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4 lbs one day to the next?

I'm not sure how to take this. I weigh myself most days when I get up in the morning (sometimes I forget). I'm prone to variations of 1-1.5 lbs from one day to the next, so that doesn't worry me. I've been plateaued for about a month, mostly because it's the end of the school semester so I'm stressed and I've been feeling hungry so a lot of days I've been eating at maintenance. I haven't worried about that either, figuring I would have the mental energy to focus on it after the rash of projects are over this week (forget finals, it's the end of semester projects that suck).

So I ate fairly normally, over on calories and not as much protein or vegetables I should've, yesterday. I didn't exercise because I spent the whole day reading for school. I expected to be up a few ounces, actually. Instead, I'm down 4 lbs. I moved the scale around, walked away and came back 20 minutes later, ate a protein bar (breakfast) dice. The scale insists I'm down 4 lbs from yesterday, 3 lbs down after breakfast. Yesterday's weight is what I've been at for 2 weeks, so it's not like yesterday was a fluke.

Should I change the batteries in the scale, or just wait for tomorrow, or is it really possible?


  • TavistockToad
    TavistockToad Posts: 35,719 Member
    Stop weighing every day if you don't like fluctuations
  • AnnPT77
    AnnPT77 Posts: 33,027 Member
    Bye-bye plateau, perhaps? If you've been eating at maintenance & under, rarely/never much over, and with no change in scale weight for a month, that seems like the probable explanation. Some people lose in "plateaus and whooshes" generally, others will do it occasionally. You may've added some water weight (from eating at maintenance, eating a bit more sodium/carbs than usual, time of month, sore muscles, or some combination) that temporarily masked some fat loss, then dropped the water weight.

    So, it's possible. Try to stay on track for a week (maintenance or under), keep weighing yourself first thing in the morning, and see what happens. You could see some normal upward fluctuations in the coming days, of course, but if you remain down a bit from the plateau level, you probably just recorded a real loss.

    In my opinion, weighing yourself multiple times of day is kind of pointless - no way to compare it to anything, since most people's eating/drinking/exercise vary enough from day to day that you don't have consistent comparison points other than 1st thing after waking. If you find it fun (and non-stressful), or were just checking on the scale/battery question, there's no big reason not to weigh multiple times daily - just don't make decisions based on those weights.
  • vingogly
    vingogly Posts: 1,785 Member
    A few reasons why weight might fluctuate from day to day::
    • Water retention/dehydration
    • Differences in bowel content
    • Inaccuracies in your scale

    I got a different scale when I found by experimentation that I could weigh myself five times in a row and get different results. It seemed to be related to where I stood on the scale and how I stepped on it. My new scale is more consistent -- but no cheap scale you're going to use is going to be as accurate as the scales at your doctor's office.

    Looking at the past year, I see periods where I plateau for a while then it will go down. I decided at some point that I would only record results that show a decrease in weight, no matter how often I weigh myself. This makes me focus on the losses, not on the fluctuations. I find it reinforcing to take this approach.
  • firephoenix8
    firephoenix8 Posts: 102 Member
    I like daily weighing because it's a comfortable level of checking in - multiple times a day would be too often and once a week would have me thinking about it all the time. I was just trying to figure out if there was something wrong with the scale (i.e., if I came back 20 minutes later would it be different) this morning.

    I didn't think about the possibility of having water or the other things you mention masking actual fat loss but that kind of makes sense. I was mostly confused because I knew there was no way I could burn 4 lbs of fat in a normal day. :) I might change the batteries in the scale anyway, though.
  • Liftng4Lis
    Liftng4Lis Posts: 15,151 Member
    Sounds like the plateau is over. :smiley:
  • macachmo
    macachmo Posts: 1 Member
    For me I like weighing in daily at the same time and I only use it to compare to the previous week same day. Keeps me motivated and I don't have to wait a whole week to see where I am.
  • Christine_72
    Christine_72 Posts: 16,049 Member
    Liftng4Lis wrote: »
    Sounds like the plateau is over. :smiley:

    Where have you been @Liftng4Lis, haven't seen you or your "snorts" around much lately :(