2

votes

Losing weight literally within a few hours, what gives?

Answered on September 12, 2014
Created December 12, 2011 at 5:42 AM

I've been fairly paleo compliant lately and granted I have a lot of weight to lose (80+lbs) so I'm curious about weight loss before my eyes and wondering what could be going on.

I have a digital scale and just for the fun of it, I weigh myself after the last meal of the day, water included and it gives me XXX lbs. When I weigh myself a few hours later, I find I have lost anywhere from 1-2 lbs, sometimes more, and not to be too indelicate here, this is without any intervening trips to the bathroom.

I'm not exercising much now, I'm pretty well hydrated. I even was nibbling on some dark chocolate during that time. Is this some sort of burn kicking in? I'm not complaining one bit, but just fascinated by this and wondering if anyone has noticed this as well.

One thing that has changed is, as I am up in Canada, it has gotten chilly, and it got me thinking to The Four Hour Body and the whole cold therapy for weight loss section in it. I don't bundle up much beyond a jacket, as I typically enjoy the cold, but because of that, find myself exposed to cold weather with few layers. Could this be it?

Edit: Minor grammar fix.

0d2dec01a5ed9363a9915e111ae13f7e

(4583)

on December 12, 2011
at 11:54 PM

And I wasn't trying to be a flippant jerk (I just *am* one!). Measure and chart away to your heart's content. You'll see a trend, and then a flat line, likely.

83d6a06c93bb3490dbca339cbbb63385

(526)

on December 12, 2011
at 05:51 PM

WHAT? The mass isn't reaching the speed of light! You don't know what E=mc2 means.

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on December 12, 2011
at 05:15 PM

GabyYYZ, sometimes the answers are very kind, sometimes brutal. Members come onto the forum in many different states of mind, but there are always those who think seriously about your questions and comments. Humor can be very medicinal but we can miss the mark because you can't see our smirks or smiles. Those who keep coming back have sincere interest or they would've moved on to some other hobby.

Medium avatar

(8239)

on December 12, 2011
at 05:15 PM

I left out the word "speak." Meaning of course: be cautious toward what the scale says. The scale flatters and mocks. In both cases, not worth listening.

A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4

(20436)

on December 12, 2011
at 04:55 PM

That is entirely possible.

Cf32992bfa1907147c7cdc451bba9c63

(2890)

on December 12, 2011
at 03:10 PM

E = MC**2. And F = MA. Therefore, by the Pythagorean theorem, your argument makes absolutely no sense.

C0fcb48d7da4f76fac17318efd2cd6b8

(4069)

on December 12, 2011
at 02:04 PM

Maybe Satan is known to come through bathroom scales.

A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4

(20436)

on December 12, 2011
at 01:54 PM

A lot of protein at dinner and exposure to cold could ramp up metabolism quite a bit. Also if the air is very dry, more water would be lost. Enough to explain a 2 pound loss in a few hours? I can't say, but it seems to have happened, unless Gaby is lying (either willfully or innocently). I'm willing to give him the benefit of the doubt and suggest possibilities. I suggest we all try this and see what happens (I'd probably gain weight...).

A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4

(20436)

on December 12, 2011
at 01:50 PM

Nobody said it was a pound of fat. It does seem unlikely to have a 2 pound change in a few hours. My point was that carbon is clearly lost in addition to water.

A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4

(20436)

on December 12, 2011
at 01:45 PM

I think that should read "Suntan is known to throw bathroom scales". It's well established that photons can be heavier when first absorbed. After dinner, they seep out. The scales should be adjusted to take that into account. Oops, not Suntan, should be Santa. This explains the well-known Xmas effect...

Dfada6fe4982ab3b7557172f20632da8

(5332)

on December 12, 2011
at 12:56 PM

I'd stay away from the Einstein aspirations. The heat release is from the oxidation as you say. There's no conversion of matter.

5b69a02dadcae753771921d913909215

(1457)

on December 12, 2011
at 12:56 PM

The krebs cycle is just part of ordinary metabolism right? To burn a pound of fat at once one would need to be fasted and walk about 35 mile non stop, depending on weight of course. It's either water, a lost limb... or a big dump + amnesia.

Ca2c940a1947e6200883908592956680

(8574)

on December 12, 2011
at 12:46 PM

Have patience the first run of answers generally tend to be like that. :)

A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4

(20436)

on December 12, 2011
at 12:41 PM

Hater's gonna hate...

A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4

(20436)

on December 12, 2011
at 12:30 PM

Yes we can be. I apologise for the neanderthals amongst us.

C0fcb48d7da4f76fac17318efd2cd6b8

(4069)

on December 12, 2011
at 12:21 PM

"Santan is known to through bathroom scales" Wow, I want to know what this means.

