“I’m down a pound today!”
First off, congrats. Secondly, you’re down a pound of what exactly?
Losing a pound overnight isn’t exactly surprising. We breathe of lots of water (agua for my homies in Espana) while we’re sleeping so it’s only natural to be lighter in the morning.
“But I weigh myself first thing in the morning!”
Oh, ok. Well did you hydrate the same yesterday as you do normally (ie how much water did you drink)? Additionally, how many carbohydrates did you consume (1g of cho~4g water retention), how much salt did you take in (water filed salt osmotically), and how much caffeine did you ingest (a mild diuretic)?
All of these things influence how much water you’re holding and since water is a major constituent of pretty much your entire body it makes sense that a 1lb fluctuation could be entirely attributed to water loss/gain.
I’m not belittling a 1lb loss-not at all! However, it is more important to have a consistent metric of progress than weight alone. I propose a shift towards body composition analysis/ pictures.
Instead of weighing everyday (yea being neurotic) how about getting your body fat checked every 2-3 weeks? In addition, you can snap some pics wearing the same outfit (bathing suit anyone?) at similiar intervals. If you can’t see change or measure change then there is no change- which is the unfortunate truth of the dieting game.
I would be remiss if I didn’t say that this only applies to those who are actually following a nutrition protocol and training program. If your not (or you’re non-compliant) then this will just be a futile and depressing endeavor.
My last recommendation is to somewhat standardize the ‘confounding’ variables for water retention. The DRI for water is 2.2 L a day for women and 3L a day for men, which I and many RDs that I’ve spoken with think is woefully low. Try and get at least a gallon of the good stuff a day, women, and a gallon and a half, men.
If you’re using salt then keep it consistent as either adding more or cutting it out will lead to fluctuations NOT due to actual weight loss. Finally, if you’re carb-cycling (high days and low days) only get your body fat analysis, picture taken, or weight checked after a low day to account for the increased water retention due to glycogen uptake.
Let me be clear, I love when anyone holds themselves accountable by stepping on the scale. I just think there are better, more accurate ways to do this!