South Beach Diet - How Could I Be Gaining Weight?????

06-24-2004, 11:46 AM

I stepped on the scale and to my horror... I've put on two pounds.

How? How is this POSSIBLE? I have been immaculate on Ph1 since restarting. Water until I float, all the right foods, etc, etc, etc. NO cheating. None.

Yet, I put on two pounds? This hardly seems fair. I nearly went through the Burger King drive through last night because I was so down about this. (Then my boyfriend, on cell, said, "You only have two more days to go on this Phase 1... Maybe we can buy some whole-grain buns and you can have a hamburger on Saturday when you're on Phase 2.") SO I didn't go through the drive-thru. But I AM still thinking about quitting. If I'm not only NOT losing anymore, but gaining... what the heck is the point?

I mean, sure, 35 lbs isn't much to lose as far as getting to my goal so it would come off slow... but for someone whose baseline weight is somewhere around 115, it actually IS a lot to go from 152 to 115, and I'm hardly losing at all.

Argh. Argh, argh. I'm angry. And discouraged. But mainly angry. What more can I DO already?

Suzanne 3FC
06-24-2004, 11:57 AM
I'm so sorry, and surprised! Have you kept a food log? Would you mind posting some samples of your daily food intake, so we can take a look?

But don't be discouraged or angry, please! There could be a lot of things going on here. Perhaps it's that time of the month when you experience water weight gain? Or maybe you are trying this after a diet that was more restrictive, and you might be increasing your calories instead of reducing them? We'd all love to help you pinpoint the problem and find a solution. South Beach works for most people, but you may need something else. Hang in there, you can do it, one way or another :)

06-24-2004, 12:14 PM
I'm so sorry, and surprised! Have you kept a food log? Would you mind posting some samples of your daily food intake, so we can take a look?

My food intake is pretty much the same every day, with a couple of modifications. This is generally what it looks like:

Breakfast: 2 eggs + 2 egg whites, scrambled with 2tbsp of ricotta, dash of vanilla, sweetner and cinnamon. Big ole glass of SKIM milk with a shot of espresso and ice.

Lunch: Bean salad (chick peas/lentils, kidney beans, red peppers, artichoke hearts, feta cheese, and dressing, made up of 2tbsp of olive oil, balsamic vinegar, lemon juice and spices.)

Snack: 2 triangles of Laughing Cow lite cheese, red peppers or celery, and sometimes 30 pistachios (but only if I don't plan to have the evening snack).

Dinner: Chicken breast with spices (no sugar) done on BBQ with red, green and yellow peppers and sometimes s/f bbq sauce. Usually salad with balsamic vin and olive oil and a sprinkling of feta.
Salad with chicken...
Taco bake
Lean pork chops on grill with steamed veggies.

Snack: 1/2 cup 1% cottage cheese, 1/4 cup low-fat ricotta blended with cocoa powder, sweetner, vanilla, and 1tsp of natural peanut butter.

That's typical of my last two weeks. Oh yes, and lots of water. Though I do drink a fair amount of Crystal Lite in the evenings -- it's water during the day, though.

Prior to this... I wasn't really doing any other dieting -- I was trying to watch what I ate, but realistically, for the 8-10 months before starting this, I ate whatever and whenever I wanted (which included a LOT of beer and pizza). Which is why I'm at 152 lbs., a year after being at about 120lbs or less for a while. So my caloric intake definitely isn't any higher than it was, it's most definitely lower and with the RIGHT foods now.

Before getting to 115-120lbs, I had hovered around the 135 mark for years and years. Probably since College, really. But then I had to go on meds for anxiety attacks (Paxil), I was over medicated to start, and I lost my appetite for many months. I was eating less than 900cals a day and didn't even realize it until I stepped on the scale and went, "WHAT THE ****!? 113 POUNDs!??!" I knew I had lost weight but had no concept of how much. Meds were dropped, but I maintained at 115 for several months, until winter rolled around and my outdoor sports ended... but the eating continued.

And that's why I'm here today. By the way, I play Ultimate frisbee 3 nights a week (SUPER-high intensity cardio workout for 2 hours) and am moderately active the rest of the time.

I just want to cry.

