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Weight fluctuations

DeeDoyDeeDoy Member Posts: 45 Member Posts: 45
Firstly. apologies if this is a repeat topic :)

I've been losing weight actively for @ 18 months and I got down to my target weight. I decided to do maintenance and I was really happy, I found I could work out more and I had more energy. However, I gained @ 4lbs. I read on here that such things are common as your body goes out of diet mode and you re-store water and glycogen, the advice was to lose 5lb your target weight to account for this (which I'm trying to do now.)

However, whilst still keeping to my calorie deficit 95% of the time (and when I go over it's still not as high as I'm allowed by MFP for maintenance) I've found I've gained 3lbs in a week.

Now, I know that could be any number of things and not just blubber, but my question is - is it common to have weight fluctuations. I noticed many people say they stay within a 3-5lb window whilst others stay the same on the scale. Are both okay? Basically I don't want to constantly diet if it's going to be common place for my body to be one of those that fluctuates - I'm not looking to start eating like a pig but nor do I want to be one of those scale obsessed people who forget to enjoy life because they are too busy fretting over a pound or two - that said I'd appreciate some advice on this matter.

Thanks in advance.

Replies

  • TheNewDodgeTheNewDodge Member Posts: 610 Member Member Posts: 610 Member
    You're consuming a bit more food, which means you've consistently got more in your digestive system. Your water retention is also increased. Those 4 LBs are most certainly not pounds of fat.
  • nxd10nxd10 Member, Premium Posts: 4,525 Member Member, Premium Posts: 4,525 Member
    No one who eats and drinks normally and evacuates periodically will stay exactly the same weight all the time. Sorry, that's how physics works. I can weigh before I go to bed at night, wake up the morning and weigh before peeing, and lose a pounds. I have an accurate scale. It's water vapor.

    If you weigh every day (I do), you will find you have fairly regular, minor weight fluctuations day to day. As far as I'm concerned, they don't count. It's what's in your guts and bladder and how much water is in your system. "Noise' in measurement. On the other hand, I can see trends when I am losing (new low outside my normal fluctuation range) and, before MFP, I could see trends in gaining (new highs outside my fluctuation range). If it was a real weight gain or loss, I'd see it again and my fluctuation zone had moved.

    From what you say, it physically can't be fat. Learn your own body's pattern.
  • CassiusKnoxCassiusKnox Member Posts: 305 Member Member Posts: 305 Member
    I've been on maintenance for 12 months and my weight constantly fluctuates +/- 2.5lb (1.2kg) around my goal even within a week.

    DON'T stress if your weight fluctuates around your goal. It can have to do with how much food and water you've got on board even 'time of the month' issues can affect it. It's almost never 'fat'.
  • DeeDoyDeeDoy Member Posts: 45 Member Posts: 45
    Thanks guys, you've backed up my own thinking on the matter. I assumed the fluctuations were water etc etc but I suppose reading from some that they always stayed the same weight got my head bent lol. Just needed confirmation that what was going on with my body was normal, for lack of a better word.
  • TheNewDodgeTheNewDodge Member Posts: 610 Member Member Posts: 610 Member
    If you continue to eat at your maintenance levels and those 4 LBs move to 6...8, then you'll know you need to drop your Cals accordingly, because your TDEE will have been off by a bit
  • ChrisS30VChrisS30V Member Posts: 157 Member Member Posts: 157 Member
    If you continue to eat at your maintenance levels and those 4 LBs move to 6...8, then you'll know you need to drop your Cals accordingly, because your TDEE will have been off by a bit
    Yup, this hit the nail on the head perfectly. Weight fluctuations are normal and inevitable while in maintenance, there's no way that you can weigh exactly the same every single day. However, if you find your weight to be consistently trending upwards, then it's probably about time to reassess your caloric intake. Even in that case, there's no need to freak out, you're not going to wake up one day and find yourself 50 lbs heavier. Just keep an eye on the scale and eat accordingly.
  • pinkpolkadots25pinkpolkadots25 Member Posts: 101 Member Member Posts: 101 Member
    ^What they said. My maintenance weight fluctuates around a 2-pound range. Any more than 2 lbs up and I know something is wrong--but I am very small (125 lbs). You'll get a sense of what's normal for you after a while. The fluctuation feels strange at first--I never experienced that during my weight loss--but it feels much more routine now. It was hard for a while to avoid panicking when the scale hit 127.
  • McgrawhahaMcgrawhaha Member Posts: 1,598 Member Member Posts: 1,598 Member
    my weight fluctuates +/- 5 pounds, DAILY!!! I am 5 FOOT 10, 151 pounds, however, on the scale last night, i was 156, now this morning im 153... i weigh everyday, so i know this is normal for my body. since i have such a large fluctuation of daily weight changes, i have set a 10 pound window, so, basically, if i hit 160. i know something is wrong, and i need to drop the cals...
  • iechickiechick Member Posts: 352 Member Member Posts: 352 Member
    I can 'gain' several pounds in a day due to fluctuations of water, sodium, time of month, actual weight of the food I've eaten that hasn't been digested yet etc etc.

