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MissAnthrope's avatar

Why would I suddenly lose a bunch of weight, but only temporarily?

Asked by MissAnthrope (21399 points ) February 5th, 2012

It doesn’t happen a lot, but every now and then, I will step on the scale and find I am 8–10 pounds less than I expect. I won’t be dieting or consciously changing anything, and in both of the most recent cases, I didn’t feel especially thinner, no one has commented, etc.

Basically, I don’t believe the scale, even when I reweigh. Then, a week or two later, I’ll step on the scale again and find that the missing pounds have returned, again, with little fanfare or anything being noticeably different.

I tried Googling this and couldn’t find what I was looking for.. They talk about either rapid loss or gain, but not both. Does anyone know why this would happen?

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11 Answers

deni's avatar

This used to happen to me for a few years on and off. Maybe it still happens, but I no longer use a scale ever. I concluded in the end that it was because of my bowel issues….that sounds gross and is gross, but I used to suffer from constipation a lot, so if I didn’t poop for a couple days….it makes sense that I would be quite a few pounds heavier than if I was pooping normally. Is this at all the case with you? It’s the only thing that made sense to explain it for me, but I could have been totally wrong too. I never went to a doctor and asked since the issue resolved on its own. Hallelujah Mary.

Dutchess_III's avatar

@MissAnthrope You aren’t too concerned about food, are you. Which is good. People who overeat are concerned about food, concerned about eating too much, concerned about not eating enough. People who are dieting are really conscious about what they put in their mouths. Sounds to me like you eat when you’re hungry and don’t eat when you aren’t. It would be normal for fluctuations like that to happen when you aren’t paying attention. It’s a good thing IMO.

Vincentt's avatar

You should weigh in the same conditions, i.e. just after pooping, in the morning of in the evening, wearing the same clothes (as few as possible).

MissAnthrope's avatar

@deni – That was one of my considerations, because I have IBS and that particular system can be wonky. However, if anything, I’m a bit behind schedule, as I am very stressed right now and had to take Immodium the ther day. So, if anything, I would expect to be heavier. Also, I think the last time this happened, I was eating maybe a bit sporadically, but definitely fresh foods, so all was mostly well in the belly.

My only guess is possible dehydration, but water weighs 8 pounds a gallon, so if I was down a gallon of water, wouldn’t I be dead or something?

@Dutchess_III – At the moment, not terribly. No time to really think about it. I have been super busy and eating when hungry. Not the most super healthy foods, either, but probably less than usual. I think I also have been drinking less alcohol, but definitely more coffee!

@Vincentt – I do. First thing in the morning, naked, pre-coffee, post-morning constitutional.

SpatzieLover's avatar

Depends on the week of the month if you are still menstruating. The week of my period I may weigh as much as 10lbs more than “normal”. The week after my period is the week I can lose the most weight and may weigh a few pounds less than normal. The other two weeks, I’m at normal. I rarely look different.

zenvelo's avatar

You could be dehydrated because of activity or time of day, plus maybe you just haven’t been hungry because of being busy or stressed or focusing on something.

CWOTUS's avatar

The scale is defective.

flo's avatar

It could be the scale, if all other sources are saying no.

Coloma's avatar

The scale is always defective. haha

Yes, so many potential reasons.

chewhorse's avatar

Make a daily log of your fluid intake.. Fluid intake is usually the culprit in these instances because it doesn’t take affect until much later.. By keeping notes you might be able to find a pattern.. It could be as simple as that, especially with the up/down process.

Pandora's avatar

I find I can actually be 2 lbs to 1lb lighter in the morning than by bed time. And the week around my cycle I tend to drink more and eat more sweets, so I can put on 4lbs for a few days and then drop it after my cycle and eating and drinking are back to normal.
If I eat plenty of fruits and vegetables during my cycle than my weight will remain the same, because it keeps my cravings down for sweets and carbs and I don’t need to drink as much water.

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