Well below my calorie goal and gaining weight?

XSlevinn
XSlevinn Posts: 3 Member
Hey all,

I just started tracking calories on MFP on Wednesday. I've been tracking everything as well as I can with a food scale, measuring, etc. When I have to guess, I over estimate so it takes more from my calorie goal than I am really consuming to give myself a good buffer to not go over.

I'm drinking on average 128oz of water per day. Goal is set to lose 1lb per week. I've been staying at least 700 calories below my goal.. But I've gained about 3lbs since I started all of this several days ago... So what am I doing wrong? I know I shouldn't expect to be down several pounds by now.. But gaining 3 pounds? Something is obviously not working.

Any ideas or suggestions?

Mid 30s, 6'2", male, started at 234lbs on Wednesday and just weighed at 237lbs this morning (Sunday).
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Replies

  • snowflake954
    snowflake954 Posts: 7,496 Member
    Ahhhhh......patience. 3 days is nothing. Have you started exercising? Drinking a lot more water can give you temporary water weight, especially if you have eaten something salty or high carb. You need to wait at least 2 weeks to evaluate what you're doing. At that point you can decide if you need to change things up. Weight loss is slow. Just never give up. Good luck.
  • wunderkindking
    wunderkindking Posts: 1,607 Member
    Yeah, probably nothing. You're going to need to wait at least a couple of months to have any clear idea what's going on. My weight fluctuates by about 3 pounds in a given day, and there's about 2 additional pounds variance from day to day. So right now my low weight is 140, my high weight today is likely to be 143ish, and tomorrow it might well be bouncing between 138 to 140, or 142 to 145 or -

    It fluctuated by more when I was heavier (more room for water weight probably).

    Be patient and use averages. Weight loss isn't linear and all weigh is not fat and bodies are not static.
  • nooshi713
    nooshi713 Posts: 4,842 Member
    It is too soon to tell. Make sure you are weighing everything you eat and wait a month and then weigh yourself. Also, drinking water does not affect weight loss at all.
  • amusedmonkey
    amusedmonkey Posts: 10,331 Member
    Stress can do that, both physical and mental. If you've just started exercising, expect some time for your weight to settle in. Undereating is also stressful and can cause water retention (as well as make your weight loss less effecient due to lack of energy.

    Think about it logically: have you eaten more than 10,000 calories over your maintenance calories to gain 3 lb? It's highly unlikely. Trust the process. What happens to the scale day to day is not important, what's important is your weight trajectory over time. Give it a few weeks to settle in (and consider not undereating).
  • Cheesy567
    Cheesy567 Posts: 1,186 Member
    edited June 2021
    Consider an app like HappyScale that averages your weight over time for you, and gives you a trend rather than an exact number. Weight loss isn’t linear; you’ll have periods of slight gains, maintenance, and wooshes of loss. You can’t let the number on the scale *kitten* with your mind. If it’s getting to you, weigh less often, and go by other means of progress like body measurements, photos, clothes fit, etc. Stick with the habits that help you feel healthier and bring you more energy, and trust the process.
  • TX_Bluebonnet
    TX_Bluebonnet Posts: 244 Member
    Try taking any guesswork out of the calorie counting. Weigh everything!, even things you'd normally use a measuring spoon for, that slice of bread, that apple, etc. I'd try doing that, as best you can, for at least a week or two so you can collect some good, solid data to work with.

    I'd also suggest start weighing yourself daily and watch the overall trend instead of daily ups and downs.
  • goldyray1
    goldyray1 Posts: 64 Member
    Cheesy567 wrote: »
    Consider an app like HappyScale that averages your weight over time for you, and gives you a trend rather than an exact number. Weight loss isn’t linear; you’ll have periods of slight gains, maintenance, and wooshes of loss. You can’t let the number on the scale *kitten* with your mind. If it’s getting to you, weigh less, and go by other means of progress like body measurements, photos, clothes fit, etc. Stick with the habits that help you feel healthier and bring you more energy, and trust the process.

    Hello there. I am using Fitness Pal. I looked at Happy Scale after reading your post. Are you familiar with Fitness Pal? If so, how would you compare the two? Thanks!
  • Cheesy567
    Cheesy567 Posts: 1,186 Member
    edited June 2021
    goldyray1 wrote: »
    Cheesy567 wrote: »
    Consider an app like HappyScale that averages your weight over time for you, and gives you a trend rather than an exact number. Weight loss isn’t linear; you’ll have periods of slight gains, maintenance, and wooshes of loss. You can’t let the number on the scale *kitten* with your mind. If it’s getting to you, weigh less, and go by other means of progress like body measurements, photos, clothes fit, etc. Stick with the habits that help you feel healthier and bring you more energy, and trust the process.

    Hello there. I am using Fitness Pal. I looked at Happy Scale after reading your post. Are you familiar with Fitness Pal? If so, how would you compare the two? Thanks!

