As if trying to lose weight weren't hard enough, there are some times the scale can mislead you and make things even more difficult.
When you are working hard on your weight loss and exercise regime, you certainly expect that every time you step on the scale, you are going to see some sort of positive progress. However, this isn’t always the case, and although you might not be getting the results that you anticipated, it doesn’t always mean that you are doing something wrong. If you are wondering why that scale needle isn’t behaving the way you want it to, then one or all of these times the scale can mislead you could be to blame.
1. Water Retention
Are the scales telling you that you have put a few pounds back on since you stepped on them after your spin class yesterday? Don’t worry, you haven’t ballooned since then. This extra weight can be due to water retention. If you weigh somewhat less than you expected, it is likely you lost a lot of water from the high intensity workout. Water retention and water weight loss can play havoc with the scale and is one of the most common times the scale can mislead you.
2. Post Workout Weight Gain
Our bodies are made up of muscle, fat, bone, blood and lots of different connective tissue, and after a heavy workout, the percentage mass of some of these components can actually shift and expand by as much as 15%. This can be through things like inflammation and urine and blood volume, so don’t take your immediate post exercise weight too seriously.
3. Strength Training Weight
One thing that is incredibly important to note is that muscle is not heavier than fat, but is denser. One pound of muscle is obviously going to be the same as one pound of fat, but the difference comes in the volume. The volume of muscles is denser than the volume of fat, which therefore makes it heavier on the scale. Don’t be disheartened if you find that the scales are showing bigger numbers, but your body looks and feels leaner. It’s just a healthier form of weight making up your body shape than before.
4. Fitness Levels and Body Composition
When it comes to weight loss, improved health and getting in shape, the truth is that while the scales just act as a base number for progress, they have very little to do with your actual fitness. A person can weigh a normal amount and still be very unfit in terms of strength and stamina. Everybody’s body composition is different, and two people that weigh the same can be worlds apart in terms of healthy living and fitness levels.
The lesson to take away from this is to have discipline in your use of the scale. You should weigh yourself just once a week, on the same day, at the same time and always, in either your underwear or while naked. This will account for the regular fluctuations your body goes through as you live your life. This is more likely to give you a truer indication of your weight, rather than the results you get when you weigh yourself in a haphazard pattern.