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Understanding Weight Fluctuations

Scale weight can be a highly misunderstood and underrated tool for weight management. Some recommend not to use a scale as they believe it may lead to obsessive or body dysmorphic behaviours. However, like many things in life, avoidance is not the solution. Instead, understanding when and how to use the scale can make it a very powerful tool. In this blog, we'll look at some common dietary, training and lifestyle factors that can effect scale weight.



Sweating from Training and/or Work


Depending on the type, intensity and duration of training/work your weight may appear lower when compared to a rest day. This is due to sweating and is especially the case if you don't re-hydrate during or after training/work or if you're a heavy sweater.


Sugar Alcohols and Fibre


Sugar-Free products are incredibly popular and can be a useful tool for weight loss. However, consuming too much of these products can result in weight gain from malabsorptive fluid retention. This is because they contain high amounts of Sugar Alcohols. These Sugar Alcohols are added to commercial products such as chewing gums, lollies and ice creams marketed as "guilt- or sugar-free." These include xylitol, maltitol and isomalt. You may have also noticed the warning that comes on some of these packages “Excess consumption may have a laxative effect.”


How much and which of these Sugar Alcohols makes you feel heavy, constipated, gassy, backed up or bloated as well as the degree of these symptoms and weight gain depends on the individual.


So if you're a late night sugar-free snacker (sugar free ice-creams, protein bars, soft drinks, hot chocolates) this may explain why your weight is up the following morning.


Watch this detailed video on what actually happens in your guts when you consume Sugar Alcohols and other FODMAPS.

Also, a high fibre diet from an increased consumption of fruits, grains and vegetables can impact weight on the scale. But in my experience, this doesn't cause weight fluctuations as wild as Sugar Alcohols.


Water Intake


If you drink inconsistent amounts of water throughout the week, this can cause a fluctuation in weight. For example, if you're a big drinker and have a day where you drink a lot less than usual, you'll most likely see a big drop on the scales.


Osmotic Load, Supplements and Sodium


Certain supplements have added ingredients such as sodium, creatine and glycerol which have an Osmotic Load. The best example to use in this case is probably sodium, everyone has experienced some acute weight gain from having a salty meal. These ingredients simply increase water retention and decreases urine production. In other words, you hold on to more of the water you drink or consume (water from food) instead of pissing it out. Again, the degree of weight gain from these Osmotic Agents varies between individuals.


Hopefully now you understand some of the common causes for weight to fluctuate throughout the week when you're trying to gain/lose weight and can better manage your weight without freaking out.


If you would like some individualised advice or a personalised hydration plan/strategy, book a consult today or DM me on instagram

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