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Old 03-08-07, 12:21 PM   #1
sbskates
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question for people who understand weight loss

i have been losing weight that i have needed to for the last 4 months. it usually fluctuates day to day by a few pounds.
i eat the same thing every day for lunch and breakfast. and usually the same things for dinner. this weekend i finally broke 180. i was 179. yeah, well this week on tuesday i seem to have put on 6 pounds and it isnt seeming to go back down. which is a mystery to me. what is going on here? is my body suddenly deciding to store fat? i still put in the same hours on the trainer a week and i have been getting outside road time in also.
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Old 03-08-07, 12:34 PM   #2
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Seems unlikely to gain 6 pounds in a week, without some serious buffet and cheesecake time. It may be water retention. I suspect your weight will be back down soon. Don't freak out.
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Old 03-08-07, 12:39 PM   #3
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Several things that might be happening:
  • Make sure you use the same scale at the same time of day, and wear the same amount of colthing.
  • Urinate before you weigh yourself. A pint of urine (not a real large amount)weighs one pound.
  • You might be recording the amount you eat inaccurately. Many studies have shown that recall of food intake is very unreliable. Even food diaries are fairly inaccurate. Make sure you include drinks as well as solid food.
  • Your fluctuations may be due to water retention rather than fat accumulation. If I eat salty processed food, my weight is one or more pounds heavier the next day. Hormonal variations can make adifference too.
My advice is to keep weighing yourself, and record the weights. After a few weeks/months you'll learn to interpret the results better. People who weigh themselves regularly are more likely to keep the weight off.
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Old 03-08-07, 12:58 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Roody
Several things that might be happening:
  • Make sure you use the same scale at the same time of day, and wear the same amount of colthing.
  • Urinate before you weigh yourself. A pint of urine (not a real large amount)weighs one pound.
  • You might be recording the amount you eat inaccurately. Many studies have shown that recall of food intake is very unreliable. Even food diaries are fairly inaccurate. Make sure you include drinks as well as solid food.
  • Your fluctuations may be due to water retention rather than fat accumulation. If I eat salty processed food, my weight is one or more pounds heavier the next day. Hormonal variations can make adifference too.
My advice is to keep weighing yourself, and record the weights. After a few weeks/months you'll learn to interpret the results better. People who weigh themselves regularly are more likely to keep the weight off.
One way i deal with the intraday variation is to weigh myself a few times a day (usually 3 times -- once in the morning, once in the afternoon, and once in the evening) and compute a daily average as well as a 7-day moving average. It's easy once you set the spreadsheet up.

The averages account for the fact that some times during the day I'm heavier/lighter than others (and, it's not always related to the time of day).
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Old 03-08-07, 01:21 PM   #5
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If you are following a low-carb diet, then did you suddenly add carbs to your diet? The reason that I ask is that 6-10 pounds is about right for going from carb depleted to carb repleted.

If not that, then have you added a salt laden food to your diet recently, as salt will help retain water (but usually more on the order of 1 to 2 pounds, not 6).

Also, you can not maintain the same work level and continue to lose. Your body will adapt and you'll need to increase the number of calories you burn due to that adaptation (i.e., increase in efficiency.) You may be able to fool your body by doing something different (i.e., if you were doing long aerobic sessions, do intervals instead or try using a different piece of exercise equipment--the more different, the better.)

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Old 03-08-07, 02:00 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by NoRacer
Also, you can not maintain the same work level and continue to lose. Your body will adapt and you'll need to increase the number of calories you burn due to that adaptation (i.e., increase in efficiency.) You may be able to fool your body by doing something different (i.e., if you were doing long aerobic sessions, do intervals instead or try using a different piece of exercise equipment--the more different, the better.)
I wonder if this is where I'm at. I've been losing a pound or so a week for months now (~30# in 6 months) but I'm currently in a maybe 3 wk plateau. The plateau coincides w/ taking a break from the pushups/crunches that had accompanied my last breakthrough, reverting exclusively to biking. Wouldn't think those teeny little shoulder/ab muscles would have such an effect but maybe they do. I feel like I need to lose ~6# more, so this is annoying to me right now. It was right there! I could see it!!! I wouldn't mind losing another 5-10# after the next 6, if I could just squeeze them out, but I'm more patient on any additional loss.

