Is it true that weight loss is not linear?

I am wondering if anyone out there can share stories about working hard constantly but not seeing consistent results. I just need a little assurance that if I "stay the course", I will get there eventually.


  • livingleanlivingclean
    livingleanlivingclean Posts: 11,751 Member
    No it's not linear. Your weight will likely fluctuate daily, and is influenced by many things. Your rate of loss, or the deficit you create is affected by many things, not just what you out in your mouth.
  • spatter01
    spatter01 Posts: 10 Member
    I agree with the poster before me. It is not linear. I have been on a plateau for quite a while and after a while lost focus on my diet but kept working out and it has maintained at the weight that I am. Keep after it and you will achieve what you are after. Focus on your diet and make sure that you weigh your food honestly. You can't out-exercise a bad diet. Plateaus will happen, just remain focused as tough as it is.
  • malibu927
    malibu927 Posts: 17,565 Member
    edited June 2017
    Very true. Your weight fluctuates every day due to sodium or carb intake, hormones (especially if you're a female still on a monthly cycle), stress, new or increased exercise, and extra waste in your system. The key is to look at the overall trend over 4-6 weeks and not the day-to-day or even week-to-week changes.
  • gotc86
    gotc86 Posts: 4 Member
    The scale reads "Weight" as your total body weight, not its composition. What you're really working on is losing body fat, which takes up more volume than muscle. A person could lose half a pound of fat but pick up half a pound of water weight, for example. Although not completely accurate, a scale that also reads body fat can help reassure you.
    However, allow me to share a warning from my own experience: do not start to worship the god of the scale. Instead, measure your progress by how well you are nourishing, hydrating, resting. and exercising your body and how well you feel overall. Try to adjust your mindset from weight loss to wellness. This is the mind shift that has helped me the most.
  • VegetaGirl
    VegetaGirl Posts: 1 Member
    Not to forget, sometimes you hold extra fluid, because of.. well.. several things, including hot weather. If the weather is hot, youre likely to hold more fluid then when its colder.
  • gkvauthier32
    gkvauthier32 Posts: 9 Member
    The posters before are all correct. You need to remember the scale is just one TOOL in our tool box to measure success. Other tools we need to use are taking progress pictures (no more than every two weeks), monthly or bimonthly measurements, how your clothing fits, strength (not just in the gym), reduction or elimination of medications, lowering of blood pressure/cholesterol, sleep quality, etc. Weight lose is not linear; it is like any other goal you are working towards.

    Remember how far you have come! You didn't come all this way, just to go back to the beginning. And you wouldn't slash the other 3 tires on your car if you got a flat.

    Keep working hard and focus on your goals!! :smiley:
  • 88olds
    88olds Posts: 4,477 Member
    It's absolutely true that WL is not linear. I can't think of any human undertaking that takes more than an hour to complete that is linear.

    But maybe you need to stay the course, maybe time to adjust. But beware. Only talking modest adjustments followed by an honest test run. Don't let yourself get jerked around by outside noise. Don't let your brain drive you into the "it's not working ditch." Just never quit.
  • amtyrell
    amtyrell Posts: 1,449 Member
    My weight fluxes all the time. The trend is going down but for example I am up 2.1 lbs since yesterday. Why you ask? Did I overeat by 7000 kcal? nope. I am about to get Tom and it has also been super hot here and I am drinking a ton of ice water.
    Look at trends on a monthly basis.
  • rustyblonde99
    rustyblonde99 Posts: 8 Member
    No, weight loss is not linear. One tool that has helped me to see this and not get discouraged is the Libra app. I log my weight every morning and it shows a trending line. Even if my weight is higher for a few days, I'm still on a downward trend. Most people do not advocate for weighing yourself every day, but I've found it helpful because the Libra app gives me a more long-term perspective. I don't let my weight dictate whether i have a good or bad day though, which is important.
  • beerfoamy
    beerfoamy Posts: 1,520 Member
    Nope definitely not linear. I weigh weekly and look at average loss per week every now and again.

    Week 1 - lost 5lbs
    Week 2 - 2lbs
    Week 3 - 4lbs
    Week 4 - 0lbs
    Week 5 - 3lbs
    Week 6 - 0lbs
    Week 7 - 2lbs
    Week 8 - 2lbs
    Week 9 - 2lbs
    Week 10 - 0lbs
    Week 11 - 1lb
    Week 12 - 1lb
    Week 13 - 3lbs
    Week 14 - 0lbs
    Week 15 - 0lbs
    Week 16 - 0lbs
    Week 17 - 1lb
    Week 18 - 1lb
    Week 19 - 1lb
    Week 20 - 1lb
    Week 21 - 4lbs
    Week 22 - 0lbs

    So have 'stalled' a few times, but overall have lost 33lbs in 22 weeks which averages to 1.5lbs a week which is what MFP is set to. :)
    Don't stress the scale number, it fluctuates so much in a day and even weighing weekly is fraught with things that may change from one week to the next.

    Week 14-16 was very hard mentally for me as I was not seeing the number change, but these boards helped as I had read several threads about loss not being linear etc and that helped my brain to push through and stick with it as in the past I would have probably said, 'oh well, can't get lower, may as well go back to what I was doing'

    And you wouldn't slash the other 3 tires on your car if you got a flat.
    ^ THIS. Love this example
  • laurenebargar
    laurenebargar Posts: 3,081 Member
    Its definitely not, it can depend on so many things, for women TOM and ovulation, for everyone sodium and water intake. Example was yesterday: I had pizza for dinner, the last time I had pizza I didn't see any weight loss for 5 days, but after that I dropped two lbs. Today I'm up .5 lbs from yesterday. Something that might be helpful to you is to download a scale app like libra or happyscale. It tracks your fluctuation, I used to be so stressed out when I would see a higher number, and I'd even think "I can never lose weight my body wont let me" it turns out I just never stuck with it long enough. Downloading Libra helped me see the day to day changes and really changed my perspective on the scale.
  • tinkerbellang83
    tinkerbellang83 Posts: 9,064 Member
    I go weeks without a loss or sometimes even gain a little. I've been at it for 6 months now.

    This is my weight loss chart from MFP for the last 6 months: