Weight Loss
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Sometimes I wake up at 8 a.m. and weigh myself. Then I have a cup of coffee, no sugar with some milk, that's all. Then I weigh myself about 2 or 3 hours later, and notice I've gained 2 pounds. Two pounds? With nothing but a cup of coffee? I wonder why.

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Clothes have weight.  Especially shoes and/or jeans.

Water is remarkably heavy.  That 1 cup of coffee weighs 1/2 pound if it's only a measuring cup; a large mug of coffee can easily weigh a pound or more.

Or maybe you just wear a *lot* of makeup?  Wink

Ha, ha, susiecue, about the makeup. Nope, I was "wearing" the same items both times. The only difference is the cup of coffee, and remarkably enough it was a small cup. This weight gain from 8 to 11 a.m. has been happening quite regularly, sometimes even if I don't drink anything. And before I weigh myself both times, i have urinated beforehand. Sorry about being so graphic. So I wonder about this. For instance, if I eat very little the day before I will generally speaking, lose weight. But if I eat more than I should, it is interesting that I have a weight gain without eating anything from the time I wake up until the next time I weigh myself. Maybe two hours later. Again, no change of clothes. I understand if you eat too much, you're going to gain weight, but with me it seems the weight gain continues from about 8 hours after the meal and then again through the next 2 hours. It seems my body registers the weight gain from the day before as it moves in transit? Who knows? I sure don't. Now guaranteed if I don't eat very much today I will be "losing" weight tomorrow. OK, not guaranteed. Probably. :-) Every time I overeat, I pay the penalty for it. And by overeat, I mean even just a little. :-(

It must just be scale variation then.  It's not physically possible to create mass from nothing.  That's why you shouldn't weigh yourself more than once a day.  Smile

Scale variation? You mean like the scale isn't weighing accurately? just curious...But regarding creating mass from nothing, I wonder what you think about weight gain. At what point does weight gain take place? Immediately after eating? What do you think? or might it take 1/2 hour or so after eating?

Well, technically, you gain weight the second you eat.  If you put in a pound of food, you weigh a pound more.  But that's not real weight gain.  You weigh the same as if you stood on the scale just holding the food.

If you're talking about putting on fat, though, it takes a couple of days for your body to fully process your food and convert it into fat and waste products (a few of which we exhale as gases).

I think the scale increase you are experiencing may be related to water weight gain, although I can't explain how that is so. That's my first thought. Sorry I can't be more helpful.


Well, that's OK, Susiecue. Thanks for your attempt to help anyway. Cindi

Your scale must be screwed up. No way can you gain a full 2 pounds, in 2 hours, after only consuming 6 oz of coffee.  Water weight "gain" is really water RETENTION.  You don't "add" water weight, you simply don't lose it as fast due to the body retaining the water.  I don't consider water weight an issue anyway - it's only water and it comes and goes too easily, with sodium intake, to be concerned with it.

Instead of being consumed with the scale, why don't you start a habit of first thing each morning, wake up, use the bathroom, and weigh yourself completely naked.  At the same time, each day.  THAT will give you a better idea of where you are headed. And make sure no one is moving the scale around - that can easily translate into a higher reading of a pound or more - I've seen that on my own scale.


I realize that 6 oz of coffee would probably not make for a 2 pound weight gain. But perhaps it is the metabolism also. And if a person has eaten a rather large meal the night before, at what point does a weight gain kick in? I also doubt my scale is off, but you know what? I'm going to get another scale and see the difference. I do agree that it is a better indication of weight gain or loss weighing once a day or even once a week at basically the same time and in the same condition.

Original Post by cindiw1:

I realize that 6 oz of coffee would probably not make for a 2 pound weight gain. But perhaps it is the metabolism also. And if a person has eaten a rather large meal the night before, at what point does a weight gain kick in? I also doubt my scale is off, but you know what? I'm going to get another scale and see the difference. I do agree that it is a better indication of weight gain or loss weighing once a day or even once a week at basically the same time and in the same condition.

  Think more logically.  Weight gain does not occur like that...in a snap, so to speak.  Weight gain occurs over time, as a result of not burning off what you ate.  So no, weight gain does not "kick in".  You are always burning calories, but if you provide more fuel than you burn off, those extra calories get converted to fat, and you will see that reflected in both your appearance, the way your clothes fit, and the scale.

If you eat a large meal at night, you will of course weigh more after you eat.  There will be some "scale weight" loss due to bowel movements, urination, sweating (if you exercise) and the simple burning of calories.  If you weighed yourself immediately after a meal, you would not see any gain in your weight until you consumed something more.

I have noticed that if I weigh myself daily (naked, first thing in the morning, after peeing but NOT pooping) that weight will generally relate to what I ate TWO days ago. If I eat really well Sunday and crappy on Monday I will show a loss Tuesday but a gain Wednesday etc. Also, I have been wondering. If I weigh after peeing and naked and first thing I might way 200lbs. Then if I poop, I will weigh MORE than I did before pooping. I often wonder why that happens?

that's kind of like what I was asking ... that I can eat nothing for 10 hours and wake up with a slight weight loss, then a weight gain, also eating nothing. So I suppose it has something to do with metabolism, the burning off or non-burning off of whatever food we've eaten. Amazing. Anyway, today was NOT a good day, I ate too much at dinner (had company and did not prepare "diet" food), tomorrow will probably not be a particularly good day either. Well, there's always the week coming up. :-)

Susiecue <<Well, technically, you gain weight the second you eat.  If you put in a pound of food, you weigh a pound more.  But that's not real weight gain.  You weigh the same as if you stood on the scale just holding the food.>>

Well, now, there's a master's thesis. I should weigh myself holding the amount of food I intend to eat, then weigh myself shortly after I eat it.

