T Nation

Trouble Keeping Weight On

So I was ~175-177 pounds about 2 months ago. Got up to a high of 186 about a week and a half ago, and just weighed myself last night and was 180 even.

As you can imagine I was a little pissed.

The scale I use isn’t electronic and I move around on it to make sure my numbers are accurate, so I don’t think the scale is off. I don’t understand why my weight’s fluctuating so much: I weigh myself first thing in the morning every day before I eat so that’s consistent, and over the whole period of time I haven’t changed my caloric intake at all. I’ve tried my absolute best to stay between 4000 and 4300 cals/day so that hasn’t changed either.

I just don’t understand why my weight went up so much then dropped back. It’s led me to believe that most of the weight I gained was probably fat or water weight… which is probably true.

I’ve gained a little strength over the past 2 months, and a few reps on everything else, but nothing outside of the norm.

Is there any explanation to why I gained so much then dropped back some…? Are there outside factors I’m not considering?

Water weight is a tricky issue… Carbs in your body/sodium/stomach content… Keep in mind that MMA fighters like GSP routinely cut 20lbs for a single fight without looking different. If you want to accurately track your progress, take measurements. Neck/shoulder girth/arms/chest/waist/hip/thighs/calves. They tell the true story. After all, it’s about how wide you look, not about your weight, otherwise you could just get metal implants :wink:

PS I learned this the hard way, just like you.

Weight fluctuates a lot. Just keep a log of what you’re weighing in at each time (i weigh in twice a week, tuesday and friday morning straight out of bed), and look back over it every couple of months. Normally my tuesday weight is higher than my friday weight as i’ll over eat on the weekend. Doesn’t mean that on friday i think i’ve lost muscle because im a pound lighter. Then if i/m the same the next tuesday chances are i just had a cleaner weekend.

what your training look like?

[quote]nighthawkz wrote:
Water weight is a tricky issue… Carbs in your body/sodium/stomach content… Keep in mind that MMA fighters like GSP routinely cut 20lbs for a single fight without looking different. If you want to accurately track your progress, take measurements. Neck/shoulder girth/arms/chest/waist/hip/thighs/calves. They tell the true story. After all, it’s about how wide you look, not about your weight, otherwise you could just get metal implants :wink:

PS I learned this the hard way, just like you.[/quote]

I wish I were in that 180-185 range, but I’ve been stuck in 152-157 for awhile now. I want to trust the scale, since it seems to be a very easy way to gauge progress, but in reality I’ve found measurements (and photos in the mirror) to be more reliable.

I’d like to be able to say “when I hit 200-210, I’ll be where I want to be”. Except I’ve seen lots of pictures, and some people look great at that weight at 5’11, and some really don’t.

So really I’m using a mixture of things… bodyweight, photos, measurements (waist, hip, thigh, upper/lower arms, calves, neck, shoulders), and the weight I use for reps. I’m getting a suspicion that “someone who is lean and who can overhead press 200 lbs for three sets of 12 reps”, is actually a far better way to judge progress than bodyweight.

Every night I am about 7 pounds heavier than I am in the morning, so water weight can definitely cause big fluctuations in a short time. Maybe you had a lot of salt the day before your 186 weigh-in.

[quote]Andrewdwatters1 wrote:
I don’t understand why my weight’s fluctuating so much: I weigh myself first thing in the morning every day before I eat[/quote]
Always after you use the bathroom, also?

This is the problem. You’re 6’3" and currently pretty lean, correct? If your weight isn’t going up each week, increase calories, drastically if needed. It’s what you should’ve been doing 8 weeks ago, and 6 weeks ago, and 4 weeks ago…

As for why the scale went down a few pounds in 10 days, could be a hydration issue, could’ve been a few days of inconsistent eating which are death to fast-metabolism-having guys like you, could’ve been a fluke weigh-in at 186. Whatever it was, start back on track ASAP.

Speaking of which… … … Hey Andrew, what exactly did you eat yesterday?

[quote]nighthawkz wrote:
Water weight is a tricky issue… Carbs in your body/sodium/stomach content… Keep in mind that MMA fighters like GSP routinely cut 20lbs for a single fight without looking different. If you want to accurately track your progress, take measurements. Neck/shoulder girth/arms/chest/waist/hip/thighs/calves. They tell the true story. After all, it’s about how wide you look, not about your weight, otherwise you could just get metal implants :wink:

PS I learned this the hard way, just like you.[/quote]

Yeah, good point. You and LoRez both said this basically so i’ll definitely get something so I can take my measurements with and start doing that. good call

[quote]Chris Colucci wrote:

[quote]Andrewdwatters1 wrote:
I don’t understand why my weight’s fluctuating so much: I weigh myself first thing in the morning every day before I eat[/quote]
Always after you use the bathroom, also?

