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Weight fluctuations

Don't let the scale determine your motivation

Do you know the feeling? You get up and, with your knees shaking, you walk towards the scale to discover which number you will see today. Then two things can happen.

Either you start your day with 100% motivation or you would rather crawl back into bed and think: “try again tomorrow”.

I would like to clarify that weight is solely a tool for measuring long-term progress. Never use the scale to see progress from day to day, because then you will often lose the courage to continue.

But what is a weight fluctuation?

A weight fluctuation is a temporary fluctuation in your weight for one reason or another and not a reduction or increase in your fat mass. Usually this is in the form of water retention.

Depending on the cause, your morning weight can quickly deviate by 0.5 to 3 kg. It is logical that there can be panic about this.

But is this certainly not an increase in fat?

To gain 1kg of fat from day to day, you need to eat AT LEAST 7700 extra calories on top of what you normally eat to keep your weight stable (maintenance calories). Your daily activities are not yet taken into account. Actually, this number should be even higher.

To illustrate, this is approximately equivalent to 15 to 16 Big Mac burgers. I imagine this won't be the case for most people.

What are possible causes of a fluctuation?

  • Sleep
  • Injuries
  • Physical activities
  • Calorie deficit
  • Period
  • Medication
  • Disease
  • Pregnancy
  • Salty
  • Alcohol
  • Carbohydrates
  • Allergies
  • Genetics
  • Temperature
  • Scale

These are the most common causes, but there are more. Keep this in mind the next time you walk to the scale with your knees shaking.

Can you do something about it?

When dealing with weight fluctuations, it's important not to get discouraged. Here are a few tips to deal with it:

  • Weigh yourself at consistent times: It is helpful to weigh yourself at the same time and under the same conditions, such as after getting up in the morning and before eating. This ensures a more consistent comparison.
  • Focus on the long-term trend: Instead of focusing on daily weight fluctuations, look at the long-term trend. If you notice that your weight is steadily increasing or decreasing over a few weeks, that is a better indication of changes in body composition.
  • Look at other measuring instruments: weight is only one measuring instrument. Consider looking at other factors too, such as body measurements, body fat percentage, how you feel in your clothes, photos, strength in the gym… This will give a more complete picture of your progress.
  • Focus on healthy habits: Instead of obsessing about your weight, focus on building healthy habits like regular exercise, a balanced diet, and enough sleep. These habits have a positive impact on your overall health, regardless of the number on the scale.

Remember that weight fluctuations are normal and do not always indicate your progress. Focus on a healthy lifestyle and be patient. Stay focused on your goals and don't be discouraged by temporary changes in your weight.

A monthly comparison is a better starting point for using weight to track progress.

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