The 6 month streak of losing weight coincides w/ adding lunchtime rides (~13 miles) and focusing on calories eaten. Commuting alone (13 miles/day) and not watching food wasn't doing much the previous 2 yrs (I was maintaining a steady state, at least).
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Old 03-08-07, 03:08 PM   #7
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It would take a whole to dial in the exact reason, but what I normally see in my clients that have this problem is they chronically undereat and their metabolism responds in this manner.
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Old 03-08-07, 04:46 PM   #8
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Undereating would be depressing. I am eating 1500-1800 cal/day I think (160#). I was eating more in the fall, and losing more weight too (I had more to lose, of course).
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Old 03-08-07, 05:04 PM   #9
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Lots of good responses here. My guess is it's probably water weight gain. I've learned that for me, I'm either losing pounds or inches. I'll hit a plateau on the scales for a week or two, but then, all of a sudden, I'll lose a belt notch and realize that my waist size has dropped.

Here's a story on my web site that deals with this plateau issue.
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Old 03-08-07, 06:24 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by HardyWeinberg
Undereating would be depressing. I am eating 1500-1800 cal/day I think (160#). I was eating more in the fall, and losing more weight too (I had more to lose, of course).

You're undereating. Your metabolism has learned to deal with the decrease in calories and it has adapted. Your body tricks itself into thinking you're starving and slows down metabolism and stores fat like mad.

What you're likely going to have to do is start increasing your cals by 250 - and only 250 - per day for the next week or two and check your weight again. If it has stayed the same, increase again. You'll soon reach a point where you'll have a 1-1.5 pound weight gain. Once you reach that point, pull the calories back down slightly and maintain that caloric intake for 6 weeks or so. If you do it this way, you'll gave no more than 5 pounds most likely, and reset your metabolism.

Once you've reset, lower cals by ONLY 250/day and the weight will drop again and then some if that's what you want.

I suspect that once you stabilize you'll eventually find out you'll need more like 2300-2500 cals/day on the days you train/work out, and 1800-2000 on non-training days.
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Old 03-08-07, 06:31 PM   #11
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Most bathroom scales are anything but 100% accurate. On mine, if I lean to one side or the other, I can gain and lose a few lbs.

But a question ... did you eat anything particularly salty? And did you subsequently drink quite a bit? That would result in water retention.

And another question ... on the weekend, did you do a longer ride than usual? Most of the time I ride a century or longer ride, I gain about 3 or 4 lbs for a couple days after the ride, then a few days later it all drops off. That's a water retention issue too.

And a third question ... are you female? As we pass through our cycles we can gain and lose several lbs all because of what is going on in our bodies.

Because of all that, I don't weigh myself very often, and I don't get excited about a weight gain or loss until it is more than 5 lbs, and has stayed that way for a while.
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Old 03-14-07, 12:28 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HardyWeinberg
Undereating would be depressing. I am eating 1500-1800 cal/day I think (160#). I was eating more in the fall, and losing more weight too (I had more to lose, of course).
Remember that you burn fewer calories while cycling when you weigh less. That's why the calorie calculators and exercise machines have you enter your weight. Also, your basal calorie use (the calories needed just to stay alive) is lower when you're smaller.

You may need to recalibrate your intake to account for your lighter weight. IOW, rather than eating too little, I think you're eating too much--considering that you're a lot lighter now than when you were losing weight.

I don't recall the exact figures, but when I weighed 250 pounds, I needed way more than 3000 kcal/day to maintain my weight. At 175 pounds that goes all the way down to 2400 kcal/day, IIRC. That's a BIG difference in the amount I can eat every day.

I think this is the suckiest thing about weight loss. The closer you get to your goal, the less you can eat.
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Old 03-14-07, 12:42 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Roody
I think this is the suckiest thing about weight loss. The closer you get to your goal, the less you can eat.
Unless you increase your workouts, of course....
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Old 03-14-07, 02:34 PM   #14
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Salty foods, you retain water = 1 lbs
Didn't urinate before weighing = 1 lbs
Bowel movement pending =1 lbs
Gained muscle mass = 1 lbs
Inaccuracy of bathroom scale = 2 lbs

Total = 6 lbs.
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Old 03-14-07, 03:32 PM   #15
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Spent 30 years, (i'm 48) weighing 210 at 6' 1". Now weigh 175 and have for a year. I weigh myself on wed mornings after breakfast/bathroom...I find pant size and fit a much more accurate measure. EXpect to be low 170's most of the summer. 169 would be and indication of dehydration more than fat. Vow never to weigh 180 ever again and live a long, full life.

Do something vigorous everyday for at least an hour.