This is the problem. You’re 6’3" and currently pretty lean, correct? If your weight isn’t going up each week, increase calories, drastically if needed. It’s what you should’ve been doing 8 weeks ago, and 6 weeks ago, and 4 weeks ago…

As for why the scale went down a few pounds in 10 days, could be a hydration issue, could’ve been a few days of inconsistent eating which are death to fast-metabolism-having guys like you, could’ve been a fluke weigh-in at 186. Whatever it was, start back on track ASAP.

Speaking of which… … … Hey Andrew, what exactly did you eat yesterday?[/quote]

Yeah, always after .

Yeah, I’ll start paying more attention to my water/salt intake and work on keeping my diet more consistent.

Yesterday I had…

Breakfast: 4 eggs, 2 cups whole milk and 2 pieces of toast

Lunch: 2 sandwiches (wheat bread, mayo, about 5 slices of turkey, slice of pepper jack and mustard each) an apple, small sweet potato fry from BK and water

Snack: ~3 servings of dry peanuts and 2 cups whole milk

Dinner: Half a package of spaghetti (640 cals) with red sauce and a chicken breast cut up mixed in

Before Bed: 2 cups whole milk and a peanut butter sandwich with wheat bread.

~4100 cals

Normally I drink about a nalgene and a half during the day, which is like 50 oz I think

Whole milk <3

That just doesn’t look like 4100 calories to me… I’m probably just being crazy though.

My weight tends not to fluctuate that drastically, regardless of hydration, but I have friends who I have seen weigh as much as four pounds different from one day to the next without making a concerted effort at cutting. Not much help, but I can vouch that you’re not alone?

[quote]Halcyonview wrote:
That just doesn’t look like 4100 calories to me… I’m probably just being crazy though.

My weight tends not to fluctuate that drastically, regardless of hydration, but I have friends who I have seen weigh as much as four pounds different from one day to the next without making a concerted effort at cutting. Not much help, but I can vouch that you’re not alone? [/quote]

I try to eat pretty calorie dense so I don’t have to eat as much, but the whole milk, nuts and peanut butter do a lot for the calorie count.

Glad to hear I’m not alone haha

I love whole milk… but seriously, give half & half a chance. Better carb profile, and higher caloric density.

Throw in some protein powder or other flavoring, and it can be really good. (Throw in a raw egg or two if you’re adventurous… I find it works really well with a rich chocolate flavored protein powder.)

[quote]Andrewdwatters1 wrote:

[quote]Chris Colucci wrote:
Speaking of which… … … Hey Andrew, what exactly did you eat yesterday?[/quote]
Yesterday I had…

Breakfast: 4 eggs, 2 cups whole milk and 2 pieces of toast

Lunch: 2 sandwiches (wheat bread, mayo, about 5 slices of turkey, slice of pepper jack and mustard each) an apple, small sweet potato fry from BK and water

Snack: ~3 servings of dry peanuts and 2 cups whole milk

Dinner: Half a package of spaghetti (640 cals) with red sauce and a chicken breast cut up mixed in

Before Bed: 2 cups whole milk and a peanut butter sandwich with wheat bread.

~4100 cals[/quote]
I didn’t run the numbers but if that was 150 grams of protein, I’d be surprised. That’s something you’ve got to keep an eye on.

Shooting for big total calories is important, and carbs and fats are “easy” ways to get there, but if you don’t get plenty of protein everyday, you’re not going to be building muscle.

2 cups milk - 300 calories 17/25/17
4 eggs - 300 calories 30/0/20 if they are jumbo size
Chicken breast - Around 400 80/0/10 if it is 300+gm worth.

As Chris has noted, it would be around 150gm protein - not including from nuts… c’mon, do you really count those grams of protein?

I’d double check those numbers mate to see if that is anywhere near 4100 calories. A cursory glance seems more like ~ 3000 ish-y

Agree with the others, im eating 4000 to bulk and that doesnt look anything like 4000. Not enough protein. Add soem protein powder and extra virgin olive oil in the shakes.

Sometimes I wonder if we should just close this form and have it say “Whatever your question is, here is the answer. Your form is bad, watch videos of how to do it. You aren’t eating enough, eat more. You aren’t lifting enough, life more”

Would solve most problems.

So yeah, eat,lift,learn,sleep

Thanks for the responses guys. Appreciate everything. Eatin mor

[quote]Andrewdwatters1 wrote:
Thanks for the responses guys. Appreciate everything. Eatin mor[/quote]

Eating more what? (hopefully the answer is protein)

Forget counting calories. Learn to count macros. MUCH easier to track, and the ratios of the 3 are much more important to your physique than overall caloric intake.

Yeah i’ve actually been starting to notice that counting macros is much easier.

And yes, more protein. Just picked up 2 huge packages of chicken breast, more whey and cottage cheese. =)