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Can someone explain why the scale is moving like this?

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Old 08-27-2011, 09:08 AM   #1
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Default Can someone explain why the scale is moving like this?

So I don't really eat "on plan" ever. Some days are better than others, but I just haven't gotten my rear in gear.

That said, I was doing ok for a few weeks: cut back significantly on the booze, eating relatively healthy (but still way over my daily calorie count), and no sweets. The scale moved, but in teeny tiny amounts (maybe a few ounces of loss each week).

Then I had a rough week (Hello PMS!) and drank a lot of wine, and ate a bowl of spaghetti plus garlic bread 3 nights in a row. (And when I say "a bowl," I mean a BOWL. As in... a serving bowl. I typically eat a half box of spaghetti or more in one sitting.)

The following week, I had dropped a pound to be at my lowest weight since my kid was born!

The usual explanations--I had cut my calories too drastically and my body needed to indulge, or the weight loss was actually a result of the previous few weeks' eating--don't seem to fit because my diet hasn't been clean at all.

Any ideas? Cuz I swear, if I can lose weight eating bowls of spaghetti and drinking wine, I'll be happy dancing all the way to the kitchen. lol

BTW, no exercise for months either, so that's not it...
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Old 08-27-2011, 09:15 AM   #2
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I've had that happen too. I always wonder if my body's pulling a 'Do Not Want' face after really clean eating?
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Old 08-27-2011, 09:19 AM   #3
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It's just one of those weird anomolies of our bodies. I wouldn't count on being able to sustain that, though. I've frequently seen posts here where someone goes off plan, eats a lot, loses that particular when, but then gains the following week. Eventually, the body weight catches up with the eating habits (unfortunately!).
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Old 08-27-2011, 09:27 AM   #4
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The reason for this is the scale takes up to a week to reflect what we have eaten before. So the fact you over indulged may not show up for another week. Your body is being deprived of adequate nutrition when you eat like this and you will eventually pay the price.
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Old 08-27-2011, 09:39 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by retrogirl View Post
I've had that happen too. I always wonder if my body's pulling a 'Do Not Want' face after really clean eating?
LOL That's funny!!
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Old 08-27-2011, 09:42 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by QuilterInVA View Post
The reason for this is the scale takes up to a week to reflect what we have eaten before. So the fact you over indulged may not show up for another week. Your body is being deprived of adequate nutrition when you eat like this and you will eventually pay the price.
I thought about that, but my "indulgence" was a few weeks ago, and the scale has remained the same. Weird.

My body is always deprived of adequate nutrition. Unfortunate, but true. I am trying to change that, but it's taking some time to adjust a lifetime of eating habits.
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Old 08-27-2011, 11:08 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by banananutmuffin View Post
Then I had a rough week (Hello PMS!) and drank a lot of wine, and ate a bowl of spaghetti plus garlic bread 3 nights in a row. (And when I say "a bowl," I mean a BOWL. As in... a serving bowl. I typically eat a half box of spaghetti or more in one sitting.)
.
Sometimes I drop in weight right before (like the day) my TOM.

Something BIG I learned for the past month being here is weight fluctuations are totally normal and this is a really is a lifetime thing. So one pound up/or down this week isn't going to make a difference in 10 years as long as I stay on track.

Like other's are saying you aren't treating your body well by not feeding it well. I read recently about an overweight woman being very malnourished. I never really thought about that but now that it has dawned on me makes a big difference in what I chose to eat.

To lose weight you need to eat less calories, to be healthy you need to eat good food. Fortunately those healthy foods tend to fill you up with less calories.

Good luck, and I totally get the PMS eating. A posted a couple days ago about my cravings for salt. I realized that while I do love salt, those days when I could practically drink it, LOL! are right around that time.
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Old 08-27-2011, 11:51 AM   #8
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Fat loss is a matter of calories.

Weight loss is a matter of 4 million different factors and trying to figure out exactly what is occuring and why is only going to be guess work at best.

I suggest focusing on what you can control (food intake and calories expended) and not things you can't like the mystery of the scale.

Having said that I do like to theorize and in your case I would theorize that the wine and the pasta caused you to relax quite a bit and cortisol levels went down and water levels went down with them - thus you dropped a pound.

OR

The alchohol in the wine caused you to drop some of the excess water you were carrying around.

