There are a large number of reasons for scale fluctuations; the scale fluctuates and our scale weight changes daily whether we are working towards fat loss goals or not.
If you are like many, you feel emotionally impacted by small, inconsequential tenths of a pound, data readings that should be viewed as a matter of biology more than anything else. This is an area of great focus between coach & client in many cases, the freeing of oneself from the emotional relationship with a tool that does not define our entire health journey
At PLT Nutrition, we don’t ask our clients to weigh daily, we suggest 4x per week; every other day, and this enables us to adequately track their average weight. If someone prefers to weigh daily with no emotional attachment, that is of course perfectly fine.
Here are some common factors that can contribute to scale fluctuations:
1. Water Retention: Water retention is a common cause of temporary weight gain. Factors such as higher than normal salt intake, hormonal changes, certain medications, and even weather conditions & travel can affect fluid balance in the body.
2. Food Intake: Consuming a large meal or eating foods high in sodium or carbohydrates can lead to temporary weight gain due to increased water retention. Similarly, a period of restricted food intake or following a low-carbohydrate diet can result in weight loss.
3. Exercise/Strength Training: Strength training causes mini tears in your muscles, which is how muscle growth occurs. These tears, however, can lead to fluid retention in the muscle and cause a weight gain immediately after your workout. This may last for a few days and could explain why you weigh more after you lift weights. Everyone knows the ‘day after leg day’ scale situation right?!
4. Alcohol: Alcohol is a diuretic, meaning it increases urine production and can lead to increased fluid loss. This can result in dehydration, causing your body to lose water and reduce overall body weight. Alcohol can also interfere with the body's hormone regulation, leading to decreased water retention. As a result, your body might release excess water, further contributing to a temporary reduction in weight.
5. Hormonal Changes: Hormonal fluctuations, particularly in women, can influence water retention and body weight. Menstrual cycles, pregnancy, and menopause can all contribute to scale fluctuations.
6. Digestive System: Variations in digestive processes, including the amount of food in the gastrointestinal tract or the rate of digestion, can affect weight measurements. Waste material in the digestive system or constipation can temporarily increase weight.
7. Medications and Supplements: Some medications, such as corticosteroids or certain antidepressants, can cause weight fluctuations as a side effect. Additionally, certain supplements or vitamins may influence water balance or metabolism, affecting weight measurements.
8. Stress and Emotional Factors: Psychological factors, including stress, anxiety, and emotional eating, can impact weight. Stress hormones can affect metabolism and appetite, leading to weight fluctuations.
9. Time of Day: Body weight can vary throughout the day due to factors such as food and fluid intake, bowel movements, and physical activity levels. Weighing yourself at different times of the day can yield different results.
PLT Nutrition focuses on long-term trends, averages, overall well-being, and body composition changes rather than day-to-day fluctuations.
It's important to be aware that scale fluctuations are naturally occurring even when following the PLT Approach or any other healthy lifestyle and approach to fat loss.
Healthy Nutrition Tips for the Menopausal Woman
Menopause is a natural phase in a woman's life that marks the end of her reproductive years. During this time, hormonal changes can lead to various physical and emotional symptoms. While menopause affects women differently, adopting a healthy and balanced diet can help alleviate some of the challenges. In this blog, we will explore essential nutritional tips to support women during this transitional period.
Maintaining a balanced diet is crucial during menopause. Focus on incorporating a variety of macronutrients such as complex carbohydrates, proteins, and healthy fats. Include whole grains, lean proteins (chicken, fish, tofu), and sources of healthy fats (avocados, nuts, seeds) in your meals. This will provide sustained energy levels and support overall health. Consider moderating your carbohydrate unless it's already on the moderate side.
Limiting Alcohol & Caffeine
Both alcohol and caffeine can exacerbate menopausal symptoms such as hot flashes, night sweats, and mood swings. Alcohol can impact emotional and mental angst and increase already sensitive mood swings.
It is advisable to limit the consumption of alcoholic beverages and caffeinated drinks like coffee and tea. Opt for herbal teas or decaffeinated options to reduce these potential triggers.
Eating Fiber-Rich Foods
Including fiber in your diet can help combat weight/body fat gain and manage digestive issues that may arise during menopause. Add fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, and seeds to your meals. These foods provide essential nutrients and promote healthy digestion, reducing the risk of constipation and bloating.
Fiber helps to improve the metabolism and the excretion of excessive estrogen, which is especially helpful if you are peri-menopausal. This lead-up stage towards menopause is often accompanied by hormonal imbalance, where your estrogen levels become higher than your progesterone. Fiber can bind to the excess oestregen and eliminate it via the bowel.
Incorporating Calcium & Vitamin D-Rich Foods
Menopause increases the risk of osteoporosis and bone density loss. To support bone health, consume foods rich in calcium and vitamin D. Incorporate dairy products, leafy greens (spinach, kale), fortified plant-based milk, and fatty fish (salmon, sardines) into your diet. Also, ensure vitamin D intake by spending time in the sun daily; a very small amount of time is needed typically around 15 minutes daily.
If needed, consider supplements after consulting with your healthcare provider.
