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Old 01-25-2014, 10:26 AM   #1
Otis Kue
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Recovery v. Weight Loss

I started Crossfit almost two months ago. My goals are to be stronger, faster, lighter, in that order. Once we got through the holidays, I started watching my diet better. The box I go to does a program that puts a wod on every weekday. I've been doing 5 or 6 on and one or two off for a few weeks now.

I've been losing weight but I've noticed a curious pattern to the weight loss and I've noticed it before in the past. It seems that as the days of work without recovery start to stack up (along with muscle soreness), my weight loss slows or I even gain a pound or two. Then when I recover for a day or two, I lose a pound or two or three and generally end up lower than a week before. This is all assuming a constant diet and water consumption. Is there something going on physiology wise that I don't know about that explains that pattern? I'm happy with my results so far, I'm just curios more than anything.
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Old 01-26-2014, 10:00 AM   #2
Brendan McNamar
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Re: Recovery v. Weight Loss

Weight yourself at the same time everyday under the same conditions.

Take a 7 day moving average. Add up 7 days in a row divide by 7.

On the 8th day drop day 1 add day 8 to total and divide by 7.

This method helps to remove the daily fluctuations based on food and hydration.

Unless you are measuring every drop of water and eating the exact same meals every day this will contribute to minor variations.

Working out itself shouldn't produce big swings except it often effects hydration levels.
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Old 01-26-2014, 10:19 AM   #3
Glenn Plomchok
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Re: Recovery v. Weight Loss

Maybe don't weigh yourself as often? Hit the week hard like you are doing and see what your results look like.

I am not sure watching the scale that intently is the best approach...especially since the getting lighter goal is third overall. Not trying to be a smart a$$...just that I prefer to focus on how I feel and then take note of the changes to my appearance.
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Old 01-26-2014, 12:34 PM   #4
Andrew G Parker
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Re: Recovery v. Weight Loss

The problem with weight is that it does nothing to measure quality. Your primary goal is to be stronger, which will put on muscle weight. I had an idea when I started CrossFit last spring in terms of weight. The last time I weighed myself in early November, I'd lost a total of 14 lbs. Not near the 30 or so I was looking for. That being said, I am a lot stronger and took over 2" off of my waist line.

I propose you throw the scale out. What are you looking for from the weight loss? If it is a change of physique, then get a tape measure and do some baseline measurements so you can see the change over time. If it is increased energy, better sleep, or other things; do the same. Determine where you are in measurable terms and check every 6 to 8 weeks to see progress.

Scales are liars.

Also, as has already been stated, you need to measure change over greater periods of time. Short term measurements will give you a major up and down effect. Stretched out over time, you will see real trends.

Last edited by Andrew G Parker : 01-26-2014 at 12:37 PM.
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Old 01-27-2014, 11:44 AM   #5
Dakota Base
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Re: Recovery v. Weight Loss

Weighing every day generally only tells you how much, or little, you have drank over the last 24hrs, how much you have eaten in the last 3-8hrs, and how much you have used the bathroom for 1's or 2's in the last 12hrs (in combination for WHAT you have been eating, i.e. what might, or might not be hanging up in your colon).

Weigh yourself one day a week, at the same time of day, and only if you have

Investing $40 in an Omron body fat monitor isn't a bad idea. They're not spot on for % body fat, but in my experience I have had good results for "directional changes".

Having a scale and a fat monitor gives you an opportunity to track your lean body mass (pounds), and your fat content. If you lose 10lbs of water weight, the fat monitor will catch it, and let you know that you didn't actually burn a deficit of 40,000 calories that week.

The only time I weigh every day is when I weigh before and after workouts. This is aimed at replenishing water and electrolytes within the next few hours, however much I lose during a workout, I want to replenish quickly. Dehydration slows recovery, increases soreness, and reduces performance, so I want to get back to "square one" as quickly as possible.
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Old 01-27-2014, 01:00 PM   #6
Greg Warren
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Re: Recovery v. Weight Loss

Look for a facility near you with a Bod Pod. They're around $25 to go and measure your body fat % extremely accurately. You could plan to do it quarterly, or three times during the year if you wanted to. I'm doing it tomorrow for my "start of the year", again around July for mid-year, and again at the end of the year.

For quicker and more applicable measurements, just pick out a few areas of your body and take weekly measurements when you get on the scale. I do my quads, waist, & biceps. Inches on or off in certain areas will help a lot more than just seeing an arbitrary number change on the scale. Make sure to do it under the same circumstances (day of the week, time, etc.) and keep a log.
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Old 01-29-2014, 09:03 AM   #7
Otis Kue
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Re: Recovery v. Weight Loss

Thanks for all the advice and information. I did get my BF% checked in a tank earlier this year so I know I've got fat to lose. I weigh myself every few days when I first get up to try and limit weight loss or addition from water/food gain/loss. My strength numbers have been getting better and I know that's what is important but I'm tracking weight loss as well. Thanks again for the advice. I'll look into that BF gadget.
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