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Winter weight gain after months of loss - everything else the same

Millard Fillmore

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I lost around 15 pounds in 2023 by overhauling my eating habits. More fruits and vegetables, balanced with some carbs and protein. I don't restrict and I don't fast, I just eat healthy and exercise. Lift + run regularly. I'm late 40s. I also lost 7 cm around the waist and a few around the neck too.

My weight dropped consistently until the fall when it held steady. Starting around January it started to tick back up. It's up around five pounds now (on weekly average).

Here's what I can tell you:

- Didn't holiday binge (didn't even celebrate during the holidays)
- It's not very cold where I live - can still run outside (though it's not hot and humid like in summer)
- Measurements (waist and neck) are still the same since decreasing along with weight
- Eating habits haven't changed
- Sleep and stress are fine, no problems there
- Still fit in my clothes
- Probably I'm walking a bit less

I can only guess it's a combination of natural body preservation (for winter) and water weight since we don't sweat as much? I don't get why it's going up but my waist size around the belly remains the same. It could also be muscle mass but at my age that's hard to increase to that degree. Less walking too.

Not panicking but I was hoping to actually push it down a few more pounds, not go up. Is this normal?
 

BackInTheGame78

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I lost around 15 pounds in 2023 by overhauling my eating habits. More fruits and vegetables, balanced with some carbs and protein. I don't restrict and I don't fast, I just eat healthy and exercise. Lift + run regularly. I'm late 40s. I also lost 7 cm around the waist and a few around the neck too.

My weight dropped consistently until the fall when it held steady. Starting around January it started to tick back up. It's up around five pounds now (on weekly average).

Here's what I can tell you:

- Didn't holiday binge (didn't even celebrate during the holidays)
- It's not very cold where I live - can still run outside (though it's not hot and humid like in summer)
- Measurements (waist and neck) are still the same since decreasing along with weight
- Eating habits haven't changed
- Sleep and stress are fine, no problems there
- Still fit in my clothes
- Probably I'm walking a bit less

I can only guess it's a combination of natural body preservation (for winter) and water weight since we don't sweat as much? I don't get why it's going up but my waist size around the belly remains the same. It could also be muscle mass but at my age that's hard to increase to that degree. Less walking too.

Not panicking but I was hoping to actually push it down a few more pounds, not go up. Is this normal?
It's unlikely that you are doing everything the same. You aren't tracking calories so you don't have any actual solid evidence and it's all just a guesstimate by you. Meaning that over time you have likely eaten more calories without thinking you have during the winter months.

If you want to know for sure then you need to start tracking everything that goes into your mouth. You will likely find you are eating 300-500 more calories a day than you think you are. That's what happened to me when I first started doing it.

Without tracking food intake, you are simply guessing. If you are simply guessing it would be like trying to get somewhere you have never been to and don't know where it's located without a map or using GPS. You might get there eventually, but chances are you won't.

Also, you would likely do better by setting real, tangible goals. Something that is in black and white. Like, I want to lose 10 lbs by April 1st. That would be the 5 you gained and an extra 5. Without actual goals you are kinda like being in an ocean on a boat with no sails and no paddles. You are just going wherever the ocean current takes you on a given day.
 

Millard Fillmore

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It's unlikely that you are doing everything the same. You aren't tracking calories so you don't have any actual solid evidence and it's all just a guesstimate by you. Meaning that over time you have likely eaten more calories without thinking you have during the winter months.

If you want to know for sure then you need to start tracking everything that goes into your mouth. You will likely find you are eating 300-500 more calories a day than you think you are. That's what happened to me when I first started doing it.

Without tracking food intake, you are simply guessing. If you are simply guessing it would be like trying to get somewhere you have never been to and don't know where it's located without a map or using GPS. You might get there eventually, but chances are you won't.

Also, you would likely do better by setting real, tangible goals. Something that is in black and white. Like, I want to lose 10 lbs by April 1st. That would be the 5 you gained and an extra 5. Without actual goals you are kinda like being in an ocean on a boat with no sails and no paddles. You are just going wherever the ocean current takes you on a given day.
Thanks for the feedback.

