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Why Does Weight Fluctuate Daily?

Nathan enjoys researching and writing about issues that affect everyday people.

Conscious of Your Weight?

If you are conscious of your weight, you might be tempted to weigh yourself daily, if not more often, to keep on top of your progress or lack of progress at maintaining or reaching your ideal weight. It's tempting, but might not give an accurate picture of your actual weight, to jump on the scale that often. It is normal for you to show a 5 to 7 lbs. increase in weight daily due to certain contributing factors. (However, it is literally impossible for you to actually put on that much fat weight in that short of an amount of time.)

Here we will go into what those factors are and why they contribute to you showing an increase in weight when you read the scale.

Water Retention

Many people are aware of the fact that retaining water will make it appear you've put on a few pounds, even though you haven't put on any fat. This is very true.

This is especially true if you've been dehydrated, for instance, from a heavy night of drinking; the body will retain water when dehydrated.

It's also true if you've stayed away from the carbs and then suddenly binged on pizza. Carbohydrates are stored as glycogen, for energy, in different parts of the body--like the liver and muscles--and for every gram of glycogen stored, 2. 7 to 4 times more grams of water are stored. You can store up to 50-100 grams of glycogen in the liver and--depending on body weight, percentage of body fat and other factors--muscles can store between 350-750 grams of glycogen. So, this means a significant amount of fluid retention is possible from the consumption of carbohydrates.

Also, as is commonly known, eating salty foods can make you hold on to water. If you've been keeping your intake of salt low, the body will produce a hormone called aldosterone which makes the body retain water--so if you suddenly go back to eating food with sodium in it, you will end up retaining a lot of water.

In addition, weight training can cause fluid retention because the capacity for glycogen storage is increased with strength training; and because tears in the muscles that occur during training cause water retention.

Other Factors Contributing to Daily Weight Gain

Actually drinking and eating can temporarily make you weigh a bit more than usual. Drinking a significant amount of water and eating a meal will show up as a few extra pounds on the scale. If you are constipated too, you will show as weighing more.

Hormonal changes, for instance, that occur before a menstrual cycle, will create a temporary weight gain.

It is important here to say that an actual daily increase in fat weight is not possible.

Strength training can cause you to retain water and seem to put on weight.

Strength training can cause you to retain water and seem to put on weight.

So you don't stress out too much, it might be a good idea to weigh yourself less frequently. Perhaps once a month or once a week is enough. What you see will be more realistic and accurate that way and will spare you the shock of seeing extra pounds that you were sure shouldn't be there. Also it is a good idea to weigh yourself in the morning after you've had a bowel movement, for accuracy, and also it is good to weigh yourself at the same time and even day.

Above all, realize that you can't put on 5 pounds of body fat in a day. If the weight is still up after a week, it might be time to adjust your diet and exercise schedule to get those extra pounds off. But probably not before then.

Causes of Daily Weight Fluctuations

Water RetentionEating and DrinkingHormones


Drinking Lots of Water

A Week Before Your Period


Eating a Meal





There's no reason to worry about your weight on a daily basis!

There's no reason to worry about your weight on a daily basis!

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.

© 2015 NathaNater