You wake up so excited to see what the scale says after feeling like you NAILED your plan for the last few days. You feel slimmer and trimmer, and you just know you lost weight! You can feel the excitement and you’re thinking “I finally feel a difference!” So, you go to the bathroom, strip down, pull out your scale and look down as the numbers do their digital dance. Finally, it settles and it flashes back a number that’s higher than you were a few days ago.
You step off thinking “Nah, that can’t be right” and move the scale to a different spot to try again. Still higher.
“Ok…one more time.” You move the scale again, hop on, close your eyes and say a little prayer.
WTF?! Like…seriously?! You worked so hard, tracked everything you ate, stayed on plan so why?!
All of a sudden, instead of feeling slimmer and trimmer and excited, you think “Why even bother. I can’t do this. It always happens, every time. Today I’m eating whatever I want because it doesn’t matter anyway. I don’t even care anymore. Screw this.”
It’s frustrating, isn’t it? It’s especially frustrating and stressful if you really feel like you’ve done everything you can to move the scale in the right direction, but it’s still not reflecting how hard you worked.
Let me help you put your mind at ease. The scale is a bitch. Our weight can fluctuate anywhere from 1-5 pounds each day for a number of reasons, so here are just 5 reasons why the scale might not be reflecting your hard work:
Where are you in your cycle?
We know the drill here, ladies, right? Feeling bloated AF and retaining water like a MOFO is real! You can thank estrogen and progesterone for that. It’s normal, and it’s also temporary. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had clients panicking about the scale and what I ask where they are in their cycle they’re like “….oh ya…I should be getting my period in a few days.” Haha!
How hydrated or dehydrated are you?
This is why people recommend weighing yourself first thing in the morning after you go the the bathroom and before you eat or dink anything- because you’re totally dehydrated and weigh less than you would after eating and drinking. The minute you eat or drink a bunch of water, the scale will increase, but for good reason! So keep drinking water and fueling your body, lady! It will only help the weight loss process along!
Did you eat something higher in sodium or extra carby the night before?
Fried food, salty food, pizza, Chinese food,and others like them can absolutely lead to water retention, which will reflect and increase in weight on the scale. Just remember that it’s totally temporary and you can lose the water weight easily but going back to eating natural foods and drinking lots of water.
Did you have a heavy lifting session the day before?
Yup, lifting weights can lead to temporary water retention, too! When you lift, you tear your muscles ever so slightly, which can cause them to swell and retain water for a bit until they repair. Again, temporary and well worth it in the name of long-term fat loss!
Are you chronically anxious or stressed and therefore not sleeping enough?
Chronic stress and lack of sleep are sure fire ways to not get the fat loss results you want. Managing both of these things is an absolute must because having consistently elevated Cortisol levels isn’t doing us any favors when it comes to fat loss. Stress management and sleep are a MUST if you want to see the scale go down.
So, before you throw in the towel, remember that fluctuations in your weight are completely normal and ask yourself these 5 questions. And just a word of advice: What you’re looking for is not a decrease in weight from day to day, or even week to week. Fat loss doesn’t work like that. What you’re looking for is a general decreasing trend over a longer period of time. If you must use the scale to track your progress (which I really don’t recommend), weigh yourself every 3-4 weeks, no more, and track those numbers.
How do you track progress without a scale? That’s another blog for another time, but start by throwing your scale away and take progress pictures instead. Those pictures really do tell the story!
What questions do you have about the scale or fat loss? Click here and ask away! I’m here for you!