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Old 03-16-07, 09:42 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by Roody
Remember that you burn fewer calories while cycling when you weigh less. That's why the calorie calculators and exercise machines have you enter your weight. Also, your basal calorie use (the calories needed just to stay alive) is lower when you're smaller.
All true. Well, I have to say after a week of an extra 200ish (k)cal/day, I am continuing to not lose weight, but neither am I gaining it and I do feel a lot better. So I think that is some preliminary support for aikigreg's idea that I wasn't eating enough. Will have to wait another month or two to see how things move from here, I guess. I would like to lose another 10# so I will definitely have time to watch and see.
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Old 03-16-07, 10:48 AM   #17
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Gained muscle mass = 1 lbs
i highly doubt that! a male needs to eat an additional 500 calories, every day for one week, to gain 1 pound of muscle mass! he didn't post his caloric intake, but i would be willing to bet that he's actually burning light muscle mass because of the lack of caloric intake, which has aided in his weight loss. remember, muscle weighs twice as much as fat. it's ok though, you're not the first person to think that muscle gain was the reason that someone gained weight, when it was physically impossible to do considering their diet and what they ate...

and a little fyi, don't go by what a scale says when you're trying lose weight, go by how your clothes fit! like others said, there's umpteen different reason why you could have lost a few pounds or why you could have gained a few pounds, and that's only if the scale is even close to accurate. if your trying to lose weight, and your pants and shirts start to fell a bit bigger than they did last month, than you lost weight. if your scale says you lost 10 pounds over the last month, and your pants fit exactly the same as they did a month ago, then you just lost some light muscle mass on put on some fat to replace it...
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Old 03-16-07, 11:50 AM   #18
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Salty foods, you retain water = 1 lbs
Didn't urinate before weighing = 1 lbs
Bowel movement pending =1 lbs
Gained muscle mass = 1 lbs
Inaccuracy of bathroom scale = 2 lbs

Total = 6 lbs.
I also doubt the 1lb for urine. Not sure what the volume of the human bladder is, but seems like a pound of urine would greatly exceed that capacity...
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Old 03-16-07, 11:55 AM   #19
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I also doubt the 1lb for urine. Not sure what the volume of the human bladder is, but seems like a pound of urine would greatly exceed that capacity...
The bladder holds 400 to 1000 milliliters of urine. since urine is close in density to water, that means .4 kilograms to 1 kilogram--just under a pound to more than two pounds.

Bladder volume estimates.
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Old 03-16-07, 12:23 PM   #20
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basically, the bottom line is that if you want to lose weight and still build light muscle mass, eat more in the morning and less at night...

there's a rule of thumb i live by, if i want to lose weight and still attempt to build light muscle mass, and it's:

eat breakfast like a king
eat lunch like a queen
eat dinner like a peasant
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Old 03-16-07, 01:09 PM   #21
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were ya doin any drinking in the day or two before your lowest weight? a night or two on the sauce tends to send my scales down a pound or two, only to be followed by a rebound in the other direction in the following days. Dehydration effects, of course. Not to mention the added calories...
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Old 03-16-07, 03:27 PM   #22
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The bladder holds 400 to 1000 milliliters of urine. since urine is close in density to water, that means .6 kilograms to 1 kilogram--just under a pound to more than two pounds.

Bladder volume estimates.
Wow. Learned something, thanks!

Be right back, gonna go use the bathroom and then weigh myself....
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Old 03-16-07, 03:34 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by FIVE ONE SIX
basically, the bottom line is that if you want to lose weight and still build light muscle mass, eat more in the morning and less at night...

there's a rule of thumb i live by, if i want to lose weight and still attempt to build light muscle mass, and it's:

eat breakfast like a king
eat lunch like a queen
eat dinner like a peasant
Great advice. I'm going to try to do this more. Often, I do just the opposite, "saving" my daily calories until dinner. I guess I'm paranoid about waking up hungry at 1:00am and stuffing my face uncontrollably.
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Old 03-16-07, 05:30 PM   #24
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I guess I'm paranoid about waking up hungry at 1:00am and stuffing my face uncontrollably.
honestly, there's nothing wrong with a late night snack, but it all depends on what your late night snack is. think about it, if you eat dinner at 6:00pm and your next meal is breakfast at 8:00am, that's 14 hours that your body is without nutrients. that's like eating breakfast at 8:00am, and not eating another meal until 10:00pm, which sounds absurd. your body does need nutrients while your asleep, after all, it doesn't stop everything when you fall asleep...

and just remember, everyone's body is different, and what works for me may not work for you. also, that's my theory for losing weight, once you reach your destination weight you should increase the size of your dinner, for the reason that i mentioned above...

good luck...
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Old 03-16-07, 05:55 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FIVE ONE SIX
basically, the bottom line is that if you want to lose weight and still build light muscle mass, eat more in the morning and less at night...

there's a rule of thumb i live by, if i want to lose weight and still attempt to build light muscle mass, and it's:

eat breakfast like a king
eat lunch like a queen
eat dinner like a peasant
+1, but I prefer:

eat breakfast like a king
eat lunch like a prince
eat dinner like a peasant (or pauper)
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