PLUS: What To Do About It
When stepping on the scale we tend to have certain expectations. You’ve been eating so healthy lately and have been so strictly on point with your exercise regime, so you must have been losing at least some weight right? Or you’ve been letting yourself go a bit too much lately, indulging whilst hanging out on the couch all week, so you must have gained some, right?
Whatever you have or haven’t done: the numbers on your scale can be quite surprising!
Let’s cut to the chase here: every weight change, whether positive or negative, which is under 3 kilograms (6,5 pounds) and happens in a short timespan has NOTHING to do with you actually gaining or losing fat.
Our precious bodies don’t even work that fast! “Big” bodily changes will actually take a while to take effect. Fat gain or fat loss always happens over a longer period of time. Short term changes are mostly due to FLUIDS.
Especially us ladies are all too familiar with this phenomenon. Our numbers on the scale can bounce up and down even within the same DAY. On top of that, our our monthly cycle can tease us with even more prominent changes.
Moreover, we expect that after intens workout sessions we MUST have lost weight, but to our big dismay we sometimes find we gained instead! And why do these weight fluctuations differ so much from woman to woman?
Small weight changes are totally natural. It’s your body’s way of dealing with changing circumstances in and around your body. But there are ways to support and aid your body’s response and steer its water management to your benefit.
The Most Common Causes Of Small Weight Changes + How To Restore The Balance:
Especially when you’re an on-and-off exerciser, or change your routine often, exercise can cause you to gain some weight. In the long run and with regular exercise this weight change happens because you lose fat and build muscle. Muscle mass is heavier than fat, so you’ll look tighter but might weigh more.
But short term irregularities in weight due to exercise are caused by bodily fluids. Doing a new routine, exercising irregularly, doing the wrong exercises or overdoing it, creates small tears in your muscles. (This also happens during regular muscle building but less extreme.)
The small tears in your muscle fibers are literally called “microtrauma’s”. They trigger your immune system because something needs to be repaired! The activated immune reaction to repair you muscle fibers is what causes you to hold on to more fluids.
You can notice this ‘inflammation’ when your muscles are still burning or aching too much on the day after your workout. In worse cases, they even swell up or harden. This is your body saying you are doing something wrong.
WHAT YOU CAN DO
By choosing the right exercise and building up your routine the right way, you prevent this inflammation and… won’t gain any weight due to fluids!
The trick here is PATIENCE. Rome wasn’t built in one day, and neither is your body. Take it slow.
Stress is a tricky trigger of weight changes. It can both cause weight GAIN and weight LOSS.
Whatever effect it has on you depends on the kind of stress phase you’re in. If you are experiencing an instant “shock” or acute stress phase, you’ll lose some weight. Your body prepares itself to fight or flight by letting go of any unnecessary ‘extras’ such as fluids. You’ll notice this because shortly after going through this stress-phase you’ll have to go to the toilet.
If you experience stress more often and a longer period of time your body gets into the compensation phase. In this phase you retain fluids, instead of losing them. This happens because the hormones that are released in this phase hold on to your body’s natrium to cope with the stress-phase. This causes problems with your body’s fluid management to the extend that it can even cause edema.
When you experience chronic stress your body needs to shoot into stressmode for way too long and too often. This phase is called the exhaustion phase. Chronic stress triggers your body’s “reserve” mode and depletes your bodily systems even more, also having a bigger influence on your fluid management.
This third and chronic type of stress can have a huge effect on your appetite. Whether you’ll eat more, or eat less, depends on your body type, kind of stressor, how your bodily systems react and handle the situation, etcetera. In the long run your comfort eating or your loss of appetite will cause more prominent (and permanent) weight changes that don’t have that much to do with fluids anymore.
WHAT YOU CAN DO
The solution to this is quite obvious: you need to de-stress! You could take up meditation, take a long walk outside or do anything else that calms you down.
Of course de-stressing is easier said than done. Unfortunately stress is at the root of most of our health problems.
That’s why we at healthcoachFX are currently working on an eBook that will help you tackle stress ‘Calm: The Most Powerful Stress Busting Tools Proven By Science’. We also selected our favourite products and programs to bliss up your upbeat life in The Ultimate ‘Balance Your Day’ Giveaway including a year-long subscription at The House Of Yoga.
The weight changes caused by the female sex hormones oestrogen and progesterone are often the biggest. Every month your natural cycle causes your body to retain more or less fluids. This is normal and triggered by higher levels of oestrogen.
During ovulation the female body does this because from an evolutionary perspective women need to look beautifully-curved to attract the opposite sex. Even though women aren’t always pleased with these bodily changes, since we get told we constantly need to be skinny (thank you modern world).
Another time of the month that is paired with retaining fluids and weight gain is your menstruation, to get this going you also need an increase in oestrogen.
WHAT YOU CAN DO
You can do yoga or other exercises that are specifically designed to make these hormone-peaks less pronounced. Another thing you can do that works miracles is the easiest solution ever: WALKING. By walking 20-30 min a day you rebalance your hormone levels AND reduce your stress levels.
So, now you know that your weight can shift from day to day, even when you least expect it. The small weight changes are natural responses of your body and you shouldn’t stress about them too much! If you’re getting frustrated about a gaining or losing a few kilos/pounds you’re not making life easier.
Nature has a reason for everything. Your temporary “fluffiness” during ovulation makes you even more attractive to men! The water retaining in your body during chronic stress reaction or after exercising the wrong way is there to help your body protect itself.
You can take these cues as warning signs and use our tips to support yourself. Work with your body, not against it!
And try not to step on that scale too often! Most of the time you’ll just know whether you are feeling good in your skin, and bad numbers on the scale can mess with that natural instinct.
What do you think is the main cause of your weight changes? Was this article helpful? Do you know a friend or family member who might benefit from it? Pass it on and make their day!
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