When we measure progress we use several tools here at FBBN. We use these different methods:

  • scale weight
  • measurements
  • pictures

This is also where it is important to note anything that can have an effect on Total Body Water such as –

  •  Inflammation from training load
  •  Medications prescribed ie blood pressure medication or non-prescribed ie marijuana, CBD
  •  Supplements such as cell volumising products ie creatine, beta alanine, pre workouts etc.
  •  Carbohydrate dense foods
  •  Sodium
  •  Hormonal changes
  •  Severe temperature changes
  •  Caffeine
  •  Dehydration (it is common for people to not want to drink water before a “weigh in”)
  •  Alcohol

Menstrual Cycle & Menopause

 From a hormonal perspective, there are significant fluid shifts within the menstrual cycle as you can see from the diagram depicting the controlling hormone changes.

You can see where the hormones rise, this is where you will see significant fluid shifts.  The first 5-7 days are the best days to weight, measure, take pics and scan, where the hormone levels are fairly stable.   The levels of hormones oestrogen and progesterone fluctuate throughout the cycle and can lead to water retention. Water retention is highest around the midpoint of the monthly cycle and the 1-2 weeks before a period.

It is important to note that this is a guide only and you will come across the odd person that typically holds fluid in different circumstances, but for the most part, use this is a general guide.

Similarly, women in peri, post or menopause can experience fluid shifts due to drops in oestrogen and progesterone.  The take home message is to do your check-ins and progress data at the same time of the day within 4 or 8 weeks from each other to try and keep standardised scanning conditions.

Training, Inflammation and Other Factors

Significant training loads can produce inflammation and fluid retention.  Sometimes you may experience a check-in result where the results may not be reflecting your expectation.  It is not uncommon for some people to experience plateaus and sometimes increases during a fat loss phase.  It is never a linear process and the human body is subject to a number of different processes to recover, replenish and normalise certain functions.  In most cases, if people are complient, they should measure their body stats again at another interval (under the same conditions) to reassess.  It is always important to stay on track and discuss the various factors that could potentially show a result that didn’t meet expectations with your coach.

From a nutrition perspective, reducing carbohydrate consumption will initially provide a substantial change as 1 gram of carbohydrate bonds with approximately 3 grams of water, so this is why there is often a decent change from the first to second scan result in a fat loss phase.

Carbohydrates are also required to replenish glycogen stores in the muscle (as well as the liver).  Excess carbohydrates or a high carbohydrate meal can momentarily clause fluid shifts and alter a scan result, so keeping food choices similar in nature around scanning, is important.



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