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Weight: 210 – Pounds left to lose: 50

I really doubt I gained two pounds of fat this week, so I’m just going to blame this on water and glycogen. Let’s blame sodium too, that little bastard. My fancy scale says my body fat is down to 40.7% which is the lowest I’ve ever scored. And days like this is why I bought my fancy scale! If numbers lie, I’d like to be able to pick the numbers that tell me the lies I want to here :)

I’m thinking about starting to weigh myself daily and just take an average of the last 10 days of weight. This is called a 10 day moving average and is a technique used by stock brokers to look at stock trends. Much like weight, stock values can fluctuate frequently within a week.

Back in the days when I was morbidly obese and able to lose 2 or 3 pounds a week, the weekly weighing worked fine. Since my weight loss has slowed down I’m thinking an average might give a more accurate picture of where my weight actually is. Things like water retention can offset the numbers more significantly now if I’ve only lost a pound or half a pound of fat. I’ll probably still do the weekly weigh-ins for continuity’s sake, but start adding an average weight as well.

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19 Comments

Eh... not so much • September 16, 2006 at 10:56 am

Good idea; since February, I’ve been weighing myself every day and averaging my weights for the week to get an official number. I actually used to do this with The Carbohydrate Addict’s diet, which I first did back in 2000. (That was probably the most useful tip I got out of that whole diet.) Congrats on the body fat monitor! I really like mine too. :)

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Jeni • September 16, 2006 at 12:43 pm

I think this is a great idea too. I usually weigh myself every day, so I have an idea of what my body does depending on what I’ve eaten, how much I’ve worked out, etc. I haven’t done the 10 day average before. but I’m thinking it might be a good idea for me too. Let us know how it goes!

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Barbara • September 16, 2006 at 2:19 pm

I weigh every day, don’t do the averaging, but like seeing the up and downs over the course of the week.

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Marshmallow • September 16, 2006 at 7:17 pm

I’m doing the same thing, weighing everyday, its great for looking at the fluctuations of the body and ascertaining whether a gain is a gain or whether a loss is a loss or whether its just your body being a body. At the moment I’m just collecting data, and then after a month I’m going to do the analysis, calculate the average and the trendline; Ooooo graphs, what fun!

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Greta • September 17, 2006 at 3:52 am

I don’t think that fancy schmancy calculations are going to change the picture. If you take a graph and plot your last several weights, what you see is that your weight loss has stalled. Could be one of those plateaus where all of a sudden you will see a drop at the scale or it might be time to add exercise and decrease food to keep weight loss going. Weight Watchers decreases the food you “get” every time you lose weight and get into a new weight category. It’s a discouraging fact of life that what may work to lose weight when you weigh 275 may not work to lose weight when you weigh 209-208-210. When you weigh 275 you will lose weight if you eat what it takes to maintain the weight of a person that weighs 210. At 210 that amount maintains your weight. At 150 it causes a gain.

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Mark • September 17, 2006 at 7:41 am

I never understood the objection to daily weigh-ins myself. It seems the only way to do it to get a more realistic picture.

Greta is right: You’re going to need to decrease your food intake 11 calories or so per day, per pound lost, to keep up the same rate of loss.

In the beginning you may have had edema, which would have contributed to really rapid fluid loss, but since then your weight loss has probably caused your weekly loss to decrease by two or three pounds per week if you’re eating the same number of calories.

Assuming you’re eating the “correct” number of calories for your target weight, your weight loss is eventually going to go asymptotic and slow down considerably. Toward the end you may need to undereat a bit, and ramp it back up as you reach your goal.

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christie • September 17, 2006 at 10:23 am

I happen to think it’s a good idea and it will help you see more accurately what your next plan of action should be :)

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PastaQueen • September 17, 2006 at 10:38 am

Greta – The calculations aren’t meant to change the picture, just make it easier for me to see. When I keep going up and down a couple pounds each week it’s hard to know if I’m losing, gaining, or plateauing. By averaging things out over the week and looking at it every day I should see a more gentle slope and be able to tell if I’m losing or gaining as I’m doing it instead of just once a week.

The funny thing is I actually did up my exercise this week. I even started doing some cycling, so I was hoping working different muscle groups would help. Maybe I’ll start seeing the results next week.

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greta • September 17, 2006 at 6:18 pm

I am sure that a 10-day moving average would give you a better picture. No doubt about it. However, when weight loss slows enough that you need to do that to see what’s going on then weight loss is going really really slowly. You know that. You might be going slightly up or slightly down or very even but you are not going anywhere too fast.

Since my exercise is maxed out as far as my lifestyle goes, then I always have to look to my food to make a change. At 100 calories per mile it takes 35 miles to get rid of one pound, and a NY Times article recently said it actually takes more than that because you have to subtract off the calories you’d have burned just sitting in a chair during the time spent running or walking. Exercise is important for body firmness, for heart health, for keeping the metabolism stoked, and yes for burning calories, but it’s really hard, once you already have an exercise program in place to increase it enough to see a difference at the scale. A lot comes down to food. You have to keep up the exercise but look at the food for a solution. Thanks, Mark. I never heard that calculation, that for each pound lost you need to decrease daily intake by 11 calories to maintain the same rate of loss. VERY interesting figure. I have found it true for myself. When losing a lot of weight it takes readjusting intake a few times along the way to get where you are going. Too bad.

