Prefer to listen to this article?
Screw the Scale – Why am I GAINING weight?!
Let’s chat a little bit about a topic I’m confident that we can ALL relate to – the scale! At one point in your fitness journey, you’ve probably cursed the scale, wondering why it just won’t MOVE. Or it isn’t moving in the right direction. Either way, this can be very discouraging.
We’ve all been haunted by the scale. Some of us want to bury it for a few weeks and not see those discouraging numbers. Some of us are tempted to toss it out the window and forget it all together!
Many of us become far too attached to the numbers on our scale and lose sight of the other ways we are making progress. Remember, the scale is one of many indicators that can help you understand how your body is changing as you work toward health and fitness. It’s one tool in your toolbox, a tiny portion of the story!
Why the Scale Isn’t Telling You What You Want to Hear
There are many factors that can influence the scale’s movement one way or the other. What the scale tells you is far from the best way to determine if you’re making progress. Don’t forget that your size and shape are NOT the determining factors in your healthy journey.
So, what can influence your weight? Here are a few things to consider.
1. You’ve Started Weight Training!
You’re taking in lots of nutrients and water, and your muscles will begin to fill with blood. This will impact the scale as you gain muscle and strength. In this case, the scale going up is a good thing, indicating that your body is responding well and making changes.
If you’re on your first week or two of training, eating healthy food, you’ll notice fat tissue is getting pushed out to the surface. You may feel thicker and bloated for a little while as your body retains glycogen, water, and nutrients.
This is a normal, healthy thing! Your circulation is increasing, and better blood flow triggers puffiness and inflammation as your body recovers. It will eventually balance out.
As you train, understand as well that little micro-tears occur in your fibers, requiring your body to swell and become inflamed as a response. This is normal – your body is mending itself, going through a recovery process.
2. You’re Now Eating More (of the good stuff)
If you were under eating before, another reason why the scale doesn’t move right away may be that you’re now eating a higher volume of food. With this increased intake, your body now has a higher level of waste by-product waiting for elimination. It can take time for your body to process efficiently.
3. Where You are in Your Cycle
Yet another reason for the scale to stubbornly stick or even go in the wrong direction is your monthly cycle. Different hormones trigger water retention that might cause an increase of 3 or 4 pounds! Just wait it out. Continue to follow a well structured program and you will see results.
4. The Time of Day
The time of day you weigh yourself can also have an impact on what the scale tells you! If you weigh yourself after eating or in the evening, you’ll see a big difference from weighing yourself first thing in the morning.
For the most accurate reading, weigh yourself undressed first thing in the morning, after you go to the bathroom, and before you drink anything. Weigh yourself at a consistent time each day for detailed insight into what’s happening over time.
Instead of focusing on individual days, take your daily weight and just write it down, then average every 7 days. Track over time. Every month you’ll have 30 data points, but 4 solid trends.
This may seem a little geeky like you’re a scientist studying yourself, but it can give you a much better perspective on how your body is responding. When you’re able to look at trends over several month’s time, you get a much more accurate view of weight lost. You can see the bigger picture, rather than the day to day frustration of minimal movement.
Watch These Indicators Instead of the Scale
If nothing significant changes in 4-8 weeks, it’s easy to get discouraged. Instead of focusing on what the scale is doing (or not doing), here are a few other indicators to monitor that will give you a much better idea of your body’s response to your new lifestyle.
- Energy levels improve
- You sleep more and feel more rested
- The way your clothing fits
- Your overall mood and how you respond to daily stressors
Trust the Process
Stop judging your body. Getting stuck in a bad emotional headspace can impact you negatively, so give yourself grace.
Mentally trust the process. Look at how many calories you now take in – no more deprivation or eating disorders, and you haven’t gained weight! Instead, your body is simply taking the time it needs to adjust to a new way of doing things.
Seek out accountability, whether it’s a coach or some friends who are joining you on the journey. Your body changes over time, so don’t be discouraged if you don’t look the same that you did 10 years ago at the same weight!
If the scale isn’t moving like you expect it to, it doesn’t mean what you’re doing isn’t working. Don’t jump to another plane, looking for another answer. You must give your body time to change and adjust.
If you have specific questions – please contact us! We’d love to use you as a case study and help you trust the process and break through these barriers. Also, check out the link below, to join our FREE Fit Me Forever FB community.
Join us in The OMNI FIT Facebook Community: Fit Me Forever
We’d love to hear about your goals and what you’re doing to achieve them.