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I Need Your Input, Please!

Tuesday, October 08, 2013

I would like to know if any of you can relate to what I am experiencing. About 2 months ago, I began weighing myself daily in order to see how my daily behaviors affect my weight. I felt that my weight was constantly yo-yoing within the same range and I wanted to take a closer look at what I was doing. I had always avoided daily weighing due to the psychological issues inherent with trying to lose weight and being too connected to the scale. I decided to set those aside, not expect miracles and give this a try. What I am finding is that my weight varies wildly from day to day. I'm not talking about a pound or fraction of a pound. I am talking POUNDS! In addition to recording my daily weight, I also record what variables I think might have had a positive or negative impact on each day.

Here is an example of what I have seen just over the past few days:

From Friday to Saturday my weight jumped 3.8 pounds. I reviewed the day and noted that I ate lunch out (though only ate a half portion of the Vietnamese Hotpot), I had a beer that night and I had had too little sleep for several nights. My calorie count was slightly over my range. I did my usual amount of exercise.

From Saturday to Sunday I dropped 5.2 pounds. Fearing that sodium had been the previous day's culprit, I kicked up the water intake (I ALWAYS drink more than 8 cups of water, so this day was 13 cups), added several potassium-heavy fruit servings, and stayed at the low end of my calorie range and got a good night's sleep. Again, I did my usual amount of exercise.

From Sunday to Monday I gained 2.5 pounds. This one blows my mind. I stayed in my calorie range, pushed fluids and pushed myself. I did 20 minutes of ST and then 100 minutes on the treadmill. I ate lots of veggies and fruits and had very minimal sodium.

I just don't get this extreme fluctuation and am wondering if any of you have and answers or suggestions. Help!

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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    I'm hopping about reading old blogs and came across this on the feed.

    Agree with A-NEW-PAULA

    I find that foods that used to be "go to" weight loss foods like eggs and salmon and eggplant and tomatoes and cauliflower react VERY badly with my body and cause weight spikes.

    I never realized why, but Lyn Genet says it's kind of like allergy's - some people react and some people don't. You just have to experiment on yourself and find out what's not working for you.

    I've never done the full "Plan" as outlined in her book, but I incorporated more "low inflammatory food" into my diet.

    Good luck!

    Have a great day and keep ...

    ´¨¨)) -:¦:-
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    ((¸¸.•´ ..•´ Spreading the Spark!-:¦:-
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    1500 days ago
    I have had similar results and since I am still in the losing mode, I stopped because it was frustrating and the bad days would drive me to overeat.
    1563 days ago
  • UNICORN212
    LOL - It could also be the quality of the scale, the age or quality of the batteries, or even the amount of dust or pet hair (I have 3 dogs) that has collected around or under it.
    1590 days ago
  • WATOGA17
    1592 days ago

    Comment edited on: 10/9/2013 9:29:35 AM
    Jen - I understand why you wanted to see the daily fluctuations, but I think weighing daily isn't necessarily going to give you any insight into why you "are constantly yo-yoing within the same range." The daily fluctuations will likely track physical variations, as everybody else mentioned (salt, exercise, etc.), but what if the cause of the longterm yo-yoing isn't physical? How will tracking it help?

    For me, when I'm not making progress on this journey, it is usually an inside job issue, like lack of motivation or emotional eating. (Again for me,) tracking daily just makes it harder to see the forest through the trees.

    Or, there may be other longterm explanations that have nothing to do with daily fluctuations. For example, given your weight loss, it may be time for you to lower your calorie range. Or, it may be that you are nearing maintenance, which is a time when your body will let go of weight very reluctantly.

    Try looking at the overall picture, physically and emotionally, rather than the fluctuations.
    1592 days ago
    I think it's actually pretty common for people to have such fluctuations. Yes, the sodium may have a big impact and we have so much added sodium in the foods we eat---even the healthier ones!The key would be to look at the overall picture, which I know you are doing. Some people need that daily weigh in just to check on themselves, but this seems to be adding stress to you. I read that you've been short of sleep also-two areas that keep us from where we need to be to lose.

