Why Does My Weight Fluctuate So Much? Learn the Facts About Weight Fluctuations

Apr 4, 2023
Elina Balode
, nutritionist
What you’ll learn

    Are you feeling discouraged after seeing your weight go up and down? You’re not alone. Weight fluctuations are common, but understanding why they happen can help you make smarter decisions about your diet and exercise habits.

    This article will cover the basics of weight fluctuations, the importance of understanding healthy guidelines for weight loss, and how the keto diet and meal planning can help stabilize your weight. By the end, you’ll have the tools to take control of your weight and health.

    What is considered a weight fluctuation?

    Weight fluctuations refer to gradual or sudden changes in body mass, whether through muscle gains, fat loss, or overall body weight. Fluctuations can result from changes in your eating and exercise habits, the time of day you choose to weigh yourself, or factors like illness and stress.

    Not all weight fluctuations are abnormal. According to professionals, daily weight fluctuations of around 2-4 lbs per week are considered normal. However, some individuals may experience more significant changes in their body weight or body composition due to the factors mentioned above.

    Image of feet on a scale

    This can make it difficult to tell if your weight fluctuation is part of a normal process or something more serious. To better understand the reasons for your fluctuations, it’s important to think about your diet and whether you've changed your exercise routine.

    Don't hesitate to contact your primary care physician if you're concerned that your daily weight fluctuations are outside of the normal range. They can help evaluate any medical conditions or lifestyle factors contributing to your weight gain or loss.

    Healthy guidelines for weight loss

    Understanding healthy weight loss guidelines is key to success during any weight loss regimen. The CDC defines healthy weight loss as 1 to 2 pounds per week, which is a safe and attainable goal for most people. To achieve this, you should focus on eating nutritious meals and snacks and getting regular physical activity.

    However, these figures can vary depending on your body size, lifestyle, and other factors. For example, if you’re significantly overweight, you may be able to lose more than 2 pounds per week. You can set goals with your doctor to determine your best course of action.

    In addition to healthy eating habits, regular physical activity is essential for weight loss. Any form of exercise, even a short walk around the block, can help burn extra calories and promote weight loss. This is incredibly important to overall health, as body-weight fluctuation was associated with higher mortality due to cardiovascular disease and hypertension.

    CDC weight loss guidelines

    This data highlights how crucial it is to minimize the dangerous risks associated with excess body weight or up-and-down fluctuations. Creating sustainable habits can help you achieve and maintain a healthy weight, and a keto diet can be beneficial in this regard.

    Top factors that can cause weight fluctuations

    If you've been watching your intake, you know how frustrating it can be to go up and down on the scale. While some fluctuations in weight are normal, certain factors can cause them to happen more frequently. Let's look at some of the most prominent causes in more detail.


    What we eat and drink can have a significant impact on our weight. High-calorie diets or foods high in sugar, unhealthy fats, and salt can cause weight fluctuations. When we choose foods that are low in calories and nutrient-dense, such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats, it can help us to feel fuller for longer and promote a healthy body weight.


    When stressed or overwhelmed, it can cause us to make unhealthy choices in our food and lifestyle habits. Chronic stress can lead to fluctuations in body weight and is also linked to other health issues such as anxiety, fatigue, and headaches. Taking time each day to relax and practice stress management techniques can help reduce the impact of stress on our bodies.


    Getting enough sleep is crucial for good health and can help reduce the risk of weight fluctuations. Data shows that poor sleep is consistently linked to higher BMIs and greater calorie intake. When we don't get enough quality sleep, our bodies produce hormones that can cause us to eat more and gain weight. Aiming for 7-9 hours of high-quality sleep per night can help keep our hormones balanced and reduce cravings.

    Hormones & menstrual cycles

    Hormone fluctuations and menstrual cycles can also contribute to an increase in weight. Estrogen and progesterone levels can fluctuate throughout the menstrual cycle and cause issues throughout the entire body. For women, this can mean changes in appetite, cravings, and energy levels, all of which can impact body weight.

    Image of off-balance scale


    Taking certain medications can also lead to weight gain or loss. Some medications, such as steroids and antidepressants, can cause sudden changes in appetite that often result in weight fluctuations. It's important to talk to a medical professional about any medications you're taking and ensure they are appropriate for your health needs.

    Water retention

    Our body needs water to stay healthy, but incorporating things like sodium into our diet can lead to fluid retention. Retaining water in our bodies can weigh us down and cause the scale to spike. Drinking plenty throughout the day is essential for good health, but if you're feeling bloated with water weight, try reducing your sodium intake to see if it helps.

    Alcohol use

    Drinking too much alcohol can also cause weight fluctuations. Alcohol contains an excess of empty calories that can contribute to weight gain, and it reduces our inhibitions, so we tend to eat more when we drink. Regularly drinking more than the recommended amount can lead to weight increases and other health issues.

    Digestive issues

    If you have a digestive issue such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), it can cause changes in your weight. That’s because conditions like IBS can lead to an improper diet, limitations with physical activity, and changes in hormonal activity. If you have digestive issues, finding a diet that is tailored to your needs and avoiding certain trigger foods can help reduce the impact on your body weight.


