If I have been eating healthy for a period of weeks (long enough for it to be 'normal' for my body), a big, naughty meal won't do anything to my weight. My ability to absorb the occasional error seems to be greater. If I have been eating crappy then eat and even worse meal, it shows up quick.
This is TOTALLY unscientific but I think it also depends on your rate of weight loss. If you are very strict and are losing quickly, I think a small deviation has greater impact and maybe that's just because of context. If I lose quick then stop, it comes back quick. If I lose slow and stop, it takes a lot longer to start regaining weight. I WISH I didn't know that from personal experience but I do!
Working out takes longer to notice I think. I am on the tail end of an unplanned experiment. I have only worked out once in the last two weeks. My eating has stayed the same. My weight has also stayed the same. I know I can lose weight without exercise but it seems to impact the consistency of the losses. When I exercise and eat decently, I'm nearly guaranteed a loss. If I eat fantastic but don't exercise, it's still a crap shoot whether or not I'll have a loss. Exercise seems to make weight loss more consistent for me.
I'm back to working out today because I'm now going to have to record a small gain (probably just normal fluctuations- I'm probably the same weight) for this week. I don't like to see a gain of any sort.
1st goal- ONEDERLAND! Check!
2nd goal- Less than 194 (a number I've been stuck at before) CHECK!
3rd goal- Reach the 180's- haven't been there since 1999. CHECK!
4th goal- 180 which means hitting the 50 lbs. lost mark! Check!
5th goal- Switching to size goals now more than pounds goals. Goal is to make it to size 12, at whatever weight that happens. CHECK!
6th goal- Size 10! (can't even believe this is possible!)
7th goal- Size 8 and MAINTAIN!