I made it a goal to just lose two pounds this week. I've limited my calorie intake and upped the protein and whole food consumption. No extra sugars.
I also think weighing myself every day is a good motivator (or demotivator as the case may be). I'm athletic, so I drink lots of water and go to the gym regularly even if I'm doing something else physical.
So why is it that on some days I weigh 155, and days like today, 158? 155. 157. 154. 158. Etc. It is driving me nuts. I have no idea how to gauge what I'm doing because I don't even know if it's working.
It's been this way forever. If someone asks me what I weigh, I always guess between 158 and 154. It literally bounces back and forth, back and forth. There's got to be a reason for it. It seems like if I get to 154 my metabolism changes to stabilize me at a higher rate and then I can lose that same four pounds again.
I am so frustrated. I just want to give up and accept that despite the health benefits and self esteem benefits, it's pointless. I've been at this for years.
01-07-2007, 01:46 PM
It's very normal. Look at your weight loss over time.
I hated weighing myself every day because it made me crazy. So many variables during the day can affect weight - from how much you eat and drink to eating salty foods or period bloat. Very few people lose pounds on a daily basis, weight loss over a period of months is a much better view of progress.
When I switched to weighing once a week, I finally was able to see some consistency. I didn't lose weight EVERY week, but when I looked at my chart over time, I was definitely about to see the graph going down.
01-07-2007, 02:40 PM
I do weigh myself daily, and I log each weight. Someone suggested I look only at the weight every 7 days, so I did. I've been logging since January, so I have a lot of data. I logged every weight into an Excel spreadsheet. Then I did a second page with only the weight every 7 days. Even though I bounced around a lot on a daily basis, almost every week I did see a loss. It was quite inspiring! I still weigh daily. I have to otherwise my head gets too big and I think I'm doing fine and then I'll go overboard. I need that daily check to make sure I'm not getting out of whack totally.
01-07-2007, 03:51 PM
you cant tell over the course of a week how you are doing whether you weigh once or 7 times, I honestly dont judge a program for 3 weeks.
I fluctuate at least that much depending on water weight, poop status, how much sleep I got, etc.
I weigh 4-6 times a week, but I pay attention to only the lows, new lows mean I am losing. learn your normal range, dont try to assign a cause to every fluctuation
01-07-2007, 04:40 PM
If I weigh every day it seems to take FOREVER to lose and I get discouraged. It's easy when discouraged to throw in the towel and eat. Very wrong move. It's better if I weigh once a week, while of course following my program faithfully. At the moment I'm weighing every day or every couple of days because I want to guard against weight GAIN, but finally after 2 weeks I think I have a solid loss to chart.
01-07-2007, 05:51 PM
We have to learn patience about this.
Remember that scales measure ALL of you, not just your fat, but your water, muscle and bone.
One of the biggest reasons scales fluctuate on a day to day basis seems to be water. We have a LOT of water in us, and how much is affected by sodium, time of month, exercise, how much water you are retaining, etc. So the scale goes up and down a lot because of the amount of water in your system.
This is one of the reasons people recommend weighing once a week. There are still fluctuations, but they even out some.
01-07-2007, 08:59 PM
I still weigh daily. I have to otherwise my head gets too big and I think I'm doing fine and then I'll go overboard. I need that daily check to make sure I'm not getting out of whack totally.
That was my point in doing it in the first place, but all your advice has made some sense.
I like the three week advice. But how does one know if the program is working over that period of time? Any loss is good, loss on goal is good? What?
Thank you SO much!
01-07-2007, 09:32 PM
You can weigh as often as you choose, but the more frequently you weigh, the more you need to be able to deal with the fluctuations.
I wasn't sure what you mean by: "Any loss is good, loss on goal is good? What?"
For most of us, the goal is FAT loss, but the scales we use don't distinguish between fat, muscle and water. As we lose weight, we naturally lose fat AND muscle. Losing muscle isn't optimal, but we lose it anyway. (One way to fix that is to add weight lifting into your routine).
So ANY loss may not be good, unless your focus is simply the number on the scale, and you don't care if it's fat, water or muscle...
01-07-2007, 10:03 PM
I'm sorry I looked a little ignorant about the loss. I actually have a body fat caliper that works fairly well to tell me where I am in the muscle/water/body fat world, as well as I'm at a weight where a true five-pound loss is obvious on me (the little hip bump goes away).
