You had a great week with your diet.
You worked your ass off at the gym,
You drank your water like there was no tomorrow.
So now comes the time to step on the scale and check
So you look down and don’t see a loss.
Okay, it’s just the scale.
Step off, step back on.
Nope, same number.
Oh! Must be time to recalibrate.
So you reset your scale, step back on… nope, same
Commence mental break down!
If I’m sticking to my plan and gaining weight, I’m just
going to eat whatever I want since I’m gaining weight
anyway. And then you throw on your cheaty pants and
have a one person party in your kitchen.
You’ve done it.
Know how I know?
‘Cos I’ve done it too.
I’VE BEEN THERE!
But here’s the thing, you just let that one little box spit out
a number at you and ruin your whole day. And then you
chose to ruin your progress that you worked hard for!
The scale is ONE way – and at times a very inconsistent
way – to track your progress. You need to look at the big
Did your measurements change?
Did your pictures change?
Are your clothes fitting any different?
Yes, the number on the scale is going to go up
unexpectedly at time – DO NOT assume right away that
you gained fat. The number on the scale can go up for
several reasons other than a gain in body fat. So keep
sticking to your plans and consider if one or more of the
following is going on in your body.
After being on a week or two of a consistent exercise
program your body will start producing more blood.
Veins and arteries enlarge in response to the added
work you’re doing to make sure your muscles are getting
fresh oxygenated blood, water and nutrients as fast as
possible. So your body starts producing more blood to
fill the comfy widened roads they travel down – and that
means weight gain.
Your body is made of large amounts of water, which not
only makes your weight fluctuate from day to day, it makes
you fluctuate from hour to hour. Water can make up for
approximately 2/3 of your total body weight. So clearly there
is a lot of room for your weight to be affected from either
retaining water, or from being dehydrated other weeks.
For you ladies out there, EVERY MONTH you know your
period is going to come. And every month you will STILL
freak out when you step on the scale and see an increase
from water retention. My suggestion, track your period,
eliminate the element of surprise. If you’re working with a PT,
don’t be afraid to tell them that you’re a few days from
starting your period. We like to know everything that is going
on with our clients’ bodies.
This is one of the most common overlooked aspects of
unexpected weight gain. Do you even monitor your sodium?
When on a diet most of us pay close attention to our carbs,
protein, and fat, but sodium intake often gets overlooked.
Most people assume if they’re not salting their foods, they’re
not going overboard with sodium. However that’s not true.
Certain foods like dairy, eggs, and most processed foods
have higher levels of sodium that can get you soaring over
your daily recommended allowance and cause water retention.
Who loves carbs? ME! Who turns into a bloated pufferfish
after her high carb day? ME! And YOU! You can thank the
glycogen stores for that. Those high carb days keep you
energized, feeling great, but also are most likely going to
show an increase on the scale the next day.
GOING TO THE LOO
Yup, I’v gotta mention this haha. When was the last time you
went to the loo? Think of all the food you’ve consumed over
the past day. It takes anywhere from 10-20 hours from
ingestion for your food to find its way through your body and
out the back door. So let’s say you couldn’t go to the toilet
when you woke up in the morning and stepped on the scale
anyway. The average person who defecates 1-3 times a day
will produce 1 ounce of feces for every 12 lbs of body weight.
So you do the maths – that can add up to some pretty big weight
fluctuations especially if you’re not regular. More often than not
some little dietary changes can get things moving again and
you’ll see the number on the scale going back down.
So there you have it…
Five issues that can cause an increase on the scale,
but not an increase in body fat.
This is why you should track your progress is various ways,
like pictures, measurements, and how your clothes fit.
You want to look at your progress over a significant period of
time, not always just from week to week.
You may be up this week, but are you down in weight from
where you were a month ago?
Always look at the big picture!