OR

Some combination of both.
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Old 08-27-2011, 04:05 PM   #9
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I'll just add to everyone else's excellent comments that the whole weight loss process has to be viewed on a long time scale. You won't see week-to-week correlations between how you eat and what you weigh. Rather, if you look at a long-term trend - month-over-month or even longer - that's when the correlations become clear. In other words, if you eat fewer calories than you burn averaged over a month or two, then at the end of that month or two you should weigh less than you did at the beginning. As John says, there are too many factors that determine your weight on a particular day, or in a particular week, factors that are beyond your control. Fluctuations due to these factors can easily mask fat loss for a week or two (or make you think you've lost weight when you haven't lost fat). The most meaningful correlations between what you eat, how much you exercise, and how much fat you have on your body only emerge after a month or two or more.
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Old 08-28-2011, 08:38 AM   #10
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Good points about the monthly view being more of the overall picture. I am steadily (but SLOWLY) losing, despite my lousy diet. I gave it some more thought, and think that maybe I am compensating for those extra wine/spaghetti calories in other places: a lighter lunch, fewer snacks, no sweets, etc.
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Old 08-28-2011, 11:22 AM   #11
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I just looked at your blog and I have a couple comments about an entry...

•Eat 5-6 meals per day, with last meal 4 hours before bedtime
•Combine lean proteins and complex carbs at every meal
•Meals should be spaced every 2-3 hours
•Avoid: processed grains, white sugar, white flour, full-fat dairy, fatty meats, juice, alcohol, excessive sodium, junk food

Aside from that last point being somewhat valid - the others are irrelevant unless following those rules make dieting easier for you, which I doubt.

It is a myth that one needs to eat 5-6 times a day or every 2-3 hours. You like to eat - which I understand. (Me too) You'd probably do better eating fewer but larger meals. Also - you might do better with lower carb and higher fat. If you have never tried it - you might want to look into it.
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Old 08-28-2011, 01:03 PM   #12
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I wonder if the pound you lost was water from TOM?

I don't know. The body is so weird. You eat well, you gain and then you binge and lose... yesterday I ate movie theater popcorn, then restaurant dinner, a lot of Diet Coke and Diet Pepsi, and I lost a fraction of a pound. ????
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Old 08-28-2011, 08:00 PM   #13
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It can take a lot more than a week for the scale to reflect your food intake. There are a lot of people who lose weight in wooshes, and it can take weeks to see results.

Imagine that you have a boss who pays you randomly. You don't know exactly how much you're going to get paid, or when you're going to be paid, you're just assured that the harder you work, the more you'll get paid.


You work really hard on some days, and on other days you don't work as hard, and maybe some you goof off and don't do any work.

If this boss gives you a big check on a day you're goofing off, or after several days of goofing off, do you conclude "Oh I get it, the less I work, the more I get paid," or do you assume instead "the boss is finally getting around to paying me for all the work I did since the last time he paid me?"

My body seems to work on monthly schedule. I gain weight with PMS/TOM, and then take another week to lose it. Of the remaining two weeks, I might lose gradually or I might not lose one week, and might have a nice loss the other. If I expected a weekly pay-off, I would be extremely confused.

Especially with the PMS/TOM gain, because doing everything right still results in a significant gain.

I used to get so discouraged that I would fall off my diet during TOM. The false weight gain would discourage me so badly that I'd make it a true weight gain by bingeing in response to the gain. I now know that the weight gain is temporary if I just stay on plan.

Some people do have bodies that pay out on a fairly regular schedule. It may be weekly, it may be monthly, it may even be longer. How much you have to lose, your own metabolism and hormonal systemp, how much effort you're putting in, how much fiber you're eating, whether you're on birth control - all sorts of factors can affect the pay schedule, but you can't force it to your preference.
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Old 08-29-2011, 09:08 AM   #14
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I'm pretty sure the scale is a Magic 8 Ball. I don't see a direct correlation with my daily habits on the scale at all. There are times when weeks go by and I stall on the scale but I swear my clothes are looser. Then, it wooshes down and I feel bloated and bigger(?). Or I do legitimately feel thinner when I lose. It just seems very random to me. The overall direction is downward and I've found that keeping a log of my weight on fitday helps because I can see the long term graph. I also have learned to see the scale as my day's amusement and not as a serious thing. Sometimes I actually laugh at it.

Learning the right habits and doing them is what gets us where we want to be. It's okay to make those changes gradually. Only you know what is best for you for long term success. If you can't tackle the whole thing yet, but just want to eat cleaner, that's a REALLY good place to start! But if you feel that you must give yourself a "grade" for your behavior, don't use the scale. The best place to grade yourself is against goals that you've set that you know are healthy. Ex. I want to eat clean 5 days each week. If you did that, you get an "A." If not, re-evaluate why not and make adjustments.

Whatever you do, keep going and trying to live a healthy lifestyle! It is sooo worth it! I promise!!
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