Friday, February 26, 2010
I’d like to say this post was created by me but it wasn’t. It was created by SP user ARCHIMEDESII. It is a quick reminder to me why I might not have lost pounds this week or that week. ENJOY!
I'd like to take a moment to start a discussion on weekly weight fluctuations. A fellow member was unhappy that she saw a 4 pound gain in two weeks. I replied to her blog to tell her that scale fluctuations are a normal part of the weight loss process. Here's what I said and I'll say to my fellow Sparkers who might feel despondent if the scale doesn't show a number they'd like it to be.
There are many reasons the scale can go up and down as we lose weight. The primary reason is water weight gain or loss. It's extremely difficult to put on one pound of fat in a day. Why ?
Water has weight and I can prove it. Weigh yourself first thing in the morning after doing to the bathroom. Get off the scale and then drink 2-4 cups of water. Get back on the scale. Did you "gain" weight ? YES... because water has weight.
I can easily gain 2-3 pounds in a day just from drinking extra water. This gain is not a true fat gain. In order to gain one pound of fat, a person would have to eat an extra 3,500 calories on top of their normal BMR calories. Your BMR calories are the least amount of calories a person should eat just to be able to lie in bed thinking.
So, let's take our fellow member who doesn't understand how she gained four pounds in two weeks when she was eating right and exercising. She gained water. If she really gained 4 pounds of fat in two weeks, she would have had to eaten an EXTRA 14,000 calories !
One pound of fat is equal to 3,500 calories. Do you believe you ate an extra 7,000 calories if your weight was up two pounds from yesterday ? And that's my point. Water can easily skew the scale to make it seem like a person gains weight when they really didn't.
Another reason a person retains water is sodium. Watch the amount of salty foods you eat. If you eat too much salt, that will also cause a person to retain water and gain scale weight.
TOM, yes, women can gain weight during their menstrual cycle. I can easily gain five pounds during TOM. Is that fat ? No, it's a water weight gain. It does pass in a few days. Gotta love those fluctuating hormones. LOL !
Your muscles can retain water. You may see the scale go up when you start weight training. You are not gaining muscle. At least, not at first. It takes an obscene amount of hard work in the weight room for a woman to pack on muscle. Women can't gain muscle the same way men do. that's because we don't have the same amount of testosterone.
However, your muscles will retain water when they've been worked intensely. They'll also swell in size. This does pass in time. Your muscles will release any excess water they don't need once they've adapted to the new routine.
Are you dehydrated ? someone who is the least bit dehydrated will retain water. This will also cause the scale to go up. The food you eat also has weight. If you weigh yourself in the morning and then wonder why the scale went up when you weighed yourself in the evening, that's because food has weight.
Not to get TMI, but if you don't do a number 2 in the morning, you still have your breakfast, lunch and dinner from the previous day in your system. The waste in your intestines has weight.
These are a few of the reasons a person should not tie their emotional state to a number on a scale.
Therefore, it's important to find other ways to measure success. Get a tape measure and take your measurements. a person will see the inches drop off long before that scale ever budges. It can take 6-8 weeks of healthy eating and regular exercise for a person to see a change in the scale. And that's perfectly normal.
How are you sleeping ? Are you sleeping better ? then you're making a change. How's your energy ? If you have more energy, you're making a change. How about your blood pressure ? If your blood pressure decreases, you just made a huge change. Can you run or walk a mile more than when you started ? then you made a change.
As you can see, there is more to good health than a number on a scale. Thus the reason people shouldn't tie their emotions to a scale.