Why did I gain 1 lb from Nutrisystem?

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I am feeling very discouraged today....I got on the scales and was up a pound from yesterday. I follow the program exactly except yesterday I forgot the salad for my chicken caesar entree and had to eat a can of Campbell's beef and barley soup instead that was stashed in my desk drawer...seriously can one can of soup make that much difference? I just thought I would lose a little faster at least in the beginning (today is the end of week two)..

Comments (19)

Your question was: Why did I gain 1 lb from Nutrisystem?.

Hang in there, Tiff! The scale only tells part of the picture here. You could be retaining water for any number of reasons and just happened to pick the worst day to weigh in. Keep going, stick to the plan, drink your water, and the scale is sure to reward your patience sooner or later..

I know that doesn't make it suck any less right at this particular moment though. {{{HUGS}}}..

Comment #1

Remember the article about "Why scales lie?" There are many reasons why a scale can betray us when we are expecting a loss. Unusally salty foods can cause a retention of water, for example. There are many, many reasons. When the scale doesn't cooperate with our expectations, we focus upon other measurements such as actual measurements, how we feel, how we are sleeping, etc. You may have just picked a bad day for the scale; tomorrow might be a different picture. Keep drinking that water, especially important when using foods off the plan...

Comment #2

Maybe. Some of those soups are high in sodium and will make you retain water. According to a serving of that soup would contain 889mg of sodium, a third of your recommended daily total..

Try to look long term. Things will settle down as you keep going. Good luck...

Comment #3

Here's a copy of the article mentioned by Midnights_Mom1 above, which PamSB originally posted.

Why Scales Lie by Renee Cloe, ACE Certified Personal Trainer.

Weve been told over and over again that daily weighing is unnecessary, yet many of us cant resist peeking at that number every morning. If you just cant bring yourself to toss the scale in the trash, you should definitely familiarize yourself with the factors that influence its readings. From water retention to glycogen storage and changes in lean body mass, daily weight fluctuations are normal. They are not indicators of your success or failure. Once you understand how these mechanisms work, you can free yourself from the daily battle with the bathroom scale.

Water makes up about 60% of total body mass. Normal fluctuations in the bodys water content can send scale-watchers into a tailspin if they dont understand whats happening. Two factors influencing water retention are water consumption and salt intake. Strange as it sounds, the less water you drink, the more of it your body retains. If you are even slightly dehydrated your body will hang onto its water supplies with a vengeance, possibly causing the number on the scale to inch upward. The solution is to drink plenty of water.

Excess salt (sodium) can also play a big role in water retention. A single teaspoon of salt contains over 2,000 mg of sodium. Generally, we should only eat between 1,000 and 3,000 mg of sodium a day, so its easy to go overboard. Sodium is a sneaky substance. You would expect it to be most highly concentrated in salty chips, nuts, and crackers. However, a food doesnt have to taste salty to be loaded with sodium.

The more highly processed a food is, the more likely it is to have a high sodium content. Thats why, when it comes to eating, its wise to stick mainly to the basics: fruits, vegetables, lean meat, beans, and whole grains. Be sure to read the labels on canned foods, boxed mixes, and frozen dinners.

Women may also retain several pounds of water prior to menstruation. This is very common and the weight will likely disappear as quickly as it arrives. Pre-menstrual water-weight gain can be minimized by drinking plenty of water, maintaining an exercise program, and keeping high-sodium processed foods to a minimum.

Another factor that can influence the scale is glycogen. Think of glycogen as a fuel tank full of stored carbohydrate. Some glycogen is stored in the liver and some is stored the muscles themselves. This energy reserve weighs more than a pound and its packaged with 3-4 pounds of water when its stored. Your glycogen supply will shrink during the day if you fail to take in enough carbohydrates. As the glycogen supply shrinks you will experience a small imperceptible increase in appetite and your body will restore this fuel reserve along with its associated water.

These fluctuations have nothing to do with fat loss, although they can make for some unnecessarily dramatic weigh-ins if youre prone to obsessing over the number on the scale.

Otherwise rational people also tend to forget about the actual weight of the food they eat. For this reason, its wise to weigh yourself first thing in the morning before youve had anything to eat or drink. Swallowing a bunch of food before you step on the scale is no different than putting a bunch of rocks in your pocket. The 5 pounds that you gain right after a huge dinner is not fat. Its the actual weight of everything youve had to eat and drink. The added weight of the meal will be gone several hours later when youve finished digesting it.

