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Old 07-10-2006, 09:11 AM   #1
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Default Why 3 lbs More Today Than Yesterday?!!

Why does my body do this to me? Yesterday I weighed and the scale said 254, which is about right because a few days before it was 255. I weighed this morning (yes, I'm hooked on weighing myself and I do it almost everyday) and it said 257. WHY??!!! Is it because I changed my exercise routine yesterday? I thought this would help but now I'm not so sure. I've been going to the YMCA and using the different machines, but yesterday I went to a trail and walked 3 miles. Now I weigh more, what happened? I'm supposed to go tonight and walk 6 miles with an old friend who is also a trainer at the Y. She's going to try and help me lose somemore weight but now I'm afraid that I'll weigh 6 lbs more in the morning. Anyone else experience this problem?
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Old 07-10-2006, 09:44 AM   #2
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i have had as much as a 7 lb flux on my scales from 1 day to maybe 3rd day then it bounces back to where it was to start with, sometimes its just a difference in the time ya weighed ie before breakfast then the next day after.. sometimes its ya body being stubborn and ya full of water that it doesn't want to let go .. don't worry so much as long as ya kno you are sticking to your plan you will be ok and it will bounce where it should .. also i have noticed when my body does do that when it dips back down to where i think it should be * ok its far from where i think it should be but where i am happier anyways* i have managed to notice a 1-2 lb loss as well ... good luck ..and keep on movin .. wether its walkin or other exercise ... its all good!!
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Old 07-10-2006, 10:06 AM   #3
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This is the exact reason that you should NOT weigh in every day.

There is nothing wrong with adding new exercise to your routine-it didn't make you "gain 3 pounds" if that is what you are worried about. It is impossible to gain 3 pounds of fat, or 3 pounds of muscle in a single day.

Our bodies are made up of a huge percentage of water, and it fluctuates on a daily, even an hourly basis. We also have digestive systems to contend with as well that cause fluctuations as well-and neither of these sort of fluctuations has anything to do with how much fat or muscle is in our bodies.

For instance-if you weigh yourself, then drink a 16oz. bottle of water, and jump right back on the scale-you are probably going to weigh a pound more. Did the bottle of water add any fat or muscle? Nope. It is just in your system now, and will be until your digestive processes work through that. Over time your body will use that water, and you will go to the potty to get rid of waste, and you will be right back at about the point you started at.

The same thing happens with food-this is a gross example, but say you have a bout of diarrhea for a couple of days. You are going to weigh a pound or two less (with no change in eating habits at all) simply because your body has dehydrated itself of some of its water...and the fact that your stomach and intestinal tract is no longer holding as much food and waste in it-but a week later after feeling better, it would be about back up to its normal level.

Sodium can make you temporarily hold a tad more water...PMS can as well...there are just too many fluctuations that occur naturally for you to be on the scale every single day.

If you weigh in once a week, it will give you a better "average".

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Old 07-10-2006, 10:09 AM   #4
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Aphil's post is right on the money! That's what I was thinking but my thoughts come out garbled.

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Old 07-10-2006, 10:11 AM   #5
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I know there are a ton of people that can handle daily scale fluctuations with equanimity, but I never could. There are 100+ reasons the scale can vary wildly day to day, hour to hour. Pick up a big bottle of water - it's heavy. If you drink that bottle of water, you will weight you + bottle of water. If you eat salty food, you can retain water. I tend to gain anywhere from 2-5 lbs the week before my period. I weigh more before I go to the bathroom, etc etc.

In previous weight loss attempts I got on the scale several times a day. The scale was an emotional roller coaster ride for me. If it was down, I felt ecstatic, a winner, I was pumped to continue my weight loss efforts. If the scale were up, I felt awful, a loser, a failure, why bother with all my hard work. This time, I was very strict with myself, I only weighed once a week - the same day, the same circumstances (first thing in the morning, after a trip to the bathroom, naked).

It might be a good thing to weigh yourself several times a day for a few days, just so you can see that the fluctuations are completely natural and to be expected. Of course you didn't gain 3 lbs of fat, that would require the consumption of 10,500 extra calories.

Basically, if you can jump up on the scale every hour and still feel good and positive no matter what the scale says, definitely weigh yourself frequently. If the scale makes you miserable, try to cut back. Definitely make sure your feelings are success are tied to non-scale related activities - things you CAN control. You definitely can not control the scale. Sometimes you can do everything absolutely right and the scale still won't budge for weeks. It's frustrating, mysterious and normal.
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Old 07-10-2006, 10:18 AM   #6
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I have never been able to deal with the scale fluctuations on a daily basis. The closer I got to goal, the more I wanted to weigh. It was frustrating, so I backed off and went back to just weighing weekly and then I was able to see my true loss each week.


