Weight Loss
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How to know your true weight?

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Ok so my weight fluctuates so much, on a daily bases by almost 5-8 lbs. Sometimes it shows 190 lbs and sometimes 198lbs. So which one is my true weight?

I was so happy to see 190 lbs finally and then all of a sudden 198lbs and today was 195lbs, over 3 days.

Am I 190lbs?

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Many of us have pondered this weight gain/weight loss sort of thing.  Many of us have come to the conclusion that if a person is going to weigh-in daily or several times a week, it should be at the same time each day.  Many of us weigh-in (I used to weigh in 3-5 times a day, but quit doing that) first thing in the morning, before eating breakfast and after, if possible, having a RR break. 

Now, for me personally, although my weight does not fluctuate as much as yours does daily, it can fluctuate that much from week to week or from a Thursday to a Monday, depending on how much I ate and drank over the week-end.  For example:  here are my last 7 Monday morning weigh-ins: 172.5--178.0--179.6--171.4--178.8 --171.4--179.3--172 .6--172.8

These are the reasons I think that my weight can fluctuate so much:

  • I needed quality RR (reading room LOL) time.
  • I drank quite a few stouts or glasses of wine.
  • I ate over my normal calorie allowance for 2-3 days.
  • I didn't exercise as much for 2-3 days.
  • I had foods with a lot of sodium in them.
  • I was carrying a lot of water weight.

In answer to your question, which is a question I have asked myself more than once:  One's true weight is how much he/she weighs in the morning before eating, drinking, and exercising.  In other words, the weigh-in after one gets out of bed in the morning, is as honest as any weigh in.  (I used to argue differently, but have been shown the error of my thoughts.  My feeling used to be that one could weigh several times during the day and take the average.)

i agree with shane. the closest one can come to "true weight" is what one weighs in the morning, before eating, drinking, etc. 

But of course various other factors can affect this, such as eating a lot the night before, sodium-water retention.... you get the idea.. 

I used to have a rule, when I was losing weight, that if my weight doesn't stay at a certain point for more than 3 days in a row then it's not true weight loss. For instance:

Monday: 124lbs.

Tuesday: 125.6lbs.

Wednesday: 125.4lbs.

Thursday: 125.5lbs.

Friday: 124.8lbs.

Saturday: 124.8lbs.

Sunday: 125.2lbs.

***My true weight would be 125lbs. Not 124lbs., even though my weight dipped that low. Sucks it can't be 124lbs., but I believe this is the truest weight.***

shane_paladin pretty much summed up my thoughts on weighing. I just wanted to add that since my weight does tend to fluctuate from day to day, I find it useful to go by the trend line as my "true weight," since it provides the moving average. So, as long as the trend line keeps going down, I am pleased!

I do what others have already suggested - weigh in at the same time every day (morning, after visiting bathroom and before eating/drinking) and under the same conditions (i.e. wearing the same thing, i.e. nothing).  But even that flops around like crazy.  The max I've weighed this month is 153, the minimum is 149, this morning I was 151. 

I've eventually realized there *IS* no such thing as "true weight".  You'll always have a variable about of food and water passing through your system, some days up and some days down, having a "true weight" would mean there's some exactly right amount of each of those things for you to be carrying around.  Which is impossible when that depends on what you ate and drank (and when) during the previous day and how fast things are moving through your system.

The best you can do is keep a running average, like the CC weight trend that averages together the last 10 weigh-ins, and hope that gets rid of most of the variability.  Nothing ever gets rid of all of it - a visit to the Chinese Buffet and all that lovely MSG can add pounds of water-weight that'll hang around for the better part of a week.

This is a very frustrating thing when you are trying so hard to lose weight! I settled on a system of daily weighing before breakfast but I only record it once a week on Fridays. Ultimately, you just have to pick a regular day and time to record your weight if you are trying to determine whether or not you are actually losing weight. I sometimes think that even once a week does not allow enough time beteween weigh ins and have considered only recording my weight once a month.

