Weight Loss Support - Plateau Question!!

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04-22-2007, 07:48 AM
Hey all! =)

I've been hearing some people say they get stuck on a certain weight for some time. They say they don't change anything they're eating and doing everything the same but the weight won't go down, so does that mean when you're working out you're not losing anything or is your body still getting thinner and healthier but not showing on the scale? Hope that made sense! lol Just thought I'd ask, because I was at the same weight all last week but yesterday when I weighted myself I did lose some! yay!

04-22-2007, 08:06 AM
Yes, you definitively can be losing fat at the same time you're not losing weight on the scales. That's because scales measure everything in your body: skin, bone, muscle, hair, blood, fat and water. And water is often the reason that fat loss doesn't show up on the scales right away.

An obesity researcher explained it this way to me - often when a fat cell empties out, it temporarily fills up with water. The fat is gone - yay! - but you can't tell on the scales because of the water. Then sometimes we have a big water whoosh and the scale drops down a couple of pounds overnight. We didn't lose that much fat overnight of course - it's just that the water finally left the fat cells.

It happens to me a lot - if I seem to spend a day running to the bathroom (or especially overnight), then I'll see a loss the next morning when I weigh myself.

So the thing to remember is that you're always losing fat when you create a calorie deficit through exercise and planned eating, but it might take a little time to show up on the scales. Just like you said, your body is still getting thinner and healthier, even if it doesn't show up right away. Everyone hits plateaus once in a while! Just don't let it play a mind game on you. :D :D :D

04-22-2007, 08:36 AM
Meg couldn't have explained it better! Sometimes the body simply has to rearrange things before a drop happens. It's not a straight line process.

Sometimes a day of high calories will stall my weight loss--and it takes a few days of eating right at my calorie goal to offset that. But eventually, if I stay on plan, I'll drop again.


04-22-2007, 11:26 AM
And water is often the reason that fat loss doesn't show up on the scales right away.

Wonderful response. I wanted to add that I used to always doubt that water could possibly make such a large impact. (3 to 5 lbs) But recently my mom's primary care doctor put her on a new diuretic. My mom lost 14 lbs! Now clearly that is not the norm (she has a bit of Congestive Heart Failure ) -- and I was so worried that 14 lbs was too much that we did blood tests to make sure my mom was not dehydrated.

But she wasn't and now I see what water can do. Before losing the water I didn't think she was bloated or anything. But now the difference is obvious. It proved to me that your body can hold on to a tremendous amount of water.

04-22-2007, 12:13 PM
water, by the way, weighs a lot more than fat, so it takes little water to compensate for the adipose.

04-22-2007, 12:32 PM
That's right--fat floats! It's calorie dense, not physics dense. ;)


04-22-2007, 02:07 PM
Thank you Meg and all of you for the great response! All of what you said makes me feel a lot better, hopefully in the future when I hit another plateau I won't get so worried lol. I have always been a little over weight so in my mind it's SO HARD to even imagine me losing weight and actually looking nice. Somebody told me once that not everybody is made to be skinny and I guess I have that in my mind that once I lose 50 pounds I won't be able to lose anymore (Which clearly I have more than that to lose lol) I know it's all in my head but hearing what you all have to say above makes me feel much better. Thank you all again! =)