Weight is going up and down - frustrated

Hey there!

Part rant, part anecdotal-feedback requested. Thanks in advance for reading!

So, the good news is, I added Happy Scale to my morning routine and I can see TRENDS better. Otherwise, I’d be pulling my hair out!

I’m 5ft5in, 168-172lbs, 38, female. I’d like to make my way to 150lbs. And… I’m getting there. This time last month, my range was 175-172lbs.

I’m doing all the things that I am willing to do post weightloss and I don’t feel bored, hungry, or deprived. I confronted the scale a few months ago after not doing so for 6 months and gaining 15lbs. Now I hop on every morning no matter what, and it helps.

That said, I’m so annoyed that my body swings all over the freaking place, day-to-day. Sometimes I’m 170, sometimes I’m 174 (like, if I ate a late dinner), even if eat my calorie goal. Surely that’s not just water weight?! I know this might just be my “new normal” and as long as I’m losing I shouldn’t get too discouraged. But can anyone relate? Anyone find any good methods to see consistent weight loss?

Replies

  • AnnPT77
    AnnPT77 Posts: 24,816 Member
    Hey there!

    Part rant, part anecdotal-feedback requested. Thanks in advance for reading!

    So, the good news is, I added Happy Scale to my morning routine and I can see TRENDS better. Otherwise, I’d be pulling my hair out!

    I’m 5ft5in, 168-172lbs, 38, female. I’d like to make my way to 150lbs. And… I’m getting there. This time last month, my range was 175-172lbs.

    I’m doing all the things that I am willing to do post weightloss and I don’t feel bored, hungry, or deprived. I confronted the scale a few months ago after not doing so for 6 months and gaining 15lbs. Now I hop on every morning no matter what, and it helps.

    That said, I’m so annoyed that my body swings all over the freaking place, day-to-day. Sometimes I’m 170, sometimes I’m 174 (like, if I ate a late dinner), even if eat my calorie goal. Surely that’s not just water weight?! I know this might just be my “new normal” and as long as I’m losing I shouldn’t get too discouraged. But can anyone relate? Anyone find any good methods to see consistent weight loss?

    It can be water weight. It pretty much has to be water weight, or digestive contents that will go on to become waste eventually.

    Think about it. To gain 4 pounds of fat, you'd have to eat 14,000 calories above maintenance calories, over a fairly recent time period (day or couple, if you went from 170 to 174 overnight), or you'd have to move 14,000 calories less than usual or a combination of the two. If you did that, you'd notice. So, you didn't do that, or you would've noticed.

    Inescapable conclusion #1: The 4 pounds wasn't fat. The only realistic candidates are water, and waste-to-be. Those are the things that can change that fast . . . not fat (without the calorie causes), not muscle, not bone, not . . . anything else, really.

    I'm your height. I'm in maintenance, and will soon be in year 7 of calorie counting and more like year . . . I dunno, 15 or so? . . . of weighing myself daily, other than when traveling, and noting the results (nowadays, in Libra; used to be on graph paper). I don't even have menstrual cycles to create big extremes of water weight fluctuation (I'm female, but menopausal). I weigh something in the 120s pounds. I routinely vary in weight under consistent AM conditions by 2-3 pounds, and it's been as much as 6 pounds.

    I'd say it was for no reason, but I've actually figured out most of the reasons by now from pattern-watching, and they all boil down to water and waste, when there's been no giant calorie fluctuations. I also know that about the biggest calorie blow-out I'm remotely capable of would maybe add a pound of fat in a day, but usually doesn't because . . . well, I could explain, but it's because bodies like homeostasis, pretty much, so what should be a pound of fat gain is usually a bit less, as long as it's a rare day and not my routine.

    So, congratulations: You have a normal body. Water fluctuations, especially, are part of how a healthy body stays healthy. The good news is that if you pay attention, you'll begin to figure out the triggers, and how long any random increase is likely to last. This may help:

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

    There's also a thread where people talk about that, here:

    https://community.myfitnesspal.com/en/discussion/10683010/the-weird-and-highly-annoying-world-of-scale-fluctuations/p1

    Inescapable conclusion #2: You will not see steady weight loss each and every day. The only way to even come close to that would be to eat so little and exercise so much that you lose fat (and muscle) freakishly fast, and that would be a really, really, majorly bad, unhealthy plan. Plus, that will eventually backfire, because excess stress (like losing weight really fast) tends to make water fluctuations worse eventually.

