I have been working on losing weight for a long time now- it’s my 650th day of logging according to my fitness pal. And, during that time, I’ve lost quite a bit of weight (down almost 50kg/110pounds). I still have a little farther to go, and am still working hard towards reaching my goal of a healthy BMI.
But what I want to talk about is my rate of weight loss: it is NOT linear. I am about 17 pounds/8kg away from having a healthy BMI. And, the lower my weight gets, the weirder the weight loss patterns get.
Usually, my pattern was have a big drop, gain a little back over 6-8 days, then have a big drop (but lower than my first drop), creating a general trend downwards. Recently, I have just been flat-lined around one number. For the past 10 days, I have weighed right around 78.0kg (or about 172 pounds). Nothing is really different, I’m eating around the same calorie goal I’ve had for a while (1600-ish), and still getting about 3-4 hours of activity in per day at work (I am a city postal carrier). So, I know that I’m in a calorie deficit. Maybe not the largest one, but I’d estimate my own TDEE around 2100. So, I’m happy with a diet of about 1600 calories per day. I don’t need to go fast!
I made this image to help anyone who hasn’t been losing weight for as long as I have, and is feeling insecure and/or worried that “something isn’t working.” (Note: Happy Scale data is in kilograms, and Apple Health data is in pounds) I’ve been at this long enough to know that even though I might be doing “everything right,” the scale might still not reflect that work, which can be demotivating.
I log my weight in Happy Scale every morning, which is an app that smoothes out my weight fluctuations, and considers all of the data I have entered over a given period of time. I also have Happy Scale set to write my daily weights directly into Apple Health, which applies no such transformations to my data. It just robotically plots a y-value of my daily weight along an x-axis of the date.
If you look at my Apple Health data, it’s just a flat line, and might be a cause to think that what I’m doing “isn’t working.” If you look at my Happy Scale data, however, it shows that even though my actual weight isn’t budging, based on the overall data I’ve entered, I’m still losing about half a kilo a week (which is what I would expect, given my my estimation of my TDEE from my height, activity level, and current weight).
I don’t have a great explanation for why my weight loss isn’t showing up on the scale (it’s gotten hotter recently, and I’m outdoors a lot, so maybe that has something to do with it), but at this point in my weight loss, I know that I’m doing the right things for my body, and I just need to keep doing them.
It can be demotivating to not “see” progress on the scale, but that’s what these weight smoothing apps are for! They help us not miss the forest for the trees. It’s easy to get hung up on numbers, but, as humans, our impulse is to see TODAY’S number, and fixate on that. The weight smoothing apps (Libra for Android, and Happy Scale for iOS) can really help us cut through the noise, and get a better understanding of what’s really happening.
I hope this helps someone out there!