May or may not have hit a plateau.

My weight kinda keeps bouncing up and down a few pounds every day. I'm so close to getting below 200 lbs, but it'll go up the next day 😫 I was like 202 pounds a day or two ago and today the scale said 205. Been bouncing back and forth between that range since Thanksgiving. I don't know if it's muscle from working out or what, but I don't know. I feel like if it was muscle, I would've still lost enough fat to go down a couple pounds by now.

Replies

  • Lietchi
    Lietchi Posts: 4,030 Member
    Exercise, especially strength training, can easily cause several lbs of water retention.

    Not being from the USA myself, what exactly is the time-line here? Two or three weeks without weight loss? I would call that a stall, not a plateau (a real plateau is at least 6 weeks). You're still within a normal time-frame for water retention masking fat loss.
  • ChrisGoesCoo
    ChrisGoesCoo Posts: 21 Member
    @Lietchi It's been about 3 and a half weeks, so I guess it's a stall then. Just kinda caught me off guard because it usually doesn't last this long.
  • Lietchi
    Lietchi Posts: 4,030 Member
    Water retention can be a fickle thing: stress, hormones (for women), the weather, a change in exercise, a change in diet,... You'll know better than us if there's anything that might explain it πŸ™‚
  • AnnPT77
    AnnPT77 Posts: 24,825 Member
    Congratulations, you're normal!

    Our bodies are made of water (mostly - up to 60%, at least), bones, fat, and some miscellaneous other lean tissue (tendons, blood cells, etc.). Our bodies contain much of the food we've eaten and some of the water we've drunk over the past 50+ hours or so, a fair fraction of which is on its way to becoming waste. Further, our bodies contain up to 5 pounds of microbes (like the ones that perform useful service in our gut), that strictly speaking, genetically speaking, aren't part of "us". (Yes, our bodies are a home to other creatures, and they're mostly helpful to us.)

    All of that stuff has weight that shows up on the scale. For most of us, it's only the fat that we're trying to lose, and our fat is a fraction of our body well under half, for most, unless quite seriously obese (which I'll bet you aren't, as a male at around 200lbs). (Plus we need to keep some fat, in order to stay healthy - don't wanna lose it all!)

    Retained water weight shifts fast, and accounts for most significant scale-weight changes over a day or few. Ditto for food/water that will become waste someday soon.

    Even when losing fat pretty fast (not fast enough for extreme health risk!), fat changes tend to be masked by the water/food fluctuations over a week or few: They kind of play peek-a-boo on the scale. Fat changes show up in the trend of scale weight over multiple weeks, typically . . . sometimes more multiple than we expect.

    Muscle mass changes are going to take weeks to months or even years to cause meaningful scale changes (absent some unusual health condition).

    It's normal (not universal) to see a somewhat quick scale drop in the first couple weeks after changing eating/exercise. It's mostly about water retention levels, somewhat food in transit. It's common (not universal) to see that water retention balance out somewhere after those first couple of weeks, and create a pseudo stall on the scale. Since US Thanksgiving was 18 days ago (<= @Lietchi, it was 11/25), you're probably at that spot.

    Even later, if you continue, your weight will bounce around in ways that might as well be random, even when fat loss is actually happening quite nicely, but being masked on the scale by weird water/food differences.

    This is a good read:

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

    This is what my personal weight loss looked like. The connected downhill line is the statistical trend. The little vertical lines connect the actual daily weigh-ins to the trend. Look at how much the line-ends bounce around. (I could show you other periods that it looks like I wasn't losing fat, when I was. It's normal. If you look closely, you'll even see periods in this graph, of a week or more, where the line-ends of the verticals are quite steady, then there'll eventually be a compensatory drop.)

    89m9wijfh2ye.png

    Yeah, that was 2015-16. This morning, I was at 125, that blue goal line, coincidentally. I've been at a healthy weight (BMI normal) since then. Within the past week, I've weighed as much as 5.2 pounds more than that 125. Meh. Fluctuations.
  • nanastaci2020
    nanastaci2020 Posts: 1,041 Member
    Thanksgiving was less than a month ago.

    What was your weight 8 weeks ago? 4 weeks ago? Now. Are you within 1-2 pounds of the same # for each of those points? If so, take an honest look back on your logging. Did you log every meal, every day? Can you decrease the # of meals where you estimate, and increase the use of a food scale for solid foods? Can you decrease the # of meals you ate that were made by other people (friends, family, restaurants) as these require estimation on your part?

    If you weight now is less than 4, 8 weeks ago: Have patience and keep going. BUT it never hurts to evaluate your honesty & accuracy with logging.
  • cwolfman13
    cwolfman13 Posts: 40,888 Member
    When I lost weight years ago, I had "sticky points". 200 Lbs was one of them. 190 Lbs was also one of them where things just stalled out for a few weeks and then started ticking again. I lost pretty steadily from 220-200 and then I seemed to hit these "sticky points" every 10 Lbs or so.