    HappyScale and MFP serve two different purposes. MFP is a diet/ calorie tracker. HappyScale is a weight tracker, and averages out your scale weights for you. Both are great apps for their designed purposes. Neither would replace the other. (Ive been using MFP since 2015, so yes, I am familiar with it 😘)
  • Redordeadhead
    Redordeadhead Posts: 1,189 Member
    goldyray1 wrote: »
    Cheesy567 wrote: »
    Consider an app like HappyScale that averages your weight over time for you, and gives you a trend rather than an exact number. Weight loss isn’t linear; you’ll have periods of slight gains, maintenance, and wooshes of loss. You can’t let the number on the scale *kitten* with your mind. If it’s getting to you, weigh less, and go by other means of progress like body measurements, photos, clothes fit, etc. Stick with the habits that help you feel healthier and bring you more energy, and trust the process.

    Hello there. I am using Fitness Pal. I looked at Happy Scale after reading your post. Are you familiar with Fitness Pal? If so, how would you compare the two? Thanks!

    By Fitness Pal, do you mean this platform that we are all on now, My Fitness Pal?
  • juliafromrf
    juliafromrf Posts: 131 Member
    Have you used the same body weight scale for both weigh-ins?

    Apart from what the others have said (weighing and logging *everything* you eat; taking account of water weight), you should always use the same scale for measuring your progress. I have two different scales and one shows 1.5 kg more than the other.
  • AnnPT77
    AnnPT77 Posts: 24,859 Member
    If you set yourself up to lose a pound a week, you're supposed to eat very near your calorie goal, not 700 calories below it. By doing that, you're giving yourself a bigger calorie deficit, which in theory might speed up weight loss, but in practice usually backfires . . . and can increase stress-related water retention, masking fat loss on the scale.

    I agree with others that (1) a few days is not enough time (stick close to goal for 4-6 weeks before reassessing), and (2) you're almost certainly looking at water weight fluctuations on the scale, which is perfectly normal to see.

    You might find this article helpful and informative:

    https://physiqonomics.com/the-weird-and-highly-annoying-world-of-scale-weight-and-fluctuations

    I *completely* understand your frustration, even while believing it mostly arises from inaccurate expectations. Most all of us have been there.

    Wishing you success!
  • XSlevinn
    XSlevinn Posts: 3 Member
    Thanks all for the responses! I think my concern came from the fact that before I was using MFP, I felt like I could see weight dropping off within a couple of days, and once I started tracking on MFP and eating more based on my calorie goal, I started gaining weight. Whereas before I used MFP I basically just ate small meals and snacked on healthier snacks so I wasn't hungry. I just guessed at how much I should or shouldn't eat. I essentially just cut all my portions (which were large) and cut them in half, maybe more.

    Waiting 5 or 6 weeks to see any weight loss when you are in a defect that whole time seems crazy to me.

    Someone asked if I exercise. I do a run/walk on the treadmill every other day or so for about 2 miles.

    And all weighing is done on the same scale, and it seems pretty consistent.
  • snowflake954
    snowflake954 Posts: 7,496 Member
    XSlevinn wrote: »
    Thanks all for the responses! I think my concern came from the fact that before I was using MFP, I felt like I could see weight dropping off within a couple of days, and once I started tracking on MFP and eating more based on my calorie goal, I started gaining weight. Whereas before I used MFP I basically just ate small meals and snacked on healthier snacks so I wasn't hungry. I just guessed at how much I should or shouldn't eat. I essentially just cut all my portions (which were large) and cut them in half, maybe more.

    Waiting 5 or 6 weeks to see any weight loss when you are in a defect that whole time seems crazy to me.

    Someone asked if I exercise. I do a run/walk on the treadmill every other day or so for about 2 miles.

    And all weighing is done on the same scale, and it seems pretty consistent.

    Sure. You can drop weight faster on a sharp deficit. The problem is trying to maintain after. Going slower is recommended because it gives your body time to adjust as you go along. You have to look at the big picture. It's not easy, but yo-yo dieting is not a good thing. Wishing you luck with your goals.
  • yirara
    yirara Posts: 7,359 Member
    XSlevinn wrote: »
    Hey all,

    I just started tracking calories on MFP on Wednesday. I've been tracking everything as well as I can with a food scale, measuring, etc. When I have to guess, I over estimate so it takes more from my calorie goal than I am really consuming to give myself a good buffer to not go over.

    I'm drinking on average 128oz of water per day. Goal is set to lose 1lb per week. I've been staying at least 700 calories below my goal.. But I've gained about 3lbs since I started all of this several days ago... So what am I doing wrong? I know I shouldn't expect to be down several pounds by now.. But gaining 3 pounds? Something is obviously not working.

    Any ideas or suggestions?

