How I Gained 4 Pounds in One Day… Then Lost It All By the Next
We were thrilled to be approached by Callie at The Humblebeee asking if she could be a guest blogger for the Love Your Body Project. Please see the post below that she thought would be relevant to our amazing audience. Be sure to check her out her site and see how in line our messaging is. Welcome, Callie!
Hey, congratulations! Because you probably did today too. And yesterday. And the day before that.
How is it possible to gain and lose 4-5 pounds in a 24-hour period? It’s not by crash-dieting, not by detoxing all day, not by any other form of lose-weight-fast schemes out there.
It’s by being human, people.
Like so many women (and men!) who are weight-conscious and feel discouraged by an inconsistent number on the scale, we often don’t realize how incredibly sensitive our weight is. That number is influenced by the minute depending on what is happening in the body; it can be a highly inaccurate and misleading (and cruel!) representation of the body’s true state.
I’ve wanted to do an experiment for quite some time now: weigh myself several times throughout the day while manipulating several variables to better understand how my body responds to things like carbs, salt, and water.
Honestly, I think every man or woman who struggles with weight, body image, or negativity related to the number on the scale should do this experiment. I decided to post about this because I want to:
Increase awareness of weight sensitivity
Help you understand what factors contribute to an increase or decrease in the number on the scale
Encourage you to learn about how your body responds to dietary and metabolic influence
Shine light on the scientific aspect of weight to help put you at ease when the numbers aren’t as expected
For seven days, I weighed myself at five different times of the day: 1) Immediately upon waking, 2) After consuming 24 oz of cold water, 3) After breakfast, 4) Post-workout, and 5) Right before I went to sleep.
I used the same scale, in the same location, while wearing the same amount of clothing (t-shirt or tank top with underwear). I recorded all of the date in an Excel spreadsheet, along with other information:
Calorie range for the day (+/- 100 calories)
Carb intake for the day (low, medium, high)
Water intake for the day (low, medium, high)
Sodium intake for the day (low, medium, high)
Form of exercise and time of day
*I also made random notes, such as what I ate before bed and how often I pooped, because, why not? #science
NOTE: My intentions are NOT to encourage you to meticulously weigh and track intake or macros for the rest of your life. I do, however, think that doing this for a few days or a week can be a powerful teaching tool.
Are you the expert of your own body?
This means having knowledge of: your energy system and signals, your response to your monthly cycle, your relationship between body and emotion, and your response to various dietary changes.
Increasing my self-awareness was the single most influential factor to my recovery from negative body image and disordered eating.
No one can (or should) know your body better than you. Learning how our bodies respond to water, carbs, salt, and exercise gives us mental and emotional freedom to do the only thing that matters when it comes to weight management: stay consistent.
Sorry it’s not too clear! Sunday was the highest day (likely because Saturday was family Christmas – which involved lots of carbs and a few cans of beer!
On this day, I gained 2.5 pounds in ONE HOUR because of food and water
WHAT I LEARNED
// I weigh the least when I am water-depleted (especially in the mornings)
// Water has the most influence on my weight
// The amount of food or waste in my system affects my weight moderately
// My daily calorie intake has a small influence on my daily weight changes
// My daily carbohydrate intake and sodium intake have a moderate influence on my daily weight changes
// Time and form of exercise has a minimal influence on my daily weight changes
So what am I going to do with this information? How is it going to influence my lifestyle? Honestly, it won’t do a whole lot from an action standpoint. Mentally, though, this knowledge is huge. If I weigh five pounds heavier at the doctor’s office – I won’t freak out. If the scale says I am three pounds heavier after a night of beer and pizza – I’ll know why. If, despite a week of being “good”, I’ve gained weight around my period – it won’t ruin my day. Because I AM THE EXPERT OF MY BODY and I know better than to let it affect me.
This experiment demonstrates the intricate and individualized science behind weight sensitivity, but can have significantly positive emotional and mental consequences for us all! Knowledge is power – it frees us from unnecessary anxiety, stress, disappointment, discouragement, and unease.
Take action – start becoming the expert of your own body!!
Read this post to better understand how this experiment helped me become healthier and improve my relationship with food over the holidays.
BY THE WAY…
Just random closing thoughts here… why in the world do we even use a scale more than, like, twice a year? Who else even sees the number besides the cat and the doctor? There are SO MANY better ways to identify weight changes: how our clothes fit, how we look in the mirror, how we look in pictures, how much our booty or belly shakes when we shimmy (or don’t!), just how we feel in general. WHY ARE SCALES EVEN A THING???
I wanted to talk through my thoughts a bit, so I created the video. Enjoy!
If we were experts of our own bodies, scales would be 100% unnecessary because we are so in-tune with knowing ourselves wayyyyy better than a dumb object does. Just sayin’.