When Your Scale is Telling a Tale

Posted in Fitness, General by

It can be discouraging to step on the scale and see a number that makes it look like the hard work you’ve been doing is all for nothing or worse for it to look like you’ve gained despite your best efforts. #sadface

We realize that our weight fluctuates and on certain occasions, we expect the scale to read with a higher number. Here are some of the times that your scale might be lying to you:

*right before and during your period (but you knew that right!)
*right before and during ovulation
*when you’re not drinking enough water
*the day after a moderate to intense workout
*a day or two after a particularly high sodium meal

The one that really surprises people is the day after working out. Even two days after a workout, your scale could give you a higher than normal number. How often do we hear people that are upset because the scale number is rising when they’ve just started their workout regimen? The common answer is “well, muscle weighs more than fat.” It is true that muscle weighs more, per inch, than fat. But no one has gained that much muscle if they’ve just started working out, not enough to affect the number on the scale. Muscle gain is not rapid unless you’re doing some major body building regimen. What’s really going on is that your muscle cells are holding on to water to try and help you power through future workouts. Our bodies do some miraculous things, and this is one of them. But if you really want to get an “encouraging” number on the scale, weigh yourself a day after a day that you didn’t workout.

In addition, find some other ways to measure your progress. The scale is only one side of the equation. I spent about 10 years as a grad student (I finally PhinisheD, yay), and I believe in triangulation of data, so along with your scale, take measurements regularly, as in every 2-3 months. You don’t have to measure everything–bust, waist, hips is fine. Take progress pics as often as you do your measurements. And one of my favorite ways to track progress is with “goal garments.” Get you some goal pants or a goal dress. You can have more than one goal garment. Try it on every couple of months. If it’s getting looser, you’re winning, and losing!

Relax, relate, release!

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