    Mid 30s, 6'2", male, started at 234lbs on Wednesday and just weighed at 237lbs this morning (Sunday).

    Mate, you really need to stop, considering, think for a moment. Weight fluctuates, all the time. You drink a big glass of water and your weight went up for the weight of that water. You eat a plate of food, and that food has weight as well until it's fully digested and pooped out. You are constipated and don't poop for 2-3 days and the food remains in your intestines. You get stressed and your body holds onto water. You eat a bit more salt and your body holds onto water, you move more, it's warmer, you start new exercise, you sit more, etc... all those things cause water retention. And all those things show up on your scale. And none of those things are bodyfat. They are totally normal fluctuations. And all those fluctuations can mask weight loss. That's why it's best to wait for 4, for women even 6 weeks due to menstrual cycle fluid fluctuations to see weight loss.

    Oh, and eat more! Undereating so severely will a) kill your muscles. Your body will digest them to get energy! They'll be gone. Together with hair, with sex drive, with energy. Undereating will also likely cause you to binge because your body is not happy if you do that, and then you come back here crying that you can't stop binging. We see this all the time.

    So eat the amount of calories given to you, be patient. Use a weight trending app as it's easier to see weight loss among all those day to day fluctuations.
  • snowflake954
    snowflake954 Posts: 7,496 Member
    yirara wrote: »
    XSlevinn wrote: »
    Hey all,

    I just started tracking calories on MFP on Wednesday. I've been tracking everything as well as I can with a food scale, measuring, etc. When I have to guess, I over estimate so it takes more from my calorie goal than I am really consuming to give myself a good buffer to not go over.

    I'm drinking on average 128oz of water per day. Goal is set to lose 1lb per week. I've been staying at least 700 calories below my goal.. But I've gained about 3lbs since I started all of this several days ago... So what am I doing wrong? I know I shouldn't expect to be down several pounds by now.. But gaining 3 pounds? Something is obviously not working.

    Any ideas or suggestions?

    Mid 30s, 6'2", male, started at 234lbs on Wednesday and just weighed at 237lbs this morning (Sunday).

    Mate, you really need to stop, considering, think for a moment. Weight fluctuates, all the time. You drink a big glass of water and your weight went up for the weight of that water. You eat a plate of food, and that food has weight as well until it's fully digested and pooped out. You are constipated and don't poop for 2-3 days and the food remains in your intestines. You get stressed and your body holds onto water. You eat a bit more salt and your body holds onto water, you move more, it's warmer, you start new exercise, you sit more, etc... all those things cause water retention. And all those things show up on your scale. And none of those things are bodyfat. They are totally normal fluctuations. And all those fluctuations can mask weight loss. That's why it's best to wait for 4, for women even 6 weeks due to menstrual cycle fluid fluctuations to see weight loss.

    Oh, and eat more! Undereating so severely will a) kill your muscles. Your body will digest them to get energy! They'll be gone. Together with hair, with sex drive, with energy. Undereating will also likely cause you to binge because your body is not happy if you do that, and then you come back here crying that you can't stop binging. We see this all the time.

    So eat the amount of calories given to you, be patient. Use a weight trending app as it's easier to see weight loss among all those day to day fluctuations.

    And if I might add---and then, and only then, change things up a bit if you're not losing.
  • AnnPT77
    AnnPT77 Posts: 24,859 Member
    edited June 2021
    XSlevinn wrote: »
    Thanks all for the responses! I think my concern came from the fact that before I was using MFP, I felt like I could see weight dropping off within a couple of days, and once I started tracking on MFP and eating more based on my calorie goal, I started gaining weight. Whereas before I used MFP I basically just ate small meals and snacked on healthier snacks so toI wasn't hungry. I just guessed at how much I should or shouldn't eat. I essentially just cut all my portions (which were large) and cut them in half, maybe more.

    Waiting 5 or 6 weeks to see any weight loss when you are in a defect that whole time seems crazy to me.

    Someone asked if I exercise. I do a run/walk on the treadmill every other day or so for about 2 miles.

    And all weighing is done on the same scale, and it seems pretty consistent.

    I can't speak for others, but the bolded is not exactly what I'm saying. I'm saying that for short time periods - like the small number of days you're talking about - you may see no loss, or even see gain . . . that isn't about changes in body fat, but rather about water weight or digestive contents on their way to being waste.

    The 4-6 week wait is to be sure you have a handle on how fast you're losing *fat*, on average. It's like a science fair experiment: You do the 4-6 week consistent conditions as an experiment, then you typically have enough experimental data to smooth out the weirdness from water/waste fluctuations, and therefore estimate your true calorie needs. (Calculators just give you statistical estimates.)

