Why Your Scales Aren’t Telling You The Whole Truth

Weight Scales

Your scales may not be telling you the whole truth about your fat loss progress

One situation that happens to many people who are going on a fat loss diet is they spend the entire week doing everything ‘right’, feel excited about their progress, only to find that when they step on the scale, the number has increased.

Usually, this sets off extreme feelings of disappointment and has them contemplating forgoing the rest of their plan entirely.

After all, why keep dieting if it isn’t working, right?

Before you throw in the towel and go comfort yourself with a litre of rocky road ice cream, let’s go over why your scales may not be telling you the complete picture.

Weight Loss Isn’t Linear

he first reason to not freak-out is because weight loss is never linear.

It would be great if we could lose 1.5 kilos each and every week until we reached our end goal.

It never works this way though. Some weeks you may just lose half a kilo while others you might lose 2 kilos.  At the end of the day, balance is what you’re striving for.

If over the course of a month you’ve lost an appreciable, but safe amount of weight, you know that you’re right on track.

Don’t pay too much attention to one slow week, it’s a trend you’re looking for. If you’ve had a slow month, that’s something to be more concerned with.

Muscle Weighs More Than Fat

Next, note that muscle weighs more than fat, so this can make the scales do funny things as well.

It’s perfectly possible that during the beginning stages of your diet plan, you’ve lost fat but built muscle – assuming you are exercising anyway.

If this happens, you may actually see the scales increase, however you will look smaller.

This is because muscle is far more compact than fat mass is, so takes up less room on your body overall, but yet is very heavy, dense tissue.

So while you’ve lost fat and look slimmer, the muscle you’ve added is throwing off the change on the scales.

This is one reason why it’s far better to go by how you look rather than the simple scales number.

Fat Loss

A daily or weekly visual inspection is often a better indicator of weight loss

If you feel like you look thinner, that’s your sure-sign that you’re on track and should keep doing what you’re doing.

Water Retention Is Highly Likely

Finally, the last reason the scales may be lying to you is simply due to water retention.  Water retention can occur for a wide number of reasons.

If you’re highly stressed, expect to retain more water. If you’ve eaten a salty meal the night before, that too can lead to a scale increase.

Women know first hand how much a little added water retention can make on the scale thanks to their monthly menstrual cycle.

Finally, even exercise can make you retain water. After a particularly intense workout, don’t be surprised if you see your scale jump a little.

This is simply the result of increased tissue inflammation occurring in the muscles you’ve worked as well as added water and by product accumulation experienced thanks to that session.

All of this is very good and only indicates that you’re working extra hard in the gym.

So don’t step on the scales and get discouraged if the number isn’t exactly what you had hoped for.

Know that if you are following your diet and workout plan and you do look better in the mirror that you are on track to success.

If you’re feeling really brave, you might even consider throwing your scales away completely and instead, simply going by how you look and feel.