I am having a frustrating problem. First a little background. In the past three weeks I moved into a new building with a gym. I also have a lighter schedule than usual, so I decided to take the next month and a half to see if I could lose some weight. My normal workout schedule is about 5 days a week for an hour, but I have upped my time to 1.5-2 hours 6 days a week to lose some weight. I have also changed my diet to exclude ALMOST all refined sugar, non whole grain flower, red meat, restaurant food, high carb veggies , starches, on and on. I stopped eating carbs (other than veggies) at night. I eat eggs, egg whites, veggies (lots of Romain spinach zucinni), fish, pure protein shakes, poultry, salt and sugar free peanut butter for fat, olive oil, and some fruit. Ok, so my question. With this diet and food plan my weight has stayed pretty consistent, I am lucky to go down an ounce or two over nearly a week. Although, I can see changes in my body. Yesterday I had a cheat day. I ate a huge breakfast including bacon and high sugar fruit ummm blueberries. In the afternoon went to Boston Market. I ate bbq Chicken (with the skin) baked beans, veggies, and the dreaded cornbread (with butter). For dinner I had a piece of bread (yes after 6pm) with brie sugar free Greek yogurt and a salad. This morning I woke up looking thin, weighed myself and found I lost and astonishing 2lbs! What is going on? This happened to me earlier this summer when I ate restaurant food nearly every day and was at the lower end of my normal weight. So, is all of my hard work for nothing? Should I incorporate restaurant food into my normal eating? My guess is this is water weight but this is really aggravating. Any suggestions?
With this diet and food plan my weight has stayed pretty consistent, I am lucky to go down an ounce or two over nearly a week. Although, I can see changes in my body.
Perhaps you gained muscle while losing fat? That may happen to beginners, though it is less likely with already physically fit people with low body fat. If such a thing happened, that would be good, even if the scale shows no change. Indeed, it is really body fat, not body weight, that is unhealthy when in excess. You may want to measure your progress with body fat percentage, or a proxy like waist size, instead of just weight.
As far as a two pound fluctuation in a day goes, that could easily be water weight, which is sensitive to carbohydrate intake, among other things.
I find that if I work out 2+ hours a day, I typically GAIN weight at first from putting on extra muscle and from holding on to extra water weight. After a few weeks, I start to lose weight again. Maybe this is happening with you too. I now only work out about an hour, 5 times a week, but I make it very vigorous. I'm also only trying to maintain my weight.
Most of the time, it's okay to have a splurge day every now and then and it won't kill your diet. If it happens often, then yeah, that can mess up your diet! I have done the idea of a once a week cheat day and it worked great for me. I ate an extremely healthy diet all week, similar to how you eat (cut out processed foods, sweets, etc with mostly lean chicken and vegetables), then ate the not so healthy stuff only once a week (and saved any alcoholic beverages for that day). In a way, it shocks your body and keeps your metabolism from getting too used to eating the same way every day. Many people prefer to do not do this though and prefer to have a small treat EACH day instead of a full day of whatever you want. In the end, if your calories are the same, then either way works.
I also have had times when I ate a ton of junk and lost weight overall. This was because I was eating smaller portions without realizing it. Healthy foods like nuts and olive oil can add up in calories, so if I went out and had some french fries, I might have actually had less calories if I had a smaller size. There was a week when I ate many kids meals at fast food restaurants while traveling a while back and I lost weight when I came back. I think it was because I still ended up in a good caloric range somehow!
Maybe your body does well with a cheat day every now and then! You also might not be eating enough on a regular day with all of the working out you do. Do you know about how many calories you eat on a normal day? Make sure it is enough for your activity level. 1200 calories or so would work for one person to lose weight, but a very active person could need more.