You’ve been working hard all week, eating right, training hard, keeping a positive attitude. And now you’re looking forward to seeing how much weight you’ve lost. You step on the scale with anticipation, look down hopefully, and… You’ve gained 1.5kg? How is that even possible?
Unfortunately, unexplained ‘gains’ are all too common, and for a number of reasons – none of which have anything to do with the effort you’ve put into your health journey.
If the reading on your scale makes you want to take a hammer to it, ask yourself:
- Did you eat a big meal last night?
- Did you train more intensely than usual a day or two before?
- Did you eat a lot of sodium the day before?
- Did you drink a lot of water just before weighing yourself?
- Have you recently added weightlifting to your training programme?
- Is it the wrong time of the month?
Thanks to factors such as water retention, bloating and muscle inflammation, your weight can fluctuate naturally from 0.5kg to as much as 2kg over a 24-hour period. Which means that your scale could be reading you as ‘heavier’ than you actually are.
Try measuring your progress with one of these more accurate methods instead:
Photographs Take photos of yourself from the front, side and back every 3 to 4 weeks or so, and compare them to see just how much your body is changing.
Measurements Take measurements such as bust, bicep, waist, stomach, hips, thigh, and calf every week, and compare the results going forward.
Clothes Choose an item of clothing that you struggle to fit into now, and try it on every week to see just how much easier it is to get into.
The more precisely you’re able to track your weight-loss transformation, the more motivated and committed you’ll feel. Remember that the scale can still be a useful tool along your journey – it’s just not the only one there is.
For more health advice here are 7 period issues you shouldn’t ignore