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I look at the trend line, since I log in morning weight every day, the trend will give you the average of the past 10 entries.

Hi! While I was losing weigght (maintenance now), I monitored my weight every day and weighed-in right after getting up and after going to the toilet wearing nothing... There were 1-2 lb fluctuations from day to day but only logged my weight weekly (Sundays).  I just monitored to make sure I wasn't over or under eating or excercising...There were a few spikes and dips but the average from the weekly logs was pretty much the same over a year. Maybe just try to log your weight once a week under the same conditions but monitor it daily without writing it down?

Like most people said above, a lot of factors can contribute to daily weight fluctations and really, you can't see any tangible weight loss or gain from one day anyway. At least from personal experience.

I can so relate to how frustrated you are feeling. However, one good way I have become accustomed to using as a monitor is actually measuring various parts of my body -eg neck circumference, wrists, thighs, upper arm, waist, hips, stomach, bust/chest and under bust

I find that sometimes, even through my weight has remained the same or even increased, the inches have gone off. I keep a weekly total of inches lost and it gives a really positive picture -so you are not just reliant on the often fluctuating and depressing picture of the weight chart.

I would also go with what others have said which is do not weigh too often and that morning, after you have been to the loo but before you have had your morning cuppa, is best for the most consistency. I weigh and measure on a Sunday morning and keep a chart on my computer.


i too have a fluctating daily wieght. I jump on the scales everymorning after my first cup of tea and before breakfast. I record it on the chart on this site and try to look at the trend rather than todays score.

When I started dieting I weighed myself a couple of times a day and I had fluctuations as big as that all the time, I thought it was so bizarre that I was easily half a stone more in the afternoon than I was in the morning but after reading about other peoples (most of the time more minor) fluctuations and salt/sodium being blamed for a lot of water retention I cut out as much salt as I could, completely stopped using it to add flavour to anything. I was a bit of a salt monster before so I thought it would be difficult and I wouldnt enjoy food as much but ever since I stopped adding it I can taste the natural salt in foods sooo much more. And as a result the scales started to shift downwards and my weight doesn't fluctuate anywhere NEAR the amount it did before, a couple of lbs here and there but thats it.

It may be something else thats causing your fluctuations but it was definitely the salt causing it for me so I would suggest looking at cutting that out and drinking more water!

My solution to this is to not weigh in. I use belt notches or how clothes fit to determine weight loss or gain. I don't own a set of scales and have only weighed myself about two or three times in the last four years. As many have said the daily weight can fluctuate so if you feel the need to weight yourself at least limit it to maybe once a month. I know there are "studies that show" weighing yourself every day helps you lose weight but there are others that say the scale can be a detriment. I guess each has to determine for themselves what works for them but if you get discouraged easily don't weigh yourself as much.

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swagar: I also have to agree with everyone else.  I weigh myself every morning (naked, after I use the restroom) however, I only log it in once a week.  I check my weight every morning just to make sure that I'm on the right track.

As for gap in your weight, I don't think anyone mentioned that your cycle (assuming that you're a woman lol) plays a role too.  During that time of the month, women tend to hang on to alot of water.

The first time around losing weight (and unfortunately putting it back on Frown) I was weighing myself religiously.  Day and night.  All the time.  I was rather obsessed with it.

This time around I'm taking a different approach.  The goal is to be lighter, but I'm focusing more on how I feel fitness wise, and whether my clothes are beginning to fit better.  I'm taking the occasional weight to check it out of curiosity, but I'm trying to not obsess over it so much this time around. 

I know I'm doing something right because I went from not being able to buckle my belt to being on the first, second, and now third hole.  I imagine I'm another 4 weeks away from the 4 hole on the belt now too. 

I think I made myself a little crazy obsessing over every pound, and every swing in my weight.  Sure, weight is important, but instead I'm trying to focus on nutrition and fitness and let the weight take care of itself.

Just another way to look at it.