543a65b3004bf5a51974fbdd60d666bb

(4493)

on December 12, 2011
at 07:39 AM

did you happen to notice if a 2 lb pigeon was sitting on your shoulder (or head) on the first weigh-in?

Cf32992bfa1907147c7cdc451bba9c63

(2890)

on December 12, 2011
at 06:22 AM

Honestly this is the stupidest question I've read in a while.

Medium avatar

(154)

on December 12, 2011
at 06:09 AM

I measure three times in one go, minimal variation (.25 max) and yet I keep dropping. I know this won't happen consistently, but still curious about the whole process.

Medium avatar

(154)

on December 12, 2011
at 06:08 AM

I measure three times, not much variation between them. And consistently showing less weight.

Medium avatar

(154)

on December 12, 2011
at 06:06 AM

Water loss within a couple hours? After dinner, I haven't gone to the bathroom, and yet I lost 2 lbs. I can't imagine this is all through respiration and I'm not sweating noticeably.

Medium avatar

(154)

on December 12, 2011
at 06:00 AM

But water loss from what? I've had dinner at six, have not gone to the bathroom afterwards, and yet a few hours later, I've lost around 2 lbs. Is this through respiration? I'm curious about the mechanism here.

Medium avatar

(154)

on December 12, 2011
at 05:59 AM

But water loss from what? I haven't gone to the bathroom after dinner, and yet it shows I lost 2 lbs. Is this respiration?

Medium avatar

(154)

on December 12, 2011
at 05:45 AM

A couple other thoughts...it's possible my internal burn has ramped up regardless of the cold, and respiration may also count for a bit of it, but not sure how much.

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9 Answers

best answer

3
0d2dec01a5ed9363a9915e111ae13f7e

on December 12, 2011
at 06:06 AM

Maybe your scale is poopy.

Medium avatar

(154)

on December 12, 2011
at 06:09 AM

I measure three times in one go, minimal variation (.25 max) and yet I keep dropping. I know this won't happen consistently, but still curious about the whole process.

0d2dec01a5ed9363a9915e111ae13f7e

(4583)

on December 12, 2011
at 11:54 PM

And I wasn't trying to be a flippant jerk (I just *am* one!). Measure and chart away to your heart's content. You'll see a trend, and then a flat line, likely.

Medium avatar

(154)

on December 12, 2011
at 06:08 AM

I measure three times, not much variation between them. And consistently showing less weight.

11
A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4

(20436)

on December 12, 2011
at 12:40 PM

This question is not stupid - I actually think it's pretty interesting. It's a fact that overnight you will lose several pounds, even though you don't go to the bathroom.

How is this possible?

In addition to the water lost through breathing and the skin, you are also exhaling carbon dioxide. The carbon dioxide is a byproduct of the Krebs cycle (aka citric acid cycle) - or more simply, your metabolism. Well, where does that carbon come from? The fat/carbs/protein that are (converted to acetate and then) being burned (oxidized) by your mitochodria in the krebs cycle. So, of course some mass is lost. And its not all water.

Besides, E=MC**2, so if heat is being generated, there must be some mass lost there as well, although I can't say that I understand the details of that as well as the loss of carbon.

A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4

(20436)

on December 12, 2011
at 01:50 PM

Nobody said it was a pound of fat. It does seem unlikely to have a 2 pound change in a few hours. My point was that carbon is clearly lost in addition to water.

5b69a02dadcae753771921d913909215

(1457)

on December 12, 2011
at 12:56 PM

The krebs cycle is just part of ordinary metabolism right? To burn a pound of fat at once one would need to be fasted and walk about 35 mile non stop, depending on weight of course. It's either water, a lost limb... or a big dump + amnesia.

83d6a06c93bb3490dbca339cbbb63385

(526)

on December 12, 2011
at 05:51 PM

WHAT? The mass isn't reaching the speed of light! You don't know what E=mc2 means.

A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4

(20436)

on December 12, 2011
at 01:54 PM

A lot of protein at dinner and exposure to cold could ramp up metabolism quite a bit. Also if the air is very dry, more water would be lost. Enough to explain a 2 pound loss in a few hours? I can't say, but it seems to have happened, unless Gaby is lying (either willfully or innocently). I'm willing to give him the benefit of the doubt and suggest possibilities. I suggest we all try this and see what happens (I'd probably gain weight...).

Dfada6fe4982ab3b7557172f20632da8

(5332)

on December 12, 2011
at 12:56 PM

I'd stay away from the Einstein aspirations. The heat release is from the oxidation as you say. There's no conversion of matter.

Cf32992bfa1907147c7cdc451bba9c63

(2890)

on December 12, 2011
at 03:10 PM

E = MC**2. And F = MA. Therefore, by the Pythagorean theorem, your argument makes absolutely no sense.

