Weight loss is one of the most common goals we set for ourselves. And reset. Over and over. Because it’s so hard to lose weight and keep it off. We know that losing body weight, exercising and health nutrition are all parts of good health and wellness. However, sometimes the scale number remains the same or even starts to increase on our weight loss journey! This can be a frustrating process for those who want to see the numbers on the scale drop. Let’s take a look why.
If you’ve been exercising consistently and eating a nutrient dense diet but are not seeing your scale bulge, it could be because you are building muscle. Most scales wont’ differentiate between weighing muscle or fat. The scale simply shows your total body weight.
I am sure you have heard that “muscle weighs more than fat.” That is not the case – they weigh the same! Muscle is denser than fat but is not heavier. Because muscle is denser, it takes up less space than fat. We can pack more muscle into a smaller area than fat.
So, it is possible that while you are losing fat and gaining lean muscle, the scale number may stay the same, drop, or even increase at different parts of the journey.
Body weight is just one indicator we use to track weight loss progress. We also use data such as body fat analysis, tape measurements, clothing fit, and photographs to track the actual loss of fat. It’s important to remind patients that body weight can fluctuate sometimes as much as 5 pounds on any given day! That can be according to how hydrated we are, whether we are holding fluids, wastes or even food. Our weight can fluctuate due to medications, a menstrual cycle or even during periods of high stress. So other factors can affect our scale weight. Try not to fixate on your scale number but instead focus on the loss of body fat and gain of lean muscle tissue. Building muscle and losing body fat take time and consistency. Trust the process and put in the work.