Have you ever wondered why do you weigh less in the morning?
If you’ve ever found yourself stepping on a scale to weigh yourself, you probably noticed a couple of things:
First, there seem to be some significant fluctuations from day to day.
Second, you weigh less in the morning.
Let’s break down everything you need to know about weighing yourself, how to do it properly, and what the day-to-day fluctuations mean.
We’ll also cover the age-old question: Why do you weigh less in the morning?
Why Do You Weigh Less In The Morning?
We tend to weigh less in the morning for a couple of reasons:
1. The stomach is empty, and no food volume adds weight on the scale.
2. Most significantly, your body is dehydrated because you haven’t been consuming any liquids for several hours. So in the morning, you’re carrying about 3-5 pounds less water weight than you are in the afternoon.
So this really is the primary reason you weigh less in the morning. Your body dehydrates through the night, so your water level is lowest when you first awake. Water weight is a huge factor that affects your weight. Much more than most people realize.
Water weight is the main reason that after a heavy diet weekend, many people think they have gained 10 pounds. And they feel like they gained 10 pounds! But did they really? No, as it would be very hard to gain 10 pounds in a weekend. Click to see the data on what it would take to gain 10 pounds in a weekend. It’s mainly water weight that makes them fell bloated and extra heavy. (1)
So, how can we use this knowledge to our advantage?
Golden Rules for Weighing Yourself
- Record your weight on the same day every week. It’s best to have your “weigh-in day” to be at the end of your diet / lean days. So if you cheat on Friday and Saturday, and diet lean Sunday through Thursday, make sure you weigh-in each Friday morning as soon as you awake.
- Weigh-in at the exact same time, and usually right after you wake up, and after you use the restroom. Most people use the restroom as soon as they wake up, so weigh-in after the restroom. So if you wake-up at 7:00 AM, then 7:00 AM should be your weigh-in time.
- Place your scale in the exact same location on the floor each week to do your weigh-in. For most people, that is your bathroom or bedroom.
- Make sure you weigh yourself with no clothes on. Yeap, it’s best to be in your birthday suit so you can have consistency in your progress.
- Write down your weight, or take a picture with your phone after you step off. Most digital scales today will show the results multiple times.
- Most importantly, if you have a disappointing weigh-in, do NOT get discouraged. We all have them, even after a really solid week of diet and exercise. So keep your chin up, and keep moving forward.
What This Means For Tracking Fitness and Weight Loss
When it comes to tracking our fitness progress, most people frown upon the idea of using a weight scale. Their usual argument is that using a weight scale leads to obsession. Or another bad reason…it always gives fluctuating results.
Well, this can happen if you’re not careful. But, when done correctly (as we’ll see in a bit), tracking your body weight – and how it changes over time – is some of the most beneficial insight you’ll ever get.
And people who are serious about their physical fitness and overall wellness, know that it’s vital to track and record your weight.
First off, when it comes to tracking fitness and weight loss, it’s important to weigh yourself under the same conditions every single time. (See the Golden Rules above).
So whether you decide to weigh weekly or monthly, make sure you weigh yourself at precisely the same time each weigh-in.
Second, it’s also much better to weigh yourself only once a week and make sure to do it after having eaten clean for a few days, not after a cheat day. For example, if you diet and eat healthy from Monday to Thursday, weigh yourself on Friday morning for the most accurate results.
So Why Not Weigh Yourself More Than Once a Week?
You see, weighing yourself more often will skew your reading because of the day-to-day weight fluctuations that we discussed above. This is primarily thanks to water, glycogen, and outside factors, such as how much sodium you’ve consumed. Sodium (salt on your food) will facilitate retaining water. (2)
Weighing yourself more often can also lead to obsession, which is not good. Having a single lousy reading can make you feel guilty and will dramatically increase your risk of giving up. So, to prevent that from happening, stay disciplined, and only step on the scale once per week.
Track It, Then Write It Down
Okay, so you’ve just weighed yourself. Now what?
Well, the next most crucial thing you have to do, of course, is to write it down! Or better yet, record it in a spreadsheet on your computer. Click the link below to download the tracking sheet.👇
Documenting your progress is vital because it helps keep you motivated, but it also keeps you accountable and shows you if you’ve been slacking off. If things are going well from week to week, your motivation to keep going is sky-high. If, however, you find that your progress has been stalling lately, you know that something needs to change.
As the old saying goes, “You can’t improve what you don’t measure.”
So long as you keep a log of your weigh-ins in a spreadsheet or journal, you will have all of the accountability you need to keep going and achieve your goals.
So, now that we’ve gone over the question of, “Why do you weigh less in the morning?” and what that means for progress tracking, are you ready to start documenting your weight loss more diligently?
Click to learn the value in counting calories.
1. Stew Smith, C. S. C. S. (2021). Does Water Affect Weight? Military.com. https://www.military.com/military-fitness/weight-loss/does-water-affect-weight.
2. Palsdottir, H. (2018). 6 Simple Ways to Reduce Water Retention. Healthline. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/6-ways-to-reduce-water-retention.