Thursday, January 14, 2010

241 lbs, then back up to 242 lbs

Many professionals recommend that when one is attempting to loose weight, weighing oneself daily is simply not a good idea. But I've been doing it anyway.

First, if it looked as if I'd lost more than a pound in a day, I still logged it as no more than 1 pound lost, to eliminate the possibility of false readings due to morning dehydration. Second, I needed to track my weight fluctuations so that I could better evaluate the effects of certain foods and exercises on my body. Third, I needed to test my emotional attachment to the numbers: excitement when the number went down, sadness when the number went up. The idea is to eventually become accustomed to my evolving weight and to recognize the most probable reasons for the loss or gain.

Well, yesterday I was down to 241 lbs. Actually, it read 240 lbs, but again I only accepted the 1 pound. Today, however, I'm registering at between 241 and 242.

Here are a few reasons why I not only haven't lost another pound, but may have gained one back:

  1. Adding up the Calorie Windows:
    Eating around 1800 calories a day means I'm at a deficit of around 700 calories per day on diet alone. Add to that the 30-40 calories I burn walking the dog and it still does not add up to 900 calories, the amount of 1 pound of fat loss. In fact, I'm looking at around a 150 calories that where not burned for several days, and 6 days of this adds up to 900 calories. But, in all fairness, I also had 2 days where I was way below my calories for the day, one at around 1500, and another around 1300, so this would numerically adjust for those daily burned calorie deficits. Thus, any presumed Calorie Windows have been accounted for and shouldn't be a factor.

  2. Dehydration giving a false 241 lbs reading: I have been quite good at drinking at least 64 ounces of water, but I still may not be drinking enough. Yesterday, I drank a hard cider in the evening (200 cal), and didn't drink an equal volume of water to match it, which is the rule-of-thumb for counteracting the effects of diet sodas or beer on your hydration levels. This may be a possibility.

  3. Water Retention bumping my weight up to 242 lbs: Not only did I not drink my usual daily diuretic yesterday in the form of either tea or coffee,.but the Roast Beef in my lunch was so high in sodium, it single handedly put me over my RDA. This is another possibility.

  4. Building Muscle: I did 45 minutes of Yoga yesterday, along with 30 minutes of core exercises, burning around 200 calories, and boy am I feeling it today. However, I also consumed a goodly portion of protein as well, and this added to my increase in activity may have lead to my body building onto my muscle. Muscle weighs 5 times as much as Fat, so it wouldn't take much rebuilt muscle to pack on a pound. A very likely possibility.
My assumption is a combination of the last 3. Now, I need to adjust for these possibilities. First, I should stop drinking coffee for a while and see what happens. Second, I should drink no more than 12 ounces of caffeinated teas per day. These two adjustments should reduce the diuretic impact on my weight, thus giving me more accurate daily readings. Third, I should pay more attention to nutrition charts before purchasing a meal and choose based on sodium content as well as calories, as too much sodium in my diet can lead to water retention. As for the last culprit of new muscle mass, I'm glad for this. The way to adjust for this is to not rely solely on weight as a measure of weightloss, but to also track changes in body inches, which I plan to measure again February 1st.

I'm still quite happy at 8 lbs lost, and this is a significant success for only 10 days.

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