    Hang in there...try not to let this throw you under the bus...
    1592 days ago
    I've been weighing myself daily and tracking the number on the FitBit site since April. Those daily fluctuations are NORMAL and I don't let them drive me crazy. Our bodies are about 60% fluid and sodium is not the only thing that affects the amount of water we're holding onto. Eating protein causes our bodies to hold onto more water for digesting it, for example. Too much or too little fiber can have an impact. I even find I weigh more the day after I've been wearing flipflops because my plantar fasciitis makes my feet swell a bit. A lot of heavy cardio makes my muscles hold onto fluid for a day or so, too.

    It's not all about Calories in vs. Calories out.

    Weighing less often does not make the numbers more accurate. Statistics are my job, so I'm a big fan of collecting data -- I just don't act on it every day. It's just good to see the overall trend in the numbers.

    It looks like you've gotten a lot of feedback here. Take what feels right and ignore the rest!
    1592 days ago
    I also fluctuate widely from day to day. So I stick with specific days of the week and compare those days with each other. I don't even like doing 2 days a week, because that Sunday weight is so different from Wednesday's weight. Salt can really do a number on your weight the next day though. Not sure 13 glasses of water is much better than 8-10.
    1593 days ago
    The Plan: Lose Weight Fast and Forever by Eating the Right Foods for Your Body by Lyn-Genet Recitas claims that certain foods cause your body to have a inflammatory response to certain foods causing you to gain weight on the scale. And once you figure out what foods those are through a process of elimination you won't have those swings on the scale. She claims that everyone is different and what causes one person to react will not cause someone else to. And if you are a woman over 35 or 40 she thinks you should be doing this and she treats over 1000 people each year this way. *I have tried to do this and it sounds good in theory but it is very difficult to do properly. There is a team for it here on SP if you want to check it out more or google it.
    Good luck!

    1593 days ago
    I weigh myself every day, it is just a way to keep track. I do it first thing in the morning, after I potty, naked. It is my true weight. As mentioned I think how regular you are will make a difference. I have IBS and I have found when I can't "go" I will see a pretty big difference in one day. You drink a lot of water, which is great! But I think if your sodium is up it may cause some retention and that can make a difference too. I have found, like others, that the number on the scale is not the be-all and end-all of what we are trying to do. I do it because I've found in the past if I don't I can be up 10 pounds in no time at all and it just keeps me aware. As long as the trend is moving downward, that's all that is needed. It took me forever to realize that the changes weren't under my feet, it was every inch above them!
    1593 days ago
    I have not weighed every day in a long time, but I still would either stay the same or gain a little each week. (even when I thought I was doing good) When I saw the program on PBS about JJ Virgin and her book about how even healthy food can make you fat, I got interested. I am following suggestions about cutting out Gluten, Sugar, Corn, Eggs, Soy, Dairy and Peanuts for 21 days. Any or all of those things could be the cause of a food intolerance. You may not even be aware of this until you get them out of your system and start added one thing at a time back in . I was eating so much processed food that I wasn't getting much nutrition out of anything I ate. I only weigh once a week, but so far, each week has been a loss and I love the taste of the fresh food I am eating. It sounds like your body is reacting to something. I know water weight, stress and lack of sleep can really make a difference in your weight and I think you have all of those things in your life right now. Maybe you shouldn't weigh every day, that just sounds like more stress to me. I wish you the best and I will let you know if I find out anything else about food intolerance. Cynthia emoticon
    1593 days ago
  • SMP927
    I see those wide variations daily too, and it's why I try to limit myself to weekly weigh-ins - the daily fluctuations are normal, but they made me over-analyze every little thing I do every day.

    The goal isn't to be perfect (that is, never do anything that causes fluctuation) because that's not possible, and I'm betting even if you did exactly the same things every single day, you'd still see fluctuations on the scale.

