This Never Happened Before! (Fun with Weight Fluctuations)

AnnPT77 Posts: 24,825 Member
I've tracked my weight daily for over a decade, even while not particularly trying to lose. (I'm not obsessive; I'm a data geek on many fronts, not just weight.) I'm pretty familiar with my weight fluctuations.

Today, I think I saw my biggest overnight loss ever. Five pounds fluctuation up or down overnight isn't unheard of, even at my current weight in the 130s. Two to three is pretty common.

Yesterday (Saturday), first thing in the AM weigh-in, I weighed 137.6 (a recent high; I'd been 133.4 on Thursday). Today, I weighed 131.4, a whopping 6.2 pound drop overnight.

Woo hoo? Nah, not much hoo, maybe a little woo.

I have a general idea why it happened: I overate a lot Thursday, ate a major sodium bomb right before bed Friday, so salt/carbs/digestive contents in transit had the scale way up on Saturday.

Saturday, I skipped my strength workout (bad Ann! ;) ) so probably dropped a little water from that, drank plenty of water because of Friday's salt fest, ate substantially less fiber-containing bulky food than usual so probably finally reduced the food in transit again to below normal (digestive transit can take 50+ hours), then slept very late so an unusually long no-intake time to dehydrate a bit.

It's no big deal. I didn't eat 14,700+ calories over maintenance on Thursday and Friday, which is approximately the amount it would take to get me a fat gain to account for going from 133.4 to 137.6. So the gain wasn't fat. Since I didn't have a 21,700 calorie deficit on Saturday (heh - li'l ol' lady don't do that!) the loss wasn't fat, either. Prediction: I'll be back 133-134 again tomorrow as usual, if today continues as planned.

If you're new to this whole data-driven weight loss thing, with daily weighing and calorie counting, you'll see fluctuations. They might even be big fluctuations. If you didn't eat enough calories over maintenance to explain a scale jump, and you didn't eat little enough plus work out enough calories to explain a big drop, it wasn't fat.

Don't worry about it. Just keep happily on your healthy course, stress-free. It'll be fine. :)


  • fb47
    fb47 Posts: 1,058 Member
    Oh it happens to me all the time, usually it's the day after a social event like a wedding, xmas, thanksgiving, etc...Heck when I went on a cruise, I gained 8 lbs in one week.It took me no longer than 2 weeks to get it back to my Pre-cruise weight which goes to show that it was all water weight. My calories were the same as when I usually cut at 1 lbs per week.
  • SummerSkier
    SummerSkier Posts: 3,388 Member
    Wow. That’s a huge drop!!! ESP considering how lightweight you are.
  • steveko89
    steveko89 Posts: 2,181 Member
    Data geeks UNITE! Nice write-up, Ann. Much more concise than the rambling I went on about my PR swing of +5.8 lbs/ -8.8 lbs on successive days.
  • VUA21
    VUA21 Posts: 2,073 Member
    That's awesome! I'm with you on that. I've lost 180lbs over the years and the number of weird weight fluctuations is more than I'd like to count. I think my personal record was about 5lb (combination of beer the previous day and TOM).
  • try2again
    try2again Posts: 3,564 Member
    Impressive! ;)

    I'm comfortable with weight fluctuations, but this week was crazy because we were away last weekend and had several meals out (probably more sodium than I have in a week) and came home up 5 lbs of water weight. A few days later, I was at a new low, dropping 7.5 lbs. My graph is insane.
  • ahoy_m8
    ahoy_m8 Posts: 2,831 Member
    Another data geek, here. The past several months I've rearranged calories to eat at a slight deficit 2 weeks and a slight surplus 2 weeks with a goal of maintenance. Weird thing is my weight averages 2 pounds higher in the deficit, lower in the surplus.
  • CSARdiver
    CSARdiver Posts: 6,256 Member
    If I track mine throughout the day there's a variance of +/- 5 lbs. I'm 76" and ~215.

    I just finished back to back obstacle course races and have been lifting harder lately and eating more sodium than normal which pushed the typical 5lbs water weight to ~10 lbs from stress & sodium. Just pushing fluids now and know this will be back to 215 in 5-7 days.
  • New_Heavens_Earth
    New_Heavens_Earth Posts: 610 Member
    Learning to appreciate data. My graph always spikes on Monday and levels off by Thursday or Friday.

    I'm up 3 since Friday after a weekend full of pizza, Chinese, and burgers and fries. All within calories. Should be gone by Friday. I'm pounding water and green tea. And since the AC in my gym sens too have konked out I'll consider the extra sweat a bonus.
  • jillstreett
    jillstreett Posts: 69 Member
    bump :)
  • HoneyBadger302
    HoneyBadger302 Posts: 1,679 Member
    I've seen as much as a 7 pound fluctuation - and while I have some weigh to lose, at 5' 7" and ~152 lbs, it's not a TON of weight to lose.
  • vanityy99
    vanityy99 Posts: 2,575 Member
    Woo I can’t wait to see a fluctuation where the pounds actually DROPS