Bizarre results on the scales?
Do you weigh-in every morning? Do you notice strange changes sometimes, that don’t seem to make sense?
You’ve been spot on with your food. Your exercise level hasn’t changed. No need for stress relief lately.. and yet somehow, the scales don’t seem to follow the trend you expected?
Well, you’re not alone, and though there can be many causes for such unexpected results, let’s take a look at just how that internal-ocean of water inside you can be shifting and changing, as if there was a tide at work.
For starters, some basics of water and where it is an what it does.
Water is in your muscles.
Water, is in your bloodstream.
Water is in your fat.
And water is in your digestive system.
Oh and don’t forget your skin.
And your brain.
So, it’s basically everywhere. In fact, it’s around 6/10ths or 57% of an average adult man’s total body weight!
So is it any wonder it’s important to drink your 8 to 10 glasses of water each day. Water really is key to the body’s living, every day. That water is divided into two categories – water in cells, and water not in cells. It’s about 2/3 to 1/3.
But this isn’t a lesson on water.
It’s about why those scales seem to sometimes be broken!
Searching on Google reveals there is a huge collective mish-mash of all kinds of theories, and information that contradicts other information, with no definite, medical agreement on the situation.
So, here, I will note down some of the more popular experiences people seem to have, rather than making any kind of scientific statements:
- People on a low-carb diet (or if you are on slow carb and you skip the beans a little or a lot) sometimes experience changes in weight, from one day to the next, that can’t be explained by ‘fat loss’
- It’s possible that as fat cells empty triglycerides, that temporarily, the body somewhat refills them with water, and that this water is then let go in a rush (or a ‘whoosh’ as some Atkins followers call it)
- Exercising may lead to more water retained in the muscles
- Muscle development may lead to more water in the muscles
- Changes in sodium intake (salt) can affect how much water the body is storing
- Sometimes, people have random stages of holding water, and then it balancing out again over a day or two. This could look like a stall, then a large fat loss
- Creatine is known to provoke higher water storage in muscles, so going onto it likely you would see a few extra pounds on the scales, and coming off it, a few will drop
- Going from eating slow carb during the week, to high carb on cheat day may provoke water storage (according to the book)
- Going from eating low or no carb, to high carb, may provoke the body to drop retained water
- People have experienced retaining water in different areas at different times, so it’s not always consistent
- Hormonal changes, as most people know, can result in water retention and changes
So there’s the combined list; remember, if you’re following a method that works, like slow carb and light exercise, and your results have been good and then stall, there could be a few different reasons (including stress), but it doesn’t necessarily mean you need to fine tune or change anything. If you can, ride it out, and be patient. The trend you really want to see is over a month to month basis, not day to day, and sometimes week to week doesn’t give you the real story either. And remember, too, that building muscle will gain weight overall.. though there may be fat loss at the same time.
As always, weigh-ins are just one of your result-measuring tools, and I encourage people to measure inches, and follow other metrics, like quality of sleep, energy level and general health too.
Do you have experiences with water shifting, or do you have water retention from time to time? It can be frustrating, or confusing, but please share your thoughts in the comments below, as I’m sure you’re not the only one!
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