Consuming Phytoestrogen Foods:
Phytoestrogens are plant compounds that mimic estrogen in the body. As estrogen levels decline during menopause, consuming phytoestrogen-rich foods may help alleviate symptoms. Include soy products (tofu, tempeh), flaxseeds, sesame seeds, and legumes in your diet. These foods can potentially reduce hot flashes and promote hormonal balance.
Consuming Omega-3 Fatty Acids:
Omega-3 fatty acids offer numerous health benefits, including reducing inflammation and supporting heart health. Menopausal women may experience increased inflammation and a higher risk of heart disease. Incorporate fatty fish (salmon, mackerel), chia seeds, walnuts, and flaxseeds into your meals to obtain these essential fatty acids.
Limiting Processed Foods & Sugars
Processed foods and excessive sugar intake can contribute to weight gain, mood swings, and increased inflammation. Opt for whole, unprocessed foods instead. Choose fresh fruits and vegetables, lean proteins, whole grains, and healthy fats to maintain stable blood sugar levels and support overall well-being.
Drinking an adequate amount of water is important for overall health, especially during menopause. Stay hydrated by consuming at least eight glasses of water per day. Proper hydration can help manage symptoms like dry skin, hot flashes, and fatigue. Additionally, include hydrating foods such as cucumbers, watermelon, and citrus fruits in your diet.
Adequate hydration can help relieve menopause nausea and hot flashes, and can reduce the intensity and frequency of headaches associated with menopause. Aim for 60-80 oz or more if you're physically active or in a hot climate.
Maintaining a healthy diet is crucial for women going through menopause. By incorporating these nutritional tips, you can support your overall well-being and alleviate some of the challenges associated with this phase.
Remember, it is always best to consult with a PLT Nutrition professional to create a personalized nutrition plan that suits your individual needs during menopause
The Connection between Strength Training and Longevity
When it comes to living a long and healthy life, most people think of practices such as maintaining a balanced diet, getting enough sleep, and engaging in regular cardiovascular exercise. While these habits are undoubtedly important, one crucial aspect that often goes unnoticed is the role of building muscle in promoting longevity. Regular strength training exercises not only enhance physical performance and aesthetics but also offer a multitude of health benefits that can significantly impact our lifespan. In this article, we will explore the fascinating connection between building muscle and living longer.
Increased Metabolic Efficiency
One of the key advantages of building muscle is its impact on metabolic efficiency. Muscle tissue is metabolically active, meaning it requires more energy to maintain compared to other tissues in the body, such as fat. By engaging in strength training exercises, we can increase our muscle mass, which subsequently raises our resting metabolic rate (RMR). A higher RMR leads to increased calorie expenditure throughout the day, even at rest. This metabolic boost helps prevent weight gain and obesity, reducing the risk of chronic diseases like diabetes, heart disease, and certain cancers that are associated with excess body fat.
Enhanced Bone Health
Building muscle not only strengthens the muscles themselves but also promotes better bone health. Strength training exercises, particularly weight-bearing exercises, stimulate the production of new bone tissue, increasing bone density and reducing the risk of osteoporosis and fractures. As we age, bone density naturally declines, leading to a higher susceptibility to fractures. By incorporating resistance training into our fitness routine, we can counteract this natural decline and maintain stronger bones, ultimately reducing the risk of falls and fractures that can severely impact longevity.
Improved Insulin Sensitivity
Insulin sensitivity refers to how effectively our cells respond to the hormone insulin, which is responsible for regulating blood sugar levels. Poor insulin sensitivity, also known as insulin resistance, is a precursor to type 2 diabetes and is associated with numerous health complications. Engaging in strength training exercises has been shown to improve insulin sensitivity by enhancing glucose uptake by the muscles. This effect helps maintain stable blood sugar levels, reducing the risk of developing diabetes and its associated health problems such as cardiovascular disease, kidney disease, and nerve damage.
While strength training is often associated with building muscle, it also offers cardiovascular benefits that contribute to a longer and healthier life. Engaging in resistance exercises elevates heart rate and increases blood flow, improving cardiovascular fitness. Regular strength training has been linked to lower blood pressure, reduced resting heart rate, and improved cholesterol profiles. By enhancing cardiovascular health, strength training reduces the risk of heart disease, stroke, and other cardiovascular-related conditions, leading to an overall longer lifespan.
Functional Independence and Quality of Life
Maintaining muscle mass through strength training plays a vital role in preserving functional independence as we age. Strong muscles support joint stability, improve balance, and enhance overall mobility, allowing individuals to perform daily activities with ease and reducing the risk of falls and injuries. By staying active and preserving muscle strength, older adults can maintain their independence, remain engaged in physical activities, and enjoy a higher quality of life for longer.
Building muscle through strength training is a powerful tool that not only helps us achieve a more sculpted physique but also promotes longevity and overall well-being. From increased metabolic efficiency and improved bone health to enhanced insulin sensitivity and cardiovascular benefits, the advantages of building muscle are extensive. By incorporating strength training exercises into our fitness routines, we can unlock the potential for a longer, healthier, and more fulfilling life. Remember, it's never too late to start reaping the benefits of building muscle and embracing a lifestyle that promotes longevity