Sure, your weight is just a number. But it’s hard not to worry when you see your weight drastically (by “drastically,” I mean by a couple of pounds) in just a few hours, perhaps before/after you ate, slept, and/or exercised. Take a deep breath, though, because, no you did not just gain four pounds after eating a bowl of pasta.
Most weight fluctuations throughout the day are completely normal and expected; activities such as eating, drinking, and exercise all impact your body’s composition of water, in turn affecting your weight. Just two cups of water can add an extra pound, which is completely separate from your body’s total fat and muscle.
Foods high in carbohydrates and sodium cause water retention, which implements a temporary increase in weight. You probably notice this when you feel bloated after eating pasta, pizza, chips, etc. If your weight increase, though, remains apparent after a week, it’s most likely more permanent.
Contrary to what you might expect, dehydration also can lead to temporary weight gain, as depleting your body of liquids causes you to retain water. Dehydrations can occur after you work out, when you’re sick, or if you’re not just drinking enough water. Some women notice a weight increase during their menstrual cycle, which can also be due to water retention.
Read this to learn about a experiment where a registered dietician weighed herself at different points during the day to see how she gained & lost weight. This also poses the questions of how & when we should weigh ourselves. The best is to remain consistent, weighing yourself at the same time and not doing so more frequently than once a day.
Additionally, your weight should not be the only way to access how healthy you are. For example, a number on the scale does not take into account the ratio of fat and muscle in your body, which is important. Look at the big picture, too! Progress over a couple of months says more than “progress” over a couple of weeks or days.
“To love oneself is the beginning of a life-long romance.”