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Old 07-10-2006, 11:01 AM   #7
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I really appreciate all of your advice. I really can't handle the daily weigh-ins. When I first started losing I weighed once a week and for some reason I started weighing everyday and I haven't been able to stop. Seems like I was alot less stressed with the weekly weigh-ins. I'm turning over a new leaf, starting this week I'm going to weigh only on Friday mornings like I did before. Okay, maybe not this Friday because that's when TOM is supposed to visit. It will take alot of willpower but maybe I can make it until Friday of next week. YIKES!!
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Old 07-10-2006, 01:45 PM   #8
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And even if you do weigh weekly, you still are only getting a snapshot of your weight at that moment. I hopped on the scale and didn't "lose" anything this week, but next week I might "lose" 3 pounds. In actuality, maybe I have lost a little fat but am retaining a little extra water and so I don't see a difference because the scale doesn't distinguish.

What you are looking for is the trend over time -- many weeks and months -- not the number at a specific point in time.

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Old 07-10-2006, 02:00 PM   #9
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There are studies that show daily weigh ins actually show better weight loss results (it's a head game) but I am sure there is a study for everything. I like a daily weigh in, but I know I will flunctuate. I will get frustrated once in a while, but I am an analytical person when it comes to why it moved. The post about digestive, PMS (a huge one, a little before and after), water and salt reasons is right on.

Some additional factors are not weighing at the same time of the day (in the morning after you pee but before you eat), not having enough sleep or having sleep that is inconsistent (dunno why), and what type of food you ate the day before.

For me I suffer from IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) so I have to always take the flunctuations in account because I don't "use the restroom" regularly enough.

I swing about 2-4 pounds. During periods it can be 4-7lbs. I take my lowest of the week and move on. My next mini goal is to beat that lowest and so forth.
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Old 07-10-2006, 02:10 PM   #10
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I weigh every day myself. But I only take my "official" weight to be what I weigh on Friday mornings. Daily weighing is fine, as long as you understand that you will see frequent weight fluctuations and not get freaked out by them. I find it helpful to keep a list of my Friday weigh ins (I have them listed on my blog part of my site) and see the overall trend.
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Old 07-10-2006, 03:17 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by butterfly28
When I first started losing I weighed once a week and for some reason I started weighing everyday and I haven't been able to stop.
Put the scales away. Take them off the floor. Out of sight out of mind. Put them in a closet, up on a shelf, cover them with a blanket or towels.

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Old 07-10-2006, 03:22 PM   #12
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I'm a daily weigher -- I'm always afraid that if I weigh once a week, I'll pick the wrong day — you know, the day that I'm up three pounds for no reason.

I agree with what everyone has said about the mind games, though. Long ago, at my very first WW meeting, the topic was, as the leader put it, "Stop worshipping the scale god." I've found that I will use the scale as an excuse -- if I'm up a pound even though I was "good," well, then, the diet isn't working and I'm gonna eat ice cream. Take THAT, scale! Or at least, that's what I used to do. Now I'll spit at it if it's bad but I won't let it control my behavior.

When I hit a new low weight, I "own" it. My scale said 292 Saturday and 295 this morning. I've been on plan. To me, I weigh 292. So there, scale. I figure that when it realizes it can't trick me any more, it will behave.

Last edited by Xan; 07-10-2006 at 03:31 PM.
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Old 07-10-2006, 06:28 PM   #13
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I have to weigh everyday....fluctuations don't bother me much, but it keeps me on track. I was 3lbs heavier today then yesterday, but I am also bloated (AF is here).
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Old 07-10-2006, 11:11 PM   #14
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i gain about 3 pounds at once a week before AF starts. then the day it does, i magically lose that 3 pounds from the water weight.
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Old 07-12-2006, 01:59 AM   #15
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I weigh pretty much everyday. It bothered me at first when I was weighing once a week or once every few days and wasn't losing at all, or gaining, even with eating strictly and exercising like crazy. It's taken me about 3 months to really start losing and perfect how I eat and all that good stuff.

Most days I weigh 2 or 3 times a day and I can deal with the fluctuations. I've taken to weighing when I first wake up, after I potty and before I even have a cup of coffee. That's my 'real' weight. I'll weigh after I eat, after I exercise, after I get off work...all different times really.

It's hard to explain, but I feel almost good to see those high weights because I know that those are now my HIGH weights. When I was in the mid 170's within the last few weeks, I told my husband that pretty soon I'd never see 18-something on the scale again and it didn't bother me to see 181.

I just ate my 'lunch' (I'm on an opposite schedule from most, working at night and sleeping during the day) and weighed after and saw 171...that's my high for now, and that makes me happy! Pretty soon I'll never see 17-something on the scale again.

So yeah, I'd have to agree that not weighing in daily is for some, and weighing in daily can be good for others. All that matters is how that number affects you mentally! It IS a mind game that you play with yourself.

I've had my weight fluctuate as much as 6 or 7 pounds in ONE DAY, so you can't really, really put too much stock in what you see there.

Maybe if you must weigh each day you should weigh at different times of the day, like I do and take an average from day to day? That could very well help!

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