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How quickly can you REALLY lose?

Sometimes I just get fed up with all this fluctuation. 2 weeks ago I weighed 125 then Last weekend I totally overate and weighed 130 and then I stuck to my diet for the most part this week and weighed 125 again today. But the number changes so much every day...I know that it depends on sodium intake and so many other things but I feel like its all a big guessing game. I think I'm making the right choices, but I cant seem to find a diet that works well for my lifestyle ( busy grad student) so I keep changing it up and I feel like I never know what my body is going to do next. I know that it takes 3500 extra calories to gain a pound but is that always true no matter what? Can one night of binging make a difference for some people? Can one week of strict dieting "fix it" ?

Sun. Nov 12, 2:32am

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3500 calories is always a pound, but the quality of those calories has an impact on how much you gain. All calories are not created equal. Fat uses up 2-3% of its own calories for digestion, Carbs are 8-9%, and Protein is 30-35%.

If you binge on brownies, for example, those are all carbs and fat. If you eat 1000 calories worth of brownies (about 1/3 of a tray of a box mix type), your body will use about 80 calories in the digestion process, so you've got 920 to work off at the gym. If you eat a 1000-calorie steak (a 12-14oz filet, where the calories are 60% protein, 40% fat) your body uses up about 200 calories digesting it (more for less fatty cuts), so you've "only" got to undo 800 calories worth of damage.

It takes me a week of smart eating to undo a single bad day of eating. You'll find that we all vary in our ability to recover from a binge, so you'll elicit a lot of anecdotes - but they are essentially meaningless to you because all of our bodies are different.

Sunday, November 12, 2006, 11:08 AM

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Even if your weight stayed the same, what you see on the scale every day can fluctuate daily. If you only weigh yourself once per week, you have no idea where you are on the normal path of fluctuation. I weigh myself every morning, first thing, and plug the number into the site. It automatically creates graphs and a moving average. I find it a very helpful way to keep track of my weight and not to be thrown off too much by any day's number.

How much can you lose? How much can you gain? Honestly, I think the answer varies person to person. So . . . the better you know your own weight patterns - what tends to make you lose and gain - the better you can know your own limits and your own possibilities.


Sunday, November 12, 2006, 12:22 PM

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Funny, I was just telling my husband this morning that dieting Monday-Friday and eating what I want Saturday-Sunday will be a great formula for maintaining weight when I get to my goal. It takes all 5 days to make up for what I did last weekend. To keep losing weight now and get to my goal weight, I've got to keep the diet going through the weekends. Hit and miss just isn't going to do it for me.

Sunday, November 12, 2006, 12:25 PM

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your weight will fluctuate day to day for a variety of reasons. water weight, partially and digested food in your intestines (on it's way to exit!), if your bladder is empty or full, if you are pmsing (adds weight temporarily), if you drank alcohol the night before (weight will be lower temporarily-dehydration), if you ate a meal w/ in the last few hours (the food you eat has a "weight" of it's own-if you eat veggies, chicken and rice that physically weighs 2 lbs-you will weigh 2 lbs more till that food is digested. sometimes this takes a day or so.). try not to focus so much on the ups and downs you see every day. weigh yourself in the morning, or a couple of times a week and watch the trend over time. sure after a bad day or two of eating you will see the scale go up-but how much of that actually is real weight gain is entirely dependent on how active you are, and how efficient you metabolism is. the rest of it will disappear once your body processes all that extra food.

Sunday, November 12, 2006, 3:07 PM

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