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What do you think? Scale Issues

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Old 09-11-2009, 01:16 AM   #1
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Default What do you think? Scale Issues

I'm getting frustrated with day to day fluctuations in weight. Mine are as much as 5 pounds. I know I should weigh myself at the same time every day, but that really doesn't seem to matter. I think I'm going to go by how I feel, not weigh myself til my birthday (Mid November) and then I can just focus on how I feel and how my clothes fit rather than numbers on a scale. I think if I don't weigh myself all the time, usually a couple times a day to a couple times a week (one drawback to the wii balance board having a scale), I think it will better for my sanity that way.
Anyone else gone through this?

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Old 09-11-2009, 01:27 AM   #2
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My weight easily fluctuates five pounds within just one day as well. It's really frustrating and makes me wonder where the heck I am or how I'm doing at times.

My weight is usually at its lowest throughout the day as soon as I wake up in the morning, so I step on the scale as soon as I first use the bathroom and try to stick with that. I try not to put too much thought into it though, and instead focus on the long term of how I've been gradually losing over time.
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Old 09-11-2009, 01:32 AM   #3
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*I've edited my post as it was pointed out to me that I was completely off base. I am incredibly sorry if my misinformation based on my own experience was taken to heart*
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Old 09-11-2009, 01:54 AM   #4
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Same clothes, not always the same time of day, and I rarely eat prepackaged foods, and I don't add salt, So that isn't the issue. I don't have a regular sleep pattern, can't get that worked out just yet, working on it though. I am trying, my body just doesn't want to cooperate. It's not the scale either, I use the Wii Fit Balance Board as a scale, it's digital (of course), as is the one in the bathroom.
Off to bed I go to try to get my sleep.
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Old 09-11-2009, 02:42 AM   #5
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Here's is what my doctor said: Please, if you value your sanity, don't weigh in every day! I was just driving myself nuts for a while with the flucuations in my weight. Sometimes could be TOM, could be anything. The main point was that I didn't gain 4 pounds of fat and then lose it in two days. There was a very HIGH chance it was just water. Just my 2 cents. :-)
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Old 09-11-2009, 03:06 AM   #6
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(where is Sandy to fill in my lecture!)

Absolutely!

If you find yourself addicted to the scale why not try some time without it? I would set up some other "measurements." Try a calendar where you put stickers on -- everyday that you stayed OP, a gold star -- everyday you exercised, a smiley face. Break out the fabric tape and measure yourself. Show that scale who's boss!

I am heavier by 4-6 pounds every evening. No joke.
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Old 09-11-2009, 03:16 AM   #7
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I wouldn't leave it as long as November.
I do not cope with daily weighing (never have weighed more than that, I'm happy to take the lowest, morning reading). Partly if I don't see a positive change each day, however irrational I know it is, I freak out. Partly if I DO see a positive change one day, it makes me slack off rather than encourages me to do better.
Once a week is good for accountability - if I go too long, I slack off too.
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Old 09-11-2009, 04:37 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by cfmama View Post
Do you mean that your weight swings 5 pounds from one day to the next? Are you weighing at the exact same time in the same clothes (or not) every single day? Because if you are... then you are either taking in a BUTTLOAD of sodium OR your scale is wonky.
Absolutely not true. My weight can easily fluctuate 10 lbs or more during TOM and up to 6 the rest of the month. At my highest weight, the fluctuations were even greater. My scale is extremely accurate (it weighs my husband the same from day to day), and my dietary sodium is extrememly low, often too low. I grew up in a low-salt household, and I've never developed much of a "salt tooth." My blood levels run low, and in the past, I even had to take prescription sodium before surgery.

Weight can fluctuate for a lot of (completely normal and healthy) reasons, and the more weight to lose, the more it can fluctuation. 5 lbs to me, is not the same as 5 lbs to someone weighing 110 lbs. It's probably more like 1 lb to someone that thin.

Weight fluctuations can come from

water retention (sodium or hormonally related as well as other reasons)

the weight of water in the digestive system (16 ounces of water, weighs a lb)

the weight of undigested food and waste in the stomach and intestines (particularly if you eat a large quantity of vegetable).


The human body can hold 20 lbs or more of undigested food. Most people don't retain that much, but if you eat higher fiber foods, even if they're low in calorie, they can cause temporary fluctuations due to the weight of the food during digestion. Even if you're eating 1800 calories every day - 1800 calories of food weighs anything from 1/2 lb (if it were all fat) to several pounds. A pound of mustard greens has about 60 calories (which I ate for dinner tonight, along with a couple ounces of beef). I simmered the greens and beef in 2 cups of chicken broth (about 50 calories, but it weighs a lb). I also had a 20 oz beverage with dinner (that means if I had weighed myself before and after dinner. After dinner I would have seen a gain of about 3.25 lbs).

Weighing at the same time, nude every day would help some, but many of us don't have clockwork digestive systems. To be graphic, since I don't poo every day (and that can be perfectly normal and healthy for some people. It can also be a side effect of IBS, which I have) Even though I eat a lot of high fiber fruits and vegetables and take a fiber supplement, I tend to carry around my undigested food a bit longer than most people. I also don't eat the same weight of food every day, so the fluctuations are completely normal for me.


My solution to the problem of getting stressed over the unpredictability of the scale wasn't to give up weighing daily, it was to learn not to get stressed out over the daily fluctuations. I did that by learning about why and how my weight fluctuates. I weighed several times a day. Before and after eating or drinking, going to the bathroom, before bed, first thing in the morning, after exercise. It helped me see the patterns of weight fluctuation.

Now, I weigh daily, but I only "count" my Monday weigh-in. When I don't weigh daily, I find I'm more likely to be less rigorous with my food plan. I fall off plan, because I'm not paying attention.

