Frustrating Weigh In

Today’s weigh in was beyond frustrating.  I gained .2 pounds to end up at 152 pounds.

Why was this frustrating?  I knocked it out of the park this week in every way.  It is by far the best week I’ve had in over a year.

I averaged 7804 steps a day this week.  The prior week when I lost 1.4 pounds? 6018 steps.  I burned 104 calories a day more this week than I did the week before.  To put in perspective my average calorie burn per day for the first quarter of the year was 1500.  I was at 1726 per day average for this week.

My food intake this week was less than last week and was about 4 calories a day more than my average for the first quarter.  That tells me that I was not eating more to compensate for the higher calorie burn.

I did great on exercise.  I exercised for 453 minutes during the week which works out to just over an hour a day.  I actually took last Saturday off entirely.  Also, one of the 6 days I exercised was light exercise bike riding.  Still, it was a lot of minutes and I burned a lot of calories through it.

For those following Weight Watchers, I had 27 of my weekly points left.  I ate an average of about 29 points a day (I get 26 daily points).  I earned 37 activity points for the week, none of which I ate.

Of course, what matters in the end was the calorie deficit.  This week, Fitbit says my calorie deficit (based upon recording food at MyFitnessPal) was 601 calories a day, compared to 404 calories a day for the week before and compared to 380 a day for the first quarter of the year.

601 calories a day should theoretically equate to a loss of 1.2 pounds!  Now, I don’t usually lose as much as the calorie deficit should equate to.  I think there are 3 basic reasons for that overall:

  1. I may not always accurately weigh and measure food.  Maybe the calorie counts are based upon a level tablespoon and I round the top.  Maybe I don’t weigh something that I eat often and I get it wrong when I record it.  That kind of thing.  I do always track.
  2. Sometimes calories counts of restaurant food or packaged foods aren’t accurate.  I’ve read the articles saying that these counts can be really inaccurate.
  3. Calorie burn information given by Fitbit or my heart rate monitor may not be accurate.  They are basically estimates based upon height, weight, and age (and heart rate where available).  I have a higher body fat percentage than most people of my height and weight, so I burn fewer calories.

So, I understand if the math says I should lose .6 pounds and I lose .4 or even .2.  But, this week was more extreme than that.  I gained .2 pounds on a week when I had a 600 a day calorie deficit.  I don’t think that the 3 factors above account for that.  For example, I may not always be accurate in my recording, but I did nothing different this week.   I didn’t eat 600 calories more a day than I recorded.  I also didn’t eat a lot of processed foods this week.

So, I really think it come down to 2 things.  On Friday morning I was showing about a .2 pound decrease on the scale for the week.  That wasn’t much, but was something.  Friday, I exercised a lot and then the scale jumped up a little on Saturday morning.

First, sometimes weight loss seems a bit delayed.  Last week I lost 1.4 pounds which was more than was predicted by my calorie deficit.  But the week before that I lost .2 pounds which was less than predicted.  The two basically balanced out.  So, maybe this week’s loss is simply delayed a bit in showing up on the scale.

Second, I markedly increased my exercise this week.  Everything I did was aerobic exercise.  On 5 of the days it was walking — either outside or on the treadmill.  One day I used the exercise bike.  I am familiar with water retention after starting a new strength training program, but I didn’t do that.  I did a little research online, though, and I did see some reports of temporary weight gain after starting or increasing aerobic exercise.

My working hypothesis is that this is due to the great increase in my aerobic exercise level and that this is water retention.  If so, I should expect it to go away sometime in the next week or two.  My plan is to keep on doing what I did this week and see what happens.

I am about to go into several weeks of having a lot of family related eating out occasions.  Next Saturday is my birthday and I am planning on going to Carabba’s that day (same place I went last birthday).  Then, 8 days after that is our son’s 21st birthday.  The week after that is Mother’s Day.  A couple of weeks after that we will be going to a family wedding out of town which will mean at least one night away from home, maybe two.

Given all of that, I am really wanting to stay on track with both eating and exercise and particularly wanted to do well this past week and the upcoming week to go into that period in a good place.  I do think I was doing the right thing this past week, so I plan to just stay the course.

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  1. says

    I’m sorry. Maybe you weren’t eating enough for the increase in activity? sometimes that happens, and our body holds on for dear life. Hopefully, it will be better next week. Trust the process. 🙂

  2. Shelley says

    How disappointing! That’s usually when I throw in the towel, but please don’t! Keep doing what you did this week. Don’t increase your food. You’re building muscle!! It just takes a little while for the scale to catch up. Don’t give up now!

  3. says

    I’m sorry! And agree with what Gwen said.

    Projecting losses based on calorie “deficits” is all much more inexact than it’s sometimes made to seem. Have you read much Zoe Harcombe? She has a number of posts of how the 3,500 calories/per pound theory is a “cruel lie.” Here’s an interesting post of hers about real versus predicted losses on WW:
    And another post demonstrating that no one, anywhere, has any scientific proof for this theory:

    Cold comfort, but I hope it does help to remind you that YOUR body is like every other body, and for ALL of our bodies, weight loss is not linear, it goes in jags, some predictable, some not. You will get there.
    Sorry for your frustration, I certainly know your pain.
    Wendy recently posted…Scientists recommend “weight loss turbo”. For reals.My Profile

    • says

      I know it is not exact, but I also know I ate well last week and exercised well. I do feel it is mostly water retention and it will work itself out (lol) soonish.
      Kitty recently posted…Keeping GoingMy Profile

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