Sticking to diet...How come I fluxuate so much?

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Joined: Sep 12
Posts: 4

Posted: 23 Jul 2013, 05:55
It is so disappointing to wake up a few days a week, after sticking to a regime, to find that I weigh more than the day before. My calorie intake has been good - filling myself with fruits and veggies. Usually, I cannot bring myself to post the gain (but I did today). It doesn't make any sense. Any thoughts?

Joined: Jun 12
Posts: 657

Posted: 23 Jul 2013, 06:35
You know those fruits and veggies... Well they stick around, in the form of water and other stuff until they pass on out...

If weighing yourself daily is making you upset due to what is likely "transitory" weight then I suggest keeping to a weekly weigh-in schedule. That will eliminate the daily fluctuations and you should (usually) just see the downward trend.

42" jeans(25/01/2013) 40"(28/02/2013) 38"(20/03/2013) 36"(25/05/2013)
Down from 60" waist jeans since June 21st 2012.

Still keeping to my 26" jeans, but they are too tight for comfort. too many tasty things in the US, and over Xmas.

Onwards and Downwards! Smile

Joined: Aug 10
Posts: 235

Posted: 23 Jul 2013, 07:33
Sodium plays a big role in water retention as well. You don't have a very extensive diet calendar (looks like you've only be at this for about a week and a half and there a few days missing), but for the days that look complete, you have relatively high sodium levels. Try to aim for no more than 1500mg of sodium a day and see if that helps to get the scale moving in the direction you want.

Joined: Nov 11
Posts: 959

Posted: 23 Jul 2013, 12:37
You might try taking measurements with a tape measure instead of just relying on the scale.

You might also try taking a close look at what fruit and veggies you are eating to rule out any that are not working for you. For example, if you are eating a lot of oranges you might stop that for a few days in favor of a different fruit. Same with veggies. Check your results then add that fruit/veggie back, check results, etc.

Joined: Apr 10
Posts: 337

Posted: 23 Jul 2013, 13:00
Also,if you're female, remember that around your monthly cycle your weight can fluctuate quite a bit. Don't let daily or even weekly fluctuations deter you from healthy eating and exercising. Keep to your plan and you will see progress over time. As umdterpsgirl said, your food tracker does not look complete, so I suggest tracking everything you eat all the time so you can get a really good picture of how your food choices, caloric intake and macronutrient mix (percentage of protein, carbs and fat) affect your progress.

Joined: Dec 10
Posts: 669

Posted: 23 Jul 2013, 13:29
Presumably your goal is to lose body fat, not just weight. These are two different things, as your body is made up of much more than just fat. It also includes a lot of water and solid mass passing through your body in the form of food that is in various stages of digestion.

Actual changes in body fat stores are fairly slow. Even with an extremely aggressive calorie deficit, you are unlikely to lose even a half pound of fat per day.

The transitory mass in your body, however, can shift by several pounds per day. It's not that uncommon for me to weigh 3 or 4 pounds more at the end of the day than at the beginning - and then be 3 or 4 pounds lighter again by morning.

These daily fluctuations in weight can be much larger than actual changes in body fat - and can make it difficult or frustrating to measure how much actual mass you are gaining or losing (after all, you can drink a glass of water before getting on the scale and voila, you're a pound heavier, but without any new body fat).

Unfortunately, the best "solution" I've found is simply to be patient and look at the trends over the course of several weeks, rather than individual days. It's frustrating, but once you understand that the number on the scale is only loosely related to the goal of losing fat, it takes a lot of power away from the scale. You can be two pounds heavier one morning, but still have less body fat than you did the day before.

Joined: Sep 12
Posts: 4

Posted: 23 Jul 2013, 13:32
Thank you for your response...The last sentence sums it up and I hadn't looked at it that way.

Joined: Sep 12
Posts: 4

Posted: 23 Jul 2013, 13:41
I am definitely getting the tape measure out. Super suggestion.

Joined: Dec 10
Posts: 669

Posted: 23 Jul 2013, 13:44
While I generally think that the mirror and pants are the best way to gauge progress, rather than the number on a scale, remember that a tape measure (and pants) will still be susceptible to water retention.