I guess I'm asking what a successful diet is. In my current method, I track activity, diet, and nutrients and if my weight isn't going down at the rate the calculations say, I figure I'm doing something wrong. It's supposed to be "simple math," right? So with the advice to judge a diet after three weeks . . . what am I looking at? Simple numbers? Did my weight loss match up to calculations?
My big problem is that activity fluctuation. I just went on a 5 mile cross-country mountain trek and I'd imagine that will lower my weight in the long run as I burned about a day's worth of calories doing it, but I can't tell if my diet is working when I exercise in fits and starts like that and look at the sum total.
Does that make sense?
01-07-2007, 10:26 PM
Well, maculated, if your goal is to lose 23 pounds, then ... I guess a successful diet is one that will get you there. If the program you are following isn't getting you there, then it's not successful.
When I first started using the FitDay tracker, it told me lies as far as my own individual experience went. It indicated that I was using more calories than I do, and therefore that I could eat X number of calories and lose weight. Well, it didn't work. So I had to figure out what did work. I had to adjust the settings so that my basic calorie burn per day, without exercise, is totally sedentary when not sleeping, or around 1800-1900 calories. Then I add calories for any exercise. And I have a weight loss goal, and the program tells me how many calories I can eat to reach that goal. Even with my adjustments, I often hit a rough spot where I just am not losing much. Those are the tough times.
I figure that my body can't be "wrong"--it's the program that's off. Either it's off on the calories it's estimating or on other values, and so then I have to work around that to get to where I'm losing.
No way could I do a 5-mile crosscountry mountain trek, but I exercise every day, often twice a day. I'm not talking extreme, just basic aerobic plus some weight training. But I do it consistently.
Well, I hope you can get somewhere!
01-07-2007, 11:08 PM
it is NOT simple math, it is very very complex math. At it's core it is simple Calories In vs. Calories Out
But Calories OUT is a very very complex thing, depending on SO many factors that it can only be estimated through trial and error. Most people find that in Fitday they have to put their "activity" level at "bed bound" to start with.
Success is defined for me as a program that works for me to lose weight AND be something I could do for the rest of my life. If it is not maintainable, I am not interested. But as far as judging, if at the end of 3 weeks you are still seeing highs of 158 and lows of 154 then, you know you have to change something in your plan (move more or eat less). If at the end of 3 weeks you see highs of 156 and lows of 152 then you can think about whether 2/3 lb per week works for you, is there something you want to tweak, etc.
Also, if you have TOM it can totally throw your numbers off for a week so try not to make judgments based around TOM. For better accuracy, although most people arent that patient, you should wait 28 days or whatever your cycle is so you can see cycle to cycle what you do. (Bob Greene - Oprah's dude-said once if he had his way, nobody would weigh for the first THREE months of a program)
01-08-2007, 12:07 AM
Sorry I misunderstood!
Yeah, I think the answer is that everything's an estimate and some of the estimates are way off.
And then there's the fact that our bodies don't lose weight in a linear fashion. In a given week with similar intake and exercise I can have a number of different short term results! one week I will gain, one week lose and one week stay the same... all from doing what appears to be the same thing.
I have learned to be patient about it. Perhaps one of the toughest lessons of all!
01-08-2007, 01:11 AM
Such wonderful replies, thank you.
It took me a while to figure out TOM, but I think I'm on it now.
This is the first time I've heard some of this, and I run with a very body/fitness/diet oriented crowd. This forum is great. Thank you SO much for taking the time to reply to my concerns. :)
01-08-2007, 09:49 AM
It took me a while to figure out TOM, but I think I'm on it now.
heh. Yes, "Time Of Month" for anyone else out there. You know, it took me a while to get that one too, and here I am just using it so casually.
NSV = non scale victory -- that's another one it can take people a while to figure out...
01-08-2007, 10:30 AM
lol its funny because in all my other forums TOM has been AF for "aunt flo".
01-08-2007, 04:16 PM
It sounds like water weight to me - water weight can change by 1 lb up to 12 (or more!) pounds seemingly overnight. I remember one particular period I had that was really REALLY bad - the worst bloating, the worst headache, backache, cramps... mood swings... OMG, I thought I was turning into Satan himself! - lol! - but what really got me was that I had gained nearly 16 pounds! - in like 2 days! - it was water weight. (thank god).
I think maybe you could do better by measuring another way. As in inches - that's a better accuracy of your progress, anyway. I'm not saying don't ever weigh yourself, but inches count more than pounds.