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CED1106's Photo CED1106 Posts: 321
12/29/18 4:14 A

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IMO, While the scale is a convenient way to measure weight, it's far from the best one. When we gain weight, we assume it's "fat", when it also includes glycogen, water, muscle, etc. Most weight initially lost on a diet is glycogen and water, which, per calorie, is heavier than fat. So when you start losing weight and find it more difficult, you may have depleted your glycogen reserves and are now finally losing fat. But, when you regain weight, you refill your glycogen reserves, so are gaining more "scale weight" because you're gaining glycogen and water, not fat. Except that the scale doesn't tell you you're gaining glycogen and water, and you think you're gaining fat again.

Me, I gained three or six pounds over the holidays, but still fit a pair of pants two inches smaller than before I started dieting. Time to get back onto the wagon, but nothing to beat myself up about!

Edited by: CED1106 at: 12/29/2018 (15:18)
Palo Alto resident and dog owner looking for a walking and exercise partner (with two legs).


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MARTHA324's Photo MARTHA324 Posts: 9,201
12/28/18 12:58 P

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If you consider that you have to eat an extra 3500 calories to gain a pound then even overeating a lot one day won't mean you've really gained weight. The scale may show an increase due to water retention or any number of things.
During the holidays I do weigh and put it in context thinking of what I ate - how much and whether it was at a restaurant (lots of salt there) and exercise.

Then I'll look at the trend line over time and pay especially close attention to my weight in the middle of January.

Persistence is more important than perfection.

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NIRERIN Posts: 14,643
12/27/18 7:01 P

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Your weight varies by up to 5 lbs per day without you gaining or losing an ounce. That's just a part of how your body functions normally. It has different stuff in it throughout the day and that shows on the scale.

Someone could eat the right number of calories to maintain their weight through the holidays, but if they double their sodium and carbs then there will be a significant increase in water weight in the short term.

Look at some math. 500 calories a day adds up to 3500 calories a week, which translates to one pound a week. If eating more healthfully and fewer calories translates to 100 calories a day, that means it would take 35 days to add up to that pound of loss, which happens to be a fifth of what's normal as far as fluctuations on the scale go. If more healthfully and fewer calories translates to 800 calories a day, that's a pound every 4.375 days.

It's really better to look at the trend of your weight over time, as in weeks and months (and years) to see what's it is doing rather than day to day. At the same time, if you can remove yourself from the emotional aspect of weighing daily you can accumulate enough data to really see how sodium and working out and carbohydrates and undereating and overeating actually work with your body. Asking how your body reacts is a bit like asking how comfy you think that shoe is. What works for your foot might be unimaginably painful for my foot. Some people eat 50 calories more than they should and want to fast for the next three days to make sure that they balance out and other people want to try to balance out a 5000 calorie overage 50 calories at a time. Someone with maintenance calories of 1500 a day is going to be more impacted by 1000 calories than someone with maintenance calories of 2100 a day. It's still just under a third of a pound of weight, but the higher calorie burner has 600 calories of wiggle room than the lower burner does not. The higher burner will also burn more calories while exercising, requiring less time and effort to achieve the same calories burned numbers.

-google first. ask questions later.

POPSECRET's Photo POPSECRET SparkPoints: (93,503)
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12/27/18 1:07 P

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It could honestly show up immediately depending on how much you ate. For example if you weighed yourself, ate a 1 lb burger and 1 lb of fries and drank 1 lb of water, then weighed yourself again, your weight might actually be up about 3 lb. That's not to say that's "weight gain"...it's just the normal process of eating and digestion not happening immediately. Remember, it takes about 3500 EXCESS calories to add up to one pound of true weight gain, so you most likely didn't do that just in one holiday meal.

As far as weight loss, it takes time for sure to see true change. If you weighed yourself every day, the number will almost certainly be different each time. So many things affect your weight besides fat....Things like when your last bowel movement was, if you ate a high sodium meal recently and are retaining more water than normal, how much sleep you're getting, where you are in your menstrual cycle, etc. So it's very hard to tell. Just stay consistent and be patient!!

Sorry if this isn't the answer you wanted...it's a very complicated question!!



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MLAN613 Posts: 22,952
12/27/18 6:39 A

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There is no one answer. It varies for each and every person. On average, healthy weight loss is 1 to 2 pounds a week. Sometimes you'll see more, sometimes none, sometimes an increase. That is why you need to look at healthy living across time.

Meghan in Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA


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WHITE-2's Photo WHITE-2 Posts: 435
12/27/18 5:56 A

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I've wondered about this for a long time. If you overeat, how long does it take before you have a realistic idea of how much weight you gained?

And, if you start 'dieting' (eating more healthfully and less than before) how long will it take before you see the result of that on the scale?

Right now we've just had Christmas and I think many people indulged. I know I did. I am seeing a crazy high number on the scale and I believe that it will be lower in a few days, that's happened before, but is there any specific data on how long it takes before we really know what 'damage' or 'good' we did with our food choices?



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