Whatever it takes (whether it's weighing every 15 minutes or once every 3 months) to see the scale as a tool and your weight as an indication of success, not proof of failure.
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Last edited by kaplods : 09-11-2009 at 04:49 AM.
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Old 09-11-2009, 04:59 AM   #9
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I weigh 120 lbs and my scale can fluctuate between 118 and 124 depending on the time of day and what clothes I have on. I love salt and diet coke so I think that may be alot of why it happens for me. When I weighed in the 190's I had the same range of fluctuations. Maybe weigh yourself once a week on the same day at the same time?
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Old 09-11-2009, 06:06 AM   #10
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I personally think waiting till mid-November is too long of a time to go without weighing. When I was 287 lbs, it took at least 35 pounds, maybe 50, I can't recall exactly, till I noticed a difference in myself. If what I had been doing was "not working", I sure as heck didn't want to wait months to find that out. No siree. No way. Nu uh.

We are all different. When I became responsible and mature about my eating intake, when I started counting my calories, tracking what I was consuming - eating healthy, I also became mature and responsible with EVERYthing about my body. My body. And that meant frequent weighing. It's my body. And there is a tool available to let me know how much I weigh. And after avoiding it for close to 15 years, it was time to use it. I weighed myself every day, first thing in the morning, same time of day, same clothing, same spot, same situation. Once a day. That was it. Looked at the number. Moved on. Recorded that number only on Mondays. Got used to and learned to DEAL with the fluctuations. Because it's my body. And I want to be in tune with it.

I do think the most important thing you can focus on right now, is getting your food plan firmly in place. Getting those healthy good eating/exercise behaviors implanted in your brain. Because when you do that, the scale (your body, that is) will shed the pounds. So of course that is the most important thing, IMO. But that doesn't mean we have to hide from the scale. It's a tool. It's a way of knowing what's going on. I personally don't think it's reasonable and makes any sense to weigh more then once in the morning. And I don't think it's reasonable and makes any sense to weigh much less often then that as well. Of course we've all got to find what works for us.
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Old 09-11-2009, 06:24 AM   #11
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once a week or once a month, when you wake up, before you eat and barefoot (i always do it in my pijamas). that is the only way to weigh yourself and stay sane. fluctuations on a daily basis is normal and it is best not to know it happens.
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Old 09-11-2009, 08:14 AM   #12
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I weight like Robin described.

Some people let the scale rule them, to some it's just too much and they can't help but obsess over it. Others see it as a tool. I'm in the tool catagory... if I don't hop on that scale every morning I have a harder time staying on track. I don't necessarily weigh the same time every day, but I do so after the same series of events has happened... I have peed and fed the baby, then I weigh in my bra and panties. If it's up, no big deal, if its down I get excited, but I only "count" my weight on Mondays.

If you can't handle the scale being there, then put it away, but I agree with others.. you need to weigh at least once a month, but I would suggest once a week. You need to know if what you are doing is working and the scale is a tool to help you with that, as is a tape measure.
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Old 09-11-2009, 08:25 AM   #13
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My solution to the problem of getting stressed over the unpredictability of the scale wasn't to give up weighing daily, it was to learn not to get stressed out over the daily fluctuations. I did that by learning about why and how my weight fluctuates. I weighed several times a day. Before and after eating or drinking, going to the bathroom, before bed, first thing in the morning, after exercise. It helped me see the patterns of weight fluctuation.
I couldn't have said it better

I can fluctuate daily even if I weight myself at the same time/clothes/etc...the human body is an amazing creature. The more you know the less you'll freak out at the number on the scale.

If you need to take a break from the number god then go to weighing in once a week or so....it's a tool to help keep you on track, not the end of the world
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Old 09-11-2009, 09:52 AM   #14
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I weigh myself every day, but somehow, I've gotten pretty good about NOT freaking out. I give myself a little self talk. If it's up, I say, "oh well, that's good, because when that water comes off I'll probably lose..." If it's down, I step on the scale three times. If it stays down all three times I immediately record it on my fitday and here. That's my "reward". If it fluctuates back up, I ignore it.

But the reason that's working for me is that I KNOW I've been on plan, because I always record my calories every day. That gives me a sense of control.

On the other hand, there are a lot of things that are working for me now that seemed harder to master when I was younger.... why? I don't know.
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Old 09-11-2009, 11:11 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by kaplods View Post
My solution to the problem of getting stressed over the unpredictability of the scale wasn't to give up weighing daily, it was to learn not to get stressed out over the daily fluctuations. I did that by learning about why and how my weight fluctuates. I weighed several times a day. Before and after eating or drinking, going to the bathroom, before bed, first thing in the morning, after exercise. It helped me see the patterns of weight fluctuation.

Now, I weigh daily, but I only "count" my Monday weigh-in. When I don't weigh daily, I find I'm more likely to be less rigorous with my food plan. I fall off plan, because I'm not paying attention.

Whatever it takes (whether it's weighing every 15 minutes or once every 3 months) to see the scale as a tool and your weight as an indication of success, not proof of failure.
yep, this is my thinking too. I weigh myself fairly often, some days a couple of times a day (some days I skip). It did drive me a littel crazy at one point.
I had to get into my head that the scale is one tool for me to use. Yes, it helps me to feel responsible and to think about my efforts, so I'm not going to discard it. My weight can fluctuate by usually around 3 to 5 lbs in a day. I'm sure sometimes more. I write down my weight from my Friday morning weigh in my journal (I weigh myself on the same day of the week, at the same time, with no clothes). Next to the weight, I write notes, like how often I went to the gym, any challenges or if I was sick or ate off program, TOM.

I love the phrase "indication of success not proof of failure." There is no failure except giving up, and even when you give up there's always the door open of re-embracing the effort.
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