    The serious advice: Relax. Read the article linked above to understand some of the things that can cause fluctuations. Observe your personal fluctuations, look for patterns. Understand the patterns, don't stress about them.
  • mrstjonz
    mrstjonz Posts: 1 Member
    I read a book (sorry can't remember the name) that said there are any number of reasons as to why a person's weight fluctuates from day to day and that it's better to way yourself daily and then calculate your weekly average to see a truer picture of your weight. If your weekly average is going down than you are on the right track.
  • Xerogs
    Xerogs Posts: 325 Member
    edited April 14
    Weight loss is never linear. I started last month at 219.8lb and so far this month I am at 216.2lb but in-between that month and a half my weight was over 220lb and it teeter totters as it trends down over time. So over the next couple of weeks I expect to see ~215lbs but it will probably jump up over 217lbs on some days and move into the higher 215lb territory on others until it settles ~215.

    I usually weigh myself when I first get up so my weight will always be somewhat lower than what gets recorded at the Doctor's office. To put into perspective Jan 21st of this year my weight was 237lbs at the doctor this was later in the morning after drinking a lot of water and going for a brisk walk plus I was clothed. I went to my heart healthy appointment this week and the InBody machine recorded my weight at 220lb which was later in the morning with a lot of water and clothes on. To me it looked about right compared to at home my weigh-ins that trend lower. I don't always record my weight unless it varies a great deal up or down.

    It can be discouraging to see things bounce around but its pretty normal. Its also normal to plateau and for things to slow down as you get to your ideal weight. The scale is only one facet I look at as a marker for health. Other factors are how I am feeling in general, clothes fitting better, energy levels increase, BP improving, and other blood markers improving as well. I still have quite a ways to go in terms of health but if things are trending in the right direction all is good.
  • cwolfman13
    cwolfman13 Posts: 40,886 Member
    Hey there!

    Part rant, part anecdotal-feedback requested. Thanks in advance for reading!

    So, the good news is, I added Happy Scale to my morning routine and I can see TRENDS better. Otherwise, I’d be pulling my hair out!

    I’m 5ft5in, 168-172lbs, 38, female. I’d like to make my way to 150lbs. And… I’m getting there. This time last month, my range was 175-172lbs.

    I’m doing all the things that I am willing to do post weightloss and I don’t feel bored, hungry, or deprived. I confronted the scale a few months ago after not doing so for 6 months and gaining 15lbs. Now I hop on every morning no matter what, and it helps.

    That said, I’m so annoyed that my body swings all over the freaking place, day-to-day. Sometimes I’m 170, sometimes I’m 174 (like, if I ate a late dinner), even if eat my calorie goal. Surely that’s not just water weight?! I know this might just be my “new normal” and as long as I’m losing I shouldn’t get too discouraged. But can anyone relate? Anyone find any good methods to see consistent weight loss?

    It is water weight...and/or variable degrees of inherent waste, etc. Bodyweight isn't static. Your body is comprised of mostly water...roughly 55-65% with the average being around 60%...but that's always in flux all on it's own and can also be exacerbated by inflammation from exercise, inflammation from injury, more than normal sodium intake, higher or lower carbohydrate intake, etc...but also it just happens because your body is mostly made up of water. You are also always going to have varying degrees of inherent waste in your system. All of that has mass and thus weight so will show on the scale.

    This is true for losing weight as well as maintenance. Nobody weighs exactly XXX Lbs in maintenance...maintenance is a range. My average maintenance weight is 180 Lbs, but I can easily be anywhere from 178 - 183 Lbs day to day. Swings can even be greater if I've traveled by air...eaten out and had more sodium than normal...had a super carby day, etc. For example, I traveled last July to Miami...when I left home I was 187 Lbs...the condo I was staying in had a scale and the next morning I was 195 Lbs...airplane bloat! But my average over time maintenance is 180, which is what I consider my weight to be averaging out the fluctuations.
  • Idontcareyoupick
    Idontcareyoupick Posts: 2,406 Member
    What everyone says is correct and yes it's frustrating. Once you do it, you get more used to it and that trend is important to seeing where everything shakes out. Good luck on your journey