Why is it that...

...I've been steadily losing lb a week (currently 5'7 @ 147lb) for a while sticking to around 1500 net calories, but this week, when I felt winter closing in and couldn't turn off The Munchies (averaging 1650 net cals a day), I lost 2lb? Serious question, I'm happy, but puzzled. I also know that I shouldn't be losing that fast at my weight, though I'm taking care to eat protein and, like I said, eating more that MFP has put me at (its figure is 1440). I've even succumbed to the chocolate quite a few times this week (slippery slope alert!). My two theories are, a) Refeed - my body needed a calorie boost for whatever reason, or b) The weight loss showing this week is actually from previous weeks, and this week's "excess" will hit the scale next week? Would appreciate any thoughts. Thank you in advance!

Replies

  • tinkerbellang83
    tinkerbellang83 Posts: 9,127 Member
    Weight loss isn't linear and your body fluctuates constantly, could be that you've been less hydrated, you had less food in your system at the time of weighing, etc.

    It's the trend over time that's important not from one weigh in to the next. I weigh daily and record it in a trend app, my weight varies by as much as 5lbs up/down day-to-day depending on what exercise I've done, what I've eaten, bathroom visits, where I am in my cycle etc.

    I wouldn't overthink it too much unless you find that you're trending 2lb loss per week over time, then just increase your cals.
  • LeiLaura
    LeiLaura Posts: 238 Member
    Weight loss isn't linear and your body fluctuates constantly, could be that you've been less hydrated, you had less food in your system at the time of weighing, etc.

    It's the trend over time that's important not from one weigh in to the next. I weigh daily and record it in a trend app, my weight varies by as much as 5lbs up/down day-to-day depending on what exercise I've done, what I've eaten, bathroom visits, where I am in my cycle etc.

    I wouldn't overthink it too much unless you find that you're trending 2lb loss per week over time, then just increase your cals.

    Thank you ever so much for your reply, I'm sure you're right. I'll keep an eye on it. Appreciate the support!
  • steveko89
    steveko89 Posts: 2,214 Member
    Scale weight encompasses more than just muscle and fat and is subject to variations in hydration, meal timing, food, waste, and women's menstrual cycles. It also sounds as though you only weigh yourself weekly, this can often mask progress over time due to the aforementioned fluctuations. For your height/weight, whether you're eating 1500 or 1650 you should still be under maintenance so I wouldn't worry about this past week being slightly higher than you intended. Purely speculative, but if the two pound loss was real, it's plausible the lower deficit lowered your cortisol levels since your body felt less stressed and presented you with what's referred to by the community as a "whoosh".

    With the relatively small amount of weight you have to lose, a less-aggressive deficit is often recommended. The average of the established "ideal weight" formulas would have a woman of your size target ~135lbs where the common recommendation for those seeking to lose <15lbs is a deficit of only 0.5 lb/week (aka 250 calories/day)
  • LeiLaura
    LeiLaura Posts: 238 Member
    steveko89 wrote: »
    Scale weight encompasses more than just muscle and fat and is subject to variations in hydration, meal timing, food, waste, and women's menstrual cycles. It also sounds as though you only weigh yourself weekly, this can often mask progress over time due to the aforementioned fluctuations. For your height/weight, whether you're eating 1500 or 1650 you should still be under maintenance so I wouldn't worry about this past week being slightly higher than you intended. Purely speculative, but if the two pound loss was real, it's plausible the lower deficit lowered your cortisol levels since your body felt less stressed and presented you with what's referred to by the community as a "whoosh".

    With the relatively small amount of weight you have to lose, a less-aggressive deficit is often recommended. The average of the established "ideal weight" formulas would have a woman of your size target ~135lbs where the common recommendation for those seeking to lose <15lbs is a deficit of only 0.5 lb/week (aka 250 calories/day)

    Thank you for your reply! That's interesting, I hadn't connected whooshes to the cortisol, thanks for the insight. Yes, I'm weighing weekly, at the gym. I don't have scales at home because I'm likely to become obsessive if I do. I'm aiming for 136lb, so 11 to go. The only reason I haven't upped my calories internationally to a 0.5lb loss per week is that when I tried it for a week or two, I didn't lose anything at all. I thought I must have over-estimated my maintenance calories, which I'd believed to be about 1900. I wasn't losing at 1750, though perhaps I need to aim for 0.75 lb per week as 1650 cals seems to be the sweet spot! My body fat is still high for my weight and I'm swimming and strength training, so I should be OK. I think I'll start there and monitor for a week or two, slowly increasing my calories by 100 a week until I reach goal weight and maintenance. Does that sound sensible? Shame you can't enter the calories you want to consume each week, as well as the lb loss per week option! Thanks again for your input, much appreciated.
  • steveko89
    steveko89 Posts: 2,214 Member
    LeiLaura wrote: »
    steveko89 wrote: »
    Scale weight encompasses more than just muscle and fat and is subject to variations in hydration, meal timing, food, waste, and women's menstrual cycles. It also sounds as though you only weigh yourself weekly, this can often mask progress over time due to the aforementioned fluctuations. For your height/weight, whether you're eating 1500 or 1650 you should still be under maintenance so I wouldn't worry about this past week being slightly higher than you intended. Purely speculative, but if the two pound loss was real, it's plausible the lower deficit lowered your cortisol levels since your body felt less stressed and presented you with what's referred to by the community as a "whoosh".

