Put the Scale in Perspective

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Put the Scale in Perspective

Post by reinhard » Wed Feb 14, 2007 4:57 pm

How I lost 10 pounds, overnight, without even trying.

Podcast here:



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Post by Sinnie » Wed Feb 14, 2007 11:52 pm

Excellent podcast. I concur it to be totally true. I've been up on the scale to 138.5 lbs as of this morning, I was bummed but not really surprised. I need to work on the habit more than the weight.

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Post by Big Phil » Thu Feb 15, 2007 12:20 am

Excellent pdcast indeed!
It may be useful to remind people of the Physics diet article that was posted here a while a go. He worked out how many calories are in an ounce of fat and how many calories are burnt in an hour of walking.
If you walk for an hour you will burn fat - exactly 1/3 of an ounce. Therefore if you want to lose weight by exercise you have to do it a 1/3 of an ounce at a time. (Running for an hour will double the weight loss i.e. 2/3 of an ounce - hardly seems worth the extra exertion!).
So to lose a pound of fat you have to do a lot of walking! Or have cut you intake by quite an amount for quite a while. My point is, this loss is below the sensitivity of almost all household (or doctors) scales - so sticking with the habit is more important, as Reinhard says.
You can look at it in the other direction as well - it takes a lot of extra calories over a long time to gain a pound of fat. Probably an extraordinary amount considering the efficiency of conversion from food to energy in our bodies. So it took a long time to gain weight and it will take a long time to loose it. No matter what the scale says on any one day.
People do report losses of 10 pounds in a month. But I think the figures above show how that much of that is fluid as well as some fat. Either way it is good not to by lugging around the extra weight (retaining fluid is not good for the heart) but it needs to be kept in perspective!


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Post by joasia » Thu Feb 15, 2007 1:20 am

I totally hear you Reinhard. But.... I have been on both ends of the scale. It is a lot easier not to obsess about the number when you are at goal weight as opposed to overweight.
The destiny of nations depends on the manner in which they feed themselves. Jean-Anthelme Brillat-Savarin

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Post by reinhard » Fri Feb 16, 2007 12:08 pm


I know it's not easier, but it's even more important! And I was on the other end of the scale once too, you know... I don't know why it never bugged me. It certainly helped that it tended to be cooperative. But I didn't give it a whole lot of opportunity to be uncooperative because I didn't step on in much, and I had no trouble shaking off outliers.

Here's a somewhat relevant post from ages ago giving an argument by analogy to the stockmarket for why you shouldn't check your scale weight all the time:



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Post by J Ellis » Sat Feb 17, 2007 12:17 am

That podcast (or at least the information from it) needs to be included in the book.


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Post by pangelsue » Sat Feb 17, 2007 5:58 am

I agree. I showed it to a number of people at work because I thought it was so good. I especially liked the part about our reaction to what the scale told us. If we are up in weight, give up and splurge. If we down in weight, we can cheat a bit. Been on both ends of that argument. Put the why I step on the scale at all idea in perspective. I will use it as confirmation only from now on. I will try to keep the underlying motives out of the picture.
A lot of growing up happens between "it fell" and "I dropped it."

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Post by mbarlowm » Thu Jan 10, 2008 10:01 pm

I came across the concept of this kind of weight fluctuation when I was introduced to the Google 15. It's a tool someone at Google made, where you input your scale weight everyday, and they average the last 15 days and tell you your actual weight. After reading around, I came to the conclusion that if you want to know your weight, then, absolutely weight yourself everyday for 15 days and average it, or put in into the Google 15. But if you weigh yourself on day 1 and day 2, see a 10 pound increase, and incorrectly believe that what you did that day caused it, then that is very unhealthy. I plan to weigh myself everyday for the next month and more so I can simply see what effect shovelglove and no S have on it, but I will not stop the programs based on what I weigh.

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Post by Tombo » Thu May 03, 2018 5:49 pm

Wow, 10 pounds in one day! that is such a crazy fluctuation, I never knew such a change was possible.

I weighed myself a couple of days ago and I really wanna weigh myself again but I am trying to wait for a week to pass as I feel over time the weekly measurements will give me an idea of if I'm going in the right direction or not.

I was recently shocked to find out I was obese. I didn't think I looked obese :P

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