So - I did have goals and reached them. My problem is the backsliding. I keep a grid of my progress, calculating averages each week based on daily data. I continue to have a goal weight since I achieved my previous goal. I have both long term and short term goals that I work toward. Agree 100% on the goal thing.

As far as counting calories, that's never worked for me and I find it extremely counter productive and a waste of time. I've tried it and it just doesn't work because it's more of a guesstimate (apps and Googling calorie counts or going by packaging are extremely inaccurate). What works for one person is not going to work for everyone. Whereas I know that vegetables and fruit are going to have less density than junk food.

IRT consumption, you're correct that it's possible I'm eating more calories. However my habits have remained the same (and I've even reduced since I started to gain). Additionally I haven't gained any in my circumferences. I've been paying close attention and made sure to stick to the habit of healthy eating. But I will take a closer look regardless.
 

BackInTheGame78

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Thanks for the feedback.

So - I did have goals and reached them. My problem is the backsliding. I keep a grid of my progress, calculating averages each week based on daily data. I continue to have a goal weight since I achieved my previous goal. I have both long term and short term goals that I work toward. Agree 100% on the goal thing.

As far as counting calories, that's never worked for me and I find it extremely counter productive and a waste of time. I've tried it and it just doesn't work because it's more of a guesstimate (apps and Googling calorie counts or going by packaging are extremely inaccurate). What works for one person is not going to work for everyone. Whereas I know that vegetables and fruit are going to have less density than junk food.

IRT consumption, you're correct that it's possible I'm eating more calories. However my habits have remained the same (and I've even reduced since I started to gain). Additionally I haven't gained any in my circumferences. I've been paying close attention and made sure to stick to the habit of healthy eating. But I will take a closer look regardless.
Could be water weight due to something you are eating that your body doesn't like that's causing inflammation.

Common items on this list can be concentrated dairy(whey, Greek yogurt), salmon, nightshades(tomato's, green peppers, eggplants, potatoes), wheat containing foods, and oatmeal.

If you are eating the same items day after day this can also cause inflammation eventually as the body builds up antibodies to the food and once it crosses a certain threshold it treats it as an invader it needs to get rid of.
 

Millard Fillmore

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Could be water weight due to something you are eating that your body doesn't like that's causing inflammation.

Common items on this list can be concentrated dairy(whey, Greek yogurt), salmon, nightshades(tomato's, green peppers, eggplants, potatoes), wheat containing foods, and oatmeal.

If you are eating the same items day after day this can also cause inflammation eventually as the body builds up antibodies to the food and once it crosses a certain threshold it treats it as an invader it needs to get rid of.
True true.

Two other factors, I took a prescription pill for four weeks (nothing super crazy) which coincided with this trend. Also this all started going nutso when I changed the battery on my cheap a$$ scale, lol.

But I think I'm retaining water - probably overconsuming salt which is retaining water from vegetables.

I do eat a lot of peppers and eggplants and tomatoes. That's interesting.
 

Money & Muscle

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"I don't know how much food I eat, but I eat healthy."
"I also don't know why I'm gaining weight."

Seems related.

You can overeat healthy foods and gain weight. Sounds like you need to start monitoring what you eat and how much of it you eat.

Counterargument:
You said you gained weight but your waist/neck have not changed, so who cares what the scale says?

Do us a favor though, and answer this:
what is a typical day of eating?
What foods and how much of them.
 

Millard Fillmore

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Counterargument:
You said you gained weight but your waist/neck have not changed, so who cares what the scale says?

Do us a favor though, and answer this:

What foods and how much of them.
I'll circle back on the food guys, thanks. Generally it's mostly vegetables, lean protein like fish or chicken, and a complimentary amount of carbs like rice or pasta or quinoa. (That's lunch.) Breakfast is a banana. Dinner is something very light.

Re: the scale - that's true, and it could also be muscle gain. But maybe I've gotten sloppy with salt and sugar. Going to tweak some things.
 