    With the relatively small amount of weight you have to lose, a less-aggressive deficit is often recommended. The average of the established "ideal weight" formulas would have a woman of your size target ~135lbs where the common recommendation for those seeking to lose <15lbs is a deficit of only 0.5 lb/week (aka 250 calories/day)

    Thank you for your reply! That's interesting, I hadn't connected whooshes to the cortisol, thanks for the insight. Yes, I'm weighing weekly, at the gym. I don't have scales at home because I'm likely to become obsessive if I do. I'm aiming for 136lb, so 11 to go. The only reason I haven't upped my calories internationally to a 0.5lb loss per week is that when I tried it for a week or two, I didn't lose anything at all. I thought I must have over-estimated my maintenance calories, which I'd believed to be about 1900. I wasn't losing at 1750, though perhaps I need to aim for 0.75 lb per week as 1650 cals seems to be the sweet spot! My body fat is still high for my weight and I'm swimming and strength training, so I should be OK. I think I'll start there and monitor for a week or two, slowly increasing my calories by 100 a week until I reach goal weight and maintenance. Does that sound sensible? Shame you can't enter the calories you want to consume each week, as well as the lb loss per week option! Thanks again for your input, much appreciated.

    Please don't take my speculation on cortisol as gospel, I'm just some schmuck on the internet connecting dots but it would make some sense.

    That sounds like a sensible approach to get things dialed in. With your level of activity ~1900 should be about right, if not conservative (based on the TDEE calculator I trust, linked below). I am curious how accurately you're tracking your calories, are you using a food scale? That said, your own data (provided it's precise) will be the best feedback.

    I'll also say you might be surprised at how effective changes in body composition can be while eating at maintenance/not losing weight (aka a "recomp"). We can get caught up over-emphasizing the number on the scale when it may or may not correlate to what we want to see in the mirror. That finally clicked for me in 2015 and I've been able to gain roughly 15 lbs of muscle while basically staying in the 170s the whole time (30M 6'1"). Don't be afraid to get strong and lift heavy :smiley:

    TDEE calculator link: https://tdeecalculator.net/result.php?s=imperial&age=25&g=female&lbs=147&in=67&act=1.2&bf=&f=1
    *I find that "light exercise" matches up with my 3-4 days of lifting within ~50 calories when compared to my observed TDEE. YMMV
  • sijomial
    sijomial Posts: 19,811 Member
    LeiLaura wrote: »
    Shame you can't enter the calories you want to consume each week, as well as the lb loss per week option!

    You can manually set your daily calorie goal (Goals / Daily Nutrition Goals / Edit). Changing your rate of loss is OK for large adjustments but doing it manually is good for finer adjustments.

    Not sure two weeks and just two weigh ins is sufficient time to judge the results though, if just one of those weigh ins happens to fall on an atypical day you are making judgements on very limited and poor quality data.
  • NovusDies
    NovusDies Posts: 8,940 Member
    LeiLaura wrote: »
    steveko89 wrote: »
    Scale weight encompasses more than just muscle and fat and is subject to variations in hydration, meal timing, food, waste, and women's menstrual cycles. It also sounds as though you only weigh yourself weekly, this can often mask progress over time due to the aforementioned fluctuations. For your height/weight, whether you're eating 1500 or 1650 you should still be under maintenance so I wouldn't worry about this past week being slightly higher than you intended. Purely speculative, but if the two pound loss was real, it's plausible the lower deficit lowered your cortisol levels since your body felt less stressed and presented you with what's referred to by the community as a "whoosh".

    With the relatively small amount of weight you have to lose, a less-aggressive deficit is often recommended. The average of the established "ideal weight" formulas would have a woman of your size target ~135lbs where the common recommendation for those seeking to lose <15lbs is a deficit of only 0.5 lb/week (aka 250 calories/day)

    Thank you for your reply! That's interesting, I hadn't connected whooshes to the cortisol, thanks for the insight. Yes, I'm weighing weekly, at the gym. I don't have scales at home because I'm likely to become obsessive if I do. I'm aiming for 136lb, so 11 to go. The only reason I haven't upped my calories internationally to a 0.5lb loss per week is that when I tried it for a week or two, I didn't lose anything at all. I thought I must have over-estimated my maintenance calories, which I'd believed to be about 1900. I wasn't losing at 1750, though perhaps I need to aim for 0.75 lb per week as 1650 cals seems to be the sweet spot! My body fat is still high for my weight and I'm swimming and strength training, so I should be OK. I think I'll start there and monitor for a week or two, slowly increasing my calories by 100 a week until I reach goal weight and maintenance. Does that sound sensible? Shame you can't enter the calories you want to consume each week, as well as the lb loss per week option! Thanks again for your input, much appreciated.

    It is not foolish but you may still be falling into the same trap on connecting calories to scale results. In ideal situations the scale can effectively measure results over 3 weeks but 6 weeks or longer is a safer bet that you are heading in the direction you want.

    I think it is better to up your calories to or near the level you need to be and then wait 3 weeks and check the results. If it does not seem to add up to your expectations wait another 3 weeks and check again.

    There is going to come a time that you are going to be at goal and maintaining your weight (I have faith in you). When that happens you will see dips and upticks on the scale and you will need to wait and establish a trend before acting. You don't want to be increasing and decreasing your calories every week.
  • kshama2001
    kshama2001 Posts: 27,878 Member
    Where are you in your menstrual cycle? I gain water weight at ovulation and right before my TOM, and have a subsequent loss afterwards. Because of this, I compare myself to the same point in my cycle last month, not last week.