07 April 2014

The Scale Factor: 4 Reasons Your Body Weight Changes on the Scale Throughout the Day

Yesterday. 6th day on Slim-Possible-April Challenge. I know that the number on the scale doesn't define my health and self-worth. I've heard of that like zillion times. I have decided not to weighs myself until the end of this April, which is the end of this Slim-Possible-April self-challenge but I don't know why yesterday my heart was so itching that I want to step on the scale and peek what's my number so far. Ha ha~

Weight Loss: The Scale Does Not Define Your Self Worth

The last time I weighed myself I was 74.3 kg, that was early April. I feel that I had been improve a bit. I have learnt to not dwell on binge eating whenever I slipped my diet, I stopped eating heavy meals at night, I am not exercising religiously but I'm doing pretty good than before. I banned bad foods in my house because I believe you'll tend to eat healthy foods if you're around healthy foods. Having done almost all the right things, I expect to see something positive --- on the scale. But this is one of the most regretful decision I've made so far. Ha ha sound so pathetic. I read the scale yesterday: 75.9 kg! I step off and on the scale to see if the number change. Because I thought it could be something wrong with the scale. May be broken? But when I weighed myself again it still read the same number. If I could explain my mood in graph, my mood changes at that time have dropped drastically to the lowest point. I felt extremely sad all of a sudden. C'mon, this is ridiculous, Honeybee. I just restarting my weight loss journey a few days ago and changes doesn't happen overnight, right?

I know I'm not alone. We've all been there. We don't want to be a slave to the scales, but sadly we are sometimes.


Here are four things we all need to know about our changing weight:

1. Period
My period just ended yesterday when I weighed myself. Women will retain water during their cycle. Much to my relief, this probably could explain the weight gain.  Just being too dramatic. *rolling eyes*

While some women do not gain any weight, others can gain between 3-5 pounds of water weight during her menstrual cycle. Bowel problems and a natural drop in progesterone are the most common reasons. Also, magnesium levels in the body typically go down in the days before your menstrual period starts. As the magnesium level drops, insulin levels rise resulting in the need for more sugar. When these cravings hit, you may eat 200 or more calories than you would normally.

2. Water retention
If you suddenly consume more sodium than you are used to, you will likely retain water. Conversely, low consumption of salt can result in temporary weight loss. I remember my sister once shared me her first "slimming center" experience.  She was measured and weighed before treatments. Treatments includes slimming massage and hot blanket therapy. The blanket therapy session made her sweat profusely and after the treatment she lost 2 pounds. That weight loss is primarily water weight. Not fat. Water can alter your weight by as much as 10 pounds (or more). This is one of the main reasons diuretics are so popular— weight loss tea, salt water cleanse, fiber supplement, etc. They flush the water out of your system, resulting in weight loss but the loss is temporary.

3. Glycogen stores
Your liver stores carbohydrate in your body in the form of a substance called glycogen. For every gram of carbohydrate that your body stores via glycogen, it also stores three grams of water. When you cut back on carbs (or dramatically cut calories) the body burns of this glycogen. Conversely, this weight comes back as soon as you eat carbs (or increase calories dramatically.) So if you gain 5 lbs 2 days after a big carb up, this is probably the explanation.

4. Workout
"A person's scale mass is a combination of muscle, fat, bone, the brain and neural tract, connective tissue, blood, lymph, intestinal gas, urine, and the air that we carry in our lungs. Immediately after a workout routine, the percentage of mass in each of these categories can shift as much as 15 percent," says Jeffrey A. Dolgan, a clinical exercise physiologist at Canyon Ranch in Miami Beach, Fla. "Intense workouts cause variability on the scale due to factors like hydration status, inflammation from muscle damage repair (we call this delayed onset muscle soreness), even the amount of intestinal by-product or urine and blood volume."

Weight Loss: The Scale Does Not Define Your Self Worth
I don't want to be a slave to the scales anymore, but I can keep this one, maybe?
To end this post, I want to include a quote from Steve Maraboli's Life, the Truth, and Being Free: "Get off the scale! It’s true, the scale can only give you a numerical reflection of your relationship with gravity. That’s it. It cannot measure beauty, talent, purpose, life force, possibility, strength, or love. Don’t give the scale more power than it has earned. Take note of the number, then get off the scale and live your life. You are beautiful!" Indeed. 

What method do you use to measure weight loss progress? Do you think the scale is still useful? 

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  1. I'm seven months into weight maintenance, and I've been experimenting the past 10 days or so with NOT weighing daily. I have found, that in this juncture of my journey, I don't need to rely on the scale anymore. I can trust myself, and my primal belief system. Probably wouldn't work for someone still needing to get to a more normal weight, though. Just offered so that you know there is a light at the end of the tunnel. And I like that quote! :)

  2. Gwen: Thanks, your nice words always help me feel motivated.

  3. This is a good topic, but I thought you were ignorant about some of the details

  4. Thanks for sharing this kind of information. Your blog is very helpful for me. Keep further posting.

    Extreme Weight Loss


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