Thursday, February 10, 2011

Weight Tracking Morning vs. Night

My weight always seemed to vary each time I visited the doctor, bouncing between 145 lbs and 155 lbs. My curiosity peaked and I had to test for weight fluctuations during the course of a day. Over 15 days I recorded my weight, without clothing, morning and night. Unfortunately I didn’t measure my weight at exactly the same times each day, nor did I specifically control a number of other variables. However, by living as I normally would, this test maintains a high external validity.

Over the course of this test my average morning weight was equal to 147.95 lbs. The average of my nightly weights came out to be 149.57 lbs. An average difference of 1.61 lbs between morning and night weights.

Why it happens:

According to Discovery Health the body processes of respiration and transpiration (sweat) account for a significant amount of weight loss during the night. This is because of the very high percentage of water in the body and it’s relatively high density.

Livestrong attributes the weight loss not to water loss, but caloric consumption by body processes during sleep. The body repairs muscles and organs as well as carrying out micro-level cellular functions which all consume nutrient, thus consuming weight.

A combination of these two explanations seems logical.

What’s the significance?

Okay, so I tracked my weight. What this means to you is that we can see from my data that throughout the course of a day there seems to be a tendency to gain weight. So here’s what I suggest. Get your exercise done in the morning! You’ll be carrying less weight for the task. Also, watch what you eat towards the end of the day. It seems that I “sleep” off some weight over the night so try to keep it that way by not snacking before you hit the sack again.

Maybe you interpret the data this way: do your exercise in the evening to burn off some of those extra calories you picked up during the day. However you decide to plan your exercise, hopefully you’ll keep this in mind. It’s obvious that I lost weight during the night, so we can assume that will apply to the average person.

It also means that by the time you wake in the morning your body is most likely dehydrated to a certain degree and most likely lacking in nutrients. So chug some water and maybe down a power bar before you hit that morning exercise so that your body has what it needs to function optimally.


I can conclude, from this data, that I weigh less in the morning than I do at night. I cannot say, conclusively, that all people follow this trend, however it seems likely. This is, by its self, no large revelation. However I hope it brings some awareness to you be it whimsical or educational.

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