Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Weight fluctuations and tracking

I found out early on in the weight loss adventure that one day I can be excited because of a 2 lb. loss and the next day I'm depressed because of a 3 lb. gain. Since I'm only concerned with fat loss and 1 lb of fat is 3500 calories, I figured there's no way a 2 or 3 lb gain in one day was due to a caloric intake surplus of 7,000-10,500 calories in just one day. Obviously, this is due to normal fluctuations in water and digestive contents. So, I really was faced with just 1 choice. Throw the scale away. It doesn't mean anything.

Then I found this cool spreadsheet that was part of my running log that tracks your weight according to a 5 or 7 day moving average. So, now, I report only my moving average. A lb or two lost or gained does not really effect the average. In fact, I have to maintain a loss for several days in order for it to show up in the average. Here are some sample data so you can see what I mean. Please excuse the poorly formatted html. I didn't take time to do it right. :)

DateDayDaily weightAvg weightBMI
18-Jul Tue 320.0 320.0 42.21
19-Jul Wed 319.0 319.9 42.20
20-Jul Thu 320.0 319.9 42.20
21-Jul Fri 319.0 319.8 42.19
22-Jul Sat 317.0 319.5 42.15
23-Jul Sun 319.0 319.5 42.14
24-Jul Mon 320.0 319.5 42.15
25-Jul Tue 319.0 319.5 42.14
26-Jul Wed 317.0 319.2 42.11
27-Jul Thu 317.0 319.0 42.08
28-Jul Fri 315.0 318.6 42.03
29-Jul Sat 314.0 318.1 41.97
30-Jul Sun 317.0 318.0 41.95
31-Jul Mon 318.0 318.0 41.95
1-Aug Tue 318.0 318.0 41.95
2-Aug Wed 313.0 317.5 41.88
3-Aug Thu 313.0 317.1 41.82
4-Aug Fri 314.0 316.8 41.78
5-Aug Sat 317.0 316.8 41.79
6-Aug Sun 317.0 316.8 41.79
7-Aug Mon 315.0 316.6 41.77
8-Aug Tue 311.0 316.1 41.69
9-Aug Wed 311.0 315.6 41.63
10-Aug Thu 310.0 315.0 41.55
11-Aug Fri 312.0 314.7 41.51
12-Aug Sat 312.0 314.4 41.48
13-Aug Sun 312.0 314.2 41.44
14-Aug Mon 312.0 314.0 41.42
15-Aug Tue 312.8 313.9 41.40

So, you see that the average sort of lags behind the actual weight. On some days, my actual daily weight went up but my average went down. That's nice! And that's how I keep from falling into the weight fluctuation trap.


jamoosh said...

Of course, you could only weigh yourself once a week. Then it wouldn't be so stressful. Or so I am led to believe.

Vic said...

Not stressful at all, James. It's all for curiosity's sake. Just retrospective archives that I can look back on in another year and see where I was. Plus it makes a nice little graph to look at. :)

Barbara said...

I should go dig up that spreadsheet I created after the youngest was born. Not that I don't still need to lose some, but I'm not working at it! Anyway, I had crazy averages in there - I had the 7 day average. I had the 30 day average. I had the delta from the 7th of this month to the 7th of last month. I had this Tuesday's weight compared to the 2nd Tuesday of 2 months ago.

Maybe not quite that bad, but there were a bunch. Mostly as a weird form of entertainment, none of which helped me lose one bit of it any faster! But I did always like to see the downward trend. Until it stopped trending down, then I had to stop using that blasted spreadsheet - LOL!

TX Runner Girl said...

Interesting stuff! I don't even own a scale, because I know I'd probably weigh myself 3 times per day. I just rely on the scale at WW each week, which works pretty well for me.