    My goal is to keep moving in the right direction in the long term, and don't sweat the small stuff. You've probably heard the one about airliners not being precisely on track until the very end of the journey, when they're about to land, but they're heading in the right direction the entire way, and that is enough to get them there.
    1593 days ago
    The comments are interesting. (Un)fortunately, I only weigh myself on Wednesdays so I cannot add anything. Quite the fluctuations tho'.
    1593 days ago
    I weigh daily and I see the same fluctuations sometimes. I don't worry about it too much as long as on a weekly basis I am moving down.
    1593 days ago
    Yes, everything contributed to the swings up and down. Eating out which includes the higher sodium (and other chemicals) always causes a jump. Fiber, water, and timing of elimination make a difference. Fruit and veggies vs meat produces a change. Everything.
    1593 days ago
    I get the same results, although I don't track it as closely as you did. I do it because it helps keep me honest. I don't really have any answers either, and I've seen some really odd things. For example, I can eat (gorge on) pizza and be up only a pound the next day, but if I eat a single cookie or piece of candy, my weight will jump 3 or 4 lbs. I've also found that a single beer in the evening will often result in a loss. Strange, huh? As a rule, I expect to be up after a restaurant meal, because I just assume those dishes are loaded up with salt. I can't drink that much water because I'll spend the entire day (literally) in the bathroom. I also can't always account for hormones, which for me are in crazy fluctuation because I'm pre-menopausal. I've noticed that the best days are the ones where I eat lean protein and lots of veggies and not much grain. Mostly I think the fluctuations are my "normal" and I don't worry about it too much.
    1593 days ago
    I have seen the same wild fluctuations and don't always have an explanation. However, I have found that if I keep my fiber intake at my normal level (at least 25) my weight stays more even. Hope you figure out what your body wants.
    1593 days ago
    I think it is mostly water, when we go up and down that much usually you are retaining or eliminating fluid. Speaking of elimination - that could be another reason.
    1593 days ago
    Actually, mine fluctuates up to about 2.5 pounds. For me it seems to be due to sodium, lots of vegetables still in gut, or more carbs, generally heavier eating for a day. When I exercise a lot, my muscles seem to retain water somehow. I notice that I gain 2 lbs. when I first start an exercise program.
    1593 days ago
    I wish I could say something helpful but the same thing happens to me: I know for a fact that too much sodium (in fact, just about any restaurant meal) can push my weight up.
    I also know that recently I was stuck in a very stubborn rut for about 3 months. I only lost 2 pounds. Yet my waist measurement was down by 4 inches--so there was some very good progress there.

    I have learned to live with extreme fluctuation but as long as the scale is on a steady, if slow, downward trend over the long term, I can take those crazy, moody mysterious seemingly unjustified gain.

    Best wishes and good luck!
    1593 days ago
    Don't forget that you're also weighing the food that you are putting in, and some foods like bread, absorb a lot of water on the way through, which also weighs a lot. I find the difference between my fasting and non fasting days, can be 5lbs sometimes.
    1593 days ago
    Wow! Those are big swings! I'm not sure how mine own pattern is since I don't weigh daily , might be interesting to see!
    1593 days ago
    Yes I do. Usually if I eat high sodium foods the scale goes way up the nest day then in a day or so flushes right out.

    Also if I work out pretty heavily spikes it up the next day too. So it does fluctuate.

    Know that when you eat a meal out and even if you stay in range, most likely the scale is going to spike up the next day. Drink your water and flush it out. I'd say try sticking with your normal 8 glasses or drink up to 10. See what happens.

    Don't stress about it. It's normal for weight to swing up and down.
    1593 days ago
  • BEFIT018
    I've had some wild fluctuations, too! I think it's perfectly normal and why it's not recommended to weigh daily. But I do. It could be anything, tho--salt, water weight, etc. Just weigh the same time of day, I do it first thing in the mrng.

    Keep doing what you're doing!
    1593 days ago
    Wow, Jenn, I don't know other than you may be building more muscle. Muscle weighs more than fat but you should be able to tell it in how your clothes fit and muscle tone if that is the case.

    Mine fluctuates too but not that much. If you find an answer, please let me know.

    Hugs, Donna
    1593 days ago
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