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Why Do We Weigh Heavier At Night

Have you ever jumped on the scale in the morning, then again that evening and become shocked by the increase in weight? How could you have put on weight in a few hours?!

Well, let me put your mind at ease and reassure you it’s not fat.

Then what is it? Let me explain.

According to an article in ​Physiological Reports​ in 2017, we fluctuate an average of 1 to 2 kilograms from the start of the day to the end. 

The main reason for this fluctuation is simply less fluid and food in your system in the morning compared to the night time. We also lose fluid via sweat and breathing while we sleep.

The amount at which we lose overnight depends on your muscle mass, this is because water makes up 75% of muscle mass so people with more muscle can experience larger weight fluctuations. Other factors such as your diet, exercise habits, bowel movement and urination can influence how much water you lose during the night and gain during the day.

Water can also fluctuate throughout the day depending on situational influences such as exercising in hot temperatures, as this can cause an even greater loss of body water through sweat.

Another factor that can affect your scale weight is reduced, and/or increased carb intake. Glycogen (stored carbohydrate) is stored with up to 3 or 4 parts water, so when this energy source is broken down (or stored), the body also loses (or gains) extra water weight.

Other factors include;

  • Food in your bowel. All the food you’ve eaten throughout the day that’s still getting digested in your body can cause temporary weight gain. The weight of the food and liquids stay with you as your body digests and absorbs water and nutrients, until it’s secreted. Stool in your intestines has an average daily weight of 128 grams according to September 2015 research in ​Critical Reviews in Environmental Science and Technology​. These temporary changes in weight will change when you urinate or have a bowel movement.
  • Dehydration
  • High sodium entail
  • Edema 
  • Certain medications

With all this in mind the BEST time to weigh yourself is a time that you can keep consistent. You want to check your weight once a day at the same time, wearing the same clothes and all other variables as similar as possible. 


References

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4500995/

https://physoc.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.14814/phy2.13336

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