My 5 pound scale swing in 2 days

By Dr. Ron Hekier December 29, 2016

It’s so easy to get discouraged.


Losing confidence and getting discouraged happen so fast, and maintaining focus and staying on track take a lot more effort.

It’s important to recognize that some short term setbacks in weight loss, are not only short term, but even illusions.

Day to day weight changes are common, and for many people it is common to see a 1% increase or decrease in body weight from one day to the next.

For a 200 lbs. person, that’s a 2 lbs. swing from one day to the next.

I weigh myself daily and record the weight in an app called LoseIt.


A year ago I learned that when I go out to eat sushi, my weight the next day will typically increase 2 to 3 pounds.

It happened again this week.  I weighed 189.5 on the morning of December 26. I went out for sushi with my family that night. The next day, December 27th, I weighed 192.7, a gain of 3.2 pounds. The following day, I weighed 190.2, a loss from the previous day of 2.5 pounds.

All told, in 2 days my weight I had a 5 pound scale swing in 2 days.  But I didn’t freak out because I know that it is natural to see daily weight changes.

Our body weight is 60% water, and that is where most of the minor daily weight changes occur.

Here are some causes of weight fluctuations:

  1.  Eating more carbohydrates than typical.

    For every gram of carbohydrate your body stores in  the form of glycogen, it stores with it almost 3 grams of water.  If you’ve had a high carb intake recently, your body might retain more water than typical, and it will temporarily increase your weight.

    By the way, that’s why some people see significant weight loss when starting a low carbohydrate diet.  They are actually losing a lot of water not fat.

  2. Eating more sodium than usual.

    As in my case above, eating sodium such as seafood, processed foods, or processed meats will cause water retention.

  3. Weighing yourself later in the day.

    We typically weigh the least first thing in the morning. I always weight myself first thing in the morning after going to the bathroom.

If you are trying to maintain your weight, or lose weight, keep an eye on the overall trend over the course of 10 – 14 days and don’t get discouraged about a few pounds up or down from one day to the next.


My 5 pound scale swing in 2 days was expected and not a sign of a long term problem.

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Dr. Ron Hekier Dr. Ron Hekier

Dr. Ron Hekier

2717 Summerhill Road, Texarkana, TX, 75503