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For Everyone Who Has Asked When to Weigh...I did an experiment

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Old 02-07-2011, 09:44 PM   #1
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Lightbulb For Everyone Who Has Asked When to Weigh...I did an experiment

I've seen this come up a few (or a ton) of times since joining 3fc, the question: when is the best time to weigh yourself??? So, just as an experiment, I decided to weigh myself many times over the course of the day last week cuz I was watching my niece at my house. I weighed myself first thing, then after eating, after using the bathroom, etc.

-First morning weigh in, after going pee, no clothes: 137.5
-After getting dressed, having oatmeal, 12oz coffee and three cups of tea: 142.4
-Used the bathroom: 141.3
-Had three more cups of tea and a fruit and nut bar: 143.2
-Peed: 142.6
-One more cup of tea: 143
-Peed again: 142
-Took clothes off to see how much they weighed: 139.8 (so, 2.2 lbs)
-Clothes back on (same ones), had one cup of tea, a plum and a luna bar: 143
-Peed: 142.6
-Ate a few bites of spaghetti and maybe 5oz of water: 142.8
-Peed (I swear I don't normally pee this much): 142.4
-Went on a half hour walk, ate a mini bacon cheeseburger (extra tomato) and a cup of water: 142.3
-Peed 141.9

went to bed

-Weight the next morning, no clothes after peeing: 137.3

It may seem like a silly experiment, but I hope it is helpful for people who do weigh at different times or with clothes on to realize what a difference it makes. Over the course of the entire day I "gained" 5.7 lbs, even if you subtract the weight of my clothes (2.2 lbs) you could say I "gained" 3.5 lbs.

But the next morning, which is when I always weigh myself, I was down 0.2 lbs, not a huge loss, but a loss nonetheless.

Just thought I'd share.
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Last edited by tattoodles : 02-07-2011 at 09:45 PM.
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Old 02-07-2011, 10:22 PM   #2
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This cracked me up! Sadly, though, I do this on an everyday basis I'm constantly curious what the scale will read, especially after I pee. I know, I'm such a loon!
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Old 02-07-2011, 10:40 PM   #3
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Thank you for sharing! I when I think about I think I pee as much or more throughout the day xD hehe.

I do daily weigh-in's in the morning, after peeing and I weigh with no clothes as well. I used to weigh-in throughout the day but its way too stressful.
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Old 02-08-2011, 02:10 AM   #4
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Thanks for sharing the results of your experiment! It helps to see just how much weight we "gain" and "lose" during the course of the day. I should try that too.

I wish my body woke up a little earlier than my brain instead of vice-versa. Every morning I weigh myself after peeing, but before drinking any water. I look at the scale, mutter something rude under my breath or say "yay!" accordingly, and shuffle off to fix and eat my breakfast. Only then does my body decide it has...shall we say, unfinished business to attend to in the bathroom.

Hel-LO, body, couldn't you have decided to do that twenty minutes before breakfast so I got a nice low number on the scale? Grr!

(And I apologize about that TMI, but really...every freakin' morning this happens!)
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Old 02-08-2011, 08:44 AM   #5
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Thanks for sharing your experiment. This may help someone to realize the importance of weighing in at the same time on a regular basis.

One question though...did you really eat a bowl of oatmeal, a couple of luna bars, a few bites of spagetti, a plum and a "mini" cheeseburger all day? If so, this may be why your body retained water (5+ lbs) the way it did. It would have been virtually starving and consequently your test may not be as effective to someone who eats a balanced diet sufficient in calories.

Just thought I'd point that out to anyone wondering if they may actually gain 5+ lbs within the same day.
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Old 02-08-2011, 09:11 AM   #6
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Really funny but got the message, thanks for the experiment.
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Old 02-08-2011, 03:22 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joyfulloser View Post
Thanks for sharing your experiment. This may help someone to realize the importance of weighing in at the same time on a regular basis.

One question though...did you really eat a bowl of oatmeal, a couple of luna bars, a few bites of spagetti, a plum and a "mini" cheeseburger all day? If so, this may be why your body retained water (5+ lbs) the way it did. It would have been virtually starving and consequently your test may not be as effective to someone who eats a balanced diet sufficient in calories.

Just thought I'd point that out to anyone wondering if they may actually gain 5+ lbs within the same day.
I guess I should have been more specific. My oatmeal had berries (fresh ones) and nonfat plain yogurt mixed in it, later i had a fruit and nut bar, Luna bar, plum bites of spaghetti, my tea had an ounce or two of nonfat milk in each cup and the "mini" bacon cheeseburger is still pretty large. I got it at Kidd Valley and their regular burgers are about the size of Red Robin's burgers (so way bigger than anyone should eat in one sitting). So what I got was called "mini" but is still bigger than what I would make for myself.

My calories for the day were over 1400, so I would be pretty surprised if my body was holding on thinking I was starving.

