weight fluctuates, even though you feel super light? Please remember when you see your weight very rapidly changing, it's certainly not the fat that is melting or suddenly coming back. What you drink and eat each day impacts your weight like your hormones, your work out , underactive thyroid, carb tolerance, stress , elevated cortisol, erratic sleep, medication, too much salt intake and dehydration - each of these factors affect the number you see on the scale. Though the weighing scale can be a quick check, however, it should not be the only way. The scale might just not budge, yet your body might be responding very well to healthy dietary changes by toning and building muscles.
Let's look at a few factors that affect the number on the scale -
1. The Truth About H2O
The hourly changes you see in your weight are due to how much water you've got in your body. Everything you eat or drink impacts how much water you retain. Example; salt and carbohydrate both cause water retention. So now if you have had a Chinese meal like noodles and veggies or chicken in black bean sauce, you know what to expect the next day.
Water retention is a tricky affair
Women are more sensitive to weight fluctuations that sometimes gets very frustrating. 90% of the women feel bloated and puffed a week before there period, and they can gain up to a kg during this time. Once mensuration starts the water weight drops. Hence don't panic and remain calm, this is a natural process of the body and is temporary. Though you must avoid too much salt and exercise well to stimulate blood flow that helps lymphatic drainage. Studies have shown that magnesium and Vitamin B6 help your body manage fluid retention. Include pumpkin seeds, lentils, almonds, cashews, spinach, bananas and dark chocolate. Magnesium is also great for bone health, and utilization of calcium.
2. Hormones (Especially in Women)
Magnesium is an essential nutrient for women's health
3. Alcohol and Water Retention
Excess alcohol leads to suppression of the anti- diuretic hormone. Hence sodium is not flushed out of effectively by the kidneys, leading to alcohol water retention and sodium imbalance in the body. Reduce consumption of alcohol, and consume natural diuretic like cucumber juice, watermelon, coconut water, mint &coriander. Reduce intake of salt and if you have to drink alcohol, then choose lower alcohol beverages like beer that infact act as diuretics.
Excess alcohol consumption can harm your health in multiple ways
4. Strength Training
Now you might be wondering, why intense strength training is showing weight gain on your scale. Resistance training, involves microscopic wear and tear of your muscle, the body then rebuilds, dense and larger muscle tissue this is called hypertrophy. This process is vital for toned and strong muscles, however the muscle tears lead to fluid retention which is a healing process and will fade off.
Weight training is good for your muscles as well as the bones
This is the most common cause of weight fluctuations. A dehydrated body, holds on to the water reserves, causing fluid retention in the process to balance. Drink lots of water, especially if you sweat and during workouts. Also as we age, our thirst sensations reduce, and not just that, certain medications like drugs for cardiac conditions and blood pressure make you urinate more, hence drinking enough water is vital to avoid any serious complications.
Hydration is extremely vital
So next time if you see your scale, behaving silly, then look out for these reasons and address them. The best idea is to weigh yourself, once a week at the same time. Stay motivated and find other ways to measure yourself like taking measurements of your arms, thighs, waist to get a better understanding of your body.Shilpa Arora ND is a renowned Health Practitioner, Nutritionist and certified Macrobiotic Health Coach. She has to her credit Doctorate in Natural Medicine. She is currently based in Delhi NCR region, successfully running her Nutrition Studio with individual consultations, offering life style programs supported by the most up-to-date clinical research.
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