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Weight loss, water, etc--

Okay, I have a question for the more edumacated on the whole "dieting/weight loss" thing. I'm not what most people would consider overweight--I'm somewhere between 5 and 10 pounds heavier than I'd like to be (I'm guessing 170 would probably be my target weight, I started at 184 after the holidays, which is the heaviest I've ever been).

I'm enjoying the South Beach Diet, the variety of food is great, I'm starting to learn to appreciate fish, and Butterfly's been enjoying the fringe benefits of the stronger emphasis on vegetables and low-fat dairy. I *miss* my carbos, but I'm not actually craving them. And the first week was really effective--I went from 184 to 175 in six days. Yay! Can't complain about that!

The frustrating thing is, after that, the next few days of weight-checking were 177, 175, 177, 176. Some of that may be the vaguary of a crappy scale, but it's been pretty consistant within an experimental error range.

So I'm askin', with the low-carb-type diets, is the first week or so just an excercise in burning fictional weight, water, and just a little bit of fat, and then do you get into the "diminishing returns" of actually attacking body mass? Leo, can you help me on this one?

Comments

( 16 comments — Leave a comment )
poppinjaye
Feb. 8th, 2005 06:21 am (UTC)
It's mostly water, the first week. You have to burn off 3500 calories to lose a "real" pound of fat. What you weighed after the holidays probably also included the stuff still...erm...in your system. Once you're in the habit of eating less, you get a more accurate idea of what you 'really' weigh, and what you're actually losing.
vermillionfox
Feb. 8th, 2005 07:09 am (UTC)
Weight means ZILCH. Body fat % is the only important thing to worry about. Most places keep lowering the ideal weight further and further to where acheiving it would require loss of bodyfat and muscle weight severely. Also, if you have fluxuating weigh-ins that keep changing daily up and down, that is a very good sign you are losing and doing things correctly. The week of 176, 176, 176, 176 are the bad ones hehe. Oh and no matter what, the human body wants to lose muscle twice as fast as fat so yeah you will cannibalize some beefyness and have to work out and maintain higher protein to replenish it as best you can. Just stick with it else I'll have Tex bap ya with the stick of "Dieting Takes TIME Silly Yena" =^.^=
spottylogic
Feb. 8th, 2005 07:11 am (UTC)
I figgered it wasn't going to be as great as week one :) Desfortunamente I don't have much beefyness to cannibalize...sigh...
baktre
Feb. 8th, 2005 07:25 am (UTC)
Wrr. Those broad, sexy shoulders suggest otherwise. :)
spottylogic
Feb. 8th, 2005 07:29 am (UTC)
That's mostly bone and wishful thinking, sweetie :)
baktre
Feb. 8th, 2005 08:07 am (UTC)
That works for me. :) You can be ornamentally-masculine instead of furniture-moving-masculine, I'm happy with that!
drleo
Feb. 8th, 2005 10:23 am (UTC)
Being not so buff is helpful, in a way, because then your body won't cannibalize the muscle, and will have to use the bodyfat.
atalantapendrag
Feb. 8th, 2005 10:04 am (UTC)
Word on body fat % (and simple measurements... a measuring tape can give you better hard evidence of actual fat loss than a scale that only gives weight and not body fat percentage). I'm not sure about South Beach, but on stricter lowcarb plans, if you're exercising, it's not unheard of to gain muscle and lose fat at the same time, and since muscle weighs more than fat, the number on the scale won't go down, but the body fat % and measuring tape will give you the real story.

And another thing about water... especially if you're trying to lose weight, you should be drinking a lot of it. The legendary 8 glasses a day, and caffienated beverages don't count toward the total. If you aren't sufficiently hydrated, you're more likely to retain water.
fletcher
Feb. 8th, 2005 07:11 am (UTC)
yeah, it's water.

and, not to get in to a religious war, here, but south beach, atkins, zone, grapefruit, whatever works for you is fine, but really, the only way to sustain weightloss is four magic words:

eat less
exercise more

when I was doing exactly that, I weighed less than I do now. When I stopped doing on, I gained a little. when I stopped doing both, I gained... more than a little.

If the food thing is working for you and making you eat less garbage, then it's a win.

Toss in a bike ride or a brisk walk 3 or 4 times a week and you have something that will bring numbers down and keep them there. The catch being: if you stop what you're doing to have gotten them off, and go back to what you were doing before, they'll come back. That's a promise and a threat.

spottylogic
Feb. 8th, 2005 07:38 am (UTC)
Yeah, I know, "eat less and excercise." But I'm not by nature disciplined. I can stick with something as vague as "eat less" for about three weeks. Abstinence is much easier than moderation--and I AM eating less. Primarily because I've at least temporarily written China Buffet out of my life. I'm moderately active, enough to counteract my desk job--but the most valuable thing I have is time, and wedging in regular excercise is a trick. Control over eating bread and sugar is probably the most I can manage right now...I know, you make time for these things, but I'd rather make time for writing, practicing some sort of musical instrument, arts and crafts, reading or whatever, any of my huge horde of hobbies I've neglected. I'm really more interested in not gaining weight any more than I am trimming down.
spottylogic
Feb. 8th, 2005 07:39 am (UTC)
Though I do for a few brisk walks a week, that's probably why I don't fill out my office chair a bit more than I do...
twistdbutterfly
Feb. 8th, 2005 07:32 am (UTC)
In the first week or so of *every* diet most fo the weight lost is fictional water. Fat loss happens too, but that's a lot more slowly (remember the 3500 calories = a pound rule). And FYI, my scale which you are using, likes to play games with the minds of dieters. It cost me about ten dollars or so if I remember correctly and it can't be trusted.
artfulreggie
Feb. 8th, 2005 08:03 am (UTC)
Zero point fat yanked from the unsightly curves of space?
spottylogic
Feb. 8th, 2005 08:52 am (UTC)
"Dark Fat," the mysterious substance that 1) adds the significant gravitational mass to the solar system, and 2) explains why innocent people like me who pick constantly at the neverending supply of doughnuts and pastries in the office until they're too full to eat a healthy meal skip lunch AND breakfast still gain weight?
drleo
Feb. 8th, 2005 10:26 am (UTC)
It'll be water early on. And I told you to be prepared for that to come back when you go back to eating normally.

Healthy fat loss happens slowly. Losing 1-2 pounds a WEEK is doing very well. If you end up losing much more than that each week, you're in danger of making your metabolism crash as a survival instinct.

I also don't think weighing yourself every day is good, because you can have fluctuations that will affect things. I only weigh weekly myself at the same time to keep things fairly consistent.
spottylogic
Feb. 8th, 2005 04:14 pm (UTC)
Fair enough, I'm new to this and the initial "whoops, there goes eight pounds" was fun. But if I'm at a point of diminishing returns, it'd be psychologically better to just check in once a week. Just checking to see if this is normally how things work, I've been on a "gain 1/30th lb/week" plan for a while now, and I'm not used to the other way around.
( 16 comments — Leave a comment )