Weight fluctuation can be harmful to your health if you keep losing and gaining

Weight fluctuation throughout the course of a day is normal. Weight fluctuation throughout the course of your life, though, can be harmful.

We should strive to maintain a lifelong, consistent healthy weight. Fluctuation in large amounts throughout your life — that lose-gain-lose-gain cycle so many of us battle, the so-called “yo-yo dieting” — can tax the cardiovascular system, set the stage for diabetes, slow metabolism and make it increasingly difficult to lose weight. It also can permanently stretch skin out of shape.

Weight fluctuation also increases chances of a heart attack.

“For every one-and-a-half to two-pound change in weight fluctuation, the risk of any coronary or cardiovascular event was increased by 4% and the risk of death by 9%,” Dr. Sripal Bangalore, an interventional cardiologist at the NYU Langone Medical Center in New York City, told TheCardiologyAdvisor.com.

It’s normal to see your weight vary as much as four to five pounds over the course of a day. Most of us weigh the least in the morning and the most at the end of the day.

“Since most of us can’t eat enough in a day or two to actually gain five or 10 pounds, if you notice a dramatic increase on the scale, chances are it’s due to water,” Dr. Anita Petruzzelli, writes in Shape. “Eating, drinking, urinating, having a bowel movement and exercise can all impact your body’s water composition and therefore weight.”

True weight gain or loss takes time.

Several medical procedures commonly have weight fluctuations as a common side effect. Though there several factors are involved, water retention is a major contributor to postsurgical weight fluctuation.

Environmental Nutrition is an independent newsletter written by nutrition experts to provide information on health and nutrition.

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