It’s a given – your weight fluctuates throughout the day. Sometimes, it’s easy to understand why, like when after eating your lunch, you already know you’re going to weigh more than before you ate your meal.
But why do you weigh less after a shower? If you have ever weighed yourself multiple times a day, you might have found that you somehow weigh considerably less after showering. If you’re wondering why that is, you’re not alone.
This result might lead you to believe that showers somehow contribute to weight loss, and you wouldn’t be far from the truth.
Does Taking a Shower Affect Your Weight?
Somehow, taking a shower does affect your weight, and in very surprising ways. For one, the skin is the largest organ of your body, and it absorbs fluid or water pretty easily. That means, when you’re taking a shower, your skin absorbs moisture. During a shower, the body can absorb around one to three cups of water, which can increase your weight by a couple of pounds.
Another potential reason why a shower can affect your weight is if you weigh yourself with damp hair. If you have a pixie cut, water in your hair doesn’t equate to much weight. But if you have long hair and it’s still damp from the shower, that can increase your weight considerably.
But sometimes, surprisingly, you weigh less after taking a shower. That doesn’t seem real, but other factors in the shower, like temperature, can make this happen.
Why Do I Weigh Less After Showering?
Taking a shower has become just another part of your daily routine, and you usually don’t think much about it. But if you’ve tried to scour the internet for weight loss plans, you’ve probably heard about how showering helps you lose weight.
If you’re the experimental type, you’ve probably even tried weighing yourself before and after a shower and found that you do indeed weigh less after a shower. That seems like magic, but there are possible reasons why that is so.
You Lose Dead Skin, Hair, and Dirt During a Shower
During a shower, you lose dead skin, stray hair, and dirt. While this is certainly some loss in mass, it is minimal and won’t generally affect how much you weigh. Still, that aids you in feeling lighter after taking a shower. Plus, you’re technically losing weight with all the shedding, even if it doesn’t show in the number you see on the weighing scale.
You Peed in the Shower
A more probable cause why you weigh lighter after a shower is that you probably relieved yourself in there, purposely or otherwise.
Taking a shower, especially a warm one helps relax the muscles, including the one you use to hold back urine. Meanwhile, when you take a cold shower, your blood pressure rises. In response to this, the kidneys will try pulling out excess fluid to reduce your blood pressure and warm you up, triggering the urge to pee more. Lastly, the sound of the pouring water in the shower also may trick you into feeling the need to urinate more.
Considering that a healthy bladder can hold around two cups of fluid, 400 to 500 milliliters, the number on the scale could potentially drop if you engaged in this activity while showering.
Shower Steam Gets Rid of Water Weight
Steam showers are incredibly relaxing and can help you lose weight as well. Think about it like a sauna. The steam in your shower causes your heart rate to increase, similar to an aerobic workout. Your pores will be open, and you flush a considerable amount of water, enough to shift the scale when you weigh yourself after taking a shower.
The steam, even as you get out of the shower, can also make you sweaty. Your body heats up, thus losing a considerable amount of weight as it tries to cool off through perspiration. This very act is another reason why you might weigh less after showering.
But remember, any weight you lose due to the steam in the shower is water weight. Drinking water will easily replace what you lost.
Hot Showers Burn Fat
Another reason why you may weigh less after a shower is that you took a hot one. According to some recent studies, showering or bathing in hot water for at least an hour can burn around 140 calories, thereby helping you lose weight. It’s the same number of calories you can burn during a 30-minute walk.
You won’t likely stay for a full hour taking a hot shower, no matter how relaxing it may sound. Still, you could potentially see a shift in the number on the scale even if you only take 15-minute hot showers daily.
Cold Showers Burn Even More Fat
The idea of taking a cold shower doesn’t seem inviting at all unless you’re trying to cool off during a particularly hot day. But getting a good rinse under frigid temperatures could be another reason you are shedding weight after a shower.
This has everything to do with the brown adipose tissue (BAT) or what most people call the “good” brown fat. Unlike the “bad” white fat that builds up in your body, causing weight gain, and is difficult to burn, brown fat is a cell structure that burns calories to fuel your body.
Brown fat is normally inactive, but it gets to work when your body temperature drops, like when you’re standing under a freezing shower. Thankfully, you don’t need to brave the icy cold shower for too long for the brown fat to start working.
Studies have found that a 5-minute cold shower can burn from 75 to 500 calories. The number of calories burned in cold showers will differ from person to person.
The idea is to take cold showers for at least 30 seconds, let the chilly water run over your neck, shoulders, and back since these are the areas where you can find a lot of brown fat which will be activated.
Try the Contrasting Shower Technique for Weight Loss
The contrasting shower technique, or switching from hot to cold then back to a hot shower again, is an age-old technique that helps with health and wellness, including weight loss. It’s a remarkable way to detox the body, reduce inflammation, and boost metabolism. The higher your metabolism, the more calories you burn.
How: Your hot shower should be 3x longer than your cold shower. Repeat the cycle, starting from hot then cold, up to two to three times in one go.
Keep in mind: Only practice contrasting showers if you are in good health and keep the temperature difference at 30-degrees maximum.