By Jena Mays
You’ve been going to the gym, eating healthy, and creating a consistent schedule for yourself to feel better physically, mentally, and emotionally. With all of this hard work, you might see changes in your body. One of them is changes in your weight. There are a few causes for weight fluctuation. So what are they? Let’s highlight a few reasons.
Causes for Weight Fluctuation
Women’s — and those who identify as women — weight can fluctuate day-to-day. Everyone’s bodies and weight are different, but there are some common reasons why you might be going through daily weight fluctuation. If you’re wondering “Why am I not losing weight?” here are a few things to keep in mind:
While salty foods are delicious, they can be a reason why your weight is fluctuating. Studies show that sodium attracts water. When you consume large amounts of salty foods or sodium, this causes your blood vessels to retain a lot of water. With this excessive amount of water in your blood vessels, the more pressure you’ll feel in them.
When you have excessive amounts of salt in your diet, you might find that you drink less water. Water consumption is important because if you’re not drinking enough of it, not only do you get dehydrated, but it will increase your appetite, which can lead to more weight gain. When you’re craving salty foods, try drinking more fluids that not only help keep you alert and hydrated but fill you up easier — making it easier to resist those salty foods that you might be craving.
A way to lessen your sodium intake is to cook more yourself and add your own salt, as many restaurants or products might have higher levels of sodium in their food. And if you’re cooking, taste your food as you make it. You might not need as much salt as you think, and you’ll notice that you can reduce the salt content by adding other healthier ingredients that make your meals just as tasty!
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By Debra Soufleris, B.S., DTR
Your bowel movements play a crucial role in how your body feels. If you’re feeling sluggish, bloated, or heavy, it might be because you’re constipated. A person can lose a small amount of weight after passing a stool and feel lighter afterward. If you’re having trouble with your bowel movements or passing stools, there are a couple of things that can help.
Try eating more foods with fiber, taking supplements like probiotics, drinking lots of water, and even drinking a cup of coffee. It’s important that you have bowel movements at least two to three times a day. If you’re noticing that this is getting harder to do, and nothing seems to be working, try the above recommendations or speak with your primary physician if you have access to one.
One of the best ways to lose weight or maintain a healthy weight is by exercising. Whether that’s going to the gym, going on a run, walking, or doing at-home workouts, this can help you stay on track and measure weight loss. In the wake of the pandemic, many have gotten creative with workouts, whether you’re at the gym, in the park, or at home.
With the internet being at our disposal 24/7, there are endless workouts you can find and try. These can be fun cardio workouts, bodyweight workouts, or even a cardio workout at home. These can be found on Youtube, which is most helpful because you can see how the instructor is doing the workout to ensure you’re doing it correctly. Or you can use other workout apps that are free or cost a minimal amount of money.
One of the most common reasons why women gain weight or have weight fluctuation is because of their menstrual cycles. When on your cycle, you can gain around three to five pounds. This weight gain, bloating, and retention of fluids can happen right before you start and during it. You might even feel heavier during your cycle because the body craves foods that are salty or sweet.
The body craves these foods because of the changes in levels of estrogen and progesterone, which can cause the desire for carbs and delicious desserts. Studies have shown that when you eat foods that are high in starch or sweet foods, it can release serotonin. Serotonin is a chemical messenger that regulates your happiness and stabilizes your mood. And when you’re eating these good foods, it can make you feel happier, resulting in consuming a lot of food that can lead to weight gain.
Next time you are on your cycle, be gentle with yourself and try to add healthier foods that will make you feel less bloated. And drink lots of water to stay hydrated and alleviate bloating and cramps.
Take note of some of these reasons for weight fluctuation, but don’t be too hard on yourself. Give your body the love and care that it needs, but don’t overwork it. Your body is working day in and day out to take care of itself, in all of its phases, and that is a beautiful thing.
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