Have you noticed that you weigh less in the morning? Doesn’t this sound strange? But the truth is weight loss and gain varies throughout the day. Can you guess when it is maximum?
The human body is a fantastic creation. And, we are yet to explore its tendencies. Out of the several, there are some peculiar weight-related tendencies.
Does it affect your health?
Why is it difficult for weight loss to happen beyond a certain point?
So, here are answers to all these questions and much more.
Why Do You Weigh Less In The Morning?
If one has tried weighing oneself at different times of the day, a strange fact must have crossed the observation. The body weight is not constant throughout the day as the ScienceFocus said.
For most of us, the early morning weight is probably the least. Least of all the weighing throughout the day. If this is true for most of us, then there should be some valid and scientific reasons for it.
The dieticians and the nutritionists accede over the weight loss in the morning. Also, they attribute various reasons for it.
Here are some reasons why:
The preponderant reason is the loss of water or dehydration from the body. There is absolutely no water or any liquid intake during sleep. However, the body loses water by breathing and sweating (some of us do sweat while sleeping).
Since the body is at rest, the digestive system removes all the extra water from the body. As a result, one feels like relieving urgently, early in the morning.
The human body is predominantly (70%) water. And changes in water levels significantly affect body weight. In terms of weight and measurement, 2 cups of water are equal to 1 pound of body weight.
There is no intake of food when we sleep. On the contrary, for 6–8 hours, the body is busy in digestion and assimilation of the food eaten before sleeping.
This food gets converted into energy, which is also partly consumed by the body. Also, while asleep, the body performs lots of passive activities like breathing, digestion, blood circulation, etc. These activities consume energy. Though energy gets used in sleep, food intake is not there. Also, it contributes to the loss of weight in the morning. It is because of the weight of food (which is approximately 20% water) lost in the night.
If someone drinks lots of water before hitting the bed, the bodyweight may not show a dip. However, in the night, the person may relieve himself. In that case, the balance may tilt on the lighter side in the morning.
How Much Does Your Weight Fluctuate In A Day?
According to HealthLine, though it may sound strange, the human body does not weigh the same throughout the day. However, it is lightest early in the morning when we get up. Contrary to the highest before we hit the bed. In between these two extremes, the weight see saws throughout the day.
Typically, the change in weight may be from zero to five or six pounds in just one day. But a shift of weight more than seven pounds in a day is rather unusual. That can attribute to excessive consumption of alcohol. Also, it completely disrupts the biochemical stability of the body. The digestion suffers terribly, and undigested food accumulates in the body. Hunger increases substantially. Consequently, the person hogs up a vast quantity of food. The fluid balance in the body gets skewed. The effect is an unusual increase in body weight
It is better to get oneself medically checked if the change in weight is seven pounds or more in a single day, and alcohol is not the reason.
The factors which affect the body weight in a day are:
There are two ways in which physical work out can influence how we weigh. It can increase it and reduce it too.
During exercise, the body sweats a lot. And if one does not drink water in between workouts (many people prefer not to), the body loses a substantial quantity of body fluid. Water in the body dramatically influences weight. Hence, the body weight decreases.
On the other hand, some exercises build and develop muscles. The overall fat reduction has not occurred. Then, the bodyweight increases. It is not at all surprising: the muscles are heavier than other tissues and when muscles build on, it increases the body weight.
But if along with the development of muscles, fat gets reduced, then the weight remains constant within a narrow range.
Foods that are rich in calories or fat spikes the weight. Additionally, high sodium and high carbohydrates also increase body weight.
The sodium and the carbohydrates retain water in the body. As a result, body weight increases. Potassium and magnesium are known to balance the body weight.
On the other hand, a crash diet would mean a lower intake of calories in comparison to the calories expended by the body. In that case, the bodyweight goes southward.
During the menstrual cycles, there is an increase in body weight. Similarly, less sleep or disturbed sleep increases body weight. The sleep hormone melatonin significantly governs sleep patterns.
The basal metabolism rate of the body (BMR) gets controlled by the hormones T3 and T4. They have a direct impact on body weight.
Certain medicines like insulin, tricyclic antidepressants, lithium, and few more have a direct impact on body weight. Therefore, taking these types of drugs, the body may register different weights than usual.
In summers during the daytime, the body weight may go up. It happens because of the frequent intake of water and fluids. And if for some reason, sufficient water not taken, it will go down.
Intake of water and other liquids significantly decides the net body weight. If someone drinks a few glasses of water and checks weight, it would have increased by a pound or so.
Of all the reasons that swing the body weight, water, and water-retaining agents play a very significant role. Besides, a few cups of water inside or outside the body sway one’s weight on the weighing scale one way or another.
Does Our Body Have A Fixed Weight?
A phenomenon which is very common with all weight watchers is that we can weigh less up to a point. After that, it does not budge. Beyond a point of weight loss in ounces also becomes impossible. Therefore, any effort or strategy to reduce it beyond a point hits the dead wall.