A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4

(20436)

on December 12, 2011
at 04:55 PM

That is entirely possible.

9
25b139cc1954456d9ea469e40f984cd3

on December 12, 2011
at 07:31 AM

Are there any puncture wounds on or about your neck?

4
Medium avatar

(154)

on December 12, 2011
at 11:35 AM

Wow...you guys are are brutal. Okay, I'll leave this question alone and not consider it further on this forum.

A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4

(20436)

on December 12, 2011
at 12:30 PM

Yes we can be. I apologise for the neanderthals amongst us.

Ca2c940a1947e6200883908592956680

(8574)

on December 12, 2011
at 12:46 PM

Have patience the first run of answers generally tend to be like that. :)

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on December 12, 2011
at 05:15 PM

GabyYYZ, sometimes the answers are very kind, sometimes brutal. Members come onto the forum in many different states of mind, but there are always those who think seriously about your questions and comments. Humor can be very medicinal but we can miss the mark because you can't see our smirks or smiles. Those who keep coming back have sincere interest or they would've moved on to some other hobby.

4
1a98a40ba8ffdc5aa28d1324d01c6c9f

(20378)

on December 12, 2011
at 07:40 AM

My weight fluctuates 2-3 pounds during the day. I do not weight myself every day. However when I do it is always at the same time of day.

3
Medium avatar

(154)

on December 12, 2011
at 03:07 PM

Closest answer I could find, after digging. Looks like it is probably respiration, now that the weather is cold, maybe sped up with some cold weather thermogenesis and high protein intake.

http://viewzone2.com/waterx.html http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15466943

May partly explain this question I had and overnight loss as well.

Question closed...lesson learned. Thanks for the enlightened responses from the more experienced members regarding Satan's Poopy Scales. The poopy scales answer has received my check as the best one, just edged out "Santan".

1
96440612cf0fcf366bf5ad8f776fca84

(19413)

on December 12, 2011
at 03:48 PM

It's probably water loss, either via urination, or evaporation. However, fat is known to do very strange things, and it's not uncommon to lose fat nearly overnight.

See this article. It turns out that fat cells may fill themselves up with water to keep the structure the same when fat is lost, then at some point, they just let go of the water.

Unless you're using a fat loss scale that uses impedance to measure percentages of fat, muscle, water, and bone, a regular scale is useless. Even the impedance scales aren't reliable - they're usually off by 10%-20%, but they're at least a better measure than just plain old weight.

1
Medium avatar

on December 12, 2011
at 05:56 AM

Weight variation within a 24-48 hour period is most often water loss or gain. Weight loss week to week is a better measure. Even then, Santan is known to speak through bathroom scales. I place more trust in the mirror. Even more fundamentally, how are my jeans fitting?

C0fcb48d7da4f76fac17318efd2cd6b8

(4069)

on December 12, 2011
at 02:04 PM

Maybe Satan is known to come through bathroom scales.

Medium avatar

(154)

on December 12, 2011
at 05:59 AM

But water loss from what? I haven't gone to the bathroom after dinner, and yet it shows I lost 2 lbs. Is this respiration?

Medium avatar

(8239)

on December 12, 2011
at 05:15 PM

I left out the word "speak." Meaning of course: be cautious toward what the scale says. The scale flatters and mocks. In both cases, not worth listening.

C0fcb48d7da4f76fac17318efd2cd6b8

(4069)

on December 12, 2011
at 12:21 PM

"Santan is known to through bathroom scales" Wow, I want to know what this means.

A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4

(20436)

on December 12, 2011
at 01:45 PM

I think that should read "Suntan is known to throw bathroom scales". It's well established that photons can be heavier when first absorbed. After dinner, they seep out. The scales should be adjusted to take that into account. Oops, not Suntan, should be Santa. This explains the well-known Xmas effect...

Medium avatar

(154)

on December 12, 2011
at 06:06 AM

Water loss within a couple hours? After dinner, I haven't gone to the bathroom, and yet I lost 2 lbs. I can't imagine this is all through respiration and I'm not sweating noticeably.

Medium avatar

(154)

on December 12, 2011
at 06:00 AM

But water loss from what? I've had dinner at six, have not gone to the bathroom afterwards, and yet a few hours later, I've lost around 2 lbs. Is this through respiration? I'm curious about the mechanism here.

0
2642aa9fe90b1b82f9d4b2497f6aa918

(0)

on January 05, 2013
at 02:56 PM

The reason I'm even looking at this is because I lost 2.9 pounds overnight (7 hours) w/o indelicate mass losses, no known amnesia, and multiple weighings before and after. Not a dumb question but read some poorly considered answers. And BTW I am not overweight...

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