I, too, have been bitten by the up-again-down-again fluctuations of the scale. I decided to weigh in once a month and it's worked fine. I figured the weight-loss/maintenance is going to go on for the rest of my life, so the need to know a specific poundage with every tick of the clock served only to discourage.

IMHO, the weight loss will take care of itself if I "behave." I don't need to keep tabs on a constant basis. Plus, there are other ways to tell things are working, like dropping a pant size or again fitting into a medium t-shirt.


Here's my 2 cents worth.  After I come into work, I log onto my computer and while waiting for it to upload, I go weigh myself. (I work in a doctor's office.) I log the weight on a calendar, and yes it does vary from day to day; for me up to a 3 lb difference.  At the end of the 5-day work week, I average the weights and that is what I consider my true weight to be.  As long as the weight keeps going in a downward direction, even a few ounces, I am happy. 

You should weigh yourself ONCE a week, pick a day (I get weighed wednesdays) do it about the same time every week and it should be first thing on a morning and that to me is your true weight.

Thanks for the feedback everyone. :)

After reading all the replies I have concluded that

The best time to weigh yourself is in the morning before breakfast,

Log weight daily and follow the trend line or take an average by the end of the week to find out your weight. OR even better

Just weight yourself once a month.

And the best advice as far as following your weignt loss success is to see how much your losing in inches...that sure can give a confidence boost.

So I am going to take my measurments today and maintain a journal. I am also gonna try out some tight winter clothes from december last year to see if they are lose now hehe

I am one of those people who dont feel slimmer by just looking in the mirror, I dont even trust other people's comments, I just need the scale to go downnn. I think wearing smaller size clothes will be the best reassurance.

I dont know if my system will work for you or not,  but I ALSO fluctuate a lot.  I decided to use a digital scale, and only change my weight by one pound when I see a "NEW LOW NUMBER"  For example,  to put 216 as my new weight,  I HAD to see a NEW low number of  214 point something  on the scale, EVEN 214.9 is ok IF I have NEVER seen  214 point something  on my scale ever before, since I started my diet.  Further,  I do not allow myself to change my weight to 215 UNTILL I see  213 point something on my digital scale for the first time.  I have myself at 215 right now,  and will not change that to 214 UNTILL I see 212 point something on my scale for the first time. That way, I consider my "personal true weight"  to always be 2 pounds more than the lowest weight I have Ever seen on my digital scale.  I sometimes go a week with no change,  then have an "easy week" right after that where I loose a couple pounds with ease........but I do not worry,  as long as that lowest number on the scale is going in the right direction.  I dont even worry about "how long it takes for a new number to appear" as long as I am do not find myself going in the "WRONG" direction.........like seeing myself "weigh in" at more than 4 pounds OVER my "personal true weight" regularly at the end of the day.

If you're getting frustrated by not being able to tell just how much weight you've lost, I recommend doing the following:

(1) Weigh yourself once a day under the same conditions (time of day, clothing you're wearing, etc.)

(2) Eat the same foods on a day-to-day basis (yes, it's boring, but it works for me. I enjoy the consistency and convenience of it.)

(3) Go by the trend weight on the CC weight log instead of what the number on the scale happens to be that day.

I weigh myself after I wake up, after emptying my bladder, before eating/drinking, and while wearing nothing. I eat virtually the same foods every day (with some variation on the weekend). Under these conditions, my weight generally doesn't fluctuate unexpectedly. I've been losing about a pound a week and each day on the scale I'm about .1-.2 lighter.

There are times when my weight unexpectedly rises by up to 1 pound max. Since I know I ate less than my maintenance the day before, I know it doesn't mean I've 'gained weight' per se, but perhaps that I ate something with a lot of sodium the day before or that I need to use the restroom. I also noticed that after taking a long, hot bath my weight drops by up to .5 of a pound (I used to weigh myself more than once a day but stopped doing that once I realized all the variables that can affect the number on the scale).

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