    I weigh myself everyday but only count Fridays as my official weigh in day. That's the number I keep an eye on and it usually stays in a 3lb range from week to week.
  • kluvitkluvit Member, Premium Posts: 437 Member Member, Premium Posts: 437 Member
    I weigh almost daily and sometimes have huge swings in weight. My rule is that unless the same number sticks on the scale 3 days in a row, it's not real. I sometimes experience a 4 pound spike from one day to the next, then within a few days, I'm a pound less than when the week started. You can drive yourself crazy if you react to every fluctuation.

    Just keep doing the things that have made you successful, and the weight loss will stick.
  • sijomialsijomial Member Posts: 16,956 Member Member Posts: 16,956 Member
    Morning weigh-ins for the last few days:

    Friday - 166lbs. Bottom of my preferred weight range, the day after a low calorie fasting day so fairly "empty".
    Saturday - 168lbs. Double training day then dinner party and a fair bit to drink.
    Sunday - 173lbs. Alcohol really bloats me the next day.
    Monday - 170lbs
    Tuesday - 168lbs, back to goal weight.

    Fluctuations are perfectly normal. :smile:
  • BrandNewFabulousMeBrandNewFabulousMe Member Posts: 259 Member Posts: 259
    I see a lot of people on here say when they begin to maintain their weight they leave a 5 lb wiggle room could this be an option since our bodies fluctuate so much?
  • SeesawboomerangSeesawboomerang Member Posts: 296 Member Member Posts: 296 Member
    I can fluctuate by 6lbs on a daily basis too. I need to look at monthly trends to have a clue whether a gain is going to be chronic or not.
  • nxd10nxd10 Member, Premium Posts: 4,525 Member Member, Premium Posts: 4,525 Member
    I see a lot of people on here say when they begin to maintain their weight they leave a 5 lb wiggle room could this be an option since our bodies fluctuate so much?

    Yes. I am 5'10", but usually fluctuate +- 3 pounds, so that's what I use. Everyone has their own normal range of fluctuation. If I was up 4 pounds for more than a few days, I'd drop my calories back for a little until I was back in the middle of my range, then go back to maintenance.
  • TheNewDodgeTheNewDodge Member Posts: 610 Member Member Posts: 610 Member
    I bank a lot of my exercise calories and will usually have a day or two a month where I eat 5000 calories. I can fluctuate 10-12 LBs on those days
  • nwg74nwg74 Member Posts: 362 Member Member Posts: 362 Member
    I can gain +5-7 pounds very easily but it takes a lot longer to go back down. It isn't nice to see on the scales but looking at the bigger picture, I was recently back to the same weight I was 9 months ago.
  • DeeDoyDeeDoy Member Posts: 45 Member Posts: 45
    So glad I asked about this. I won't lie, it was very disheartening after getting to my goal weight to see the scales tell me I was heavier, but it's a comfort to know these fluctuations are normal. I'm still going to aim to loose another pound or so - try and have my goal weight at the centre point of the fluctuations versus it be the lowest point - won't freak me out as much then lol.

    Thank you everyone who took the time to share, these boards are awesome for support, it's good to know you're not alone!
  • nwg74nwg74 Member Posts: 362 Member Member Posts: 362 Member
    Weight fluctuations are a nightmare. I am currently up +12 pounds from my lightest weight of 171 pounds. I was happy to maintain at 175 nearly all year. Today I was 183 ! The last 7 pounds of that was in the last 2 weeks. This is despite exercising as usual and keeping to my 1700 calories day.
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