How important is overnight weight loss and what trends should you be looking for?

Day 349

For a while now, I have been keeping close track of my overnight weight loss (by this, I mean weight lost while sleeping). It was over 1.0 kg on average after my vacation, when I had hit 81.0 and was working back down to my pre-vacation weight of 77.0.

About the time I reached 77.0 again, my overnight weight loss pretty suddenly dropped. It has been only .4 or .5 on several days recently, with occasional higher marks of .8 to around 1.0. Thus, one thing that can be said about overnight weight loss is that it can change dramatically over time. So if you track this measure for a while and stop, you will generally need to start tracking again for a week or more to get a newer count if and when you have gained or lost significant weight. Also, checking this measure only 2or 3 times is definitely not enough to get a rough average. I’d say a minimum of a week is necessary.

Now, is this overnight weight loss even important to your diet and exercise plan? I would say it’s not the most important thing to track and worry about. However, I do recommend regular tracking (even on a daily basis). So it’s certainly not a bad idea to jot these numbers down if you are already weighing yourself, anyway.

I am going to give you the trends that I have experienced with overnight weight loss. And my experience is not necessarily what you would expect. After having done Pentamize tracking for about 2 years now (both full mode and maintenance mode), my records show that my overnight weight loss is more when I need to lose more weight and less when I have less weight to lose. I have noticed this in three different main ways:

1. When I have a big cheat day, my overnight weight loss is often larger than usual for typically one to three days;

2. When I still had a lot of weight to lose to reach my target goal (meaning I was obese by the BMI standards), my overnight weight loss was relatively high (about .8 kg); and

3. When I got close to my target weight (meaning close to the normal BMI weight range but still a few pounds into the overweight range), my overnight weight loss decreased. It seems to be about .6 kg overall when I am close to my target weight.

So what does this all mean? Ironically, it basically means that a lower overnight weight loss may actually be better than a higher average loss. It could mean that you are not overeating. And of course, you can check for yourself to determine if it means that you are closer to your target weight.

I am not making any kind of scientific claim here because I don’t know the average results of all dieters in the world. So while your results could vary, I just found it interesting that being in better shape has meant a lower overnight weight loss for me. In a certain way, this kind of makes sense in that a lesser biological need to lose weight can naturally result in less weight loss, and a biological need to lose a lot of weight can allow for a higher overnight weight loss if you have an effective weight loss plan.

In short, I don’t consider overnight weight loss to be a particularly important factor. However, because many people recommend sleep as an important part of a weight loss plan, then just getting the sleep is probably more vital to your success than how much you lose during that period of the day.

Today, I had a semi cheat day, rising up to about 80.3. That is significantly more than recent figures. And that was at about 7 in the evening. So while I will drop some, it is probable that I will gain some weight even if doing my usual workout tomorrow morning. Well, I can’t be perfect on my diet. It’s just not within me to follow it every single day for the rest of my life. This is one of the reasons I am constantly having to exercise so much. When I eat too much (fast food today), there is simply no reasonable way to take that weight back off besides exercising). I am not going to starve or eat vegetables only, so this is my only option.

I dropped fast to about 79.6 before bedtime and then had another pretty low drop while sleeping. My weight was 79.0 when waking up. This is higher than previous days, but that was expected. It’s actually not that much higher, and hopefully more calories will burn off before my exercise session. I’ll just have a run and see what the damage is when it’s over.

Before exercising, my weight was pretty much stuck in place. I went to the bathroom but still had only dropped to 78.9 kg. This happens at times, possibly meaning that there just isn’t much left to lose as far as digestion of recently consumed food. However, once I start exercising, I am always losing weight during the session. Granted, most of that is probably just water weight initially. But the exercise helps prepare the body to burn any excess fat throughout the day.

I had a pretty fast run overall that ended even faster. After a run with a finishing heart rate of about 164, I lost about 1.2 kg. That reduced my weight to 77.6. However, I didn’t have much else to lose after running (from the bathroom, etc.). So 77.6 was my ending weight, which resulted in a weight gain of .3 kg. That is not bad for a partial cheat day. So I am not feeling too bad about that result.

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