Temporary bloating can and will affect both your appearance and a tape measure. If the "bloating" doesn't clear up after a week or two, may not be water.

Joined: Jun 13
Posts: 23

Posted: 23 Jul 2013, 22:51
I've found what works for me is to work out the amount of protein needed to maintain your lean muscle (which is 1g per lb of body weight)and then at least match it with carbs. That's for maintaining, if you want to lose weight you can drop net carbs to no less than 100g (unless doing ketosis/starvation diet which I wouldn't recommend)and protein down by about 50 grams or so to a calorie loss of around 200 to 300 calories a day. If you drop too low your body won't have the energy to run it's metabolism properly and will retain fat.

Also true what others have said about Sodium too. Too much can bloat you. Don't measure yourself too often either as there are various factors that can contribute to your weight fluctuation. Twice a week max, prob in the morning on empty stomach and naked (unless you know what your clothes weigh).

Also don't know if you may have a sensitivity to Gluten or maybe dairy as that can cause bloating and digestive issues in some people.....

Joined: Apr 12
Posts: 104

Posted: 23 Jul 2013, 22:59
I feel your pain and I have come to you with a simple solution. A calorie budget. You start by taking your weight and multiplying that total by 7. This total will be your total calorie intake for the day. Then you divide that total by 4. This total will equal calories per meal. The extra meal represents your snacks. Using the last total, divide it by 3 for your snacks. Mine looks like this: (the "/" symbol equals divide)

208lbs X 7 = 1456 cals per day
1456 / 4 = 346 Cals per meal
346 / 3 = 121 cals per snack (3 snacks a day)


208 x 7 = 1456 cals / 4 = 346 cals / 3=121 cals

Folks it's simple and it works. As you lose weight your total calorie needs decrease. In fact your calorie intake becomes a moving target. Every pound I lose, I jump to recalculate my budget and I write it on my bathroom mirror with a dry erase marker. From that point on I make the adjustments and my weight continues to drop consistently. I lose 1 to 1.5 lbs every 3-4 days or an average of 10 lbs every month.

At times I still plateau every now and then but with a little investigating I can isolate it to too much salt or eating more than I am tracking. I make the correction and I'm off to the races again.

The problem I'm seeing in the forums is people set a total calorie intake (say 1800) and stick to it, they reach that equalization point (plateau) and all weight loss stops, sometimes for months at a time.

Finally, don't pay much attention to the ups and downs on the scale. Only document the least amount your scale shows you on any given day and enter that number in your "fat secret weigh in" and use that number to recalculate. Your weight will begin to move again and it will move consistently.

I sincerely hope this will help all to understand how we get stuck and why losing weight gets so frustrating.

Oh, I don't exercise at all and I still lose 10lbs a month
If your not hungry enough to eat an apple, then your really not that hungry!
Started diet 5/2/13 at 230lbs

Joined: Jul 13
Posts: 6

Posted: 27 Jul 2013, 03:57
My idea of a healthy person is one who has a healthy body weight with the right amount of body fat. So, as Nimm stated above, your goal should be to maintain healthy body weight and reducing the fat content. This requires you to eat healthy and do regular exercise. You can start with a good diet plan, do regular exercise that suits your body, and measure after every 1 – 2 weeks. If you do this, I guarantee in 30 days slim figure will be yours to flaunt.

Joined: Aug 12
Posts: 326

Posted: 29 Jul 2013, 05:09
You should consider using a tape measure weekly to keep track of your weight loss. Scales can be inaccurate due to water weight. Neck, chest, waist, hips, upper arm, forearm, wrist, upper thigh, lower thigh, ankle. Just measure them once a week and keep a chart. If your scale shows a weight gain but the tape measurement shows a loss you can save yourself from some anxiety.

"It is in vain to speak of cures, or think of remedies, until such time as we have considered the causes . . . cures must be imperfect, lame, and to no purpose, wherein the causes have not first been searched.”

- Robert Burton, The Anatomy of Melancholy


If you don't read the newspaper, you are uninformed. If you do read the newspaper, you are misinformed. - Mark Twain


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