General Question

partyrock's avatar

How is it possible to gain or lose 6 pounds in water weight ?

Asked by partyrock (3870points) January 6th, 2012

How is it possible to lose or gain 6 pounds, within a few hours?

My weight in the morning was 120, then for lunch I had really big Japanese noodles, then when I went to get weighed, the scale said 126. How is that even possible?

A few hours later, when I got home, I checked and I was at 125. Then later on that evening I checked and I was back down to 120.

Could 6 or 5 pounds have all been water weight, or the big meal that I had ?

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29 Answers

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

The scales could be off. I’ve dropped up to 8 pounds in a few hours playing basketball. But after rehydrating my weight returned to normal.

JLeslie's avatar

I think probably it was 3 or 4 pounds max. The scales might be off by a couple of pounds. Plus, it is not just water weight, the food weighs something too. So a pound of food and then fluid, whatever you drank, weighs a lot. Japenese food is very salty, so your body is holding onto water to keep your electrolytes in balance and aid in digestion.

ANef_is_Enuf's avatar

I think the better question is… why did you weigh yourself three times today?
Our weight fluctuates every day. This is normal.

partyrock's avatar

@Adirondackwannabe – I don’t think the scales were off. That’s initially my thought. The scale I have at home has always been pretty right. Mine could have been off a pound or two, and then when I went to the doctor… but I did have a really heavy lunch…

JLeslie's avatar

@partyrock If you had a heavy lunch you just answered your own question.

partyrock's avatar

@ANef_is_Enuf – Because I’m obsessed with losing weight, getting fit, and dropping pounds. I agree it is not healthy at all… When I try my hardest to not weigh myself, I still check. I’m trying to look only every other day.

partyrock's avatar

@JLeslie – 6 pounds is possible ? Thanks I just wanted to know. If all of it could have possibly been water weight.

King_Pariah's avatar

Having wrestled in high school, losing weight, whatever and where ever it may be was important. It wasn’t uncommon for us to go with out food or water the day before a tournament for the sake of shedding those few pounds that would have DQ’d us. Hell, one of the bigger guys on our team dropped 35 pounds this method (he also ran himself unconscious, and then wrestled himself unconscious) within 36 hours.

JLeslie's avatar

A study showed that the majority of people who are able to keep their weight off after losing a lot of weight, one of their habits was to weigh themselves every day.

JLeslie's avatar

@partyrock It is not all water weight, the food weighs something. When you have a bowel movement you will probably instantly lose a half a pound right there.

If you go without food for long periods your body will get rid of lots of water, so if you are skipping meals your low number is water weight loss.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

@partyrock It’s possible to gain that much, with a big meal and beverages.

ANef_is_Enuf's avatar

Yeah, cut that out. Obsessively weighing yourself will not make you any thinner, it will just make you frustrated. There are healthy ways to motivate yourself.
Once a day is fine, try to weigh at the same time of day.

partyrock's avatar

@ANef_is_Enuf – I will ! Trying to !

Chomskola's avatar

Obsessing about numbers is missing the point anyway, our “weight” at any time is just our weight at that weigh-in. It varies. I guess the most accurate reading is to weight yourself with a reliable scale first thing in the morning after using the loo and with no clothes on. But..better to do that on a weekly or a monthly basis, any more frequent and its hard to say if the change up or down is meaningful.ID recommend once a week as the most frequent.

sleepdoc's avatar

The best way to see how you are doing on weight is to weigh yourself once at most a day at the same time of day. I would recommend doing it just once a week at most though.

john65pennington's avatar

First, weigh at the same time each day.

Second, wear only your birthday suit, when weighing.

Third, when you take a water pill, be sure you eat several bananas to restore your lost eletrolytes during urination.

I have lost 5 pounds just in one day in water weight.

JLeslie's avatar

Here is one article for all of those saying weigh only once a week. I agree you need to weigh yourself same time each day, preferbly in the morning naked. But, you also need to eat regularly. If you are only eating once or twice a day and the time shifts greatly for when you have a huge meal, weighing yourself once a day at the same time will be innacurate also.

JLeslie's avatar

@john65pennington Why do you bring up water pills? She should not be taking any water pills. She is very young and most likely her body is holding onto and letting go of water in perfect function.

partyrock's avatar

I don’t even know what water pills are ? Pills made of water ?

ANef_is_Enuf's avatar

@partyrock diuretics are commonly referred to as “water pills.” They draw excess fluid from the tissues… and make you pee. They can upset the natural balance of electrolytes in the body, which can be destructive, which is why @john65pennington suggested eating bananas. But you aren’t taking a diuretic, so it is not really an issue.

partyrock's avatar

@ANef_is_Enuf – Oh I see. Like cranberry juice is a natural diuretic ?

marinelife's avatar

Your weight fluctuates throughout the day. That is why it is not good to weigh yourself multiple times per day,m but only once a week at the same time of day.

ANef_is_Enuf's avatar

@partyrock yes, but, cranberry juice does not deplete your potassium. Diuretic pills often do.

WestRiverrat's avatar

It isn’t uncommon for an NFL lineman to lose 10–20 lbs over a Sunday afternoon of playing football. Most of it is water weight they sweat, some of it is calories they burn off with their physical exertions. It is usually easily replenished in a day or two when they have a chance to rest, hydrate and eat.

jazmina88's avatar

Your weight does change throughout the day. I weigh less in the mornings.

dont weigh so much. you will be obsessed. and not every day is even indicative of what you ate.

I weigh every 3 days or so, with much restraint.

Bellatrix's avatar

It is perfectly normal for your weight to fluctuate over a day. You eat, drink, poo, wee etc. etc. Obsessively weighing will just bring you down mentally. Your weight will also fluctuate over the month. You are likely to weigh more around the time of your period. Easy to say, hard to do I know, but try not to obsess. Do as @sleepdoc said and weigh only once a day (at the same time) or better, once a week – same day, same time each week.

Focus on how your clothes feel more than the number on a scale. Get a pair of pants or something that are too tight now and try them on every week or two.

keobooks's avatar

Always weigh on the same scale. Doctor’s scales aren’t actually more accurate than other scales (unless you have an especially crappy scale) But they will be consistent each time if they are very good scales. It has something to do with calibration, and I’m not sure I can explain it because I don’t totally understand it enough to do that.

My daughter’s pediatrician scale is off by a pound or so. When I was in the breastfeeding support group, I could tell which newborn mothers went to my doctors because of this. At group. We’d weigh our babies before and after nursing. Women who went to my doctor and weighed their baby at the group for the first time would freak out because they thought their babies lost a pound (which is very bad for a newborn) and the lactation specialists would say the scale at whatever doctor’s office they went to was probably off by a pound. If asked who their doctor was, it was always one in my pediatrician’s practice.

Anyway. Don’t weigh yourself on two different scales and think that you are rapidly gaining or losing weight. Always weigh yourself on the same scale to see what you are gaining or losing.

judochop's avatar

Dude… are fine. You are a healthy young woman, enjoy it.

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