I can't figure out what's going on with my weight

I have told cronometer that I am sedentary, and it's guessed my BMR as 1443kCal. I am using Google fit on my android to record my exercise automatically - almost entirely walking and cycling. I am not recording moving around the house or office (no fitbit), so I would assume it's underestimating my activity if anything. I am religiously recording every gram I consume, which is either from food labels/nutrition guides or weighing every ingredient in home cooking.

Anyway, over the last week

Day | Cal Deficit

Fri | 891

Sat | 976

Sun | 274

Mon | 567

Tue | 74 (excess)

Wed | 18 (excess)

Thu | 593


So, a ˜3000kcal deficit over the the last 7 days.

And my weight? Up a kilogram 😔

What am I doing wrong, or am I defying the laws of physics?

Answers

  • Water weight can cause fluctuations like this. If you've only been at this for a week, and especially if you've just upped your exercise, it's not a total surprise that you're not seeing instant results.

    I use Trendweight to help flatten out this stuff. I weigh myself every day and let trendweight do maths magic to give me a smoothed out trend of what my weight is actually doing.

  • +1 on water weight. Did you eat high(er) salt and carbs (especially if you normally eat lower carb) before your weigh in? I find that really affects my measurements. Also, your sex and age details would also help. Premenopausal women often see fluctuations in their weight in different parts of their cycle.

  • It may be due to what is considered exercise. I've seen many.
    Activity that raises the heart rate above rest.
    ...
    Activity that raises the heart rate to 70% of it max. and stays at least 30 mins at that level.

    On not losing weight...I'm no expert but I might have an idea.
    I daily life your body uses up calories. A BMR of 1443 in your case.
    If you go below your BMR you will get rid of pounds. Until a certain level.
    The body can slip into starvation mode. It thinks it's in major trouble like a famine and slows down the burning of calories.

    I do NOT know the numbers so below is to explain the principle.
    1443 is your BMR. You burn 1443 calories/day by just living.
    Less calories means shedding weight.
    700 calories and your body goes into survival mode. The BMR drops to 600. Your feel weak. The body starts storing everything it can get its hands on. It stores more that at normal calorie consumption.
    If not water storage as suggested above, the key to losing weight may be... more calories.

    Starvation mode isn't only entered when the calories in total get to low. The macros need to be spread out. For example, low carb is good but no carb is bad.

    Finally, take a look at what bodybuilders eat. Lots of protein. Protein is used to build muscle tissue. If you starve yourself the muscles get 'consumed'. For weight control muscles are ideal. They are very energy consuming. But if you starve them away your BMR goes down too. It causes a fake success on the scales. Muscle is healthy weight. If you relax your diet they build up quickly again and adding pounds
    So, weight is only one parameter.
    Just ask yourself this. What's best?
    a] Gain 20 pounds around the waist?
    b] Gain 20 pounds pure muscle?

    Weight can and does fluctuate, no matter how good you are doing.

    Overweight is unhealthy. Crash diets are unhealthy. Unbalanced nutrients are unhealthy.
    The first thing I would do in your case is study the totals in cronometer. Are all nutrients at 100%?

    The body is a complex machine. It uses water to burn calories. But it can't do without vitamins. Again I'm no expert but I've read a book on it and vitamins have many functions. For example some vitamins aid transport of nutrients, while others aid the cells absorbing or releasing them. A third group does <don't remember>.
    So try to get those numbers all lined up on a weekly average. It's healthy for sure and it may be one of the keys you are looking for.
    Another type of diet may be another key.

  • Hello,

    You may find the answer you are looking for in Cronometer's blog.

    https://cronometer.com/blog/why-is-my-weight-plateauing/

    Let us know if are still having issues.

    Susan Macfarlane, MScA, RD
    Registered Dietitian Nutritionist
    cronometer.com
    As always, any and all postings here are covered by our T&Cs:
    https://forums.cronometer.com/discussion/27/governing-terms-and-disclaimer

  • Thanks.

    Maybe some background is useful. After a health scare in January (new year's day, actually!), I have been taking care of myself a little better. I have done at least an hour of aerobic exercise every single day - brisk walking, or cycling. I have been watching my diet - concentrating on keeping saturated fat below 20g a day and salt below 6g/day (==2400 mg of sodium) as I had been advised since at least May. In October I started experimenting with the quantified life on a small scale; basically letting my phone record all my activity via Google fit and monitoring my diet with cronometer. After a few weeks of doing that I decided to use cronometer to help me restrict my calories to see if I could shed about 12kg. That was around the beginning of this month. I am not to starving myself, making sure I eat at 400g of veggies each day, my protein is at least .75g/kg of body weight and I am keeping my saturated fat and salt in check. The things that have been sacrificed are simple sugars, and grains. I'm still eating rice and pasta, but generally whole grains and smaller serves. IE my "diet" is just subtle changes to my usual food, and my exercise has not changed much.

