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Why Does My Scale Number Go up and Down?

By Rachel Carver

You eat a balanced diet and get regular exercise. You weigh yourself often to track your progress. Despite everything you do, your scale number goes up and down. You wonder what to do about it.

Simple life fluctuations can impact our weight. We are not robots. We cannot eat the same things at the exact time each day. We might exercise at slightly different times for different reasons. Many factors can impact the scale number.

Here are some reasons for weight fluctuation.

Physical Weight of Food and Drinks

We don't usually think about the physical mass of a glass of water or a salad. However, in addition to providing us with nutrients and calories keeping us healthy and influencing our weight, everything we eat and drink weighs something. If you step on the scale right after consuming two glasses of water, you will be a pound heavier because of the liquid. This does not mean you gained a pound of fat or muscle tissue.

For this reason, it is best to weigh yourself in the morning before breakfast. However, a meal consumed during the evening might lead to a higher scale number because it is still being digested.

Fluid Balance

The amount of fluid in your body can make your scale number fluctuate. Dehydration and heavy sweating can deplete your fluids. Excess water from carbohydrates and sodium can drive the scale number up.

Day of the Week

Our eating habits change throughout the week. We start out with healthy meals prepped on Monday. Long work days can result in happy hour and ordering takeout over the weekend.

Studies show people have the highest scale numbers between Saturday and Tuesday. The number decreases as the body processes and adjusts for the different food variations. You can combat this by trying to eat healthy each day of the week, including weekends.


The stress hormone cortisol can become elevated in your body after a workout or after physically or mentally stressful events. Too much of this hormone can increase body inflammation, which can negatively impact metabolism, digestion, and hunger.

Weighing yourself each day can help you understand your daily habits. However, constantly seeing a changing scale number can discourage and frustrate you. If you want to lose weight, focus on the long-term goal and how to achieve it.

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Aventura, Fla.

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