7 Times the Scale is Lying to You

The scale is a important tool when tracking your weight loss journey.  The problem arises when the scale is the only tool that you use to track your weight loss journey.  The scale can be deceiving and can fluctuate during certain times or after particular activities.  The most important part of weight loss is fat loss and the scale does not directly address that.  The clothes that you wear are a better way to track fat loss, because you will be able to see that you are losing inches. Let’s discuss why the scale needs to be used but used intelligently.

7 Times to Ignore the Scale

1.  Right after you’ve eaten.

If you gained 2 to 3 pounds after you finished eating that is natural.  The food that you have just eaten has weight and the body does not immediately digest the food.  So for a couple of hours when the food is still digesting you will weight more, but don’t worry you did not gain 3 pounds of fat from one meal.

2. During your first few weeks of a new diet or exercise program.

When you first start exercising, you usually make big changes in your diet and physical activity levels, so you see significant weight loss on the scale.  After those first initial changes the changes on the scale most likely slow down.  Your body will adjust to the difficulty of the exercise so the weight loss will slow down.  Don’t be discouraged because the weight loss amount can slow down but you will still be losing weight consistently but not by as big a number.

3.  Immediately after a workout. 

After you just got done with a hard workout and your shirt is soaked in sweat, it is not a good time to weight yourself.  You would have loss water weight and that weight will come back as soon as you drink water.  Remember the most important thing is to burn fat, and you will not see the fat loss on the scale immediately after a workout.

4. You just chugged a bunch of water.

Drinking a lot of water will increase your body weight.  Water has weight, so the scale will go up after you’ve drank a lot of water, but you did not gain fat because water contains no calories.  Drinking a bunch of water is a great way to fill yourself up, without ever gaining fat.  

5.  Just before bedtime.

Weighing yourself before bedtime will most likely not be accurate, because the things that has happened from day to day is not consistent.  You may have eaten a hour earlier this time around, or drank a big amount of water 30 minutes ago, etc. all these things will affect your weight.  So it is best to weight yourself right when you wake up, when all the food has digested, and you are starting your day fresh.  Just make sure that it’s the same scale and you have on the exact same clothes as the last time you weighed.

6.  You just had a baby.

Baby weight is a real thing.  When you just had a baby you will quickly lose weight from the baby being gone and the water and placenta being out of your body.  But then you may expect to lose more weight the following week but that is most likely not the case.  The extra weight/fat that you gained is due to the great reduction of exercise due to being pregnant, and from the extra eating from the hormonal changes.  So 9 months of a slowed lifestyle and extra eating will not disappear within a week.  The best thing is to slowly get back to the exercise and food control once the doctor has cleared you to be physically active.  

7. Practically any time during your menstrual cycle.

For women, weight gain happens during the menstrual cycle due to the retention of water.  Also hormonal changes are happening during that week that will cause your weight to fluctuate.  But after your menstrual cycle your weight will go back to normal.

So as you can see the scale is not the end all be all when it comes to weight loss.  You do not want to be discouraged or stressed out due to weight changes, but be educated.  When you do weigh yourself make sure it’s the exact same scenario and also find other ways to determine fat loss.  Losing inches is a great way to track fat loss, and maybe the best way to track fat loss is taking a before and after picture from month to month.

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