Admittedly, I have a love-hate relationship with my scale. On some most days I can throw them through the window, on other days I want to embrace them. Because if you, like me, almost compulsively weigh every day, you will have noticed that other figures are constantly appearing on the screen. But how is that now that your weight fluctuates? Two nutritionists explain.
You ate or drank something
No, the occasional eating of a piece of chocolate or even a whole bar does not permanently cause extra pounds on the scale. What is possible, however, is that it temporarily increases your weight. “What you eat and drink and whether or not you have been to the toilet, causes normal weight fluctuations throughout the day. Make sure you eat enough fibre so that your bowel movements get going and drink enough water to carry all the waste products out of your body. Also know that if you drink half a litre of water just before you weigh, that will also be visible on the scale, but that you have not actually reached that extra half kilo”, according to nutritionist Dana James.
You hold water
If you keep water, salt is usually the culprit. “Salt loves water, and the more salt you eat, the greater the chance that you retain moisture,” says doctor and dietitian Dana Hunnes. “But know that most of your salt intake comes from processed foods, and not so much from those few pinches of salt that you add to your own preparations. Also, carbohydrate-rich foods such as a pizza or packet of fries can ensure that you retain more fluid.”
In addition, your hormones can influence the amount of fluid that you hold, which causes fluctuations throughout your cycle. “At the end of your menstrual cycle, the progesterone level rises, allowing you to retain more fluid, feel more bloated and see a higher weight on the scale. Usually it is about 1 kilogram”, says James.
You let yourself go for a week
Whether you want to hear it or not: sometimes the scale does not lie. If you let yourself go for a whole week, for example with the endless all-inclusives on holiday or during the Christmas period, it is possible that you really arrived. Although that is not as simple as you think. To get half a kilogram, you have to eat 3,500 extra calories on top of your daily calorie requirement. “So, most people need at least five to seven days to arrive,” says Dr. Hunnes. “The extra kilos that you see on the scale is usually water weight. If you eat normally the following week, you will see how many kilos you actually have arrived.”