Exercise Weigh-In weight loss

No Surprises After All

It’s easy to step on the scale and say “I have no idea why I gained weight this week!”  I can tell you this from experience because I’ve done it, but the truth is that most of the time, there’s a logical reason waiting to be seen if we take the time to look.

Yesterday, before weighing in, I knew I’d show a gain, and I racked my brain to figure out why.  I knew I had eaten poorly Thursday night and Friday night, but I also stopped myself Friday and went on a workout binge instead.  So while I was pleased with myself for exercising hard all week, I knew that I had to delve into what I ate and own it. I was up 0.8 this week.

I tracked everyday, and that’s important for a couple of reasons….First, it could be worse.  Tracking (knowing that I’m going to write it down even though no one else will see it) often helps me make choices to skip junk that I might otherwise eat and forget which brings me to my second point. It’s easy to forget what we consume.  And tracking allows us to look back at the choices we made so there’s little room for surprise when we see (or don’t see) the results that were hoping to see on the scale.

Before I headed to my weigh-in, I took an honest look at my tracker, and what I found explains why I saw a gain this week as opposed to the losses that I’ve grown accustomed to seeing again.  As I said, I ate poorly Thursday night and Friday night, but I also ate too much Monday evening.  I had Bún Thịt Nướng for dinner alone with 2 Vietnamese spring rolls.  If you’re not familiar with Bún Thịt Nướng, it’s basically vermicelli noodles with thinly sliced barbecued pork and lettuce.  I didn’t eat all of it, but I did eat too much…especially when adding peanut sauce with the spring rolls.  I’m not saying that the Vietnamese food did it.  I’m saying that these things add up, and while I exercised hard, I spent the week fighting myself over the food choices I made.

Because I tracked my food intake and workouts, I was able to look back and see what needs to be different in the coming week.  I have a fresh opportunity, and I’m going to make the most of it.  I’ve already started by loading up on fresh, leafy greens and protein, and I’ll keep it up by exercising hard today with my friend, Anne, at the fancy schmancy gym that I’ve referred to before.

Do you track your food intake? Are you typically surprised by what you see on the scale, or do you generally know what to expect?


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  • Reply
    Deborah (Schmiet)
    February 3, 2012 at 12:45 am

    Hi Kenlie

    When I track I lose weight and I’ve just (re)started tracking my food and exercise this week. Like you, it’s just for my benefit, so if I need to confess to an entire bottle of wine or 500g chocolate, I can… and there’s also no point in lying!

    However, I am sometimes surprised by what I see on the scale and recently ‘lost my way’ because I didn’t cope well with an unsuccessful weigh in.


  • Reply
    February 3, 2012 at 6:04 am

    I dont weigh BUT I still have been WAIT WHAT shocked when Ive tried on my barometer jeans.

    • Reply
      February 3, 2012 at 12:45 pm

      Your barometer jeans….I love it!

  • Reply
    Jodi @ Jodeexi Writes
    February 3, 2012 at 7:01 am

    Tracking has definitely saved me! It completely helps me stay on track. I think I usually know what’s going to happen when I weigh in…but every now and then it will be a surprise. I love the “could be worse thing” – this is especially important when I feel like I’ve eaten too much, tracking keeps it in perspective and doesn’t let my mind distort how my week has been..good or bad.

  • Reply
    Grace @ Healthy Dreaming
    February 3, 2012 at 8:09 am

    I don’t track physically anymore but I know when I’ll show a gain 🙂 . I finally got in the groove of weighing myself again after using clothes as a gauge for months.

  • Reply
    February 3, 2012 at 8:13 am

    I try my best to make sure I track my food, but weekends are the worse. I get busy and I’m out and about and forget, then I forget what I ate. However, last week I saw a gain and with good exercise on my side, I couldn’t understand.

    I manually change my points. The points that WW gave me were causing me to maintain my weight not lose (I guess each person is different), so I decided to go in and change it (they let you go down 3 pts). I starting losing and I didn’t feel hungry either. I’ve kept up with that, but when you go down in points (like I did the other week) it goes back to WW gave you originally. So, I had to go in an change it. What I didn’t realize is with the 2012 changes they now let you change your Weekly points too………….I change my weekly points down and left my dailies up at the orig. So, it was kind of a double whamy. I can’t believe I didn’t notice until the end of the week. But I guess I have a routine of just going in and entering and not looking at the points as a whole, just what I have left. It def. set me back. This week I didn’t lose, but didn’t gain either. But I’m glad I realized it and fixed it and now I can get back on track.

    It can be simple things like eating those little pieces of hard candy throughout the day or big things like messing up your points. Def. will make me pay more attention.

  • Reply
    Mary C. Weaver, CSCS
    February 3, 2012 at 8:14 am

    I always recommend that my clients track food intake, and I continue to be surprised at how resistant people are to the idea.

