The picture above is an actual progress chart showing the 20 pound weight loss trajectory over a 3-month period of one of my online coaching clients.

I show this to illustrate that while you might expect weight loss to look a little more linear (see the red line), in reality, just as in all areas of life, there will inevitably be some bumps along the road.

What’s most important is the overall trend over time.

Fluctuations in body weight are common. There are two things that need to be understood here.

One, how to correctly get your true body weight. In order to save yourself from needless frustration, watch the video below.


Two, there are many reasons why your body weight may fluctuate by 2-3 pounds in a matter of a few days or even a day. These include:

  • Water retention from salty foods you recently ate
  • Weighing yourself mid-day when you have food and liquid in your system (see the video above)
  • Consistently getting too little sleep
  • Not having gone to the bathroom yet
  • Whether it is “that time of the month”

The bottom line is, occasionally, even when you’re doing everything correctly, your weight will still fluctuate. That’s normal. Unfortunately, this is where a lot of people give up. They think that because the number isn’t steadily going down every single day, that they are not on the right track.

In reality, 99% of the time, that weight fluctuation is from water, food, and stuff in your body for lack of a better word… NOT actual body fat. You have not gained 2-3 pounds of fat in two days I promise.

Also, you should not solely be relying on the scale as your only indicator of progress. In addition to your body weight, you need to be paying attention to your: 

  • Body fat percentage
  • Circumference measurements
  • Progress photos
  • Energy levels
  • Sleep quality
  • Overall mood
  • Confidence
  • Sex life

Read: How To Assess Your Fitness Progress Without The Scale for more information on this.

My advice for dealing with fluctuations on the scale is always to trust the process, stay consistent and your weight WILL go down over time.

Committed To Your Health,

Brian DonovanBrian Donovan is a certified fitness and nutrition coach, and the founder of Online Fitness Coach, LLC – an online fitness program where clients get direct coaching and personally tailored training and nutrition plans. Coach Brian was voted Chicago’s “Best Personal Trainer” by Chicago Reader magazine, Best Of Chicago 2014 edition. He has been featured in magazines such as Muscle & Fitness, Chicago Reader, Voyage Chicago, and The PTDC as well various other health and fitness blogs.

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