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Ups and Downs of Weight Loss

Tuesday, October 08, 2013

I’m currently competing in a 6 week Orange Theory Fitness, or OTF, challenge.

Week 1 I lost 2.5 pounds.
Week 2 I lost 6 pounds.
Week 3 (yesterday) I lost 1 pound.

I have been following the same diet and exercise routine all three weeks. The ups and downs are frustrating but if the pattern continues I should see more weight loss this week. Logically, I know that as long as I’m seeing a downward trend I should breathe a sigh of relief. However, emotionally, it caused a major dip in my motivation last night.

This week I am going to try eating at the lower range of my calories on the days I do not work out and at the higher end on the days that I do. Since I am working out tonight I can eat up to 1500. Tomorrow, I do not have a workout session so I will stay to 1200.

Another idea I am considering is weighing daily and using a moving average. Right now I jump on the scale once or twice a week but rely on the Monday weigh in number overall. According to Monica Reinagel, a.k.a. Nutrition Diva, using a moving average helps smooth out the ups and downs of weight loss so that you can see what’s really going on.

Monica’s article uses the following example:

Sandy’s trying to fit into a dress for her daughter’s wedding. To do that, she’s started a diet and exercise program and is keeping track of her weight. She records a starting weight of 150 pounds on Monday, then down to 148 pounds on Tuesday, back up to 151 pounds on Wednesday, down again to 149 pounds on Thursday, and down yet again to 147 pounds on Friday.

It might appear that Sandy has lost 3 pounds in just five days. But let’s see what happens if we use a 3-day moving average instead. Each day, we’d add up that day’s weight plus the previous two days and divide by 3. On Wednesday, Sandy’s 3-day moving average is 149.6. On Thursday, it’s 149.3. On Friday, it’s 149. In other words, her true weight loss is probably closer to one pound!


I’ll give this a try and report back. Overall, I’m trying to replace any negative talk (ugh, I only lost 1 pound this week and I worked SOOOO hard) with positive talk (I lost another pound, my hard work is paying off!) so that I stay motivated. The OTF challenge also took measurements so at the end of the 6 weeks if I’m still losing slowly perhaps my measurements will be more encouraging.

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    sandy is living in a fools paradise if she thinks she can fit in a dress just by loosing weight on the scale. especially in one week. she probably lost 3 pounds of water weight.
    1688 days ago
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    Disclaimer: Weight loss results will vary from person to person. No individual result should be seen as a typical result of following the SparkPeople program.

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