EyeBRollin

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I'll circle back on the food guys, thanks. Generally it's mostly vegetables, lean protein like fish or chicken, and a complimentary amount of carbs like rice or pasta or quinoa. (That's lunch.) Breakfast is a banana. Dinner is something very light.

Re: the scale - that's true, and it could also be muscle gain. But maybe I've gotten sloppy with salt and sugar. Going to tweak some things.
white rice / pasta or brown rice / pasta?

portion size? (1 serving spoon of rice = 1 serving)

Do you have a food scale?

Do you cook with butter / oil? If so, how much?

Yes. Adding sugar adds empty calories…

Do you drink coffee? Black or cream and sugar added?
 

whitething

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Counting calories like a freak for months is important. Make a cheat sheet or memorize every calorie. Then for the rest of your life you won't need to. If you're just winging it and guessing you might be way off. My kids ask me for fun how many calories are in something or a plate of food. I tell them and they freak out and start tapping away on their phones and asking Siri. I can be at a Buffet slap a glob of mashed Yams on my plate and know it's full of butter and about 300C.
Again, it's annoying but count for a while until it's automatic. I don't know what a Macro is though.
 

BackInTheGame78

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I'll circle back on the food guys, thanks. Generally it's mostly vegetables, lean protein like fish or chicken, and a complimentary amount of carbs like rice or pasta or quinoa. (That's lunch.) Breakfast is a banana. Dinner is something very light.

Re: the scale - that's true, and it could also be muscle gain. But maybe I've gotten sloppy with salt and sugar. Going to tweak some things.
Not a fan of just eating carbs by themselves, especially when it's a fast absorbing one(ie, banana only). Would try adding some form of protein to that...

Honestly, from what you just outlined, it sounds like you aren't eating enough food and your body is rebelling against it and trying to do everything in its power to store fat.

Try eating more for 2-4 weeks then go back to what you are doing now. You may have throttled your metabolism down too low.

In almost all cases when I have reached a "stuck" point the answer was to eat more.
 

Nitrozv20

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we cant help you because we dont know how many calories youre intaking, If you want to dial in, you need to track everything youre eating. If youre gaining weight you are eating in a calorie surplus, period.
 

BackInTheGame78

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we cant help you because we dont know how many calories youre intaking, If you want to dial in, you need to track everything youre eating. If youre gaining weight you are eating in a calorie surplus, period.
Not necessarily. You can easily gain water weight
 

Nitrozv20

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Not necessarily. You can easily gain water weight
When i am completely dialed in, and have a cheat meal, i can put on 12lbs of water overnight. I dropped 57lbs and sit at 5'10" 180lbs. Im not here to argue, I know what I am doing along with everyone else who brought up tracking your calorie intake. If you want help from us, track your Calories, Protein, Carbs and Fat intake for a week and lets go from there.
 

BackInTheGame78

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When i am completely dialed in, and have a cheat meal, i can put on 12lbs of water overnight. I dropped 57lbs and sit at 5'10" 180lbs. Im not here to argue, I know what I am doing along with everyone else who brought up tracking your calorie intake. If you want help from us, track your Calories, Protein, Carbs and Fat intake for a week and lets go from there.
I'm not the OP, and I was the first person to tell him to count calories in this thread. That doesn't change the fact that you can gain a lot of water weight quickly from foods that cause inflammation, or fills up glycogen stores if they are a low carb person.

I've also lost significant weight down from 245 lbs to 175lbs over the last year.
 

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Nitrozv20

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I'm not the OP, and I was the first person to tell him to count calories in this thread. That doesn't change the fact that you can gain a lot of water weight quickly from foods that cause inflammation, or fills up glycogen stores if they are a low carb person.

I've also lost significant weight down from 245 lbs to 175lbs over the last year.
awesome work, i bet you counted calories every day lol
 

BackInTheGame78

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awesome work, i bet you counted calories every day lol
Haha, I did other than cheat days. Also did 5:2 fasting and had a pretty strict list of foods that I would eat from each category. Pretty much all single ingredient foods other than Dark Chocolate and Dole Whip which were my treats.
 
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