I recently have lost 32 lbs. It took me really about a year, I would lose 5 then plateau for a while, so on and so forth. I've been feeling great about this, though, and had recently hit a point where I was thinner than I can ever remember being, thinner than my high school weight, and finally not in the "overweight" spectrum for my height. (I am 5'4" and normal weight is considered under 145 lbs, I had gone down to 143)
I started to feel confident and excited that the weight was coming off due to simple portion control (I struggle with binge eating) and was really hoping to lose 10-15 more lbs more for vanity than anything else. I'm getting married next year so this is also a motivating factor.
However, all of a sudden, despite daily exercise (I go to the gym on the weekends and since I have an office job, I go for walks of 20 mins to an hour every day at lunch depending on how free my schedule is), I'm gaining weight back! I went from 143 to 147 fairly rapidly.
I guess I've been more lax on my food intake, and yesterday night had a heavy meal (fettuccine alfredo), also had a tall nonfat chai from starbucks, and three hershey kisses yesterday. But would that really result in such a rapid weight gain?!
It's depressing to start seeing the scale moving in the other direction after so much success.
the minute i start being lax about my eating, i start gaining weight back...partly due to water weight because i gravitate to carbs and sweets and partly because i just eat too much....however ive always been able to rein it back in without a gain of more than 7-10 pounds....if you've changed your exercise or increased it, that might also show a gain on the scale...the scale went wild the minute i started weight training and still hasn't stopped going nuts...how are your clothes feeling? to me thats the best indicator of whether i'm truly gaining weight or just holding onto water for different reasons....with weight training i'm learning to ignore the scale and go by how my body feels and how my clothes fit
I can relate. I got down to 155 and all time low and have struggled for over a year. I feel like I am on a hair trigger. If I cheat at all... I gain like 5 real lbs. I have to be perfect to lose weight and it is just impossible to be perfect. I feel like my motivation is flying out the window and I am getting depressed because almost nothing works. Other than complete compliance and that is impossible to do unless I quit my job and never leave the house.
I just want to get down there so I can get on with my life. But I seem quite stuck. And almost any cheat day can pop the lbs on fast. And I don't quite lose it the way I did at one point.
First, we've all been there and have gone through the same thing wondering if eating poorly would make that much difference so quickly. To some extent, it depends on how carb sensitive you are, if this was just one heavy meal or a series of them, TOM water retention, etc.
But to answer your question, for me the answer would not only be yes, but a breath of relief that I'd only gained four pounds. I don't know if you've ever made fettucine alfredo, but the classic recipe is a stick of butter, heavy whipping cream, and lots of parmesan cheese. Sometimes an egg is added to thicken the sauce. And that's for two servings. Add in the fettucine, and you've got an entree that runs close to 1,000 calories.
So, start from here and recommit yourself to eating like you did when you were losing. It sounds as though you lost weight slowly and steadily so you know what you were doing to make that happen. Good luck. And don't let the weight gain get you down -- it will happen.
Thank you all for the responses! It's terrible to feel that even just a little cheat, one meal or one splurge, can send me back upwards. I feel like I'll never be able to not diet. I have changed so many of my bad habits and don't even miss a lot of the stuff I used to binge on, but I can't restrict myself forever. Sometimes I'm going to want pasta! Why is it fair that other people can do that and not gain and I look at the pasta and put on 4 lbs?!
LOL this is a fight I have with myself all of the time.
The truth is, you will always have to have portion control and track what you eat. The other truth is that you have no idea what the "other people" who eat whatever they want are doing.
For example: My eldest daughter. She is tiny by any scale. 4'11 and 94 lbs soaking wet. She is also pretty ripped. BUT. With all of her clothes on (and I do not mean her workout attire, but jeans and a shirt) on any given day, the child eats more than most "full sized" people do. At any given time you can catch her eating a burger and fries, pasta, or an ice cream. You are also likely to catch her with a smoothie or a yogurt or a spoonful of peanut butter.