    Getting sick can cause sudden weight fluctuations as our bodies fight off the illness. Fever, diarrhea, and dehydration can all cause sudden weight loss. If you experience significant weight changes due to an acute illness and are struggling to maintain weight, you should talk to your doctor to ensure there is no underlying cause.

    Illness causing weight fluctuation


    Although exercise is essential for overall health and can help with weight loss, it can also cause sudden fluctuations in body weight. When we exercise, our bodies retain water and electrolytes to help heal our muscles, which can cause us to gain a few pounds of extra water.

    This water retention is usually temporary, but it's important to remember that exercise isn't just about losing weight but about gaining muscle and improving our overall health and fitness.

    It's also important to consider the differences between men and women regarding weight fluctuations. A 2020 study showed that men had greater fluctuations in their weekly weight than women, but women tend to gain more weight seasonally. This is due to differences in metabolism, hormones, and other biological factors that affect body weight.

    Every body is different, yet similar on a fundamental level. Therefore, it can be difficult to pinpoint exactly how much someone will gain or lose at a specific time, as the factors influencing body weight are complex and can vary from person to person. What works for one individual may not work for the other, so finding a healthy diet and exercise routine tailored to your needs is vital for long-term success.

    Numerous factors can contribute to normal weight fluctuations in both men and women. Still, with the proper techniques, such as making healthy dietary changes, reducing stress levels, and getting plenty of sleep, we can help keep our body weight in check.

    If you notice any major weight fluctuations beyond a few days, be sure to reach out to your doctor for guidance.

    Use a keto diet plan to jump-start weight loss

    The ketogenic diet is an effective and popular choice if you’re looking for a way to kick-start your weight loss journey. The keto diet is a low-carb, high-fat approach to eating found to help people lose weight and improve their overall health.

    When you follow a keto diet plan, your body enters a state of ketosis, which enables burning fat as a fuel source. This can lead to more rapid and consistent weight loss compared to other diets. And because you’re lowering your carb intake, your blood sugar won’t jump as much, leading to more stable energy levels throughout the day.

    Keto diet for fluctuating weight

    Data shows that the keto diet can also help increase vitamin D levels in overweight adults, an essential nutrient for maintaining good health. Plus, because the diet focuses on high-quality, whole foods like healthy fats, proteins, and low-carb vegetables, it can help improve overall well-being.

    When starting a keto diet plan, it’s helpful to keep your meals simple and focus on nutrient-dense foods. Making these changes can be challenging after decades of eating the standard Western diet, but you can make it work with some practice and patience.

    Here are some helpful tips to make following a keto diet plan easier:

    • Try new spices or herbs to add flavor to your meals.
    • Focus on getting enough quality protein, healthy fats, and low-carb vegetables daily.
    • Set aside a day to meal prep, so you don't feel overwhelmed during the week.
    • Try incorporating some form of movement into your routine, even if it's just a leisurely walk.
    • Celebrate small milestones and reward yourself for your progress. This can be anything from treating yourself to a massage or even setting aside five minutes to meditate.
    • Keep the end goal in sight and remind yourself why you started this journey.

    Meal prep to succeed on a keto diet

    One of the best ways to guarantee your success while on the keto diet is to plan and prep your meals in advance. This way, you can be sure that you’re eating the right foods and staying on track with your diet.

    Meal prepping also ensures that you have healthy meals on hand when hunger strikes so you don’t fall into the trap of choosing unhealthy snacks. After a long day, it can be tempting to reach for something easy, but having those meals already made will make it much easier to maintain these healthy changes over time.

    It can be tempting to try and lose weight as quickly as possible, but it’s crucial to ensure you’re doing it safely and sustainably. When meal prepping on a keto diet, choosing nutrient-dense foods is key to feeling full and satisfied without compromising your health.

    Meal prep on a keto diet

    Some suggestions for healthy meal prep on a keto diet include:

    • Steamed or grilled vegetables: These can be served as side dishes or added to salads.
    • Lean proteins: Choose proteins like fish, chicken, and turkey for a healthy fuel source.
    • Healthy fats: Add olive oil, avocado, and nuts to salads.
    • Low-carb snacks: Choose snacks like hard-boiled eggs, beef jerky, or nuts for a quick and healthy snack.

    Check out a sneak peek of a CertifiedKetoDiet meal plan to see how easy it can be to follow a keto diet.

    Try a customized keto meal plan to stabilize your weight

    While it's common for both men and women to have minor fluctuations in their body weight, it's a helpful idea to keep an eye on your weight and make sure that you're doing everything in your power to stay healthy.

    Following a keto diet plan is an excellent way to jump-start your weight loss journey and start leading a healthier life. Remember, your diet should always be tailored to meet your individual needs to ensure you get the best results. Remember to take advantage of meal prepping and planning, as this can help make your diet much easier to stick to.

    Learn more about personalized keto diet plans from Certified Keto Diet today.

    Let's see how Certified Keto Diet can help you!