This is also not how I usually eat, but I didn't have a carseat, stroller or carrier for my niece who is too little to walk, so I was not able to go to the grocery store. My only options were what I had at home (not much). And after my stepsis picked her up is when I got my burger.
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Old 02-08-2011, 03:32 PM   #8
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I'm guilty of weighing myself a few times a day just out of curiousity, but my morning weigh in after a bathroom trip and in just my bra and panties is what I record. Too cold to weigh naked lol.
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Old 02-08-2011, 03:42 PM   #9
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Thank you for posting your results!...I must admit that I weigh myself frequently during the weekends (because I am home and around the scale) and once in the morning everyday possibly twice if I do it again once I get home I guess I am obsessed...and I have noticed similar results to yours...I tend to "gain and lose" a couple pounds a day
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Old 02-10-2011, 08:09 PM   #10
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Thanks. Your experiment made me giggle.
It is really interesting to see. I've been hopping on and off throughout the day. At one point, for some reason, late at night before bed I was getting the lightest weight.

Generally now I don't bother too much with it, as long as the general range is going down then that's a good thing.
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Old 02-12-2011, 07:56 PM   #11
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This was great.... thanks for the smile and the info. I might do it myself just for fun.
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Old 02-12-2011, 08:15 PM   #12
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Great and enlightening experiment! I always weigh in the morning, after elimination, in no clothing or a thin nightgown. I weigh myself on average about once a week, maybe more than that if I've lost (just to be "sure" it was a loss).
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Old 02-12-2011, 08:58 PM   #13
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Thanks for sharing! I think I'm going to try this and see my fluctuations throughout the day.
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Old 02-13-2011, 10:04 PM   #14
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thanks for posting glad i am not the only one... those 5-7 lb swings can be depressing and defeating...
i try and weigh in around the same time now.
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Old 02-13-2011, 10:45 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joyfulloser View Post
Thanks for sharing your experiment. This may help someone to realize the importance of weighing in at the same time on a regular basis.

One question though...did you really eat a bowl of oatmeal, a couple of luna bars, a few bites of spagetti, a plum and a "mini" cheeseburger all day? If so, this may be why your body retained water (5+ lbs) the way it did. It would have been virtually starving and consequently your test may not be as effective to someone who eats a balanced diet sufficient in calories.

Just thought I'd point that out to anyone wondering if they may actually gain 5+ lbs within the same day.

I've done very similar experiments with all manner of food plans, all times of month, and different levels of water retention for different reasons, and I can tell you that with a "balanced diet sufficient in calories" the weight fluctuations actually tend to be greater, not lower, because healthier and more wholesome foods are heavier because they contain more water and fiber.

The weight fluctuations are caused mostly by the weight of food and beverages. Once they enter your body, they show up on the scale until they can be removed through urine, feces, and to a much lesser degree sweat and other body fluids.

The healthier your diet, the more your food weighs. You tend to eat more volume, but fewer calories (but the scale doesn't weigh calories, it weighs pounds/kilos). You also tend to drink more (this isn't always true, but for me it tends to me). On a healtier diet, you probably will poop more often, which can in the long run, lessen fluctuation (if you poop once a week, you're going to weigh the most right before you poop).

Because I weigh more than twice the OP, my fluctuations also tend to be twice hers. This morning, I weighed 309.8 and just now I weighed after a nap and weigh 311.4. I haven't changed my ticker, because it's PMS/TOM, and it's not unusual for me to gain 10 lbs in water weight during my period, even if I've been perfectily on plan, and this week I have been.

I can't wait to see how much weight, my period is masking. I know from experience that at this stage of my monthly, and with what I've eaten today, I'l likely to wake up three or more pounds thinner tomorrow (I'm also likely to be up all night peeing).

It's also why I don't change my ticker upward, unless I've gone more than 10 days without seeing that weight on the scale, especially when the gain is due to pms/tom weight gain or a high sodium day.


My weight fluctates more during days in the summer than the winter (in part, because I eat far more fruits and vegetables, in part because I drink more water and exercise more).

When I exercise, my weight fluctuates more. It goes up as much as 4 lbs the day after exercise, and a couple days later those extra pounds (and sometimes a little more, yeah) will be gone.

If I eat very low carb, it usually drops quickly and then fluctuates less (probably because I retain far less water). Eating low enough to minimize my wieght and minimize the fluctuations has no great benefit that I can see. Eating no fruit, starch, or veggie servings may minimize the fluctuations in the short term, but in the long term moderate carb (the diet I try to stay one, because while I lose faster on very low, I feel better physically on moderately low-carb).

On Tuesdays (my TOPS weigh-in day), I tend to intentionally eat lighter meals (in weight) and drink more fluid until about 2pm and then no fluid until after my weigh-in at 5:15. There's not a really good reason, I just want to be at my lowest possible weight for the weigh-in. It's silly, but I like to stay as close to my morning weight as I can for the weigh-in, without fasting all day (which is what I would do in the bad old days of disordered eating).

It's the only day I try to limit the fluctuations (and it's for a somewhat foolish reason), and in general the healthier I eat, the more fluctuations during any given day. If I don't take in enough fruit, vegetables, and water, I will end up pooping less, but there is still less variation during any day, except the days I poo.

Fluctuation isn't something to be afraid of. And a great deal of fluctation isn't necessarily a bad sign, it can be a very good one. In my experience, the better I eat and exercise, the more fluctuation I experience, not less. To assume it's a bad thing and to aim for little or no fluctuation could lead a person into some very unhealthy habits.
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