When the Scales Don’t Make Sense

If you’ve started working out and feel like you’re really improving your fitness level, yet you’re still not seeing that little number on the scale going down, it can be demotivating. Many times though, it doesn’t mean that you’re not making progress – far from it actually. It’s just that sometimes the number on the scale can be deceiving. Progress can in fact be measured better in other ways.

Here are a few possible explanations as to why your fitness level improvements don’t always show up on the scale. We’ve also included a few alternative ways of measuring your progress.

Reason’s why the number might not be dropping:

1) When losing weight through exercise and a proper diet the scale may remain unchanged (or even go up!!). This is because you may be losing fat and gaining muscle at the same time. It may be counterintuitive but the fact is that on a scale muscles will weigh more than fat and that might be the reason you’re not seeing the number going down.
2) Another reason why the scales might not be going down is that you’ve started to exercise more, and are, therefore, also hungrier. If you are then eating more this could mean that you’re maintaining your weight – even though you’re getting healthier. In order for there to be an actual weight loss, be aware of the balance between how many calories you take in and how many calories you burn. Remember that there is no need to walk around being hungry because of your increased exercise (!) Just make sure to eat the right things that will keep you full for longer such as protein, fibre and wholemeal carbohydrates.
3) Finally, a reason why you’re not seeing the weight dropping can be if you’re not using it at the same time of day. For you to compare your weight and get a fair estimate you need to make sure that your body is as similar as possible on as many factors as possible. Stepping onto the scale in the morning on an empty stomach after a proper night’s sleep will naturally be lighter than if you’re using the weight at the end of the day with all that you’ve eaten in your stomach.

Alternative ways of measuring progress

If you’d like to measure your progress in a different way than using a scale then there are other ways of doing it.
1) One way is to measure inches around your waist for instance or simply notice how you fit into your clothes.
2) Another way is if you check your energy level once a week by using an estimate bar between 0 and 10 and keep a journal about how you feel your energy level is from week to week. This will help you monitor not only your external appearance but also your internal progression.
3) You could also calculate your estimated body fat percentage and check in with that once in a while.
4) Finally, a different alternative is to see how far you’re able to walk, run, jump, etc. And measure your progress through your improvements.
These are all good ways of measuring your progress but if I had to recommend something I would recommend numbers 1 and 2. By using the how-do-I-feel and the ‘how-do-I-look measurements, you’re avoiding becoming fixated with something that is just a number. What really matters is how you feel and how much closer you’re getting to look like you, you want to be.
Let us know if you have any questions on this – we’re always happy to help!