06-24-2004, 12:26 PM
Aw, Kim. Big hug! (((Kim))) Your foods look OK but you didn't post quantities. Exactly what did you eat yesterday and do you weigh yourself first thing in the morning? It could be the time of the month as well. Have you tried running a couple of day's worth of food through

06-24-2004, 12:34 PM
Aw, Kim. Big hug! (((Kim))) Your foods look OK but you didn't post quantities. Exactly what did you eat yesterday and do you weigh yourself first thing in the morning? It could be the time of the month as well. Have you tried running a couple of day's worth of food through

Thanks for the hug, Ruth. <sigh>

Quantities... generally small/medium portions. For instance, the chicken for dinner, is one chicken breast and usually the total of one bell pepper. Couple of tbsp's of olive oil and balsamic vin. on the salad. The bean salad, I eat about a cup and a half for lunch. The milk is about 1.5 cup... maybe 2 cups if I don't use much ice. Ummm... what else. I think I detailed the rest.

Also, the weigh in? ALWAYS first thing in the morning, after going to the bathroom, before I put a single thing in my mouth (including water). Naked, of course. Digital scale. Etc. I usually do it on the weekend, either Saturday or Sunday.

I have done fit-day, and actually modified my daily menu to fit in more with that because at first, I was all over the fats and had not nearly enough protien or anything else.

As for time of the month... it's probably more than a week and a half away.

Does this help?

little chick
06-24-2004, 01:03 PM
MittenKitten I am almost the excact weight as you ( I am up a couple of pounds but didn't change my weight) I am 5 feet tall and my goal weight is 120 although my head number is 115 as well. Don't give up you are doing great. Do you weigh in every day? Or is it possible that you scales need new batteries, I had ditigal scales and finally had to get rid of them because it kept eating up batteries and it would never weigh me the same. Just give yourself a few more days and see what happends. Big hugs and keep your chin up.

06-24-2004, 02:38 PM
So many things could cause your scales to go up 2 pounds. Did you eat more salt the usual the day before? Are you about to start you TOM?

This is a great article about Why the Scales lie.

www(dot)primusweb (dot) com/fitnesspartner/library/weight/scale.htm

Why The Scale Lies
by Renee Cloe,
ACE Certified Personal Trainer

Weíve been told over an over again that daily weighing is unnecessary, yet many of us canít resist peeking at that number every morning. If you just canít bring yourself to toss the scale in the trash, you should definitely familiarize yourself with the factors that influence itís readings. From water retention to glycogen storage and changes in lean body mass, daily weight fluctuations are normal. They are not indicators of your success or failure. Once you understand how these mechanisms work, you can free yourself from the daily battle with the bathroom scale.

Water makes up about 60% of total body mass. Normal fluctuations in the bodyís water content can send scale-watchers into a tailspin if they donít understand whatís happening. Two factors influencing water retention are water consumption and salt intake. Strange as it sounds, the less water you drink, the more of it your body retains. If you are even slightly dehydrated your body will hang onto itís water supplies with a vengeance, possibly causing the number on the scale to inch upward. The solution is to drink plenty of water.

Excess salt (sodium) can also play a big role in water retention. 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 itís 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 doesnít 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. Thatís why, when it comes to eating, itís 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 itís packaged with 3-4 pounds of water when itís 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 itís associated water. Itís 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 youíre 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, itís wise to weigh yourself first thing in the morning before youíve 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. Itís the actual weight of everything youíve had to eat and drink. The added weight of the meal will be gone several hours later when youíve 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 itís not humanly possible. So when the scale goes up 3 or 4 pounds overnight, rest easy, itís 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, itís 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, itís physically impossible for all of that to be fat. What youíre really losing is water, glycogen, and muscle.

This brings us to the scaleís sneakiest attribute. It doesnít just weigh fat. It weighs muscle, bone, water, internal organs and all. When you lose "weight," that doesnít necessarily mean that youíve lost fat. In fact, the scale has no way of telling you what youíve 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 youíre just sitting around. Thatís 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 doesnít differentiate between the two. It canít 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 doesnít appeal to you, donít 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, donít be discouraged by a small gain on the scale. Fluctuations are perfectly normal. Expect them to happen and take them in stride. Itís a matter of mind over scale.

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All rights reserved

06-24-2004, 03:00 PM
Wow! This is by far the best article on the problem of "scale weight" that I have ever seen anywhere. Could the mods please put this in a sticky somewhere? I think it would be really helpful to refer people to this article so they can understand the issues and perhaps not feel undermined by every scale jump. Thanks so much!

06-24-2004, 03:42 PM
Hi Kim! Sorry to hear about your non-budging scale! Since you play Ultimate Frisbee and seem active, could you have lost fat but gained muscle? Also, are your clothes fitting better? I hate when you feel like you've worked your butt off and gotten nowhere! Hopefully you've just gained more muscle and lost fat. Keep at it and don't give up!