    Your post helps demonstrate why it makes sense!

    Love your approach to fat loss.

  • Reply
    February 3, 2012 at 8:18 am

    I got a fitbit for Christmas and it has made ALL the difference in the world when it comes to tracking food. The website is super easy to use, and since the fitbit tracks your calories burned, activity level and sleep, it can sync up with the calories you’ve eaten and make sure that you’re keeping within your limits to reaching your goal. Seriously, best thing ever.

  • Reply
    Lori Lynn
    February 3, 2012 at 8:22 am

    I go through spurts with tracking it, and it seems when I don’t track it, I’m not as conscious of what I’m eating! It does help me a lot when I do it.

  • Reply
    February 3, 2012 at 9:54 am

    Tracking is a battle for me. I do so much better when I do it, but I get lazy on the weekends. I use the 3-month journal from WW, but I’m wondering if I wouldn’t do better with something that has more room to track emotions, too. That way I could not only look back and see what I ate, when I exercised, but how I felt, too. I’m very much an emotional eater, and that feedback could be helpful.

    If anyone has thoughts on a journal that would allow that kind of tracking, please let me know. Thanks!

  • Reply
    February 3, 2012 at 9:59 am

    I track. For about 3 years now. Helps me be more aware of what I am eating, & I suppose more accountable.
    The scale doesn’t usually surprise me too much then either.
    I’m guessin’ Vietnamese food is high in sodium. I wish Asian dishes were not.

  • Reply
    February 3, 2012 at 10:19 am

    I am very faithful to track on myfitnesspal my food and exercise and have to say I almost never go over my daily limits. However, I still feel like I am not doing something right or that I am not giving 100%. I am not sure what I need to change but I think I am going to take an overall look and see in the next week or two. Anyone have any suggestions for me to try out? I know that I am not getting enough veggies & fruit so I am going to try and work on that also.

  • Reply
    February 3, 2012 at 10:37 am

    I always know if I will have lost or gained weight. ALWAYS. Its the one thing I can count on. If I exercise all week but eat badly I will gain. If I eat well and don’t exercise at all I will stay the same.

    I think I had to figure out WHY I was blowing all my hard work and exercise by making bad choices OR eating too much of the good choices….

  • Reply
    Molly Nitka
    February 3, 2012 at 11:58 am

    I used to track food intake but don’t anymore. It got too overwhelming for me. Plus I wanted to learn how to eat without tracking. I think the scale is a great measurement of your progress but I dont think its the only thing to look at. Believe me, I cuss at that thing a lot but then remember all the other ways I’ve noticed how i am changing as well as my body. The number does not define everything you have done.

  • Reply
    February 3, 2012 at 12:51 pm

    I do old Weight Watchers and track everything. In the past, I would turn right back around and eat my activity points after I’d earned them, which is okay, but not the best thing you can do. This last week and a half I have been working hard not to eat my AP’s. I’ve also worked hard not to go over my points allotment. We’ll see how my weigh-in on Sunday morning goes.

    You id hit the nail on the head though I think. Your tracker can tell you so much about why you did or didn’t do well that week. Keep tracking, and study it on occasion to learn what works!

  • Reply
    February 3, 2012 at 1:06 pm

    I do track what I eat, how much water I drink and my exercises.
    Some times things don’t add up to what the scale shows but usually I can go back and figure out why? Usually too much sodium or just too much bad food.

  • Reply
    Sarah C.
    February 3, 2012 at 4:46 pm

    Do you take in account only weight changes or do you take tape measurements as well? I wonder, because you can lose fat and gain muscle (which weighs more) and become more lean without seeing any loss and sometimes with a slight gain. And while you did cheat a little bit I’m not sure it’s enough to negate everything you did the rest of the week, both food wise and exercise. I just hate to see you beat yourself up.

  • Reply
    February 4, 2012 at 4:36 am

    I just started WW the 20th of last month & I had been good about tacking until a death in the family tossed it all out the window.

    But I declare Sunday a new start & I will get back to it. I am actually in the process of shopping for a scale & I am seriously terrified what its going to say or scream once I step on it.

  • Reply
    February 4, 2012 at 9:54 pm

    Gains always suck, no matter if you know why or not. They suck even more when they’re unexplainable! I’m an avid tracker and still have weeks I gain. Silly bodies!!

    Also, Tag! You’re It! Be sure to check out my blog (http://brookenotonadiet.wordpress.com/2012/02/04/11×11/) and see what’s up! 🙂

  • Reply
    Lisa Q
    February 5, 2012 at 12:41 am

    I have lost 115 lbs tracking my food daily online. It is important to me that I visually see where I am calorie wise.
    I am at a plateau right now and it is killing me, but I continue to track daily.

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