Here are some causes of weight fluctuations:
Eating and drinking: This one may seem obvious, but many people neglect to realize that the food they consume has weight of its own. Just as you wouldn’t step on the scale holding a turkey sub in one hand and a large soda in the other, it doesn’t make sense to weigh yourself just after eating. The extra weight will go away once you’ve finished digesting.
Water: Water is heavy, with a gallon weighing about eight pounds, so drinking a few glasses can result in a small, immediate gain. But not drinking enough water actually causes the body to retain fluid, also resulting in a gain, said personal trainer Neil Issacs. Water passes through the body very quickly and actually aids in weight loss, he said.
Glycogen: Michael Piplani, a family practice doctor from Bethlehem, N.Y., says following a low-carbohydrate diet or not eating may produce overnight weight loss, but the body is losing glycogen, or stored energy, not fat. Once carbohydrates are introduced into the body again, the weight will quickly come back. So you may lose a pound or two if you neglect to eat before a big party, then see the scale go back up after your first beer.
Salt: Consuming too much sodium is a sure way to cause the body to retain water, resulting in a temporary weight gain. Most prepared foods already contain salt, Piplani said, so it’s easy for people to go overboard with adding extra salt.
Exercise: Vigorous physical activity can result in an immediate, temporary loss, due to initial dehydration and the sweat expelled while working out. But remember that dehydration ends up causing water retention.
Hormones: Most women know the sudden weight gain that can occur prior to menstruation. This is the result of water retention caused by hormonal changes.
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