It holds even in gaining weight. One may start gaining weight well. But soon it comes to a dead-end, beyond which all standard ways and means of putting on results in naught.
This collective experience brings forth a very different understanding of the human body. Most of the researches collude to the theory that the human body has a ‘set point’ as its standard weight. Hence, any attempt to deviate beyond this set point develops in a contradicting mechanism in the body.
The body makes it very difficult to reduce or increase the weight beyond a point. Since the body perceives it as a threat. A more realistic and practical theory accepts it to be a ‘set range’ rather than a ‘set point.’
That means about a ‘mean point’; the bodyweight conveniently moves a few pounds either way. But beyond a range, it is a dead end.
It is very similar to the working of the thermostat in the refrigerator or an air conditioner. Once the thermostat set, the actual temperature maintains within a range of the set temperature.
This theory is not only found to be correct, but the reasons and factors for these identified. Of all the proposed factors, the following three have an extensive acceptance:
The parental effects in the form of genes play a significant role in the makeup of the physical body. Moreover, genetic effects manifest in the mental and psychological realms also. But this article restricts the discussion to the physical body.
The physical features and makeup come from parents. And the base weight of the body also gets coded in the DNA.
It does not mean that one must resign to the genes and accept the ‘set weight’ as destiny. Remember that genes have a significant role play in our physical being. Fortunately, it is not our destiny.
With dedication and efforts, one can achieve personal physical goals.
Environmental Factors (Exercise and Diet)
To exercise is possibly the healthiest habit that a person can cultivate. The human body is akin to machinery. The more we use it, the more efficient it will be.
The benefits of exercise are numerous to enumerate here. But one of the tangible advantages is the possibility of having less/more weight.
Aerobic exercises, with the intent of cutting fat, results in less weight. Whereas, that exercise, which focuses on building muscles, will increase weight. Obesity is the biggest challenge of contemporary times; the focus most of the time is on weight loss.
Conclusively, if the body burns more calories than what it ingests, it will result in weight loss. Proper and systematic exercise helps the body burn calories faster and reduce weight.
Diet manages the other side of the bodyweight equation. Lesser the calories that go inside the body, the lower will be the weight. But there is a minimum limit of calories that a body should have to be healthy and disease-free. Therefore, one should not go under the minimum calorie limit for a long time.
As often said, exercise reduces fat, and diet prevents gain. These two in unison keeps the body around the set point.
The regulation of body weight is asymmetric. It is easier to gain weight and be there, but it is difficult to lose weight and be there.
Epigenetic Effects (Hormonal Influences)
Epigenesis is the play of hormones in the body. Hormones are those incredible biochemical compounds released by the body, which dramatically influences, its constitution, and working.
Higher levels of testosterone in the body will keep it lean and robust without much effort. Similarly, hormones like leptin, cortisol, etc. influence the makeup and build of the body.
IS IT POSSIBLE TO CHANGE THE FIXED (SET) WEIGHT OF THE BODY?
Easier said than done, but still, it is possible to alter the set weight of the body. With patience, determination, proper strategies, and diligent implementation, one can adjust the set weight of the body.
This strategy of altering your set point and go to new setpoints is known as the BTYSP strategy according to verywellfit. It is an acronym for Break Through Your Setpoint.
It has been in our experience that whenever we adopted crash diets, we lost weight, alright. But we could never sustain the new weight. And that is because the body defends its original weight and fights to get it back.
The whole idea of breaking the setpoint is to do it in gradual steps. Also, not allow the body to realize and respond to the changes.
The fundamental idea is to reduce the intake of calories in such a way that the weight reduces not more than 10% of the original weight. Within a reduction of 10 percent, the body does not notice it, and no alarms blare. The body does not fight to go back.
Keep this weight for a few weeks till the body gets used to it and then again reduce weight by less than 10 percent. The process followed until you reach your new set point.
The reduction in weight is made just by controlling the calorie intake. Therefore, eat 500 calories lesser every day for seven days. It totals to 3500 calories. A reduction of 3500 calories means 1 lb lost in a week.
Never eat less than 450 calories per meal. That way, the hunger pangs will not disturb you.
The BTYSP is a very scientific way of reducing the setpoint and has a complete process to it. The takeaway is the body’s set point can be overcome with some clear understanding and following scientific and logical methodology.
How Many Calories Do You Burn While Sleeping?
It may sound preposterous, but we burn calories in sleep. Since the primary essential survival activities of the body like breathing, digesting, blood circulation needs energy.
According to a thumb rule, the body burns 0.42 calories for every pound weight of the body for every hour.
So if a person weighing 100 lbs sleeps for 8 hours, he would lose 100 x 0.42 x 8 = 336 calories in his sleep.
The body weight is very central to wellbeing and fitness. With proper understanding, we can weigh less. And also keep it that way for a long time.
Daily fluctuations, within a limit, are very reasonable. But beyond a point, it might need advice and medical intervention.