Exercise physiologists tell us that in order to store one pound of fat, you need to eat 3,500 calories more than your body is able to burn. In other words, to actually store the above dinner as 5 pounds of fat, it would have to contain a whopping 17,500 calories. This is not likely, in fact its not humanly possible. So when the scale goes up 3 or 4 pounds overnight, rest easy, its likely to be water, glycogen, and the weight of your dinner. Keep in mind that the 3,500 calorie rule works in reverse also. In order to lose one pound of fat you need to burn 3,500 calories more than you take in.

When you follow a very low calorie diet that causes your weight to drop 10 pounds in 7 days, its physically impossible for all of that to be fat. What youre really losing is water, glycogen, and muscle.

This brings us to the scales sneakiest attribute. It doesnt just weigh fat. It weighs muscle, bone, water, internal organs and all. When you lose "weight," that doesnt necessarily mean that youve lost fat. In fact, the scale has no way of telling you what youve lost (or gained). Losing muscle is nothing to celebrate.

The more muscle you have the more calories your body burns, even when youre just sitting around. Thats one reason why a fit, active person is able to eat considerably more food than the dieter who is unwittingly destroying muscle tissue.

Robin Landis, author of "Body Fueling," compares fat and muscles to feathers and gold. One pound of fat is like a big fluffy, lumpy bunch of feathers, and one pound of muscle is small and valuable like a piece of gold. Obviously, you want to lose the dumpy, bulky feathers and keep the sleek beautiful gold. The problem with the scale is that it doesnt differentiate between the two. It cant tell you how much of your total body weight is lean tissue and how much is fat. There are several other measuring techniques that can accomplish this, although they vary in convenience, accuracy, and cost.

If the thought of being pinched, dunked, or gently zapped just doesnt appeal to you, dont worry. The best measurement tool of all turns out to be your very own eyes. How do you look? How do you feel? How do your clothes fit? Are your rings looser? Do your muscles feel firmer? These are the true measurements of success. If you are exercising and eating right, dont be discouraged by a small gain on the scale. Fluctuations are perfectly normal. Expect them to happen and take them in stride. Its a matter of mind over scale...

Comment #4

Thanks for the encouragement and article! I don't recall reading this before and it makes a lot of sense. And looking now at the soup - LOADED with sodium :-( I do feel better and my clothes are a little looser so I must be doing something right!.

Have a blessed day everyone!..

Comment #5

Hi All:.

I'm discouraged too. I hoped to lose weight yesterday and broke even or was down one pound depending. I thought the loss would be greater earlier in the plan - especially since my eating was such a mess. I believe this plan more than halves my previous daily calorie intake. Part of me understands that this is a lifestyle change toward healthier eating with more energy and positive outcomes. But, the other part says - why bother..

I tended to maintain the weight when I was eating everything so is this really worth it..

So, I reminded myself of the agreement I made with myself when I joined. I would try this for two consecutive months at 100%. If it was working, I'd stay. If it wasn't, I wouldn't..

I'll keep it up and see what next week brings..


Comment #6

Read my may get some tips, hints, encouragement there..

Why bother? Is it worth it?.

Oh, more than you know! Priceless!..

Comment #7

I know this is discouraging, but remember this. There is NO way you could have gained a real poundit takes 3500 extra calories above what you need to function to gain a pound so yesterday, no way. Soups often have lots of salt. Drink LOTS of water today, even more than usual and I bet that pound will go away. I know there are different trains of thought about weighing, but sometimes you do yourself more harm than good weighing daily. Even if you can't manage to weigh only weekly, you might try every other day and see how that works. Good luck and you are going to be fine if you follow the plan!..

Comment #8

Hi, My suggestion is keep it up cos it will work. Now I just have to convince myself of this and I'll be all set. I've been on it for months but I fall off often. I have lost and am real good at maintaining but I want to lose at least 20 maybe even 30 more. I get a little cocky when I drop a few. Today I overcame an erge to go to the store for french bread for my brocolli rabe.

