This is why you weigh less in the morning

This is why you weigh less in the morning

If you’re on some sort of body-changing journey – either losing, gaining, or maintaining your weight – your path will inevitably lead to the scale at some point. 

But it’s not as simple as stepping on the scale when it’s convenient, documenting the number, and moving on. When you step on the scale can actually make a difference in how much you weigh!

For example, people tend to weigh less in the morning than they do at night – even though they’re probably not gaining weight over those 12 hours, right?

So why do you weigh less in the morning?

There are a few factors at work here, starting with the fact you likely weren’t drinking or eating overnight. 

“Other factors help us weigh less in the morning, too, such as shifts in body fluids that happen overnight,” Ruby Shah, MD, a double board-certified internist at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Plano, says. 

Dr. Shah explained that we lose water through a number of basic functions, like breathing, sweating, and of course, going to the bathroom in the middle of the night. 

“Since water accounts for about 50 to 60 percent of an adult’s body weight, these small changes can add or subtract a few pounds,” she said.

scale with cereal and measuring tape

Chris Airey, MD, medical director at telehealth clinic Optimale, adds that your body also continues digesting during the night, which could be reflected on the scale the next morning. 

“You may have burned some extra calories,” Dr. Airey said.

Related: Trying to lose weight? Eat this first thing in the morning

Scale changes can also seem significant from day to day – so if you notice you suddenly jumped up a pound or two since your last weight in a couple of days ago, don’t sweat it. 

“Weight can fluctuate up to two pounds daily, depending on what you had to eat the day before, when you last ate, and when you last had a bowel movement,” Susan Besser, MD, a primary care provider specializing in family medicine with Mercy Personal Physicians at Overlea, explained.

Photo Credit: AtlasStudio/; carballo/

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