The scale DOES lie……….

The number one, biggest “complaint” I get from all of my weight loss clients, goes something like this: 

“Keith, how come the scale has not moved very much in 3 weeks?” “I mean, my clothes are looser, and I can tell that I have lost size around my waist and butt, but the scale says I have not lost any weight!” “What is wrong?” What is wrong? Nothing. 

If you are on a decent resistance training program, which I would hope all weight loss clients are, you will put on some muscle as you go along. Muscle weighs a lot.  

Let’s say for argument sake that you lose 5 pounds of fat since you started working out. As time goes on, you gain a pound or two of muscle. Obviously, the lean muscle mass that you put on will add some weight that you already “lost.”  However, there is much more to this puzzle.  

 When my clients train, they sweat and they sweat a lot. Sweating will cost you precious fluids. If this water is not replaced, or if you are dehydrated at all, which most people already are, your body will tend to retain more water. This will make your “weight” seem to go up.   Many people take in too much sodium in their diet. Excess sodium will also make you retain more water than usual. Again, weight will seem to go up.  

But wait, there is even more… If you are on a low carbohydrate diet, your body will tend to crave carbs, sometimes unconsciously. When you finally do eat any carbs, your body will store the glycogen in the muscles with a lot of water. This can tend to cause a dramatic increase in weight overnight. This weight has nothing to do with fat gain, and everything to do with water retention.  

 Remember this…the scale does not know whether you are losing fat, gaining muscle or storing water. It only knows what the weight is. The scale does not know nor does it care that you are training really hard. The scale only knows what you give it at the moment.   Stop worrying about the scale. It does lie.  

What you should be worrying about instead. Worry about how your clothes fit. Worry about how you look and feel. If you pants are looser, you should not care what the scale says. If  people continue to comment on how much better you look because you lost weight, you don’t need to worry about what the scale says.  

Oh, and one more thing; your body is going to lose fat where it wants to. You have no control over where you will lose it first. Stop worrying, keep working hard and keep to your nutritional plan.   Stay off of the scale for a while. If you cant do that, throw it away.

One Response to The scale DOES lie……….

  1. David says:

    Excellent post. I went through a phase of weighing myself on the scales at my gym before each workout (4-5 times a week). Some days the weight was down, some days the weight was back up. I really lost a lot of motivation on the days when I ‘gained’ a couple of pounds. Thankfully I ‘saw the light’ and have stopped weighing myself. It is nice to see that I am not crazy for doing this 🙂

    Keep up the excellent posts 🙂

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