    The current advice (which differs from the blog post above) is that it's not a bad idea to weigh yourself daily, eg https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4380831/ I am happy to do that, as I understand quite well that weight fluctuates, and it is the trend that counts.

    I had been dieting like this for about a week, and noticed no weight loss so then I monitored myself carefully for a week, before posting. I decided to wait another week before posting again.

    So another week with an average deficit of nearly 400kcal, and no actual change to my weight. It's not a plateau, that's when weight loss stops. My weight has not changed in 3 weeks of dieting. It's made no difference.


    TL;DR - start here

    Google Fit must be over estimating my exercise, or my BMR must be way less than the formula calculates. I think I have to accept that 300kcal deficit as calculated by cronometer is actually my maintenance amount.

    (I've invested in a tape measure, so maybe I will notice the cms disappearing from my waist in the future 🤞)


  • @jefmcg

    What's necessary to keep in mind is that losing weight is not just a math formula; as you lose weight, your body is working behind the scenes to stop weight loss (by lowering your metabolism, becoming more efficient at burning calories - (i.e. burning less) when you move your body, and by making you want to eat more food). At some point, your calorie intake, exercise regime, and daily metabolic rate will be in balance and your body weight will stay relatively constant.

    (I don't advise weighing daily since it tends to sabotage many people's efforts and most don't realize that true weight loss happens over weeks and months, not days).

    If you are really curious, you could get your metabolic rate measured using a BodPod, DEXA, or indirect calorimetry. This will tell you exactly how much your body burns at rest, to which you can then add a factor to account for activity.

    I also agree that exercise is usually significantly over-estimated. It's better to figure out your daily calorie intake (keeping exercise constant) and aim for a daily deficit. Don't forget to measure food (especially oils and fats)!

    Kind regards,

    Susan Macfarlane, MScA, RD
    Registered Dietitian Nutritionist
    cronometer.com
    As always, any and all postings here are covered by our T&Cs:
    https://forums.cronometer.com/discussion/27/governing-terms-and-disclaimer

  • "(I don't advise weighing daily since it tends to sabotage many people's efforts and most don't realize that true weight loss happens over weeks and months, not days)."

    Do you have studies that back this up? The US National Institute of Health disagrees. And if I had only weighed myself every week, I probably would not have realised my weight was constant, but would have randomly assumed I had gained or lost a kg depending on which 2 days I chose.

    "If you are really curious, you could get your metabolic rate measured using a BodPod, DEXA, or indirect calorimetry. This will tell you exactly how much your body burns at rest, to which you can then add a factor to account for activity."

    This is just weird: I should spend money getting an accurate metabolic weight, and then multiply it by a fudge factor I pull out of my @rse? I can see how that is any more accurate than what I am doing now.


    Anyway, I have decided to change my approach, and intake a fixed number of calories per day. What do I need to do to make the "calories remaining" reflect my fixed daily allowance, and not change with activity, or drop when I lower my weight?

    Thanks

    (I like having all my data in one app - calories, biometrics, activity - so don't want to disconnect Google Fit or lie about my weight to make that happen.)

  • @jefmcg

    Regarding frequency of weighing, you can find research for many different protocols (remember, just because something is published, doesn't mean the research is actually good!). Personally, I don't really care what individuals do as long as it's overall helpful. The reality is that our body doesn't lose weight very quickly and as a result, people get into these "mind-games" where they think a single food sabotaged their weight loss efforts. On the other hand, others find weighing themselves daily helpful and it doesn't result in such dramatic all-or-nothing approaches.

    You certainly don't have to pay for accurate metabolic testing; the majority of people lose weight without it. However, for those who've undergone bariatric surgery, experienced substantial weight loss, or are high-level athletes, such approaches provide professionals like me with more accurate information to develop nutrition protocols.

    "Calories remaining" will reflect your BMR + activity (so can't really be changed) but you can set a consistent calorie intake goal in your diary.

    Best of luck on your journey!

    Susan Macfarlane, MScA, RD
    Registered Dietitian Nutritionist
    cronometer.com
    As always, any and all postings here are covered by our T&Cs:
    https://forums.cronometer.com/discussion/27/governing-terms-and-disclaimer

  • I do not think Cronometer can do this yet but track your 'insulin load' and not just carbs or net carbs. [Carbs(g) - Fiber(g) + .56 x Protein(g) = insulin load] Carbs work but not always as expected - insulin is the fat storage hormone.

    Here is an article to get you going:
    https://headsuphealth.com/blog/featuresself-trackingstories-of-transformation/insulin-load-beyond-counting-carbs/

  • Thank you for that @yHawk

    I read it and it was very interesting. It's not necessary for me, however.

    Since I abandoned the commonsense (🙄) eat less/move more approach and started with science driven LCHF/IF, I have lost 17kg,got my BMI done to 24 (from 30.x) and lost 20cm around my waist. I'm lucky, I don't even have to count carbs.

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