December 11th, 2018
stretch before or after workout

Ditch The Scale Part 1: The Truth About Weight Fluctuations

Make sure to read: Ditch The Scale Part 2: How to Track Your Progress Without the Scale

The scale may be the most convenient way to measure your progress from day to day, but is it truly the best measure of progress?

Our scales can’t measure progress for all of our goals, and there are a number of reasons why your weight changes every single day that have nothing to do with fat loss or gain.

Read on to find out why the scale may be holding you back from achieving your goals, and what other methods you can use to track your fitness progress.

The truth about weight fluctuations

Have you ever weighed yourself two days in a row and been two completely different weights?

Weight fluctuations from day to day is extremely common, not to mention completely normal, but seeing your weight spike up by 3lbs in one day might be alarming if you don’t know the reasoning behind it.

Riding the scale’s roller coaster from day to day can send your emotions on a ride too, and that might only be making things worse.

So what can contribute to daily weight fluctuations?

What contributes to daily weight fluctuations


mobility exercises

mobility exercises for those that sit too much

Elevated stress levels lead to an increase in the hormones cortisol and adrenaline. These hormonal increases can lead to excess fat storage, causing your weight to spike as your stress levels rise.

Cortisol also suppresses the hormone leptin, which is responsible for your hunger and fullness cues. When leptin levels are low, you’re more likely to overeat, unaware of when your body is truly full.

The more you stress over the number you see on the scale, the higher your weight may climb.

Try this Easy Breathing Exercise To Naturally Reduce Stress


muscle recovery and sleep
Everyone is different in terms of how much sleep they need to function optimally, but the general recommendation for adults is a minimum of 7 hours, and a range of 7-9 hours.

If you find yourself missing out on adequate sleep, waking up early and staying up late, or tossing and turning all night, you may find it harder to achieve your weight loss goal.

Your body uses sleep as a time to metabolize your food, and losing out on sleep could mean minimizing your calorie burning potential. Sleep deprivation also increases cortisol in the body, which we now know leads to hunger and fat storage.

Make sure you set aside at least 7 hours for sleep each night, schedule your days to be productive, and step away from your electronics one hour before bedtime.

Related: Muscle Recovery And Sleep: The Key To Better Results


Ladies, this one is big for us especially. Aside from the stress hormones cortisol and adrenaline, female hormones such as estrogen and progesterone fluctuate depending on the time of the month, and can lead to big changes in the scale.

As these levels change before your monthly cycle, water retention within your body tends to increase, and can result in a weight gain of anywhere from 1 to 10 pounds.

While this gain is temporary and simply water weight (bloating), it can last for several days and make you believe you’ve “gained” 5 pounds overnight. Combat these hormones as best you can by drinking plenty of water and staying active.

Sodium and Water Intake:

sodium ingredient label
Our bodies are made up of roughly 60% water, and water is responsible for flushing toxins from our body and transporting nutrients to cells.

As we intake sodium (which is crucial for our health, so no need to avoid it or cut it out), it clings to the water in our bodies, often causing us to bloat and gain “water weight.”

Make sure you pair your salty foods with a big glass of water to keep sodium flowing through your system and flushing out consistently.

Do you drink your 8 glasses of water daily? While this might seem a daunting task at first, keeping up with a consistent water intake can help to minimize the weight fluctuations you see on your scale from day to day and keep you healthy overall.

Make sure to read: Ditch The Scale Part 2: How to Track Your Progress Without the Scale

Heather Roberts

Heather is a 24 year-old personal trainer and fitness nutritionist living in Boston, MA. Heather has competed in bodybuilding and is now learning powerlifting. She loves learning new training techniques and diversifying herself as an athlete. Heather works with nutrition clients to help teach them flexible dieting and how to create a maintainable healthy lifestyle. Her belief is that consistency is key and everything can be enjoyed in moderation. Heather has used her social media platforms to connect with other open-minded, fitness-loving individuals who share a passion for food and healthy living! Connect with her on Instagram @heatherrfit.

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Ditch The Scale Part 2: How to Truly Track Your Progress