It's important to highlight that daily fluctuations in weight readings are completely normal.
Your body weight will naturally fluctuate from day-to-day and is influenced by a number of factors in addition to what you eat, including hydration, bowel regularity, hormones, and stress.
Instead of focusing on the day-to-day weight readings, it’s better to look at your ‘True weight’. This is calculated using a trend line and gives you a clearer idea of your weight regardless of day-to-day fluctuations. You can see this in the ‘Track’ section of the app. Keep in mind that your ‘True weight’ will be more accurate if you weigh yourself every day, or a few times a week.
Also be aware of any potential obsessive tendencies when it comes to weighing yourself. If you’re focusing too much on the numbers, avoid taking your weight more than once a week or fortnight.
You can also find alternative ways to measure your progress (aside from the scales), in our article here.
Here are some of the factors that can contribute to daily fluctuations in your weight readings:
When you last ate and the volume of that meal can affect the number on the scale. If any of that meal is still sitting in your digestive system, it will add to your overall weight. This is why we advise weighing yourself first thing in the morning, before breakfast.
Also keep in mind that when we eat a higher amount of carbohydrates than we burn, the excess gets stored in our body as glycogen. Each molecule of glycogen is stored with four molecules of water, so your body retains more water in your muscle cells when eating a higher amount of carbohydrates.
Salt intake can cause your body to retain more water, which can affect your weight readings.
Eating lots of takeaway food, ready-made meals, store-bought sauces, and processed foods can lead to high salt intake. These foods also tend to be high in calories and low in nutrients, so are best to be avoided.
Irregular bowel movements can cause fluctuations in weight. If you’re constipated, you might notice your weight readings stay the same or increase.
The average weight of a single stool for women is 200g and for men is 400g. Therefore, if you’re not going regularly you may have this weight or more sitting in your bowels.
At certain points during the menstrual cycle, you can be 0.4-4.5kg (average 2.2kg) heavier due to increased water retention from the surge of the hormone progesterone.
Some medications can affect your weight. It may be due to a number of factors, such as increased retention of body water, constipation, or even increased appetite. Check the side effects on the label and if you’re concerned about this you can chat with your pharmacist and GP.
Other ways to measure success
Try to keep in mind that weight isn’t necessarily an accurate measure of success.
Here are a few alternative ways you can measure your progress on the programme:
How are your clothes fitting? Perhaps the notch on your belt buckle might have shifted, or a pair of trousers you weren’t able to get into before now fit easily
How do you feel? Consider how you feel overall, and also how you feel with specific aspects of your life, such as confidence levels
How are your energy levels? You may find you feel less tired during the day and are able to accomplish more
What is the quality of your sleep like? Do you find you’re sleeping for longer or are feeling more refreshed in the mornings?
How easy is it to make the healthy choice? Maybe the new changes you’ve made to your lifestyle are starting to become more automatic. You might be more comfortable with cooking at home, or perhaps reducing your fizzy drink consumption no longer seems like a difficult task.
The main thing to remember is that daily fluctuations in your weight readings are completely normal. Your 'true weight' will be a much more accurate reflection of your weight loss progress regardless of these fluctuations.
We'd suggest reaching out to your health coach on the programme if you'd like more support with your weight fluctuations and finding alternative ways to measure your success.