Tuesday Tip: Don’t weigh yourself daily 🤗
I tell clients not to weigh themselves too often, or worry about short-term weight fluctuations, but why? Your body is 60% water and it’s one of the first things you lose (or gain). Fat mass can’t change overnight so being 1-2kg heavier in a day won’t be fat. Average water loss/gain over 24hrs ranges from 0.5 – 2.5 kg. To lose a 1/2 kg fat in a day you’d need to burn approx 4,500 cals; a massive extra calorie burn for one day! Water however is lost (and gained) due to:
#1 Low-carb diets – when you cut carbs you lose water as the body uses glycogen for energy. It’s stored with water so using it releases water which you pee out.
#2 Increased protein – Protein breakdown creates urea and nitrogenous waste which need water to be removed from the body – the water flushes them out, so more water is lost.
#3 Salt – If your diet is high salt your body will retain water to dilute the excess sodium e.g. a particularly carb heavy, high salt meal will lead to greater water retention. In addition high salt results in high blood pressure which long term can cause cardiovascular damage.
#4 Caffeine – is a mild diuretic i.e causes water loss and increased urination. This is more pronounced if new to caffeine. If you regularly drink it the effect will be small, but a very heavy coffee day could impact your water weight.
#5 Alcohol – this prevents the release of vasopressin, a pituitary hormone that regulates water loss. Water loss (dehydration) is a side effect of alcohol (hence the hangover) so this will reduce your water weight too.
#6 Exercise – if you exercise intensely, or in hot weather, you will sweat more and lose water. Try it – weigh yourself pre and post a really intense session and see how much water you’ve lost.
So it’s normal for water-weight to fluctuate which is why weighing daily or multiple times a day is pointless (and leads to unnecessary upset). Long term weight changes result from changes in fat and lean muscle so if you’re seeing big losses in only a day or so then you know it’s water loss, and if you wake up a few kg’s heavier than the day before you know that’s not fat either!
Happy Tuesday 🤗