For all you ladies that grew up in the 80’s and 90’s, you probably were taught that the scale knows all! And there couldn’t possibly be any other reasons why the scale has gone up other than you gained fat.
Times have changed and we now know that the scale doesn’t always tell you the full story. Learn 9 reasons why the scale went up (plus some bonus tips).
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#1 Reason the Scale Went Up
- You had a salty meal.
- Sodium may take two to three days to get out of your system.
#2 Reason the Scale Went Up
- You had too much sugar.
- Sugar can also take a couple of days to eliminate.
#3 Reason the Scale Went Up
- You are dehydrated.
- Are you drinking enough water? Probably not.
- You should be drinking 90 to 128 ounces per day – more if you’re consuming caffeine, salt, or sugar.
- I’m guessing most women drink 30 to 40 ounces a day.
- Yes, you can have too much water. It’s called hyponatremia, AKA water intoxication. Generally, it’s related to an underlying condition, like an inability to filtrate the water out fast enough. It is extremely rare.
- Here’s a good rule of thumb (warning – TMI): if your urine is pale yellow, almost clear, you are properly hydrated.
#4 Reason the Scale Went Up
- You haven’t done a “Number 2.”
- Your weight depends in part on when you last had a bowel movement.
- Are you eating enough fiber?? You should be getting 25 to 50 grams per day.
#5 Reason the Scale Went Up
- It’s that time of the month.
- I’ve gained as much as 6 pounds during my period.
- I look like I’m 3 months prego.
- During perimenopause (that’s us), our hormones are all over the place. 20 days… 30 days… then 10 days… your period can be erratic, and so can your weight.
#6 Reason the Scale Went Up
- You’re intolerant to something you ate.
- Dairy is a huge culprit – and it’s in everything! And it contains lactose, a milk sugar that some people can’t digest.
- You can develop lactose intolerance later in life. I used to drink milk like it was going out of style, and now I can’t.
- If you are lethargic or bloated after eating breads or pasta, you might want to consider whether you have issues digesting wheat and gluten. It doesn’t mean you have celiac disease.
#7 Reason the Scale Went Up
- You did an intense workout or went for a run.
- When you work out, your body goes into an inflammation response because you are breaking down the muscle and stressing your nervous system… which can result in swelling and weight gain.
- Have you ever done a leg workout that left your legs wobbly, and later that day you tried to put on a pair of jeans that you know fit… only to find you can’t even pull them on? Your legs are swollen. They will “de-puff” in a day or two.
#8 Reason the Scale Went Up
- You have gained muscle.
- Lean muscle weighs more than fat.
- Muscle takes up less space than fat.
- Muscle is good!
- If you are doing a fat-loss program and gaining strength (which you need to be doing), that scale number might go up as your inches go down! BUT initially before you start losing the extra body fat, you may feel even bigger.
#9 Reasons the Scale Went Up
- You cut carbs recently and then re-added them back in.
- If you’ve dived into the latest and so-called “greatest diet” (which I hope you haven’t), you might have completely cut out carbs.
- You add them back in, and BAM! You will have easily gained 3 to 5 pounds in a day.
BONUS TIPS – Beyond the 9 Reasons the Scale Went Up!!
- Burning 3,500 calories equals 1 pound of fat. Unless you OVERate 3,500 kcals in one day ON TOP OF your daily caloric intake, you couldn’t possibly have gained 2 pounds overnight.
- Your weight loss journey does not end in 12 weeks. It’s lifelong.
- Use pics or a tight shirt or pair of jeans to judge your progress.
- Stop letting the scale be your ultimate score-taker! When I assess my clients, I consider their scale weight, girth measurement, strength, speed, flexibility, and, most important, their thought process about their weight loss journey.
- Set goals that have nothing to do with your weight. Do a 5K. Do push-ups. Increase your strength in everyday activities… One client had trouble lifting her windows last year to clean them… this year, she was able to push them up effortlessly.
- Fitness isn’t just about looking good (although it is a pleasant byproduct). Fitness IS about being able to do your daily activities with ease. It’s about being 90 years old and not needing someone to wipe the drool from your face or to help you into the bathroom. Independence as you age is priceless.
Do NOT give away your power to your scale!