How frustrating it is to notice the number on the scale change significantly from one
day to the next? Did you binge on those snacks at night or did you do a really
rigorous work out yesterday? Body weight can fluctuate on a daily basis like a roller
coaster and this is extremely frustrating, especially when you are on a fat loss
journey. These are some of the reasons that are obvious, but there are other reasons
as to why body weight fluctuates every single day.

Water Retention can be a major reason your body weight on the scale shows varying
results every day. Water retention happens when there are excess fluids that build
up in your body and it is usually caused due to increased intake of salt and
carbohydrates, dehydration and hormonal changes, which lead to those unwanted
body weight fluctuations.

It is important to understand that your body weight consists of not just fat, but also
muscles, organs, bones etc. and while you think that a proper diet would not result
in fluctuations, you might be mistaken. Weight fluctuations are common even within
the span of 24 hours.

INFS Faculty Aditya Mahajan found that most people gain an average of about 1-2g
of extra body fat everyday due to water retention and the reasons for those could

  1. CARBOHYDRATES: If you have been on a diet, you must have experienced a
    bump on the day after eating outside food.
    This is mostly due to an increase in the intake of salt and carbohydrates in
    your food. The consumption of both of these results in water retention, which
    could show a higher weight on the scale and it generally, goes away once you
    get back to every day food. Also, it is a known fact that for every gram of
    carbohydrate you consume, the body retains about three grams of water.
  2. SODIUM AND DEHYDRATION: Not drinking enough water could lead to
    water retention, tipping the weight scale. This is because dehydration leads
    to an excess level of sodium in the body.
  3. HORMONAL CHANGES: During the menstrual cycle, women usually complain
    of bloating. In women, estrogen and progesterone also affect the body fluid
    regulation. Hence, it is quite normal to see an increase in weight around that
    time of the month.

While these are some of the common reasons that result in the changes in body
weight, consumption of alcohol the previous night, taking medications for blood
pressure, seizures or migraines and people who suffer from troubled bowel
movements, could also contribute to this fluctuation.

Therefore, getting worked up about your weight, will only cause you unnecessary
stress. One has to understand when to weigh themselves in order to get the most
consistent results.

The best practice is to take the average of the daily weight and compare with the
average of the previous week. But, if you are someone who gets stressed at the daily
weight fluctuations, then it is better to weigh yourself just once a week and
consider other ways to track progress, like using a measuring tape to keep a tap on
your inches.

While it could get annoying to go through this process regularly, there is nothing to
worry about if you see a small shift in your weight from day to day. A body weight
scale that checks your fluid levels, could also be a good idea for those who are very
particular. Also, an important thing to keep in mind is that both muscle and fat lead
to increase in weight and your weight gain could be due to muscle growth as well.

The best solution is to follow a consistent plan and not fret too much about the
numbers. There are various other ways to judge progress; the way your clothes fit,
the number of reps you increased, the cheat meals you don’t crave anymore, more
efficient meal planning and more! Avoid unnecessary stress, just work out, keep fit,
eat healthy and stay focused!

Author : Aditya Mahajan, INFS faculty, Standard Coach @ Fittr

Contributing Writer : Saakshi, A psychologist by education and a fitness enthusiast by choice, she dreams to combine these worlds. Content writing and social media management is a passion that keeps her in the constant learner mode.


1.Rakova, N., Kitada, K., Lerchl, K., Dahlmann, A., Birukov, A., Daub, S., … & Johannes, B.
(2017). Increased salt consumption induces body water conservation and decreases fluid intake.
The Journal of clinical investigation, 127(5), 1932-1943.
2.Stachenfeld, N. S. (2008). Sex hormone effects on body fluid regulation. Exercise and sport
sciences reviews, 36(3), 152.

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