Weight Fluctuation Questions



I'm 23 and I lead a pretty sedentary life (mostly on the computer, barely walk at all). I've been overweight for 13 years and it's been hell trying to lose weight mostly because of emotional attachments to food. As an adult, I've lost a few pounds here and there but have never gotten to my goal (135lbs) I'm currently 203lbs and I'm 5'4.

My issue is that recently I've been suffering from irregular sleep (every since I was laid-off) so I sleep all day and am up all night. Because of this I barely eat. When I eat a single, small meal I wake up with a pound or two off (I weigh myself everyday) but if I have, for example, a bagel in the morning, then sleep all day, have a meal at 7pm (and I don't overeat) and am up until 2am, get some sleep, and wake up at 6am, I instantaneously gained 2.5 pounds!!!!!!! This happens all the time. I've been swinging between 209-201 pounds for the past 3 weeks and it's getting ridiculous. Any advice as to why my body is behaving this way? I know this is extremely unhealthy and it needs to stop but I'm scared to eat more than one meal because of weight gain. My brother is a huge fitness enthusiast and he suggested 6 small meals. I tried that for a week, lost 6 pounds, then plateaud and on a day I had 7 meals instead of 6 I gained back 3 pounds! What is going on????

Comments (4)
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Your weight fluctuates constantly so it is really better not to weigh yourself so often. Try taking your brothers nutrition advice for a while without weighing yourself and see how it goes. Not eating is very bad, it can cause your metabolism to slow down, that means gaining weight when you don't do anything different. Eating small meals more often helps keep your metabolism up, making it easier to lose weight. If you are really serious, you should try to get a bit more exercise, even just a walk each day. Not getting enough sleep can also cause weight problems. You might be surprised to find that if you exercise a bit during the day, you may sleep better at night!

So, to restate the most important points : TRASH THE SCALE! Everyones weight fluctuates constantly, tracking this just makes you feel bad about yourself when there is not reason to. EXERCISE : you will sleep better, feel better about yourself, and it will make it easier to lose weight. DO NOT STARVE YOURSELF : this just causes your body to go into starvation mode and slow your metabolism down. Listen to your brothers advice on nutrition, it sounds like he knows what he is talking about.

A concern about what you said here is that you could be suffering from mild depression. That can cause sleep problems and weight fluctuations. Try exercising, studies have shown that moderate exercise is as good a remedy for mild depression as meds! I hope you are feeling better soon, not being able to sleep is terrible - I have had this same problem off and on my whole life. I never thought of it as out of the ordinary to wake up for a couple of hours and read in the middle of the night, my husband corrected me after we got married. I have spent countless hours staring into the dark in the middle of the night. Luckily it has been better in the last few years. I attribute this to going on birth control pills and exercise. The pills might sound odd, but I started sleeping better a couple months after I started on them. If I don't exercise for a few weeks, I do start having problems sleeping again. Walking, yoga tapes, or Leslie Sansone's walking tapes work best for me.

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What you are describing is NORMAL daily weight fluctuations. Everyone's weight fluctuates as much as 5 or 6 pounds or so throughout any given day (ONE day). NORMAL. It's due primarily to hydration level, but also things like how much food is in your digestive tract (when did you eat and go to the bathroom last, etc). Most people can get around the problem, to a point, by weighing themselves at the same time and under the same conditions every day. First thing in the morning, after bathroom, before eating, for example. You are exacerbating the (percieved) problem because you are not keeping a set eating and sleeping schedule, so it is impossible to use the "same time, same conditions" method; you are seeing all the fluctuations most people never really notice.

Ignore daily fluctuations. They are meaningless. What was your **average** weight over the last week or so? Is it higher or lower or the same as your **average** weight the week before? That is the only way to tell if you are gaining or losing. (Better is the average over the last month, especially for women since we also tend to fluctuate week to week based on our menstrual cycle. But this does take patience, since it takes a couple months to get meaningful information.) If you can't ignore the daily fluctuations, then, yes, definitely stop weighing yourself. You are freaking yourself out over your body's normal function.

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Healthwise, you are living a highly destructive lifestyle. The amount of changes you need to make is too large to list here.

Start by getting How to Heal Your Life by Louise Hay and Eight Weeks to Optimum Health by Weil, MD. Listen to the first one at least 5 times.

Report back in a month.

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I know this is like 4 years late but I looked up the book in reference here "How to Heal your life" and Weil MD. With no results on a book titled that. On the second book I saw "8 week plan for optimum healing power." Dr. Andrew Weil

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