If you’ve ever tried to weigh yourself twice in one day, you’ll know that the number that shows up on the scales can often differ dramatically (looking at you, big bowel movement.)
But one fitness blogger has demonstrated just how much your body can change in the course of 24 hours, and it’s pretty bloody eye-opening.
Earlier this week, Lauren Tickner - aka @laurenfitness – took to Instagram to share a side-by-side comparison post of her fluctuating figure.
One snap (labelled ‘morning’) shows off Lauren’s trim waist and sculpted abs. In the other (labelled ‘evening’) her mid-section appears significantly distended.
“Having a fuller stomach due to eating & going about your day is not something you should be concerned about!” she captioned the images. “It happens to all of us!”
Lauren explained that she’d been on a long-haul flight the same day the pics were taken, causing her body to swell and retain water. She also added that she suffers from chronic inflammatory bowel disorder, which sometimes means she bloats after eating.
“The way my body looks on the right is just a temporary thing which will go away through getting back into my normal routine; aka eating well, drinking lots of water and doing exercise,” she wrote.
But despite her condition and the travel-factor, Lauren said that the differences in her morning and evening photos would still have been noticeable.
Why? Because fluctuation in shape, size and weight is totally normal. And Rhiannon Lambert, registered nutritionist and founder of clinic Rhitrition, concurs.
Speaking to The Independent, she revealed the science behind why our bodies look and feel so different throughout the day.
“It is a very simple case of the fact that after a night sleep we have digested our food and we are often dehydrated; therefore our bodies appear slimmer and lighter,” she said. “It is common for an average body to fluctuate in weight by 2-3kg over the course of the day.”
However, this doesn’t necessarily reflect an increase in body fat. The change can be put down to a myriad of dietary and lifestyle factors.
“If you consumed a high-carbohydrate or high-sodium meal the night before, you might retain more fluid. A heavy weight-lifting session can also make you retain water the next day because of the swelling around the micro-tears in your muscles,” Lambert said.
“Hormonal changes, especially around the time of the month, can affect how slim you feel in the morning.”
NB: If your bloating becomes painful and/or constant you should always see a doctor to get it checked out further.