The same thing happens to me. I don't think it's real weight gain.

I have no proof of this- but my guess is when my body is sleeping there is less blood circulating - for example my feet swell as the day goes on and in the morning they're smaller- so as the day goes on and my heart if pumping more I swell and weigh more. 

Now I only weigh myself once a week in the morning- the scale was driving me crazy;)

I experienced something similar today, though not as much - only one pound off from around 4am when I weighed myself during a pee break from sleep and at 8am when I got up for real. It's the first time I've ever noticed it, because I try not to weigh myself too often.

It sounds odd. It's probably got to do with something about waking up and your body not being fully "there" first thing in the morning, but after two hours it's going strong and is more aware. Though how that could relate to a weight 'gain' of 2 pounds, that sounds odd, especially if the only difference is coffee.

But it's probably related to why people say you should weigh yourself in the morning to get a more accurate weight.

I'd say, either only weigh yourself in the morning before your coffee, or wait until after. You'll drive yourself nuts by doing this.

Hi, yes, I tend to agree that when I first wake up my body isn't quite in gear and for some reason weighs less than it would in 2 hours on some days. This is not every day, but it seems to be connected to whether I've eaten too much the day before. Not that this makes entire sense to me, but it's about the only reason I could figure. something is going on with the digestion, or metabolism that causes it to "gain weight" in a short period of time after I wake up, without food. I'm not a big experimenter, but it would be interesting to see how it would work if I woke up, weighed myself, ate or drank nothing, and exercised right away. Or, another experiment would be to wake up, weigh myself, eat nothing, and then exercise 2 hours after that. :-) I could keep going with experiments, but no point to it. I know I tend to weigh myself too much. These past few days I haven't weighed myself at all because I have been eating too much and so the scale will only confirm the bad news I think I'm receiving. :-) Thanks, guys, for your answers! I'm back on a normal eating routine as long as possible, expecting to improve and lose more weight. Slowly but surely.

"One cannot achieve success by living in the past."

So, let me get this straight: You're not drinking any water between your two morning weigh-ins other than coffee?  Not even when you brush your teeth?

I assure you, you are not breaking the laws of physics.  Your body can not create mass from nothing.  In fact, you are continually losing small amounts of weight just by breathing out water vapor and carbon dioxide.  Throughout the night, you lose weight through breathing, sweating, and when you wake up, urinating.  I know I wake up a little dehydrated (and that's when I weigh myself).  I weigh about 2 pounds more throughout the rest of the day because I constantly rehydrate myself.  The exception to this are the few days througout the year when I fast for religious reasons and can't drink any water.  On those days, I weigh less later in the day because of fluid loss.

As a sidenote, why aren't you eating anything during the first 3 hours of the day?  Especially if you're trying to lose weight, breakfast is very important.

Hi, dolphinclick. I'll answer your questions because i think they are important. If I wake up at 8 a.m. I don't brush my teeth immediately. Usually I brush my teeth before I eat breakfast. Sometimes I will drink some water with lemon juice, sometimes not. I know I"m not breaking the laws of physics ... oh, I hope not. Again, I really believe (and I"m not sure this is true) that the weight gain comes from whatever is going on physiologically from the day before. It could be that somehow the body is doing something that gives a weight gain during that time. It doesn't ALWAYS happen ... So ... what I think I might do is prove something for myself, because I USED to believe that whatever you eat translates into the poundage, but some foods, while weighing a pound, are digested and transformed differently. That's what I understand. For instance, a pound of fat is calorically quite different, isn't it, from a pound of celery? I'll stop there.

Yes, calorically a pound of celery and a pound of fat are quite different.  A pound of fat contains 4091 calories while a pound of celery contains 73.  However, if you weigh yourself right before consuming either a pound of celery or a pound of fat (ew) and then immediately after, in both cases, you will have gained 1 pound - the weight of the food you just consumed. 

The difference is that the celery is made mostly of water and cellulose, substances which the body will eliminate reasonably quickly.  The body can obtain 73 calories of energy from the small amounts of carbohydrates, protein, and fat in the celery, about enough energy to power my body for a little over an hour while doing nothing.  Those few grams of carbohydrates, protein, and fat will be broken down and burned up for the energy they contain, and the waste products, mostly water and carbon dioxide, will be eliminated from the body.

The pound of fat, however, contains no water or cellulose.  All of that fat will be absorbed by the body (assuming it doesn't cause horrible digestive problems, which in me, it would).  Some of it would be immediately broken down for the energy it contains, and just like with the celery, the waste products would be eliminated.  However, 4091 calories is enough energy to power my body for 2 days (with excercise), so a good portion of that fat would be stored as body fat until it's needed for energy.  This is what we often refer to as "real weight gain."  We concern ourselves with the calories food contains and not with the mass of the food itself because we don't want our bodies storing our food as fat because we're providing them with too much energy.

It does take some time for the body to store food as fat, so "fat gain" is not immediate.  This is the rationale behind bulimia.  It's once the food has been absorbed that the conversion to fat starts to take place, not immediately after you swallow.  However, the weight gain you see on the scale is immediate.

The answer to your original question: The gain you see on the scale comes from the water you're drinking in the hours between weighings.  Here's a good article about where the numbers on the scale come from.

http://primusweb.com/fitnesspartner/library/w eight/scale.htm

Yes, that is a good article, dolphinclick, thanks for offering it. Meantime, I have concluded that weight loss or gain is a variable depending on time of day and what I have eaten, and, of course, expended. Thanks everybody for your help! Even the ones that commented, because everyone's comment made me think about it. thanks! Always grateful for more information, and especially those that make me "think." :-)

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