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The Difference between Actual Weight Gain—and Normal Fluctuations

Posted by Aisling Murray on


Many of us know the disappointment of stepping on the scales and seeing a number we didn’t want to see. Unfortunately weight fluctuations happen and it can be frustrating especially if you have been working hard following a healthy meal plan. Some people have known to increase anywhere from 1lb – 5lbs in a day, this may seem a lot for one day but can occur, it can cause you to lose hope in losing weight but it’s important not to.  If you know why the fluctuations happen then you can just take them in your stride.

Why Weight Fluctuations Happen

Weight fluctuations are perfectly normal and can happen to everybody. There are numerous reasons why these fluctuations occur. The amount of food you have consumed, excess salt intake, water retention, constipation and hormonal change all contribute to weight fluctuations. The extra weight on the scales may not be fat; if your diet is balanced and healthy it’s more than likely to be due to excess fluid, waste products or other substances that are temporarily in the body. I always recommend to my clients not to give in to the temptation to weigh yourself every day.  Due to regular weighing an individual can lose faith in their weight loss plan.


How much can you fluctuate?

How much your weight fluctuates depends on the person and their digestive system. It’s important to remember that it takes some time for food, salt, and fluids to properly digest and for our bodies to process it. These substances that are being processed can be a contributing factor to your weight, for example if you had a large dinner the night before then chances are your weight will still be up in the morning if you have not had a bowel movement. Even if you have eaten more than you should, true weight gain will occur over a longer period of time.



part 2

This is a continuation of last week’s article.


How to overcome weight fluctuations?

Overcoming weight fluctuations is not as easy as it may seem. Sometimes you can’t control your body, for example, if your body wants to hold onto fluid it will. How to minimise disappointment when you get up on the scales is a different thing and easier to regulate. As I mentioned last week, try not to weigh yourself every day, do it once a week, this will give a clear indication of weight loss/ gain. Don’t forget if you are getting weighted with your clothes on it does add one to two extra pounds. If you are still seeing no positive changes on the scale your meal plan and exercise regime may need to be reviewed. One of the best ways to indicate your weight changes is to judge how your clothes are fitting you. I find you are the best judge of your own body and you know yourself if you have gained weight.


Still gaining weight but eating healthy

It can be the case that you are eating healthy and your weight is still fluctuating. It’s time to evaluate what you are actually eating; a food diary is a great way to do so. Sometimes we may not be eating as healthy as we thought or we are just not being honest with ourselves. Food quantity needs to be taken into consideration; you may be eating more than recommended in a day or your portions are bigger than anticipated.

Don’t rush or skip your meals, this can be another reason your weight is fluctuating. By eating regularly, you will maintain your metabolism too.

Keeping stress at bay is also recommended; this may be easier said than done, however stress can be a huge cause of weight fluctuations. Stress hormones can increase blood pressure, glucose levels, and create more visceral (around the internal organs) fat over a long period of time. Try to remember that weight loss takes time and start ever day of positively you will reach your goal with some time.



Whelehans Nutrition Service

Whelehans nutritional service is a private one to one advice service with our nutritionist Aisling Murray. Aisling’s areas of interest include weight loss management, nutrition education and food intolerance. Our nutrition service offers you the chance to change your life in a positive way by focusing on your overall wellbeing as well as the chance to follow up on your progress.


To be continued.... next week


Aisling Murray has a Bachelor of Science in Nutrition and offers a one to one specialist nutrition service at Whelehans Pharmacy. Call Whelehans at 04493 34591 for an appointment. Aisling’s Nutriton Clinic costs only €10 per week.



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