Weight Loss Support - Is this normal?




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Baicane
09-12-2011, 05:22 PM
Hello all, I am new here! I have been lurking around here for the last week or so and decided I should post.

My starting weight was 207 and I had lost 4 pounds throughout two weeks due to clean eating and calorie counting, and have just started to work out. It seems as whenever I start to workout, I get discouraged because I start to gain. After two days of exercising I am back up to 205.7. I'm figuring it's just water weight but not really sure what it is or why it happens. Can anyone help me?


christine123
09-12-2011, 05:32 PM
It's water weight most likely. The muscles retain water to help them rebuild when you've worked them through exercise. It's not actual fat gain. Eventually, your body/muscles will let go of the water. It's common, especially if just started working out. This is why people talk about taking measurements. You can lose inches even when not seeing a change on the scale. Don't give up!

Kahokkuri
09-12-2011, 10:28 PM
I face the same frustration if I take a week off from workouts and then start up again. I drink about 3L of water a day and exercise 3-4 times a week (when I don't get lazy!), and when I keep up that plan I tend to see slow-but-steady loss.


indiblue
09-12-2011, 11:29 PM
Welcome!

There is a sticky thread on this: http://www.3fatchicks.com/forum/weight-loss-support/115826-fluctuations-scale-weight-water-weight.html. In short, yes it's very normal :)

Magalo
09-12-2011, 11:46 PM
It happen to the best of us haha.
When I exercise like mad, I'm always like "I PROBABLY BURNED 5 POUNDS OF FAT!" and the day after my scale is 1-2 pounds up. It's really annoying, I'm thinking of not weighting myself after a hard workout day.

MusicalAstronaut
09-14-2011, 07:46 PM
First, don't give up!
Second, your weight will fluctuate daily. You won't see "real" results for a couple of weeks. What I (try to) do to prevent the "oh God I gained 3 pounds overnight" panic is weigh myself once a week, on the same day, around the same time (when I wake up). Doing it once a week helps you get a better idea of what your body is doing overall. I would write it on my calendar, so at the end of the month I can see the progress I made. Good luck!

cmwelp
09-21-2011, 07:27 PM
yeah, I completely agree with Magalo's idea of not weighing yourself the day after big workouts especially, because you will show a "gain" even though it is just water weight. Don't let the scale get you down! Keep exercising and eating healthy and you'll see the water weight and the real weight melt off!

runningfromfat
09-21-2011, 07:45 PM
Like everyone else said it's completely normal and it's just water weight fluctuations. If it really freaks you out either a) weight less (especially not right after a workout), b.) weigh daily so that you understand your body's natural fluctuations so it won't freak you out or c.) take your measurements and go by those instead of the scale (or with the scale, actually everybody should be taking their measurements! ;) ).

Exercise is great for your health and the extra calories is burns aren't bad either. Don't let the fluctuations freak you out. I always expect a least a pound or two higher the next day after a workout.

ButterCup85
09-21-2011, 08:06 PM
I've posted this a couple times on this board. Everyone should read it, really. It really helps me when the scale bounces around- and now I don't weigh myself nearly as much as I was. I had to copy/paste.

Why The Scale Lies...

We've been told over an over again that daily weighing is unnecessary, yet many of us can't resist peeking at that number every morning. If you just can't bring yourself to toss the scale in the trash, you should definitely familiarize yourself with the scale.

A single teaspoon of salt contains over 2,000 mg of sodium. Generally, we should only eat between 1,000 and 3,000 mg of sodium a day, so it's easy to go overboard. Sodium is a sneaky substance. You would expect it to be most highly concentrated in salty chips, nuts, and crackers. However, a food doesn't have to taste salty to be loaded with sodium. A half cup of instant pudding actually contains nearly four times as much sodium as an ounce of salted nuts, 460 mg in the pudding versus 123 mg in the nuts. The more highly processed a food is, the more likely it is to have a high sodium content.

That's why, when it comes to eating, it's wise to stick mainly to the basics: fruits, vegetables, lean meat, beans, and whole grains. Be sure to read the labels on canned foods, boxed mixes, and frozen dinners. Women may also retain several pounds of water prior to menstruation. This is very common and the weight will likely disappear as quickly as it arrives. Pre-menstrual water-weight gain can be minimized by drinking plenty of water, maintaining an exercise program, and keeping high-sodium processed foods to a minimum.

Another factor that can influence the scale is glycogen. Think of glycogen as a fuel tank full of stored carbohydrate. Some glycogen is stored in the liver and some is stored the muscles themselves. This energy reserve weighs more than a pound and it's packaged with 3-4 pounds of water when it's stored. Your glycogen supply will shrink during the day if you fail to take in enough carbohydrates. As the glycogen supply shrinks you will experience a small imperceptible increase in appetite and your body will restore this fuel reserve along with it's associated water. It's normal to experience glycogen and water weight shifts of up to 2 pounds per day even with no changes in your calorie intake or activity level. These fluctuations have nothing to do with fat loss, although they can make for some unnecessarily dramatic weigh-ins if you're prone to obsessing over the number on the scale.

