The chart below shows my current weight loss since August 15, 2011. I went from 256 pounds to 228 pounds (28 pounds lost). The white diamonds are my daily weights and the red line is a 20 day moving average of my daily weights.
Daily weight fluctuates by much as +/- 5 pounds depending on when you weigh yourself, how much water and waste is in your system, current sodium levels, foods eaten, recent exercise, clothes you are wearing and even different scales. This is the normal ups and downs that so many dieters see on their scales and then yell the following complaint:
“I hardly ate anything yesterday AND I ran two miles! But this morning I GAINED 3 pounds from yesterday! How is this possible!?”
Its simply the daily weight fluctuations I mentioned above. That’s where the 20 day moving average comes into play. It cleans up the day to day fluctuations so that an average trend is produced. As long as your daily weight is below the trend line, you are still losing weight, regardless of the day to day weigh in amounts. If the daily weights are above the red line, you are gaining weight.
A simple rule is to always weigh yourself naked, first thing in the morning after waking up. But remember this doesn’t stop the daily weight fluctuations, it only helps to eliminate a few extra variables.
This whole process is outlined in a great (FREE) book called the Hackers Diet. Anyone wanting to understand weight loss and maybe even lose a few pounds can benefit from this book, especially us techie folks! It was written by one of the Co-Founders of Auto-CAD. There are online versions, pdf versions, Word versions and several tools via an Online Tracker website or even Excel documents.