    With that very useful personal info in hand, you have a lot of power to turn up or down the weight loss dial with confidence about probable results (as long as you don't eat so little you decline into the land of subtle fatigue, reduced body temp, reduced spontaneous movement, and unnecessarily - though temporarily - lower calorie burn, i.e., higher adaptive thermogenesis, which would be counter-productive).

    With less than a week on a new routine, you simply don't have enough data to know what's going on. Multi-pound weight changes over a day or few, even up to a couple of weeks in some cases, tend to be mostly water fluctuations and waste differences.

    Consistent declines (averaged across the daily random ups & downs) over multiple weeks are more likely changes in body fat. Body fat decreases tends to be small daily amounts, smaller magnitude than the water fluctuations, so they play peek-a-boo on the scale in amongst the bigger swings in water/waste weight.

    (Increases in muscle mass tend to take months to years (losses of muscle can be faster if effectively starving).)

    So, if losing fat at a meaningful rate, you'll probably see some decline in body weight before 4-6 weeks are over. The 4-6 weeks are to know what fat loss *rate* the new routine is giving you, as a basis for future adjustment, instead of just making panicky willy-nilly changes as the scale fluctuates, which tends to be counter-productive (and stressful).

    Fast weight loss is not necessarily a wonderful thing, appealing though it may seem. Fast loss increases health risk in various ways (possible immune system compromises, gallstones, hair loss, muscle loss alongside fat loss, and potentially worse), makes long-term compliance more difficult, teaches one little about how to maintain loss happily once goal is achieved, and more. Is it for sure that bad things will happen if losing fast? Of course not. But risk increases.
  • zebasschick
    zebasschick Posts: 452 Member
    XSlevinn wrote: »
    Thanks all for the responses! I think my concern came from the fact that before I was using MFP, I felt like I could see weight dropping off within a couple of days, and once I started tracking on MFP and eating more based on my calorie goal, I started gaining weight. Whereas before I used MFP I basically just ate small meals and snacked on healthier snacks so I wasn't hungry. I just guessed at how much I should or shouldn't eat. I essentially just cut all my portions (which were large) and cut them in half, maybe more.

    Waiting 5 or 6 weeks to see any weight loss when you are in a defect that whole time seems crazy to me.

    Someone asked if I exercise. I do a run/walk on the treadmill every other day or so for about 2 miles.

    And all weighing is done on the same scale, and it seems pretty consistent.

    a few thoughts...

    do you weigh every single thing you eat that isn't a single serving portion? by which, i mean there's only 1 serving in the package.

    do you weigh yourself at the same time or situation every day? i am literally 4 pounds lighter early in the day than i am by the end of the day every single day. do you weigh yourself in clothes? my doctor years ago weighed me fully dressed, and i later weighed my clothes and shoes, which ended up weighing 9 pounds.

    what activity level did you use when you signed up for MFP? that can make a difference. i leave my activity level at sedentary and add exercise. but also exercise intensity can vary your calorie burn a lot during exercise. a heart rate monitor can help there.

    btw, MFP doesn't know how much muscle or body fat you have, so the calories are only the amount for the average person your height, weight and gender.
  • freda78
    freda78 Posts: 338 Member
    XSlevinn wrote: »
    Thanks all for the responses! I think my concern came from the fact that before I was using MFP, I felt like I could see weight dropping off within a couple of days, and once I started tracking on MFP and eating more based on my calorie goal, I started gaining weight. Whereas before I used MFP I basically just ate small meals and snacked on healthier snacks so I wasn't hungry. I just guessed at how much I should or shouldn't eat. I essentially just cut all my portions (which were large) and cut them in half, maybe more.

    Waiting 5 or 6 weeks to see any weight loss when you are in a defect that whole time seems crazy to me.

    Someone asked if I exercise. I do a run/walk on the treadmill every other day or so for about 2 miles.

    And all weighing is done on the same scale, and it seems pretty consistent.

    When I started calorie counting I did not weigh myself before I started nor for the first couple of months only doing so when it was clear I was shrinking. Unless you have an illness, it is after all reasonably straightforward to work out what sort of calorie intake will lead to weight loss.

    So no, not crazy.

    Like weighing yourself every day, only do it if you can put what you see into the correct context rather than going into a panic at the fluctuations.
  • wunderkindking
    wunderkindking Posts: 1,607 Member
    edited June 2021
    I don't log all of my weights on mfp, but I weighed every day this week - for science. Just first thing in the morning, after peeing, in the same clothes, to remove as many variables as possible.

    My weight has been everywhere between 138 and 142.

    Not in a straight line increase OR decrease, either and I'm not trying to lose right now.

    Bodies are going to body.
  • candysashab88
    candysashab88 Posts: 71 Member
    Thank you for this post. I "freak" out because I think my body should respond and its going to take time and PATIENCE which is not my virtue at all. I think im a crappy person because I am up a pound because I expect a loss every week. Last week wasnt one of those weeks. I will keep adjusting and see what happens