Otherwise rational people also tend to forget about the actual weight of the food they eat. For this reason, it's wise to weigh yourself first thing in the morning before you've had anything to eat or drink. Swallowing a bunch of food before you step on the scale is no different than putting a bunch of rocks in your pocket. The 5 pounds that you gain right after a huge dinner is not fat. It's the actual weight of everything you've had to eat and drink. The added weight of the meal will be gone several hours later when you've finished digesting it.

Exercise physiologists tell us that in order to store one pound of fat, you need to eat 3,500 calories more than your body is able to burn. In other words, to actually store the above dinner as 5 pounds of fat, it would have to contain a whopping 17,500 calories. This is not likely, in fact it's not humanly possible. So when the scale goes up 3 or 4 pounds overnight, rest easy, it's likely to be water, glycogen, and the weight of your dinner. Keep in mind that the 3,500 calorie rule works in reverse also. In order to lose one pound of fat you need to burn 3,500 calories more than you take in. Generally, it's only possible to lose 1-2 pounds of fat per week. When you follow a very low calorie diet that causes your weight to drop 10 pounds in 7 days, it's physically impossible for all of that to be fat. What you're really losing is water, glycogen, and muscle.

This brings us to the scale's sneakiest attribute. It doesn't just weigh fat. It weighs muscle, bone, water, internal organs and all. When you lose "weight," that doesn't necessarily mean that you've lost fat. In fact, the scale has no way of telling you what you've lost (or gained). Losing muscle is nothing to celebrate. Muscle is a metabolically active tissue. The more muscle you have the more calories your body burns, even when you're just sitting around. That's one reason why a fit, active person is able to eat considerably more food than the dieter who is unwittingly destroying muscle tissue.

Robin Landis, author of "Body Fueling," compares fat and muscles to feathers and gold. One pound of fat is like a big fluffy, lumpy bunch of feathers, and one pound of muscle is small and valuable like a piece of gold. Obviously, you want to lose the dumpy, bulky feathers and keep the sleek beautiful gold. The problem with the scale is that it doesn't differentiate between the two. It can't tell you how much of your total body weight is lean tissue and how much is fat. There are several other measuring techniques that can accomplish this, although they vary in convenience, accuracy, and cost. Skin-fold calipers pinch and measure fat folds at various locations on the body, hydrostatic (or underwater) weighing involves exhaling all of the air from your lungs before being lowered into a tank of water, and bioelectrical impedance measures the degree to which your body fat impedes a mild electrical current. If the thought of being pinched, dunked, or gently zapped just doesn't appeal to you, don't worry. The best measurement tool of all turns out to be your very own eyes. How do you look? How do you feel? How do your clothes fit? Are your rings looser? Do your muscles feel firmer? These are the true measurements of success. If you are exercising and eating right, don't be discouraged by a small gain on the scale. Fluctuations are perfectly normal. Expect them to happen and take them in stride. It's a matter of mind over scale.

DezziePS
09-21-2011, 10:25 PM
Hey- I know a lot of others have posted mega helpful stuff, but I noticed in your post you said that you were doing "clean eating." Are you counting calories as well? If you're not, do you think you might be compensating for the exercise by eating more or rewarding yourself with extra food? Sometimes it's easy to sneak in a few extra calories without realizing it and end up eating more than you burned! And it's tempting to think that healthy, good-for-us foods are low calorie or fat when often they really aren't, or rather, eating a lot of them is still a lot of calories! Still, your gain is so small, it could easily just be water weight- just wanted to give you something else to think about.

Baicane
09-21-2011, 10:32 PM
DezziePS- Thanks for replying! Yes, I have been counting calories and I have continued to work out. My problem must have been water retention because the scale is actually moving! I've lost 7 lbs so far.

I want to thank all of you who have replied. You gave me the reassurance I needed!

tinabinabop
09-27-2011, 12:46 AM
My local Y has personal trainers and during a session with one of them the gal told me to stay off the scale for at least 3 weeks so I wouldn't get discouraged and give up. When you first start working out regularly your muscles will tear and break down from lack of use, but keeping at it will build them back up and make them stronger. The down side is your body is freaking out over the stress of rebuilding those muscles so it will hold onto calories and show a gain, but after 3 or 4 weeks there will be a sudden drop and then you should lose steadily with proper diet and exercise. She has been where I am now and looks amazing so I have a lot of faith in what she says.

steinanwine
09-27-2011, 01:10 AM
My local Y has personal trainers and during a session with one of them the gal told me to stay off the scale for at least 3 weeks so I wouldn't get discouraged and give up. When you first start working out regularly your muscles will tear and break down from lack of use, but keeping at it will build them back up and make them stronger. The down side is your body is freaking out over the stress of rebuilding those muscles so it will hold onto calories and show a gain, but after 3 or 4 weeks there will be a sudden drop and then you should lose steadily with proper diet and exercise. She has been where I am now and looks amazing so I have a lot of faith in what she says.

I pray to GOD this happens to me! I am just entering my 4th week of exercise and healthy eating. I easily lost about 5 lbs in my first week and since then haven't done much, just a few lbs that are fluctuating back and forth which could be from what everyone is talking about in this thread, water retention and muscles breaking down etc (and I weigh myself everyday which is obviously a bad idea but I can't bring myself to stop just yet) .... so I REALLY hope after week or 2 more of this I'll see a drop on the scale rather than this back and forth of the same few lbs lost and gained.