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Is Bodyweight Higher on Weekends? (Research Explained)

Updated: Nov 28, 2021

TL;DR: Bodyweight seems to be higher during the weekend days compared to weekdays.

Daily variations in body weight are common, and they are caused by a variety of reasons, such as the following.


  • Hydration status

  • Food intake

  • Physical activity

  • Bowel and bladder activity


So is bodyweight higher on weekends?


Bodyweight goes up significantly higher during the weekend (Friday-Monday) than it does on weekdays (Monday-Friday). This bodyweight increase over the weekend is due to increased food consumption and a less exercise, resulting in lower energy expenditure.



Table of Contents:


When compared to weekdays, many individuals' food and exercise habits are significantly different on weekends, with possible implications for body weight that may encourage the development or maintenance of overweight and obesity if the pattern is repeated throughout the year.


For example; the holiday days surrounding Thanksgiving have shown changes in weight. (1)


Increased food consumption on weekends in comparison to weekdays may impede weight reduction and lead to an increase in bodyweight after weight loss, in addition to contributing to the development of obesity.


woman eating a donut while standing on weight scales

Is Bodyweight Higher On Weekends?

One study researched bodyweight changes over the course of the week. Interestingly, the researchers found that bodyweight was higher on weekends. (2)


When attempting to lose weight, people often check the scale to keep track of their progress.


This should be done under consistent circumstances, such as first thing in the morning after a bathroom visit, in order to avoid confusion.



Participants of this study weighed themselves every day of the week at the start of the study and on different subsequent weeks during the course of the study, which lasted one year.


The researchers also monitored the participants' caloric intake and energy expenditure using food diaries and activity monitors.


When comparing the weekend days (Friday, Saturday and Sunday), bodyweight was consistently greater than it was during the weekdays (Monday to Thursday).


weekend bodyweight change graph

This weight difference was explained by a greater caloric intake and a lower energy expenditure (such as exercise and NEAT) on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.


Therefore, you should establish a schedule for how often you weigh yourself. Alternatively, weigh in on a daily basis and keep track of the weekly average and not stress about day to day fluctuations.



How Much Weight Can You Gain Over the Weekend?

Of course it depends on your own individual lifestyle and diet, but one study published in the August 2003 issue of Obesity Research researched how much weigh people gained over the course of a weekend.


The researchers discovered that Americans aged 19 to 50 consume, on average, an extra 115 calories a day on the weekend (Friday, Saturday and Sunday) than they do on the other days of the week.


That's an additional 17,940 calories (about 5 pounds) consumed over the course of a year.


But this number could be much higher or lower depending an individuals diet and lifestyle.


Will a Weekend Binge Ruin My Diet?

In simple terms, yes. A weekend binge has the potential to ruin your diet and increase weight gain.


Any increase in caloric intake will either be used or stored as fat tissue if total caloric intake goes past your total daily caloric expenditure (TDEE).


This fat tissue gained by a binge will need to be reduced by energy expenditure such as exercise or a caloric deficit.


Why Does It Matter?

Day to day bodyweight fluctuations are normal.


You should weigh yourself consistently at the same time on the same day of the week. Otherwise, your weight will be change if you weigh yourself on different days and times.


This change in body weight could demotivate you or provide unreliable and inconsistent results.



 

Further Reading

 

References

This section contains links to research, studies, and sources of information for this article, as well as authors, contributors, etc. All sources, along with the article and facts, are subjected to a series of quality, reliability, and relevance checks.

Real Muscle primarily uses high-quality sources, such as peer-reviewed publications, to back up the information in our articles. To understand more about how we fact-check and keep our information accurate, dependable, and trustworthy, read more about us.

This evidence-based analysis of weekend weight fluctuation features 2 references, listed below.

1. Klesges RC, Klem ML, Bene CR. Effects of dietary restraint, obesity, and gender on holiday eating behavior and weight gain. J Abnorm Psychol. (1989, Nov) ✔

2. Racette SB, Weiss EP, Schechtman KB, Steger-May K, Villareal DT, Obert KA, Holloszy JO. Influence of weekend lifestyle patterns on body weight. Obesity (Silver Spring). (2008, Aug) (Randomised Controlled Trial) ✔

Citations with a tick indicate the information is from a trusted source.

 

The information provided in this article is not intended to replace professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the guidance of a physician or other competent professional before following advice or taking any supplement. See our terms and conditions.



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