06-24-2004, 03:44 PM
Don't give up!! I've had an awful time trying to get back on track since memorial day! But I haven't given up...

Have you been excersising? Sometime muscle build-up [and even a loss if you were excersising and then stopped] and account for a gain.

If you are they worried, weigh each day and take an average. It may have just been an off day!

06-24-2004, 04:22 PM
Since you play Ultimate Frisbee and seem active, could you have lost fat but gained muscle? Also, are your clothes fitting better?

Thanks Kissy... no, sadly, I don't think I've gained muscle.

And, my clothes aren't fitting better either. (sigh)

Jenne: I haven't gotten to play Ultimate this week, actually, because of a very busy work schedule. I hadn't thought that would affect it.

This battle is a lifelong one. Ugh. I want a Whopper.

06-24-2004, 05:35 PM
I've been trending my weekly weight in a spreadsheet. My weight has been up and down, but after 5 weeks on SBD I'm down overall about 7 lbs. It's not a huge loss, but I feel like it's a healthy loss. Ups and downs are definitely going to happen on any reasonably designed diet, even when you are immaculately "on plan".

It is very yucky to see a higher number on that mean ole scale, especially when you've been working sooooooooo hard and being sooooooo good. It really pisses me off when it happens to me. I have to dry my tears (yes, it makes me cry) and try very hard to stay focused on my long term goal and keep reassuring myself that the diet does work. I keep thinking to myself, "yeah I'm up two pounds now but I know I'm going to reach my goal by Christmas if I just stick with it!"

I love the post about the scale factors. Very inspiring and it explains alot. I will defintely think of the points made there the next time I have an "Yucky-UP" week.

06-24-2004, 06:19 PM
Article on The Scale copied into the FAQ sub-forum. Good idea!

06-24-2004, 09:52 PM
Please don't give up. I had the same crisis the other day, except I cheated. I actually talked to my doctor this morning about a pound or two difference every day. Alot of it has to deal with what time of day you weigh yourself, if you've visited the loo lately, etc. Hang in there, luckily we have the support of fellow chickies.

Best wishes,
VT :coffee:

06-25-2004, 01:33 PM
Your friends are so right, Mitten dear, don't give up. Trust me, the scale weight just bounces all over the place, especially if it's this TOM. Here are my weights for the last few days, I'm just posting this to show you how much things can vary. It's the trends ever many months and years that really matter, just keep your eyes on the prize. Look at my sig-- it's taken me 2 1/2 years to get to this point, and I'm not finished yet. But I'll get there, and the process has been great! I do encourage you to stay the course, the rewards are inexpressibly wonderful.

My scale weights since June 14th: 164, 165, 162.5, 163, 163, 162.5, 162.5, 163, 162.5, 163.5, 164, 166 <-- TOM.

sweet tooth
06-25-2004, 02:22 PM
Someone on this thread mentioned that they track their weight on a spreadsheet. I was given a spreadsheet a couple of years ago that is very good at tracking your weight the weight loss, average weight loss per week, your BMI, and gives and approximate date that you will reach your goal, based on the speed at which you lose.

If any one is interested, pm me with your email address and I will send to you.

06-25-2004, 03:19 PM
Kim, how are you doing? Was the scale your friend today? Please let us know. You've been such a great member of this forum and I'd hate to see you stay so sad! :(

Today I went from 287 (yesterday) to 285 (today). Go figure! And yet, I'm rejoicing, even though I realize that if it can jump down, it can also jump up...the life of a scale ho is never that fun, eh? ;)

:grouphug: for Kim...hope you are feeling better and seeing results that mirror your feeling!

06-26-2004, 05:47 PM
Kim, how are you doing? Was the scale your friend today? Please let us know.

Hi Beach -- thanks for the support, you and everyone on the forum. It's so wonderful.

You'll be glad to hear, the scale did measure 146lbs. on Friday morning, the first day of Ph2 for me. But somehow it didn't make me feel very happy because my clothes don't feel much looser and I'm beginning to see that much more of a loss is going to take a long, long time. (sigh) I'm verrrry close to giving up this whole thing, I really am.

I will say this: that first bowl of oatmeal on Ph2, my one starch for the day, was phenomenal. It was a taste of heaven after two weeks of eggs, chicken, lettuce and beans.

I'll do this Ph2 for a week and re-assess at the end. If I don't even lose a pound, I'm done.