So here is my point. At any moment, in any day, you can catch her with something "good for you" or "bad for you" in her hand. She grazes all. day. long. So what you see, is this in shape skinny person, wolfing down a cheeseburger.
What you do not see is her running every other day, working two jobs and going to school and yoga daily.
So while it does not seem fair, when you see someone seemingly eating whatever they want, remember that it is just a snapshot into their day. They could be hitting the gym like a maniac in the next hour.
You didn't gain 4 lbs of fat, not just from eating what you mentioned. The alfredo alone could definitely do that to me in terms of a water weight bounce, especially if I'd been restricting carbs before that meal. That's not "real" weight. Read the sticky at the top of the forum on water weight for a starting point, and don't be discouraged. It's just how bodies work..
Thanks, everyone. I will say the fettuccine alfredo was homemade by my fiance, and we found a "light" version (though I'm still it's sure plenty fattening, just not as bad as what you'd get in a restaurant) and I did not eat a lot of it. I'm just going to get back on track in the best way I can.
Also, living with him makes it challenging -- he's actually underweight for his height -- yet eats whatever he wants. He gained only 4 lbs in 4 years of college! I gained 30! It's hard for him to understand why I turn down that glass of wine, or that ice cream, or those pancakes since he actually has to eat a lot to keep his weight up. Men, so unfair I tell you!
Location: from Houston, TX ; now in Washington DC area
Hang in there, citygirl... I agree with what the other posters have said, and would like to remind you of one more thing: it takes quite some time for your body to stabilize at a new weight. If you were at 175+ pounds for any length of time, your body stabilized at that weight and that became your "set point." What you're trying to do now is to coax your body into forming a new set point.
But you're not even at your goal weight yet, so if I were you, I wouldn't worry about a 4-pound gain after a lapse. Just accept that lapses are part of the process, and get on with your weight loss. Then, when you reach goal, be patient. It will take your body a long time to adjust, but it will do so. And you will always fluctuate within at least a 5-pound range, maybe even a 10-pound range.
As for your fiancι, I'm sorry to talk tough, but he needs to get educated about hard it is for a heavy person to lose weight, especially for a woman. He needs to accept that you are physiologically different from him, and support you, not undermine you. It's not a good sign for your future married life, that living with him is more of a negative for your weight loss journey, than a positive. I've been married to a skinny man for 35 years, and he has never been less than a 100% asset to me in my ups and downs in weight. Maybe you and your fiancι need to have a serious talk about this. Maybe he needs to read a book like Gary Taubes's Why We Get Fat in order to be more supportive of you.
Current mini-goal: Get down to 260
Pounds to go: 15
Mini-goal 1: 30 days binge-free > done 12/21/13 & binge-free now
Mini-goal 2: Get down to 280 > done 5/22/14
@Fiona_W thanks! It actually stabilized itself out, was probably water weight, and now I'm back on track.
My fiance doesn't undermine me at all, I didn't mean for that to come across in my post, it's just that he doesn't have to worry about what he eats since his body just burns everything up so quickly. We actually work really well, buying healthy foods and not stocking junk in the house (he keeps cookies but I don't like them so no temptation there) and when we eat out, I let him order whatever he wants and vice versa, so I don't feel bad if I have a salad or eat half my meal and take the other half home.
He does the cooking, so I make sure to print/save healthy recipes MOST of the time, and we've so far done well. In fact, it's living with him that has helped me lose this weight, when I lived at home with my parents is when I got so heavy. I had no control over what dinners my mom would make or snacks she'd buy, and it was tempting. Now that I do my own grocery shopping/meal prep, I'm in control and it's fabulous.
I would also recommend checking in with your doctor if you haven't had a physical recently. I agree with everyone that you probably eating more then you thought and retaining water, but there's always a slim chance that your thyroid or something else might be acting up. It doesn't hurt to get everything checked out to make sure.
Good job losing so much weight and in such a healthy manner though! That's really amazing.