“Could my weight have gone up 2lbs today because of my cold?
I got asked this question on the school run a couple of months ago.
My answer, probably not.
So what could have caused an overnight 2lb weight gain?
Any number of things really….
Hydration levels, having had a meal late the previous night, getting weighed at a different time of day, wearing different clothes to get weighed in…
Your menstrual cycle.
Our weight changes over the course of our menstrual cycle as this affects what our body is responding to internally over the course of that cycle.
(Notice I’m saying ‘cycle’ and not ‘month’ or ’28 days’ – more on that another time though)
So that was the gist of my answer to the beautiful lady that asked the question.
But it did get me thinking – what was my own weight variation over a cycle?
So for one whole cycle I:
- kept my calorific intake steady,
- maintained the same measured hydration levels,
- got roughly the same amount of sleep and
- weighed myself each morning
- at the same time of day,
- wearing the same amount of nothingness.
The graph shown is the result.
Pretty dramatic, isn’t it!
The scale exaggerates the daily changes. If you are focussing on daily changes in this way, it’s easy to see how you can panic yourself into thinking you’ve suddenly piled on a few pounds when you “didn’t deserve to”….
Notice what happens over the course of the whole cycle though?
I pretty much finish where I started off – must have been the PMS burning off all the extra weight I put on mid-cycle hey?
Or maybe it’s just my body doing what it’s supposed to do.
The other thing I noticed while doing this ‘experiment’ was that I could not wait for it to end.
I found the daily weighing totally demotivating, mood bursting and hard.
I’ve been in that dark place before – getting weighed several times a day and living my life by what the scales told me. It’s a miserable place that I never want to go back to.
Weight on the scales can be a reasonable indicator of how you are progressing towards a goal as long as you are consistent in how you use this measuring tool.
And that’s all it is….a measuring tool.
Look at trends over time, rather than daily variations for more realistic feedback on how you’re doing but combine it with other markers too.
Tracking your menstrual cycle can be a fantastically useful tool to support your health and wellness journey.
It can provide tools for managing uncomfortable and unwanted symptoms plus guide you on nutrition and training to suit You.
To learn more about managing your weight, energy, exercise and nutrition across your menstrual cycle, through peri-menopause and beyond please get in touch.
You can email me at [email protected]
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