven't been doing the graph.

      I will definitely look further into the TrendWeight app. I also have the DB app, but don't know yet if it has charts since I just got it last night. Thank you for your help!

    • GalacticHero
      GalacticHero 10 months ago

      There are different approaches. Some suggest weighing every week or even less frequently. This allows time for the fat loss to build up and "overcome" the fluctuations; however, you are exchanging frequent small surprises for less frequent large surprises as every month or so one of your weigh-ins will be on one of the highest/lowest points in the fluctuations.

      My preference is to weigh every morning in as close to as possible identical conditions: after the bathroom, before any food or drink and in only underwear. Then I make a graph of the weigh-ins that shows the trend line. This is pretty much just the average of the last 7 - 14 day's weights. You don't have to figure it out yourself. The previously mentioned Hacker's Diet has an online graphing app. I use Fitbit, which conveniently has a partner app called TrendWeight that automatically gathers my data and displays the trend line.

      The trend line has the up and down fluctuations filtered out and shows a much clearer picture of what's going on under the daily water/bulk variations.

      There is a gotcha: you have to ignore the raw data and trust the trend line. It doesn't do any good to plot the trend, but then still get freaked out by a big jump up (or overjoyed but a big drop.)

  • 0 votes
    Ablazier  10 months ago by: Ablazier

    Hi! I am not an expert, but have been working out on and off for 18 years now, and had to lose 45 lbs of baby weight about three years ago. My weight seems to fluctuate often. For example, four days ago I weighed four pounds heavier than today. Did I lose four pounds? Absolutely not. I'm eating as I normally do. And I weigh myself at the same time everyday. Sometimes it just happens. Maybe water weight, maybe something else. Don't get discouraged! Look at the week as a whole versus what it fluctuates daily. Best of luck!

    • Pehrson
      Pehrson 10 months ago

      Thank you so much! I was always told not to weigh every day, so averaging out the week's numbers seems more realistic to me.

  • 0 votes
    AltGirlTX  10 months ago by: AltGirlTX

    GalacticHero gave you some good tools and reads for understanding this, but I'll also just put my 2 cents in. I changed my diet and exercise habits 13 months ago and have noticed over that time definite patterns in my weigh-ins since I record them (along with food and exercise). I have consistently weighed myself twice a week - Wednesdays and Saturdays - at the same time with the same conditions and can tell when my weight is affected by water retention. If I have a meal with more sodium, I will weigh up to 2 lbs more than if I avoid it. My "trick" is to eat a low-sodium diet the day before I weigh myself and if possible, also avoid meals with a lot of hard-to-digest foods. Then I'm retaining less for my weigh-in. I can immediately tell when I wake up how my weigh-in will go, though, by whether my stomach is bloated, and I prepare myself for it.

    I'm sure as you continue losing weight, you'll start to see your own patterns with food choices and even monthly weight fluctuations. It will even out over time and like GalacticHero said, it's better to pay attention to the long-term and the trend and not let the intermediate "gains" get you down (even though I struggle with that, too)!

    • Pehrson
      Pehrson 10 months ago

      Thank you for your additional advice, AltGirlTX. I can feel if I've eaten too much sodium also, and am working to get it mostly out of my diet. I hope that helps.

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  • Pehrson


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