Delicious and guilt free. I look in the mirror and can see my body taking shape, and encourage myself to keep it up, I can do it. I think of summer and being on the beach with all my skinny family and friends and imagining that being in shape feeling. So Sharon maybe we shouldn't think too much about it and just go with the flow. The results will be so worth it.

Good luck!..

Comment #9

Austin - great resourcefullness in finding a reference for 1 serving...Momma, did you eat the entire can of soup? Not that it's all that big, but I bet there are 2 1/2 servings in the can!.

I just posted a blog where I have been questioning myself, on Day 15, about if I am justified in weighing myself tomorrow - instead of today - my weekly weigh-in day, because I was up instead of down. I KNEW that I had read that article about how the scale is not really your friend & then, like to my rescue, Globalgal posted it here again - thanks for the reminder - I needed it today! So - if I have being "good" about getting in my walk/run regularly (4X/week) which is more than what I did before Nutrisystem - could I be building muscle in my legs that weighs more than fat?.

I did take my measurements on Day 1, but haven't re-measured, but I think that it feels easier to get into my what started out discouraging, is turning around...and I can face week 3 & get thru the cursed week & hang in there to attain the results that I KNOW I can achieve!!.

Thanks all for then encouragemen,.


Comment #10

Yesterday I was incredibly discouraged too...not only hadn't I lost ANY weight (and believe me, I really treasure those "tenths of a pound!!"), I had put on .6 pounds. (At least according to the scales.) My whole day went bad from that moment on.

I wasn't tempted to go off program or binge...but normally I would have said, "Okay...but today I'm gonna KICK BUTT and lose that!" But yesterday that little gain just seemed to suck any fight out of me..

But I did stick to the program 100% and I drank as much water as I possibly could (I'm wearing a track on the carpet here at work between my desk and the restroom!)...and amazingly, this morning I was down...not just the .6 from yesterday...but an additional pound!.

You fluctuate all the time for a variety of reasons...just stay on the program (it's the healthiest way to eat, after all), and even if the scales isn't giving you what you want to see, your body is being fueled the way it needs to be and sooner or later you will achieve your goal!!..

Comment #11

I'm a daily weigher. My weight can change dramatically from one day to the next. I can go up 3 lbs or down 3 lbs for no apparent reason. My official weight in day is Monday's so thats the only weight I use to track progress but I like to weight in daily because I do use that a guide to judge how different foods affect me. I am super sodium sensitive. If I have certain Nutrisystem foods I know my weight will go up. On days when my weight is up, I increase my water intake and add in green tea to flush out the excess...

Comment #12

Don't be discouraged!!! You're doing great!!! You've started this wonderful program, succeeding at it and staying on plan!!!! You're going to have these up and down scale events. I'm learning this myself and am detaching myself from the scale addiction. I was weighing myself every day and now I'm down to a couple times per week.

Look at it this way - when you realized you had forgotten the main part of your lunch - you could have gone to a local fast food restaurant for just that one meal. You didn't!!! I bet in 2 days you'll see you've lost a whole pound.

Keep it up..

Comment #13

....It can also depend on bowel movements...and there might have been a LOT of sodium in that can of soup and make you retain water....

Don't be discouraged!!!..

Comment #14

Sharon it looks like we about the same starting weight, which isn't good but not as bad as many maybe (?) we won't have the big surge in the beginning like some do. I to feel like I have cut my calories each day in at least half what I was consuming. I do feel better though and have a sort of personal satisfaction in just knowig I am eating healthier not only for me but for my kids too...

Comment #15

Yeah I just love all the encouragement we get on here! Awesome!!.

I also have a question about the order we eat our foods each day? Does it really matter what time of the day our snack is or our dessert? I just end up kinda stretching things out all day (and never really get hungry) but do we really have to keep in the exact order?..

Comment #16

Hang in there tiff and don't give up! You can do this. The scale can be our enemy sometimes during our weight loss journey. There could be a number of reasons why the scale went up. Maybe you are retaining water, haven't gone to the bathroom, need to drink more water, etc. Just stay positive and you will notice that the scale is back down in no time!..

Comment #17

You can move the food (feedings, I call them) around to anyway that makes sense for you...

Comment #18

Thanks Pam - btw I love your french fry quote! That is one of my biggest weaknesse so when I saw that I made a vow with myself to do the same. So far, 14 days since last fry!!!! Thank you!..

Comment #19

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