Four or more hours on a plane can cause fluid and electrolyte imbalances, leading to a small increase in your weight, says Jampolis
Like right after that HIIT workout.
We're totally on board with the idea that your weight is nothing more than a number. But if you’re stepping on the scale to assess whether your diet and exercise plans are actually working, it's crucial to know what sneaky factors can also affect the number at your toes.
The first thing you should know: Daily weigh-ins are not your friend. “For weight loss, once a week is good,” says Melina Jampolis, M.D., physician nutrition specialist and founder of DietBox. “And if you’re looking to maintain, get on the scale every two weeks for the first three to six months of weight maintenance, then reduce to once a month.”
Beyond that, here are the worst times to go near your scale:
Strenuous exercise causes small tears in your muscles (which is how they get stronger!), and fluids rush to the scene to start the healing process. That can pump up your scale reading. Wait at least two days after your tough sweat sesh for the most accurate reading, says Jampolis.
Four or more hours on a plane can cause fluid and electrolyte imbalances, leading to a small increase in your weight, says Jampolis. If you do plan on weighing yourself after a flight (for some odd reason), drink lots of water while you’re in the air and avoid alcohol and caffeine, which can dehydrateyou further.
Salty meals can lead to an uptick on the scale because they cause your body to retain extra fluids, so don’t weigh yourself the day after you’ve downed a few California rolls, says Jampolis.
Five days pre-flow, your hormonal changes cause you to retain more water and bloat, says Jampolis, so your scale will show a slightly higher number. Wait until a day or two into your cycle to get back on the scale.
In case you were wondering, the best time to weigh yourself is first thing in the morning before you eat or drink anything and after you poop, says Jampolis. That's when you'll get the most accurate reading.
In sum, your weight is likely to fluctuate a bit, so don’t get too worked up over your reading—after all, you’re so much more than your number.