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anji • September 17, 2006 at 7:05 pm

Hi there – I just wanted to add to your post from a few days about, about not getting raped/murdered, all that kind of fun stuff….

It is an interesting fact (I heard in a self-defence course) that – more women are raped/assaulted in the hours between 6am and 8am then late at night. Not sure why, if the rapists are well-rested or what — but — I think it has to do with their predatory behaviour as well as the fact there are less witnesses in the morning and it’s easier to ambush women when they are preoccupied with their music and it’s still somewhat dark on a relatively unused pathway when all the witnesses are tucked snuggly in their beds!

I would suggest if you do switch to the early morning routines, to still be careful and perhaps maybe invest in some kind of device (sound or pepperspray or something that is still somewhat legal, hehe)

I actually liked walking in the mornings where I used to live though I haven’t quite got comfy enough in my new home area to do so yet… bye for now!

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PastaQueen • September 17, 2006 at 8:04 pm

great – But I don’t want to be in a plateau! (sniffle, sniffle) Okay, okay, I probably didn’t need to put that third spoonful of whip cream on my pudding last night. I’ll be more careful about my food, but I’m not going to make myself go hungry either.

Regarding the exercise calculations, I know recent research is pointing to the fact that people who’ve lost a lot of weight only burn 85% as many calories when exercising as “normal” people, so I suppose that makes food even *more* important.

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Lynette • September 17, 2006 at 8:48 pm

Google has a nice moving average calculator that I’ve been using this week. Here’s the link:

http://www.red-bean.com/fitz/ig/google15/faq.html

I like the moving average system, and weigh in daily. I started losing 3 pounds a month, then two, and now it’s down to about a 1.5 pound loss per month. I don’t consider a plateau. Just slower – gives you time to adjust and figure out how to set the calories lower, activity higher or just get used to a slower pace.

I think the hacker’s diet also has a downloadable moving average system that you can use if you like it.

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KC • September 18, 2006 at 1:30 pm

Alright, I’m gonna disagree with people here and suggest that perhaps if your workouts are getting more intense, you’re not eating enough calories. Just a thought. I know many people on Weight Watchers who fail to lose weight on weeks when they undereat their points. I know, counter-intuitive but something to think about.

Also, do you think their may be any emotional backlash to weighing yourself every morning?

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PastaQueen • September 18, 2006 at 1:39 pm

KC – That’s a good point about possibly undereating, but I don’t think that’s true for my situation. If I’m hungry, I eat. I refust to go hungry to lose weight. I just try to pick foods that keep me full and aren’t too high calorie.

I don’t think I’ll have any emotional backlash from weighing every morning because I know that weight fluctuates depending on water, my cycle, and just what I’ve eaten in the last 24 hours, so I know not to freak out over little changes.

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Annie • September 18, 2006 at 1:45 pm

Pasta Queen…I’m actually commenting on your last comment. I don’t know how well it would work with South Beach since I haven’t read that one but it might be possible to use the Volumetrics ideas to lower the calories and still give you plenty so that you are not hungry. Volumetrics is a book by Barbara Rolls.

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PastaQueen • September 18, 2006 at 2:00 pm

Annie – I’ve heard that book mentioned before and I think some of the concepts do overlap with South Beach. I’ve been meaning to at least skim it. I’ll go add it to my library book requests. Thanks for reminding me!

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Haystacks • September 18, 2006 at 9:20 pm

I donno–you have to be very not nerotic not to be negatively affected by weighing yourself every day. Your bodys natrual movements can gain and lose up to 4 pounds a day, just by living.

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Laura • September 19, 2006 at 10:48 am

On the other hand, facing up to the scale every day and not being afraid of normal fluctuations could be a good strategy for keeping one’s self honest over the long haul. If you’ve been losing weight over a long period of time, and then start to plateau, or lose some of that initial willpower and scrupulous vigilance, it’s SO easy for that weight to come back and that scale may be the most objective instrument for checking that weight–’cause mirrors and clothes, to someone who’s been morbidly obese, just don’t cut it as good measuring tools for one’s size. Now I know this doesn’t really apply to PQ because she at least weighs herself weekly, but if she’s been able to handle the weekly weigh-ins for so long, I don’t think the daily ones, with that fancy scale of hers, will put her over the edge.

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Marie • September 20, 2006 at 6:42 pm

Another thought–for a week or so, you might want to try weighing first thing in the morning and last thing at night. I had to do that b/c I was having bad BP problems, and it turned out that I was retaining water pretty badly–I could get an 8 lb. variation in one day! This might give you some insight into just how much you’re fluctuating every day, too.

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Comments are now closed on all PastaQueen entries. The blog is an archive only so I don't have to deal with spammers. For fresh discussions please visit my new blog JenFul.

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Jennette Fulda tells stories to the Internet about her life as a smartass, writer, weight-loss inspiration, chronic headache sufferer, and overall nice person (who is silently judging you). She does this at JenFul now, but you can still have fun perusing her past here.

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