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Managing weight fluctuations while trying to lose weight

If you’re on a weight loss journey, you may experience weight fluctuations.

Written by
Team Pilot
Medically reviewed by
Last updated
January 16, 2024
min read
Managing weight fluctuations while trying to lose weight
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If you’re on a weight loss journey, you may experience weight fluctuations. While this can be frustrating, try to remember that daily weight fluctuations are normal.

The average adult's weight fluctuates up to two to three kilos per day. It all comes down to what and when you eat, drink, exercise, and even sleep.

Read on to learn more about what causes weight changes and how to address weight fluctuations.

What contributes to weight fluctuations?

Your weight will fluctuate day to day, even hour to hour, depending on many factors.

This is why it isn’t recommended to weigh yourself every day as these fluctuations can often affect how you feel and take away from all of the work you are doing in creating healthier habits during your weight loss journey.

Things that can contribute to weight fluctuations include:

  • Consuming a meal high in salt
  • You’ve not used your bowels
  • You’ve eaten food that is higher in carbs
  • How your body reacts to stress
  • You’ve consumed alcohol
  • You haven’t gotten enough sleep
  • You’re dehydrated or over hydrated
  • The way your body responds to heat

Weight loss is never linear. There will be days where your scale weight goes up, just like there will be days where your weight will drop, and there will also be days (maybe even weeks) where your weight will stay exactly the same, which is called a weight plateau.

If you assess your overall pattern of weight loss and it is going down with the odd spike here and there, this is normal! Be patient, remain consistent and keep going.

What if my weight is starting to go up?

Don’t stress! The great thing is you’ve noticed. This is the perfect time to stop and reflect on your progress. Below are some things that could be affecting your results.

  • Winging it with food choices or portion sizes
  • Hormonal changes
  • You’ve been more sedentary
  • Old habits have crept back in
  • Increase in work, family or life stress
  • Increase in social activities that involve food
  • Undiagnosed heart condition
  • Poor sleep hygiene habits

Managing weight fluctuations

Everything from exercise to medication, alcohol intake and illness can impact your weight.

To ensure that you don’t get bogged down in day-to-day weight fluctuations, it’s important to be consistent when weighing yourself, which includes weighing yourself at the same time for an accurate measurement.

If you usually weigh yourself first thing in the morning, continue to do this versus jumping on the scales at random times.

Try to also keep things like clothing and shoes consistent when weighing yourself. Try to weigh yourself without shoes and clothes if possible, or wear similar undergarments when using the scales each day.

You might also want to consider taking a different approach to weight loss if you’re currently dealing with fluctuations. Pilot's Weight Reset Shakes are creamy, convenient meal replacement shakes that keep you satisfied and were developed with dietitians and are backed by science for last results.

In fact, on the Rapid weight loss plan, it's normal to lose up to 2kgs a week for the first 4 to 6 weeks, then 0.8kgs each week beyond that on this class of treatment.

Plus, they contain more than 40 per cent of your daily vitamin needs for immunity and overall health as well as high-quality whey protein and are a good source of fibre.

Changing the way you approach weight loss could prove helpful in managing weight fluctuations and Pilot’s Weight Reset Shakes are one way to do that.

Navigating life events

When you’re on a weight loss journey, navigating life events can be difficult. Even when you have the foundations of a healthy diet and are across all the basics of healthy eating and moving more, life isn’t always simple and things like work can get in the way of your well-established routines.

When you’re trying to lose weight, a change in your routine can cause unnecessary stress — especially if you’re experiencing weight fluctuations. You may worry about falling off the bandwagon and undoing your hard work.

We all have different lifestyles and it’s important to know your dietary and movement patterns can be managed around whatever your lifestyle might be. Some tips for lifestyles include:

The office worker

  • Stay hydrated
  • Take the stairs, walking breaks or regular stretching breaks
  • Don’t skip breakfast
  • Replace sugary snacks with nutritious ones
  • Bring your own lunch at least twice a week

The traveller

  • Choose meals that include whole foods like lean protein, whole grains and vegetables
  • Carry healthy snacks with you
  • Limit deep-fried or fast foods
  • Avoid treat foods from the servo
  • Try a quick hotel room workout or go for a walk instead

The shift worker

  • Keep a consistent eating pattern; for example:
    — Wake up at 6pm
    — Start work at 9pm
    — Aim for meals at 7pm, 11pm, 3am and 7am prior to heading to bed
  • Bring a balanced meal from home containing protein and carbohydrates
  • Make hydration a priority
  • Limit caffeine intake during the second part of your shift
  • Avoid large meals late into your shift
  • Try to sleep at the same time each day

Eating out while losing weight

Eating out can be a stressful time for those who are actively trying to lose weight. The concern of wondering what to order and whether or not it will fit your goals can be daunting.

However, this should not be the case and there are a number of strategies that can be implemented so that you can enjoy your time out in restaurants or cafes with friends and family. These strategies include:

  • Choosing diet drinks and/or alcohol (or skip these altogether in favour of water)
  • Eat a snack before heading out
  • Ask for sauce/dressings on the side
  • Divide and share things like finger foods and dessert
  • Look ahead at the menu if it’s available
  • Avoid items that are deep friend

While weight fluctuations are completely normal, they can be incredibly frustrating when you’re trying to lose weight. Try not to stress about the fluctuations too much — you’re doing so well and these will even out eventually.

Photo credit: CBS


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